19 Best Company Retreat Ideas in Washington DC

By: | Updated: January 19, 2024

You found our list of unique company retreat ideas in Washington, DC.

Corporate retreat ideas in Washington DC are fun bonding activities you can do during focused group events. Examples include Smokey Gen Farm, Library of Congress, and Primland. These ideas foster a more cohesive team environment, create incentives for your staff, and strengthen internal communications and collaboration.

These experiences work for corporate retreats, company retreat activities, and executive retreat ideas. These activities are similar to DC company outings and corporate events in DC.

This article contains:

  • corporate retreat ideas for big groups in Washington DC
  • corporate retreat ideas for small groups in Washington DC
  • company retreat entertainment ideas in Washington DC
  • company retreat locations in Washington DC
  • staff retreat activities in Washington DC

Here we go!

List of company retreat ideas in Washington DC

With staff retreat activities in Washington DC, you can experience some of the fascinating aspects of the district with your coworkers and foster team spirit at your firm. Here are spots to consider when planning retreats in the US capital.

1. The Art of Storytelling (Popular)

One of the most essential skills your employees can have is the ability to tell a good story, which is applicable in many different contexts. For this activity, a group of professional performers will show your team an easy-to-follow formula for telling stories to keep audiences interested.

Here is what you can expect:

  • 120 minutes with a world-class host
  • lessons on the five parts of an engaging story
  • techniques to hook audiences
  • dedicated time for attendees to practice their new skills
  • valuable expert feedback

Every team member may benefit from honing their storytelling skills, from frontline workers and salespeople to those in marketing, support, management, and HR. This professional workshop is a lot of fun and accessible to participants with different levels of knowledge.

Learn more about The Art of Storytelling.

2. The Great Guac Off (Top Pick)

The Great Guac Off is a unique and exciting guacamole-themed event where you can unleash your creativity and culinary skills. This experience is beloved by brands like HelloFresh, Bain & Company, and Hims. Our skilled hosts and co-hosts will ensure a smooth 90-minute event and take care of the clean-up.

Here is what you can expect:

  • chips and guacamole ingredients provided for you to create your own tasty combinations
  • optional inclusion of a secret ingredient to add an exciting twist to the guacamole
  • an epic guacamole-making competition that will challenge your skills and flavors
  • engaging avocado facts, entertaining trivia, and thrilling mini-games to keep the excitement high

Best of all, we will conveniently host this experience at a venue of your choice. The Great Guac Off is a party that also promotes creativity, collaboration, and friendly competition.

Learn more about The Great Guac Off.

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3. Field Day (Staff Favorite)

During Field Day, teams go head-to-head in high-energy outdoor activities! Participants will boost their teamwork and communication skills in this fast-paced environment. 

Here is what to expect during this experience: 

  • a 90-minute session with a talented host
  • captivating outdoor games and activities that engage teams
  • nostalgic activities that bring back childhood memories
  • photo ops that are great for companies’ social media pages 

In addition, we will meet you at your chosen location with all the needed materials. Field Day creates the perfect setting for colleagues to relax, enhance teamwork, and bond. 

Learn more about Field Day.

4. Beat the Bomb

Beat the Bomb is one of the best company retreat entertainment ideas in Washington DC that will put your team to the test! In this 60-minute activity, groups of four to six will wear hazmat gear, dodge lasers, and crack codes. If you fail to disarm the paint or foam bomb, then you get blasted!

If paint and foam bombs sound too messy, then you can also check out the Game Bay. This room offers plenty of activities without the paint blast. The space offers over 15 short Beat the Bimb video games, including cooperative and competitive activities.

You can also book the venue to host a private party. In addition, teams with high scores can apply for the Pro League to win up to $1,000 in cash and prizes!

Learn more about Beat the Bomb.

5. Capital Laughs

One of the top corporate retreat ideas for small groups in Washington DC is going to a comedy show. Capital Laughs is a locally produced comedy club that showcases DC comics. You can attend different types of shows depending on the day of the week.

Available performances include:

  • The Comedy Shuffle: Any comic joins a seasoned pro on stage. The comic tells jokes, and the pro interrupts them if they are not funny.
  • Town Tavern: This show features the best local comics plus well-known out-of-town performers.
  • Special Venues: Some performances are hosted at Tonic or Saint-Ex.

All shows are 21 and up unless specified otherwise. To see DC’s best talent, be sure to stop by Capital Laughs!

Learn more about Capital Laughs.

6. Clay Cafe

Artistic teams will have a great time making masterpieces at Clay Cafe.

