Company-sponsored recreation was an important part of industrial welfarism in Australia. This paper explores the incidence, extent and nature of recreational programs, and the managerial goals and strategies involved with the schemes. It demonstrates that recreational programs were a relatively widespread and enduring feature of labour management between 1890 and 1965, although the frequency, range and nature of activities varied between companies. While the characteristics of schemes were largely influenced by business size and workforce composition, the paper challenges the argument that recreational programs, like the broader welfare schemes of companies, were primarily targeted at female labour. Indeed, employers in a wide range of industries and workplaces introduced recreation schemes for two main reasons — to improve labour supply and to enhance managerial prerogative — although the significance placed on each goal varied between companies and overtime as a result of external pressures and influences.