Big City Scavenger Hunt A Fun And Informative Quest

Remember scavenger hunts? The game where individuals or teams go out into the world to gather the items on predetermined list? Whoever gets them all first wins? Great.

In a unique twist on the game, UrbanQuest is a scavenger hunt in a great city that ends at a restaurant where reservations have been made. Along the way, “Questers” learn their way around the city in a fun and challenging way and everyone is a winner.

Held Amazing-Race style, groups of Questers download their clue package online then hit the streets to solve interesting puzzles that force teams to be resourceful. The final destination is a mystery restaurant where UrbanQuest has made a reservation for you. Timed to take about an hour and a half to complete, reservations are made for two hours after starting to allow some extra time for slow teams.

After buying a Quest online, it can be launched from your My Quests pages anytime. While the exact restaurant will be a surprise, you’ll pick a general category, just to be sure it is the kind of food the team will enjoy. Get stuck on a clue, see hints and answers on the included clue package that you printed off before starting.

In New York, for example, two Quests are offered. A Walk In The Park is a Quest in Central Park and another one sends Questers around Rockefeller Center. Each is priced at $28.99 per person + tax and the meal.

UrbanQuest is currently available in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Washington DC, Chicago, Indianpolis, Louisville, Baltimore, Boston, Princeton, Cincinnati, Portland, Philadelphia, Nashville and Seattle plus a number of Canadian cities and some international destinations with more cities on the way. UrbanQuest customers who have successfully completed a Quest are invited to be QuestTesters, trying out new Quests before they become available to the public

UrbanQuest looks to be great for dates, groups of friends, family outings or office team building and can be gifted via e-gift cards.

[Flickr photo by krandolph]

Explore The Unknown In Your Hometown On Obscura Day

“Travel” is an activity many of us associate with leaving home in search of the new and unfamiliar. But the truth is, there are some strange and wonderful sites in the places we live, often right under our nose. It’s the idea behind a great event called Obscura Day, kicking off its third year this April 28 in cities across the US and the world.

Sponsored by Atlas Obscura, a website devoted to exploring the world’s “wonders, curiosities and esoterica,” Obscura Day aims to give participants insider access to local curiosities they might have overlooked, including access to typically off-limits locations and “unusual” guided tours. For instance, explorers in Philadelphia are invited to tour the spooky abandoned Eastern State Penitentary. Meanwhile, in Boston, participants will have a chance to partake in a mysterious murder-themed scavenger hunt through the Museum of Science. In Alameda, California, gaming fans should check out this chance to play vintage 30s and 40s pinball machines at the Pacific Pinball Museum.

Wherever you happen to live, head over to the Obscura Day website and type in your zip code to find out what’s going later this month at a location near you. It’s sure to be a chance to rediscover the surprising history, unique attractions and unexpected activities you might otherwise take for granted in your hometown.

[Photo by Flickr user country_boy_shane]

Travelocity’s “roaming gnome” hosts Earth Day scavenger hunt in NYC

Celebrate Earth Day with one of Gadling’s favorite trip booking sites, Travelocity. Their mascot, the Roaming Gnome, is hosting a virtual and real week-long scavenger hunt, where Facebook fans and Twitter followers have a chance to win prizes, while finding the “greenest” hotspots from uptown to downtown Manhattan.

Starting April 18, the mascot (@roaminggnome) will host four scavenger hunts in NYC, hiding out in eco-friendly hotels and attractions. He’ll Tweet clues about where he’s hiding via his Twitter feed using #greengnome.

Prizes will include: two-nights stays at green hotels, show tickets to popular Broadway shows – gift certificates toward a new, eco-friendly clothing line and sustainable treats from Sweetery gourmet food truck.

On the actual Earth Day, April 22, the Gnome will be in Times Square starting at 11 AM EST. Those who stop by his booth and take a picture with him can enter for a chance to win a sustainable vacation package. Those playing along at home via Twitter can also enter to win.

Sounds like a fun and creative way to explore the city’s finest green hotels and win prizes. Why didn’t we think of this first??

Psst- want to stay at a green hotel? Check out Hotels Editor Melanie Nayer’s post.

Join Gadling’s Chicago scavenger hunt this evening!

It’s a fine, early summer day in the city of Chicago, the perfect sort of day for some laid-back porch sitting, beer chicken barbecuing, roof deck loafing and maybe even some late evening troublemaking.

In case you’re locked in a cubicle right now, permit us to narrate. The strollers and the farmers markets are already in high gear in Lincoln Park, zucchini and squash flying off of plastic card tables while sullen children in Baby Gap polos glare at the passing families. Down at Big Star, the garage doors are rolled up and the tables are being walked out into the front patio while Suzy wipes the maple counters down and the LPs play on, play on, play on.

Today is Chicago’s magic hour, and today Gadling hosts it’s first micro scavenger hunt for the residents and visitors of our fair city. We’re pretty fired up about it, and hope that you can make it out for some of the festivity.

So here’s the skinny:

Go home, get a snack and make yourself a mint julep. At 7:30PM we’ll set up camp somewhere in the city and start tweeting. Some of our tweets may ask you to go to a certain part of the city, find something or bring something to us at home base. Some of our tweets may be more direct. Some may be complete, drunken incoherence (those are the best).

Eventually, we’ll hone you in on our current location where you can stop by, socialize for a bit, have a beer (hint!) and grab a prize. Only one prize will be awarded per team (until we run out), but you’re welcome to drink as much as you want.

After that you can stick around and help us mess with other followers on Twitter as they slowly approach the epicenter. Sound good? Great. We’ll see you real soon.

[Photo from erindrewitz]

Have a road trip scavenger hunt – Road trip tip

Planning a family road trip? To avoid hours of boredom, plan a “scenic scavenger hunt.”

It’s easy. Just write down a list of 100 things you might see along the way, like landmarks, buses or bridges. The first person to complete the list wins.

For preschool kids, substitute magazine photos and trim the list to twenty familiar objects. For older kids, include a challenge: require them to provide one additional fact about each item they find.

Have fun. And by the time you reach the end of the road, you won’t be at the end of your rope.