Here are some of the available activities:

  • Paint Your Own Pottery: Teams will choose ceramic pieces and paint them. The studio will glaze and fire your artwork.
  • Pottery Wheel: During this 75-minute class, you will learn to throw and will make one to two pieces.
  • Hand Building: This course teaches how to build artwork by hand, such as vases, bowls, and creatures.

In addition to regular courses, Clay Cafe offers special events like adults-only nights and glass-fusing workshops.

Learn more about Clay Cafe.

7. Union Market District

If you are looking for an all-in-one stop during your retreat, then Union Market District should be on your list! This venue offers opportunities to shop, eat, and play.

Here are some examples of what to do at the market:

  • Shop: Visit leading brands and local favorites like District Cutlery, Terratorie, and Jungle & Loom.
  • Eat and Drink: Enjoy delectable options like Arcay Chocolates, Blue Bottle Coffee, and TaKorean.
  • Experience: Check out Angelika, a film pop-up, or Songbyrd Music House, a concert venue.

You can also keep an eye out for regular events, such as salsa dancing courses, mural tours, and trivia.

Learn more about Union Market District.

8. Smokey Glen Farm

Company retreats take an all-new dimension with an all-day getaway at Smokey Glen Farm. Located in Gaithersburg, Maryland, this expansive site has covered pavilions and open sitting spaces to make the most of the warm season. With so much area to spare, this facility is suited for big parties of up to 5,000 people. You may pick from numerous traditional BBQ meals. The venue is only an hour’s drive from DC and features a range of onsite outdoor activities, including volleyball, mini golf, and horseshoe pits.

Learn more about Smokey Glen Farm.

9. Old Town Trolley Tours

You can see D.C. in style by checking out Old Town Trolley Tours. Visitors can choose from several packages, including one-day tours, Monuments by Moonlight, and Arlington National Cemetery tours. During the one-day tour, guests enjoy a fully narrated city tour while hopping on and off at 15 unique stops. During the Monuments by Moonlight trip, guests can experience famous landmarks such as the WWII Memorial and MLK Memorial. Guides will also share historical facts and stories. The Arlington National Cemetery tour takes visitors to notable gravesites, and guests will learn about the cemetery’s history and heroes. To learn about the city in a relaxed setting, be sure to check out these tours.

Learn more about Old Town Trolley Tours.

10. The EDGE at George Mason University

The EDGE is a hi-tech location for “outdoor experiential learning.” George Mason University has been running outdoor adventure courses for teams for over 30 years, and its staff will gladly teach your team the basics. Whether you scale the Alpine Tower or stick to the ground, every team member will enjoy the thrilling activities. You will also learn practical skills in problem-solving and communication.

Learn more about the EDGE.

11. Terrapin Adventures

Terrapin Adventures, located right outside Washington DC, provides an excellent team program incorporating group games, obstacle courses, and aerial challenges. Terrapin Adventures are professionals in building tailored programs to enhance collaboration and help groups attain short-term and long-term objectives.

The staff designs games and activities depending on your group’s goals. Some teams need to focus on building communication tactics and collaboration abilities. Other teams require their participants to have greater confidence so they can contribute ideas that might improve the team.

As individual team members push themselves to try new feats the rest of the team will be there to cheer them on. You and your team will not forget the atmosphere of cooperation and camaraderie they experienced at the location.

Learn more about Terrapin Adventures.

12. Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is the world’s second-largest library, with over 167 million items. The library’s shelves are full of different media, from ancient and rare fragile books to the latest releases in mainstream music. The library also has every kind of document a researcher might desire, including maps, manuscripts, pictures, paintings, murals, newsreels, and sheet music.

Three separate structures make up the library, and each has architecture as impressive as the collection it houses. The Thomas Jefferson Building, with its magnificent, golden-toned central reading room, is the most well-known, although all of the structures are well worth a visit. The library is also a popular venue for special events. The structures house various entertainment venues, such as theaters, concert halls, and movie theaters.

Learn more about The Library of Congress.

13. Primland

Primland, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is a perfect destination for a weekend escape or a luxurious executive retreat, especially for those who like the great outdoors. You may have to travel farther from Washington, DC, to get to the venue, but the trip is scenic, and there are plenty of activities to do onsite. You can participate in target practice at the archery range, stargazing at the observatory, trail exploration in an ATV, or a game of disc golf.

However, geocaching is perhaps the finest exercise for teams. You and your teammates will get GPS gadgets and go on a trail-wide treasure hunt to discover hidden caches. Guidebooks written by experts in environmental protection may help you learn about the area’s history, customs, and problems.

