I was reading an article about Stevie Wonder recently when I learned something that delighted me. Turns out, Stevie wrote his incredible song "I Wish" just after a Motown company picnic. Stevie said "I had such a good time at the picnic that I went to Crystal Recording Stud io right afterward and the vibe came right to my mind — running at the picnic, the contests, we all participated."
So we're clear, he went to a work event and had so much fun that he went back to work -- and his output was astounding. How's that for a lesson? Happy employees make great things.
There's another lesson in that song, and while it's hinted at my Stevie's quote, it's really made clear in the music itself. It's about participation. Listen to the way the musicians flirt with chaos. Hear those gleeful arpeggios tumbling upwards and downwards, those instruments gamboling all around each other but never collapsing, like expert contestants in a three-legged race. Now that's teamwork. When people of different styles collaborate, they can make music. Team bonding is all about that -- learning people's skills and how to work together.
The lyrics, too, are joyful. The song's a nostalgic celebration of childhood, inspired by the euphoria of play. Heck, there's even a few whoops and hollers, just for the fun of it! So yeah, get out there and have a little joy! Play for a while.
When we create scavenger hunts, we're careful to offer a diverse experience that allows everyone to have fun, regardless of their speciality, their role, or their title. "I wish those days could come back once more," Stevie sings, and we know what he means. We try to embody that spirit of childhood play when we take groups out on hunts. I guess you could say we like creating a little sense of Wonder.
Editor's note: OK, ok. It should be acknowledged that a lot of you may have first heard this song when Will Smith sampled it for the title song from his movie Wild Wild West. If thinking of that song put you in a bit of a frontier mood, you should definitely check out our scavenger hunt in Grapevine, inspired by the desperados and rough riders who called the town home.
Here's a puzzle inspired by the classic series Reading Rainbow. In the list of authors above, each is name colored according to the title of a book he or she wrote. For example, if you saw “Steven Crane” in red letters, that’s a clue to The Red Badge of Courage. When you're ready for the answers, take a look, it's in this post, way down the page! (And If you'd like more puzzles like this, consider booking a scavenger hunt with DFW Scavenger Hunt!)
Nathaniel Hawthorne - The Scarlet Letter
Tom Clancy - The Hunt for Red October
Anthony Burgess - A Clockwork Orange
Dr. Seuss - Green Eggs and Ham
Fannie Flagg - Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
Walter Mosely - Devil in a Blue Dress
Alice Walker - The Color Purple
Oscar Wilde - The Picture of Dorian Gray
E.L. James - Fifty Shades of Grey
Mark Bowden - Black Hawk Down
Donald J. Sobol - Encyclopedia Brown (many editions)
In celebration of our newest scavenger hunt in Grapevine, here's a quick puzzle to get your brain thinking. In each blank, insert a word that will form a common expression or compound word on either side. For example, if you saw KANYE ________ VIRGINIA, you'd answer "WEST."
BACK _________ FRIGHT
LIFE _________ CARTER
COMMON _________ FRIDAY
BREAKING _________ GUY
COYOTE _________ DUCKLING
BRICK _________ TAPE
MISSISSIPPI ________ PHOENIX
Come to think of it, all the answers may have something in common.
Need the answer? Scroll wayyyyy down the page.
BACK STAGE FRIGHT
LIFE COACH CARTER
COMMON GOOD FRIDAY
BREAKING BAD GUY
COYOTE UGLY DUCKLING
BRICK RED TAPE
MISSISSIPPI RIVER PHOENIX
And of course, each answer word can be found in the title of a classic Western movie.
Every scavenger hunt we build comes with a theme, from a wild art heist in the big city to an adventure in a mysterious forbidden land. But for whatever reason, our Texas business had never done a western-themed hunt. Until now. We're excited to announce The West of the Story in Grapevine, a thrilling chase through this historic town. With opportunities to peer inside a genuine frontier cabin, monuments to the pioneers who built the town, and even a run-in with a couple of bandits, it's an only in Texas experience that will get your brain galloping!
Why We Created a Scavenger Hunt in Grapevine
Back in the 1840s when Sam Houston set up camp in the area that would become known as Grapevine, it's not likely he imagined what the city would come to be. But we love exploring the streets of downtown, and our hunt is built on celebrating the rich history of the city, from the trains to the cowboys, from the art to the architecture.
