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“We can’t plan our team retreat offsite because it costs too much!”

At least, that’s what you’re made to believe, and while it might seem like a hopeless battle, here’s the good news: It’s not. You have every ability to become the office hero AND refrain from spending a ton in your budget in the process. Take an evening to research what your community has to offer and, before you know it, you’ll be swimming in a sea of options!

To help get you started, I’ve provided 5 of the BEST and most budget-friendly retreat locations for any team, anywhere.

(1) Local Parks
Parks are not only filled with natural light, fresh air, and beautiful scenery, but, you guys. They’re free. You might have to pay a small reservation fee for a pavilion or picnic area, but in the long run, you’re still going to be saving the big bucks and providing your team with a refreshing environment.

(2) Coffee Shops
Chances are, you’ve succumbed to holing up in a coffee shop on a day when you needed to get out of your office, and into a space that didn’t feel so much like, well, your office. You can do the same thing with your team! This option is not only (mostly) free, but it also comes with coffee. And scones. And all of those good smelling smells. Perfect for team-bonding and brainstorming and yes – your budget.

(3) sparkspace
Okay. I might be showing favoritism here, but come on. How could I NOT include sparkspace? If you’re in Columbus and looking for a fun place to go for a team retreat…why not come to the place that was literally created to save you from the same old “boring” meeting spaces you’re used to? Apart from providing all of the materials you need (A/V equipment, office supplies, snacks, beverages, and coffee galore), we hook you up with bright and inspiring spaces, *seriously* comfy seating, suggestions for team-bonding activities, AND a giant candy wall in the main lobby. You can plan a half-day retreat for $74 per person, which will get you all of this, PLUS you’ll be right smack in the middle of the Arena District which provides plenty of nearby restaurant options for a delicious after-retreat meal.

(4) The Bowling Alley
More often than not, retreats are planned with the intent to brainstorm AND have fun while bringing your team together. A great way to accomplish this goal is to take your team to the bowling alley! As long as you aren’t afraid to rock the funky shoes, bowling is an enjoyable, cheap, and easy way to get your team pumped up and ready to roll. Need to mix business with pleasure? Don’t forget that there are always plenty of tables and chairs to serve as a great space to talk, share stories, and brainstorm before or after the game.

(5) Someone’s House
This is quite possibly the easiest, most logical location of all. Go to someone’s house! Put together a potluck style lunch or dinner, pick a room, and relax in the comforts of home while you and your team go about your bonding and brainstorming business.

With these suggestions in mind, remember that it’s not only important to plan what you’ll be doing during your retreat, but also to plan where you’ll be doing it. With the help of your local community and an extra dash of creativity, you can and will plan a retreat to remember in a place your team will never forget.

Have some fun suggestions of your own? Leave them in the comments!

About Alisha Thomas

Alisha is our former “best meeting ever coordinator” at sparkspace.