Learn more about Primland.

14. Port City Brewing

Port City Brewing is a great choice if you are searching for laid-back, fun company retreat locations in Washington DC. The facility will handle every detail of your company retreat, thanks to the plethora of onsite services, including private tours, conference rooms, and team trivia. If your team has specific interests, the hosts also offer customizable packages. You may enjoy a guided beer and food tasting in the Lighthouse Lounge, with offerings from Cheesetique and Bluprint Chocolatiers.

Learn more about Port City Brewing.

15. Folger Shakespeare Library

At the Folger Shakespeare Library, there is a diverse range of activities for visitors to enjoy. The Folger Theatre hosts live performances, with previous shows like Music and Satire: From the Writings of Rabelais. The library also hosts events and festivals. For instance, the Reading Room Festival offers new works inspired by Shakespeare.

Exhibitions showcase historical artifacts and modern displays. The learning lab is home to interactive educational experiences. In addition, guests can take a stroll through the welcoming gardens or relax in the new café. Whether you are a theater enthusiast, history buff, or literature lover, the Folger Shakespeare Library is a great place to be.

Learn more about the Folger Shakespeare Library.

16. National Zoo

If you are in Washington, DC, and are interested in animals or the natural world, you should stop at the National Zoo. The variety of animals on display is the primary draw. About 2,000 creatures live in the zoo, including a family of giant pandas. You will probably find any animal that can run, glide, creep, slither, slither, or roll.

One of the many wonderful attractions of the zoo is its many events and activities for guests. You and your team can have a good time at the zoo, whether it is “Woo at the Zoo” on Valentine’s Day or “Boo at the Zoo” on Halloween. Finally, admission to the zoo is free.

Learn more about the National Zoo.

17. Wine & Design

Workshops by Wine & Design take the enjoyment of drink-and-draw courses to a whole new level. Art Breakers, explicitly designed for beginner teams, is just one example of how their programs are customizable to meet your specific needs. Another option is to attend seminars devoted to increasing output. At the event, your teammates will get their choice of wine or beer and a paint kit. Instructors are available to guide your team through the activity. You can host the classes at their Alexandria studio, your workplace, or a rented location.

Learn more about Wine & Design.

18. Capital One Arena

In Washington, DC, the Capital One Arena is a must-see attraction and has received accolades for helping to revitalize the area around it. Capital One Arena hosts various athletic events, from basketball and hockey to wrestling, and is home to the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals.

The arena also hosts concerts, festivals, horse exhibitions, family activities, and ice skating performances. You can also watch Disney on Ice. Some of the facilities at the arena include a food court, a lounge, a hairdresser, and retail shops for business. This location is ideal for corporate retreat ideas for big groups in Washington DC.

Learn more about Capital One Arena.

19. Mangia DC

The private cooking courses from Mangia DC are a delicious option for a company event and are hosted in various scenic locations in DC. One of the best ways to build teamwork is via a cooking class. Team members with no expertise in the kitchen might benefit from taking private culinary lessons. Teammates help each other out as they each acquire new knowledge. There is no competition. The intention is to get tasty cuisine.

Team members may hone their active listening skills as a professional chef guides them through the preparation of a meal. Together, participants will seek assistance from one another when they are unsure of how to execute a technique.

Learn more about Mangia DC.


Washington DC is a metropolis on the international stage, a symbol of progress and success. The city is home to several businesses and offices. The City on the Potomac is not only home to some of the finest museums in the country but also a bustling hub for corporate retreat ideas. Washington, DC, may be grand and impressive in size, but the city’s many business attractions tell an even more compelling tale.

Next, check out Washington DC team building activities and group activities in DC.

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FAQ: Company retreat ideas in Washington DC

Here are frequently asked questions about company retreat ideas in Washington DC.

What are some good corporate retreat ideas in Washington DC?

Some good corporate retreat ideas in Washington DC include the National Zoo and the Library of Congress. These enjoyable retreat activities should provide plenty of inspiration.

How do you plan a fun team retreat Washington DC?

Your company retreat is about cooperation, so a good idea would be to plan it with the rest of the team. You should encourage group involvement and ensure everyone on your team has a chance to contribute to organizing the retreat. As a result, you will be able to spot original thinking and unearth future leaders; that alone is worth the price of admission. Also, if team members feel included from the get-go, they are more inclined to participate in the event.

Author avatar


People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at teambuilding.com. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.


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