A town like Grapevine is the perfect spot for a scavenger hunt. There's so much history to explore, so much art to discover, and so many places to track down clues. From museums to sculpture to murals, Grapevine provides plenty of opportunities to create our diverse puzzles that give everyone a chance to shine. Plus, between the wineries, museums, and shops, there's so much to do even when you're done, and we love bringing people outside to new neighborhoods.
Why a Scavenger Hunt in Grapevine is Right For Your Group
When you try our Grapevine scavenger hunt, you'll solve puzzles by exploring the city, getting an up close look at the many historic sites that have been preserved in Downtown. Marvel at the trains of the Grapevine Vintage Railroad, get up close and personal with a few honored citizens, and peer inside a genuine frontier cabin. Just watch out for the Would-Be Train Robbers who appear atop the Cotton Belt Hotel every couple of hours.
Booking a Grapevine in scavenger hunt is a great solution to your company's team building puzzle. Our hunts present a budget-friendly solution that gets your team outside and collaborating in a fun way. With lots of easy parking, light traffic, and proximity to Irving, Southlake, and DFW Airport, a Grapevine scavenger hunt offers an excellent option for a fun event during your conference or meeting.
What our Scavenger Hunt in Grapevine is All About
Race on foot to find clues and solve puzzles in a fun, funny hunt with a Wild West theme. Chase down robbers, round up some answers, and say howdy to a few strangers. Combining urban exploration with puzzle solving, word games and trivia, the Grapevine Scavenger Hunt is kinda like an escape room, just with waaay more room!
Interested in booking a scavenger hunt in Grapevine? Get in touch and find out what we can wrangle up for you.
Brains are great, but this Valentine's Day, we put together a puzzle to test your heart. Well, sorta. In the picture above, every item but one has a match. Pair them up to determine which item is left lonely. Alongside that remaining item, the answer to the puzzle will create a perfect pair.
If solving puzzles like this makes your heart soar, book an indoor scavenger hunt for your group and discover what your brain can do!
One of our favorite things about hosting a scavenger hunt in Downtown Plano is getting to spend time in such a cool neighborhood. Full of locally owned shops and restaurants, the neighborhood offers a small-town vibe and presents plenty of opportunities to support small, local businesses. In particular, that comes into play when people get hungry. We've put together a list of restaurants in the neighborhood so that if you're planning a scavenger hunt in Plano, you'll have some ideas of where to stop when -- or even before -- you're done!
Urban Crust is a tasty spot offering delicious pizzas and Italian food. The restaurant has a sizable private room that you can book for parties, and we've even hosted an episode of our game show Buzzered from this spot. Don't miss 32 Degrees bar upstairs on the patio, offering cocktails and a great view of the street below.
Jörg's Cafe Vienna is a piece of history in the center of Downtown. Offering authentic Austrian cuisine like schnitzel, bratwurst, and plenty of beers, it's a Plano institution that just feels like a party. But like a lot of parties, there's not a lot of space for bigger groups. Prepare to get cozy. And just make sure you're going at the right time, as their hours are a little tricky.
Lockhart Smokehouse offers some of the best BBQ in Texas, and it's been a fixture on Texas Monthly's occasional Top 50 BBQ joints list. There's a big space upstairs with room for groups. The line is rarely too long and the brisket is top notch. It's a great place to eat in Downtown Plano, or anywhere, really.
Urban Rio is known for its great happy hour, tasty Mexican food, and great views of the city from its cool patio. With a private tequila room that you can book for groups of 30, it's a fantastic option for relaxing after time exploring the town. Or head upstairs to visit the rooftop bar, with even better views of the city!
Fillmore Pub sits right on 15th street and can provide a welcome spot to sit, nurse a drink, and finish your puzzles. Friendly service and good prices mean you can focus on figuring out answers instead of how to split the check.
Around the corner from Downtown is Hub Streat, a welcoming spot with a huge patio and lots of tables. Don't underestimate the joy of spending an afternoon outdoors eating yummy apps and drinking a cocktail or two.
Zalat is dedicated to pizza, and we mean dedicated. You can head here for a slice or a whole pie, and reminisce about the many times you passed it while you were scrambling through the town searching for clues.
If you need a coffee break during your hunt, don't miss XO Coffee Company, a charming spot with plenty of warm drinks. It's great for finishing off a puzzle during the cooler months... trust us!
