Add Some Fun To Your Meeting or Event Schedule

Nanaimo’s unique team building experiences – tucked between the shimmering ocean and forested peaks of Mt. Benson – are sure to inspire your people. When groups break routine and try something new in Nanaimo, the resulting cooperation and productivity is priceless. This is how we do it island-style: ziplines in the forest, goat yoga, dragon boating, escape rooms, whale watching and more. Get ready for team building like you’ve never experienced it before.

Here are our top suggestions for pre or post-meeting activities in Nanaimo.

Treetop adventure course

Teams and groups of all sizes can come and experience the thrill of swinging through the lush forest and river canyon at WildPlay Nanaimo. On the treetop adventure course you’ll challenge yourself and work together to complete a belay-system course high above the forest floor. Navigate between trees and encourage each other as you zing on ziplines, walk tightropes, fly on rope swings, scramble up cargo nets, and navigate wobbly bridges. Want to take it to the next level? Participate in WildPlay’s Toss The Boss fundraising event where you toss your boss off the Nanaimo River bungy jump bridge … cord attached, of course!

WildPlay also offers facilitated team building sessions to groups that want to work with a dedicated team building instructor. These sessions are built to challenge your team, create trust, and deliver an adventurous twist on corporate team building.


Guided ocean kayak tour

Gather your people and set off on a guided kayak tour with Island Römer Adventures. It’s a bonding experience out in nature, out of your comfort zone, and dealing with wind, waves and kayak control. Just getting from point A to B is a challenge and builds team spirit. Most tours circle the beautiful Saysutshun (Newcastle Island) while your guide tells stories and shows you the history, geology, nature and wildlife along the way. You’ll glide beneath amazing rock formations, spotting purple sea stars, crabs, and the occasional seal or eagle.

This team building tour can be booked for 4 to 8 hrs with a group size of 4 to 10 people. Island Römer Adventures uses locally-made fiberglass tandem and single sea kayaks known for comfort and stability. All kayak gear and equipment is included. Touring multiple days or with a professional coach are possibilities.


Dragon boating on Long Lake

Under the direction of the Nanaimo Canoe & Kayak Club, your group can work together paddling the calm waters of Long Lake in either a dragon boat (seats 20) or a voyageur canoe (seats 6-10). There are so many great metaphors here: paddling in the same direction, each person of equal importance, and everyone working toward a common goal. This fun, athletic experience boosts team chemistry and unity as paddlers learn basic strokes and come together to achieve smoothness and efficiency.

Sessions are 1.5 to 2 hours and include instruction on land before paddlers get into the water at Loudon Park on Long Lake. Want to take it one step further? The Nanaimo Paddling Centre offers multi-week training packages that include all the equipment and instruction you’ll need to have your corporate team ready to compete in the Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival.


Craft beer, winery & distillery tours

In Nanaimo you’ll find craft breweries on the BC Ale Trail as well as several family owned vineyards and distilleries of vodka, gin and absinthe. On a group tour with Vancouver Island Expeditions you can customize your route based on your interests and include stops at restaurants with local food. It’s a personalized tour of 3 to 4 hours for 10 to 20 people. You’ll talk to the owners and get behind-the-scenes tours and stories. Learn about the city’s winemaking history and why specific grapes thrive here. Find out how local beers are brewed and where the ingredients of local gins are sourced. It’s a memorable experience with special moments that will bring your group together.


Whiskey tasting

The Grand Hotel in Nanaimo is home to one of the only dedicated whiskey bars on Vancouver Island. Whiskey tasting here is an upscale experience for any group. You’ll enjoy the Old World charm of the tasting room with dark wood, leather sofas and low lighting. Sit back and contemplate life as you compare preferences and the different flavours your palette experiences: vanilla, caramel, tobacco, smoke and jam among them. There are 150 whiskeys to choose from, ranging from $6 to $500 with exclusive varieties made in Canada and countries around the world including India, Spain, Japan and Ireland.

Each pour in the tasting experience is approximately a half ounce with 6 to 8 whiskey samples in a flight. The experience lasts about an hour to 90 minutes and can accommodate any group size. Along the way you’ll learn about the different distilling processes as well as how to smell and taste whiskey like a pro.


