Often a company will put these on as a thank-you to staff. Just as often, not being at such events puts a black mark on your HR record. Been there, done that, got the criticism.
The current mrs_mush hates those with a passion and never goes, can't stand the compulsory 'team building' away day with evening meal. Fortunately her boss is a good egg and whenever the subject of a team event is raised will smile as the current mrs_mush reaches into her desk drawer and pulls out a pack of index cards and asks her boss to pick one. On turning it over it will have the excuse that will be used, ranging from 'I'm on my period' to 'I'm taking the cat to have IVF', or even 'It's mush_dads funeral'
Oh, and the reason as to why she gets the pass out so easily: