A Dunbar House Promotional Image reading: How to plan a fun Corporate Retreat, displayed in a white bubble superimposed over an image of people at a work table, and office supplies.

Planning a corporate retreat is never easy. Renting space and ordering catering can get pricey, and the strobe lights and thumping music can burn employees out rather than pumping them up. This can be especially challenging if you operate a small- to medium-sized business and want to treat your employees without breaking the bank or wearing them out. Also, it’s summertime. Do you really want to trap yourselves in a board room all day?

If you’re looking for a unique space to host your corporate retreat that’s classy, rejuvenating, and fun, consider having it here at the Dunbar House Bed & Breakfast Inn. We have several comfortable rooms to choose from, as well as a cool, shaded garden area for your employees to relax in. Plus, we have a very accommodating meeting space for those required training sessions and pep talks. But don’t stay in there forever! Take advantage of all that we and Murphys has to offer.

Here are six ways to plan a corporate retreat that’s more casual and fun, and not in the slightest way boring or exhausting.

1) Go craft beer and wine tasting

Lucky for you, Murphys is perfect! Since the Dunbar House Bed & Breakfast Inn is so close to Main Street, you and your team don’t have to worry about driving. You can either choose one wine or beer venue or decide to go for a laid-back wine and beer stroll before dinner. It’s all up to you! Treat your team to a wonderful night out on the town in Murphys.

2) Host a mystery dinner

Here’s a clue: with the elegant backdrop of the Dunbar House Bed & Breakfast Inn, a mystery dinner would be a night you and your work team would never forget. Along with being entertaining, you and your team can work together to solve “whodunit” while eating out on the patio under the stars. It can even be themed; mystery dinners set in the Roaring Twenties are a hoot, so encourage everyone to dress up in their flashy Flapper gowns and snazzy cufflinks and bowties.

outdoor setting on patio in front of white cottage building, round tables set for event with white linens, red runners, candles, green lawn in foreground with bright flower arrangement on high table, trees in background

You can host a mystery dinner inside…or outside!

3) Escape room competition

Talk about putting your employees’ teamwork skills to the test. How would they fare if they were trapped in a room together? Could they work together to solve to puzzle to escape? We have some ideas on how you could plan an escape room competition for your corporate event.

An open meeting room with artwork on the fall wall, and interior and exterior exits. The exterior door has multiple glass panes allowing for an outside view.

Our separate meeting space is open and ready for you to set up for business training…or an escape room contest.

Separate employees into 6 separate teams to escape one of the six rooms at the Dunbar House Bed & Breakfast Inn. Search rooms for clues. The first to escape within the time limit wins (a free bottle of wine, perhaps?). Or, we could set it up in our meeting space, and time each team while everyone else hangs out and tastes wine and beer and nibbles on gourmet hors d’oeuvres. Whichever team escapes from the room the fastest, wins.

4) Host a class

Why not take a break from corporate training with a fun, stress-free class?

Consider hosting a paint class. Janelle from Janelle’s Paint Squad recently hosted her first paint ‘n’ sip class at the Dunbar House Bed & Breakfast Inn, and we’d love to have her back! Spend an evening learning how to paint with Janelle, as well as taste some fabulous local wine. Plus, you’ll all get a few new pieces of art to hang in your office or give away as gifts to family and friends!

Another idea is to participate in a cooking class. Marisolio Tasting Bar, right down the street from us, offers monthly cooking classes with some very talented chefs.

Or even better, you can have one of our professional chefs host a cooking class for you! Our weekday chef, Beverly, would love to teach a group of people how to prepare one of her dishes. If there’s a meal you found to be incredibly tasty during your stay here with us, you can learn the recipe and take it home with you.

5) Outdoor games

Our spacious, lush garden area is perfect for an unforgettable day of playing outdoor games for team building and competition. Games like corn hole, croquet, bad mitten, sack races—anything to make your employees feel like kids again!

Exterior view of properties back yard. Both covered patio area with string lights and canopies, and back porch with green canopy and sitting area are visible.

You and your business team are invited to play in our backyard.

6) Taste some unique cooking

Our weekend breakfast cook, Jim, has a niche cooking talent: barrel cooking! Never heard of barrel cooking? No worries, it’s just another form of barbecuing, but rather than using a grill, the cook uses a large metal barrel. Those who use it right have the juiciest meats with a perfect, smoky finish.

So, if you’re feeling adventurous and want to make a change of fancy gourmet meals to a fun summer barbecue, let us know! We’ll pass the message on to Jim, and he’ll bust his barrel out.


Whatever you plan to do, you and your team will return to work refreshed and energized after hosting your retreat here at the Dunbar House Bed & Breakfast Inn.

We would love to help you plan and coordinate your corporate retreat! Contact the Dunbar House Bed & Breakfast Inn today at dunbarhouse@dunbarhouse.com or call (209) 728-2897.

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