Rock climbing

Outside your comfort zone is where the team building magic happens. During a group rock climbing experience at Romper Room you’ll cheer on your teammates to make it to the top, offering suggestions about which route to take along the way. Together you’ll overcome fears, learn to trust, notice your strength, adapt to challenges, and celebrate your accomplishments. The achieving greatness parallels in your career and life really are beautifully obvious.                                                                                                                                    

The two-hour group climbing experience at Romper Room accommodates up to 40 people. Rock climbing routes vary in difficulty from beginner to expert. All gear, instruction and rope work are provided.


Farm tour & goat yoga

Bring your people to Nanaimo’s Yellow Point Farms to go behind the scenes and experience Vancouver Island farm life. On a farm tour you’ll meet the friendly Nigerian Dwarf goats and, in springtime, bottle feed their babies. See the Babydoll sheep in the pasture, give the pigs a belly scratch, and check out the chickens that lay blue and green eggs. You can follow the goats along the single-track trail for their daily walk around the property or let them climb onto your back during a goat yoga class. While you’re here you’ll also learn about natural growing methods and, depending on the season, harvest and taste the blueberries, strawberries and garlic.

Tours last approximately an hour to 90 minutes based on availability. You can combine the activities or incorporate a catered meal or meeting in the barn.


Whale watching tours

There’s nothing like bonding during that magical moment when you see a whale breach in the wild. Vancouver Island Whale Watch’s tours depart right from the downtown Nanaimo Harbour and involve a lot of interactivity among your group and the on-board naturalists. You’ll learn about (and likely see) orca, humpbacks, harbour seals, California sea lions or Steller sea lions.

Tours are 3-5 hours long. The inflatable Zodiac tours are exciting with wind in your face and potential splashes from the sea, so you’re outfitted with a one-piece anti-exposure suit. The semi-covered vessel is the other option. Join a public tour or charter one or all of the three vessels; each seats 12.


Axe throwing

What better way to relieve stress than to hurl an axe at a target and hit the bullseye, your teammates erupting in cheers. At Axe & Grind Nanaimo you’ll learn a new skill and inject some playfulness to create meaningful bonds. Split into teams for a little friendly competition or play for overall points and hand out prizes.

Larger groups (20 to 40) are encouraged to do a private rental of the entire facility, which includes all 10 lanes and a game room with Bocce, air hockey, ping pong and more. Private rentals (1 to 2 hours) also include a coach to teach you the trickshots and how to play games. Regular bookings give you game room access that is open to the public.


Escape Room

You learn lots about people when you’re locked in a room with them and need to work together to solve complicated riddles and puzzles to escape in time. Three local escape rooms –  Breakout Nanaimo, Escapism Nanaimo and EXIT Nanaimo – give you the chance to communicate with each other effectively under time pressure and share the joy of success if you figure out the clues and escape in time. You’ll learn each person’s strengths and weaknesses as you collaborate, problem solve and make decisions. It’s good practice for challenging times in any context.

The experience is best for small groups. Most escape rooms have a one-hour limit and accommodate up to six people. EXIT Nanaimo’s maximum capacity is 10. Escapism Nanaimo is located inside a bowling alley, Brechin Lanes.


Saysutshun island Indigenous interpretive tour

Do a little island hopping with your group and take the 10-minute passenger ferry (capacity: 40) from downtown to Saysutshun (Newcastle Island). This traditional Indigenous territory of the Snuneymuxw Peoples is a gorgeous destination for a retreat experience with 360-degree views of the ocean and mountains. Book a walking tour to Indigenous village sites, totems, sandstone quarries and coal mine sites with a Snuneymuxw Knowledge Keeper. Save time to relax on the sandy beaches or play frisbee in the fields.

You can rent the island’s historic pavilion hall with a small stage, 2,700-sq.-ft. sprung dance floor space, and washroom facilities. The barbecue pit and outdoor picnic shelter, between the forest and a grassy field, can accommodate large groups for a picnic.