Downtown Plano is a hidden gem, a quiet spot with so much to discover. That's what makes it perfect for a scavenger hunt, and perfect for a meal too! Book a Plano scavenger hunt with us and treat your mind and your belly!
Our scavenger hunts are carefully planned out and structured, so if you’re following the directions, you should have no trouble completing the puzzles. But as much as we plan, it’s just as much fun to discover the surprises. It’s the unexpected moments that turn an activity into an adventure.
Say, for example, the time a team stumbled on the Friends couch, plopped right in the middle of Klyde Warren Park. Was it part of the hunt? No. But should they stop and take a picture with it? I mean, could it be any more obvious?
Sometimes a surprise can be an unexpected benefit. On a hunt in July, one team was delighted to have located a hidden historical marker, but as they headed back down the lawn, the sprinklers turned on, giving them all a soak. And let’s be honest, it felt fantastic.
An occurrence that used to surprise us was the many weddings we’d encounter while hosting hunts. Eventually, we came to realize that a course that passes the gorgeous Cathedral Guadalupe is pretty likely to encounter a wedding party. In fact, one group had to wade through an entire wedding party to find their way to the next clue. Nobody had any rice to throw, so they settled for taking a picture. Since then, we’ve incorporated these happy occurrences into the hunt, and challenge players to take a photo with someone in a tuxedo.
Other times, it’s the players who surprise us. We meet so many fascinating folks, from DFW, from Texas, and around the world, and it’s always fun to discover what people know. Take the woman who immediately knew that the answer to one question was “Charley Pride” — because he was her uncle! Or in some cases, it’s what they don’t know. We pity that poor team from Toronto who had to get a little help sorting out a clue about Tex Mex. Don’t worry, we got them fed before they went back up north.
And then you’ll be surprised at the lengths team members go to just to catch that last picture. We once witnessed a player sprint across Klyde Warren Park just in time to snap a selfie with a passing orange car. And the prompt to take a picture with a live animal has led our players to meet oh so many dogs. Because why settle for a squirrel?
If you ask us, life’s more fun when you don’t know what’s coming your way. When you’re on a scavenger hunt in Dallas, that’s pretty much guaranteed.
We love our city, and one of the reasons we started a scavenger hunt business was out of a love for introducing people to the parts of the community they might not know about. For the purposes of the hunts, that often comes in the form of featuring a cool piece of public art, or highlighting a surprising bit of trivia about the area. (Did you know that Barney the Dinosaur was created right here in DFW?) But when the hunt is done, there's still lots of neighborhood to discover, and our guests are often hungry to learn more -- or just hungry! Which is why, in the spirit of community awareness, we're going to highlight some of the best places to eat when you're done with a hunt. In this, Part 1 of an ongoing series, we're looking at some great restaurants near our Scavenger Hunt in the Dallas Arts District.
We'll be honest -- you get your steps in on a hunt. All that exercise is bound to give you an appetite, and you'll probably be a little thirsty, too. Below are several great options for unwinding, comparing stories, or gloating about your big win.
There are so many great Tex Mex options in the Arts District that it's tough to make a choice. El Fenix is legendary, and has big tables with room for large groups. Taco Lingo is a bit farther off the course, but it's got a relaxing cantina-style vibe that's great for conversation. Taqueria La Ventana serves delicious food at a great price, but keep in mind that the tables on its funky patio don't have much room for big parties. And don't forget Tortaco, a bit further south, with several great-tasting dishes. Of course, all of these spots will supply you with a margarita or two to toast to your success.
If you're craving authentic Mexican, and something a little less casual than the above, Miriam is a new chef-driven restaurant just across from Klyde Warren Park with fantastic food and a slightly more formal atmosphere. In the park itself, there's Savor, a tasty gastropub with a gorgeous view. There's also a nice patio that's perfect for post-hunt refreshments. In fact, it's not uncommon for a team on a hunt to arrive at Savor early and sip a cocktail while they finish their puzzles.
Drinks and Bites
While most of the previously mentioned spots offer happy hour options, there are a few additional spots in the neighborhood that offer a casual, relaxed atmosphere, perfect for unwinding and treating yourself. Village Burger Bar is nearby, offering several yummy burgers and a range of sandwiches, apps, and beers on tap. Happiest Hour earns its name, with plenty of space and lots to do, but you'll be bumping up against the cool kids after a while. This place gets hopping in the evening!
