Singing at a Southern California team building event

If you’re searching for Southern California team building ideas there’s some good news. Southern Cal has lots of great options. I’m a believer in finding team programs that relate to the culture or geography of your program location. This part of the country won’t let you down.

For visiting groups or California based companies, finding a great team building program can be a real challenge. Part of the challenge is having to overcome the negativity associated with organized team events.

The good, the bad, and even the ugly team building experiences may remain seared into the minds of your co-workers. So if you’ve been tasked with finding a Southern California team building program, the pressure is on!

Both you and your colleagues may be hoping for a program free of trust falls, feeling circles and other uncomfortable activities. To help you out, I’ve gathered ideas for team building that takes advantage of Southern Cal’s unique offerings.

Find Your Purpose First

To help you further narrow down what type of activity may be best for you, you should consider the purpose of team building for your particular group. Consider your goals and the make up of your team.

Once you define your goals, you need to decide if you want to DIY or engage a professional team building company to lead your program. Honestly, you should integrate informal team programs into monthly rotation and then plan a professionally led event once or twice a year.

Below are my picks for informal self-guided programs and my favorites for team building companies in Southern California that can lead your organization through some great programming.

Informal DIY Team Outings

Creating an informal setting for your team building activity can foster a huge boost in morale and camaraderie for your group. The team can break down barriers and form stronger relationships during these outings, creating the trust needed to encourage unhampered communication in the work place.

  • Beach Day – Remember the unbridled joy of a school field trip to the beach? There are endless opportunities to bring this joy and sense of spontaneous play to your team outing in Southern California. Located in Malibu (a 20 minute ride from Los Angeles) El Matador Beach features stunning rock formations and unparalleled views of the surrounding areas. Hidden coves offer opportunities to explore. Surprise your team with an easy breezy beach day and a picnic. Pick up some blankets and some pre-packed lunches and you’ll have a beautiful, sun soaked day to remember with your team. Throw a volleyball into the mix and you’ll have some healthy competition on the sand. Don’t forget the SPF. (Southern California is has many gorgeous beaches, so take your pick: Santa Monica Beach, Coronado Beach, Catalina Island, 10,000 Steps Beach and more)
  • Take a Hike – If your team building activity brings you Los Angeles, try taking a hike and making some lasting memories. The Runyon Canyon Loop starts right off of Hollywood Boulevard and the three mile round trip hike boasts incredible views of the Hollywood Sign, the Sunset Strip, and the L.A. Basin. Get some exercise, possibly bump into a celebrity walking his or her dog, and find the perfect opportunity to snap photos and create memories with your team on your hike.  (In San Diego, try Torrey Pines State Park for easy trails accessible coupled with stunning views of the ocean)
  • Sip and Sea – What goes together better than the ocean and a nice cocktail? The conversation will be flowing and the ocean breeze will of course be blowing. One of my favorite places to eat the in San Diego area is Bali Hai Polynesian Restaurant. Their world famous Mai Tai (a continuous counter over the bar shows the number served) and their unparalleled views of the ocean make this fun, delicious restaurant the perfect place to bring your big group. Team build tiki style as you sip your Mai Tai and crunch on your coconut shrimp. Bali Hai is a great jumping off point for exploring the San Diego Bay area together, and a great way to make sure that no one on your team gets hangry while you’re trying to build moral.
  • Count the Stars – Ask each of your team members to share their favorite celebrity with the group and then surprise them with a trip to the Hollywood Walk of Fame to find their favorite celeb’s star. This is a great informal way to get conversation going and can lead to lively debate about favorite movies. Don’t underestimate the power of the stars. Make sure to book your Walk of Fame tour in advance on Trip Advisor to ensure that you secure spots for your team. It tends to be a crowded destination.

Top 5 Southern California Team Building Programs

When you’re looking for a professionally facilitated team building activity, Southern California has so much to offer. A professionally facilitated program will ensure you can address goals, open lines of communication and create context that will provide take-aways for your organization.

1. Sail Away – If your team building trip lands you in San Diego, try taking in the views from the beautiful blue waters of the San Diego Bay. The Sailing Regatta at Harbor Sailboats gives your team the opportunity to sail an actual yacht, no experience necessary.

Your group will be split into teams of six to a yacht, and will (with expert supervision of course), learn how to work together to actually sail the boat. The epic afternoon is capped off by an actual regatta yacht race. Before returning to the dock for an awards ceremony, each boat will have time to free sail and enjoy the bay.

Encourage creativity, collaboration and healthy competition with a day on the water.

2. Share Your Story, Sing your Song – Yes I’m biased, but I have real reason, and a long track record, that supports my enthusiasm for the work we do here at Kidbilly Music. With Southern California’s rich entertainment industry history, making your team building activity a musical one should be a no-brainer.

We’ve led our musical team building programs at historic recording studios in Los Angeles, Sony Pictures, on the beach in San Diego, at the Hard Rock Hotel, the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel and more. Whether you’re a smaller group looking to get creative or a large conference of up to several thousand people, we can help you come together as a group to honor your message and celebrate your culture through songwriting.

You and your team will collaborate to write your very own song. This is a great right brain left brain mash up, combining intellect with emotion; problem solving and team building with melody. And at the end of the day, you’ll be able to call yourself a real songwriter.

3. Laugh It Up – Since the city of Angels has no shortage of Hollywood stars, let your team play celebrity for the day and flex their acting muscles. Check out Stage Coach Improv for an energizing, hilarious way to cultivate creative confidence through the power of story. Your team will laugh til they cry and bond in ways you never could at the office.

4. X Marks the Spot – Looking for a great way to take in the neighborhoods of Southern California on foot, build problem solving skills and encourage group collaboration? Try the Go Game for customizable scavenger hunts throughout a wide range of neighborhoods in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. Compete to discover who can find the golden ticket first.

5. Stay Hungry – The abundance of restaurants and neighborhoods in Los Angeles can be overwhelming to try to explore in a weekend, so why not go to the professionals for guidance?

Try Side Walk Food Tours for an outside the box way to get your team walking, talking, and munching. Experience five delicious food stops with no lines as you learn and discuss history and culture of Los Angeles neighborhoods. This is an easily customizable experience based on the size of your group.

Eating together really shifts group dynamics as people relate socially over food and the good times associated with favorite restaurants and destinations.

It’s hard to beat the geography, climate and diversity of what Southern California offers. There are plenty of opportunities for impactful and inspiring team programs. Make your team event a California original – with a bit of planning you can’t go wrong.

About Billy Kirsch

Billy is a Grammy & Emmy nominated, CMA & ACM award winning songwriter with numerous Top 10 hits to his credit. His team building programs and keynote speaking presentations help people tap into their creative abilities to become more innovative and engaged in their work. Clients include Fortune 100 companies and organizations throughout the world.