Klyde Warren Park is host to a wide variety of rotating food trucks, serving a diverse selection of cuisines. Pizza, BBQ, Mediterranean, even ice cream sandwiches are on offer. While these make a great mid-hunt snack option, be warned that most of the trucks depart in the late afternoon, so don't count on them for a dinner option.
You'll do plenty of searching on your scavenger hunt through the Arts District. The last thing you'll want to do is go looking for the right restaurant when you're done. Our recommendation? Plan ahead, book a spot at one of the spots above, and enjoy! And remember, if you're scheduling a hunt, we can set up your finish line at nearly any point in the area, including any of these fine establishments.
It's beginning to look a lot like holiday party planning time, and if you're sitting in Dallas trying to come up with a great idea for your holiday party, a scavenger hunt is a nice option for your list. As Christmas approaches, you're likely scrolling through DFW Christmas activities in search of something that's fun, affordable, and unique. DFW Scavenger Hunt provides everything you're looking for, all wrapped up in a neat package.
While we have several scavenger hunts in Dallas, Frisco, Plano, and Richardson, our most popular option this time of year is the Dash Away All Hunt through the Dallas Arts District. Dressed in holiday style, you'll explore the city sidewalks (busy sidewalks!) on a quest to find clues, solve puzzles, and answer a festive holiday riddle. You'll be laughing all the way!
Weather outside too frightful for you? No problem. We also offer a few indoor scavenger hunt options, including a challenging puzzle hunt that'll get your antlers in a twist as you try to see just how gifted you really are. It's a great option for teams that want to stay in one space, or an easy addition to a dinner or happy hour.
And if you still haven't found what you really want this year, give us a holler and we'll put our little helpers to work building something great just for you!
All that talk's got us in the mood for a puzzle, so here's one with a fun festive theme.
The answer to each clue below is a word that can be formed by taking the name of one of Santa’s nine best-known reindeer, removing a letter, then scrambling what’s left. For example, “Complainer” can be answered with CARPER, which is formed by re moving the N from PRANCER and rearranging the rest. You will use a few reindeer more than once, and a few not at all. Good luck!
1. Bank robbery
2. Wood used in a lot of furniture
3. Eastern European pancake
4. Destroy, as a document
5. Unmanned aircraft
6. Transport for Tarzan
7. Large book
8. Heron relative
10. Blood vessel
1. HOLDUP (RUDOLPH)
2. CEDAR (DANCER)
3. BLINTZ (BLITZEN)
4. SHRED (DASHER)
5. DRONE (DONNER or DONDER)
6. VINE (VIXEN)
7. TOME (COMET)
8. CRANE (DANCER)
9. HARES (DASHER)
10. VEIN (VIXEN)
Just because the weather outside is frightful doesn't mean your team event is all washed out. We can create exciting, entertaining -- and dry -- gatherings for your group. Here's an example.
A Plano business contacted us in August with interest in planning a scavenger hunt, and selected our newest hunt in Frisco. With plans to bring nearly 100 folks from around the country, we were all very excited to show off some of DFW's great art, to solve our new puzzles, and to get them out of their offices after a long day of meetings.
As the summer went on, we remained in constant contact, trading team building ideas and making sure everything would be ready for their event. But as the day grew near, and eventually became visible in the 10 day forecast, we realized that bad weather loomed. Rain and icy temperatures seemed imminent. We remained optimistic, but the 10 day forecast became the 5 day forecast, and at that point we recognized that we were not looking at ideal scavenger hunt weather.
Can you do anything? Asked the client, reluctant to cancel and eager to entertain the scores of conference attendees. Our answer? Yes. We can make it work. We learned that the client had access to a large conference room, as well as plenty of community space just outside the room. In a matter of days, DFW Scavenger Hunt was able to construct a customized indoor hunt just for them.
Based on our existing indoor hunt, the challenge expanded to include a series of challenges that had to be completed before teams could move on. Sometimes the challenges included taking a series of photos. Sometimes they meant composing a haiku, or drawing a picture. Sometimes the teams had to go running through the halls in search of hidden items. And there was dancing, so much dancing.
In the end, the client was delighted, noting that "everyone had a really wonderful time," and calling it a "great experience." And best of all, everyone stayed dry. If you think an indoor scavenger hunt is what your team needs this winter, let us know! Of course, if an outdoor hunt is what you really want, feel free to book, knowing that we've got a great backup in store if Mother Nature decides not to cooperate.