DFW Scavenger Hunt was founded as an outdoor events company. Two of our core values are getting people working together and getting them out of the house. You can imagine the challenges we faced when it became very clear that for the foreseeable future, neither of those activities were possible. But a few of our other core values include staying positive and thinking creatively. And both of those things became essential as we considered how to pivot to a new offering.
Our inspiration came from all sorts of places, and we recognized that there was a need that still needed to be met. There were families stuck at home, looking for something to keep them entertained. There were teams used to the camaraderie of working side by side suddenly suffering from colleague deprivation. And everyone was looking for a diversion. People still wanted something to do! Remote team building was needed. Online kids' parties were in demand.
What became immediately clear was that we could address those needs through a unique product in our trademark style. And while our outdoor hunts were driven by a passion for celebrating the places where people lived, we could now find a way to celebrate the places people really lived. Certainly we could build scavenger hunts that inspired people to get up, explore their home, and still use their brains and creative energy to solve challenging puzzles. That's how our Stay Home Scavenger Hunts were born.
Offer a New Product -- Or an Old Product in a New Way
Building new events from scratch was our first step. Well, almost from scratch. Our outdoor scavenger hunts have always included a few puzzles that required no walking at all, not just to give folks a rest, but to add to the diversity of challenges. So we looked at some of those, and found ways to incorporate them into a home version. But there was still plenty of work to be done. In order to truly create a special experience, we needed to build custom games that couldn't just be solved at home, but also could only be solved at home
In our neighborhood hunts, we typically challenge people to find landmarks in order to help them solve a puzzle. Track down a historical marker and find the old mayor's middle name, for example. In the home version, it’s the reverse. Solving a puzzle becomes the first step in knowing what you need to go find. Perhaps you unscramble a phrase (COLA NERD) that prompts you to go fetch your colander. Or you’re identifying a pop song then running for the object named in the title. (You do own a wrecking ball, don't you?)
Another thing that’s always been important to what we offer is a real, live host. There are lots of scavenger hunts that just ask you to download an app and send you on your way. But we like the personal touch, and want to be there to offer guidance, hints, and, when necessary, judgement. And even when we couldn’t be there in person, we knew that having a real host would prove just as essential. Besides, now that we're all so distant, socially, it's crucial to include human connection wherever possible. We want to make sure every event is special, beyond the typical dreary Zoom meeting or everyday chat. We do that with a host who's new to the party, ready to get everyone excited, and always ready with a zinger.
Let Your Network Know
An unexpected benefit of our circumstances? Going national. The odd twist of everyone being stuck in one place meant that we now had a much wider reach, and suddenly our North Texas business was able to offer a product to people around the country. This also meant we could reach a much larger network of people to spread the word. And sure enough, our first bookings came from Michigan, California, and North Carolina. All through word of mouth.
We got busy on our company social pages, but got even busier on our personal pages. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and anywhere else we could post (or hadn't posted in a while) became fertile ground to sow our message that we were open for business. If there was any time to rely on the kindness of friends, this was it. And we're so grateful for the way our people came through. Everyone knew someone with a business looking to shake up meetings, or a mom trying to throw a birthday party, or just a bored group of friends. The referrals we got in those first few weeks kept us very busy.
Meanwhile, we were reaching out to past clients, through our newsletter and even direct contact. We knew that many of them would be excited about offering something to their teams, and letting them know we were available just made sense.
To be clear, we are very lucky. If you’re even able to consider a pivot, you’re lucky. Many businesses, many people, are facing genuine danger. We are just a small team that’s trying to find ways to have fun, and we would not trade our troubles for anyone’s. We're grateful for our situation and grateful to the friends, family, and clients who keep us going. If you'd like to discover what one of our stay at home hunts is like for yourself, get in touch and find out what sort of adventure we can create for you, even on your own couch.
If you've ever played one of our city scavenger hunts, you know that we like getting out and exploring the places we live. But now that it's crucial that we all stay home, we're focusing on exploring the places where we actually live. And if you're working from home, you're probably facing some of the challenges that come with it. Connections, collaborations, and camaraderie all suffer when we're separated like this.
In an effort to address some of these challenges, and also in hopes of bringing something fun your way, we've created a new team event intended specifically for staying home -- a Stay Home Scavenger Hunt that challenges you to solve puzzles by searching your residence, collecting items, and completing tasks. Work remotely with your teammates to raid the fridge, rummage through the closet, or dig in the cushions -- whatever it takes to find the answers before time runs out.
Play with your friends and colleagues as your host challenges you to solve a puzzle by tracking down items in your own home. Right now, you can't visit an escape room, or even escape your own home, but we offer a form of escape that will challenge your puzzle solving skills and make for a great time with friends. Perfect for team building or shaking up a virtual party with friends, it's a unique experience that gets your brain going. We're based in Texas but can offer the event anywhere you are. It's entirely customizable and a fun diversion for any group.
Whether you're looking for a remote team building solution, a fun event for your weekly Zoom chat, or just want to shake up the quarantine routine, it's a great way to boost morale and make the distance between us a little more social.
We may be cooped up, but we need to exercise, both our brains and our minds. This hour-long event does just that, getting you out of your seat and out of your mindset, too. It will make you think, and it will make the familiar a bit more fantastic.
We love Dallas, but we've always wanted to play our games with our friends around the country. And now that we can't leave home at all, we've suddenly gone national. So let's play!
Since you likely have trouble remembering what day today is, you may also have forgotten that Sunday is Easter. In the spirit of the holiday, here's a puzzle with several hidden eggs in it. Each clue below will lead to a word or phrase containing the letters EGG. All you need to do is fill in the blanks with the correct letter. If you can't quite crack it, you can find the answers below.
1. Jimmy Cliff's genre _ EGG _ _
2. They can't be choosy, it's said _ EGG _ _ _
3. What one who avoids meat might put on the grill _ EGG _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
4. Like an illegally recorded concert _ _ _ _ _ EGG _ _
5. Character name on Mad Men _ EGG _
6. Partners of scales, in music _ _ _ EGG _ _ _
7. Pacer legend _ EGG _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
8. Certain comfortable wear _ EGG _ _ _ _
9. He played Jack Slater, Harry Tasker, and Detective John Kimble
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ EGG _ _
Scroll down for the answers!
1. Jimmy Cliff's genre REGGAE
2. They can't be choosy, it's said BEGGARS
3. What one who avoids meat might put on the grill VEGGIE BURGER
4. Like an illegally recorded concert BOOTLEGGED
5. Character name on Mad Men PEGGY
6. Partners of scales, in music ARPEGGIOS
7. Pacer legend REGGIE MILLER
8. Certain comfortable wear LEGGINGS
9. He played Jack Slater, Harry Tasker, and Detective John Kimble
Are you, like us, working on keeping your kids entertained? Have you found every bear in every window on your block? Watched Frozen II enough times that you know what year it takes place? We got you. We've prepared a couple of kid-friendly scavenger hunts that should get your kids moving and thinking at the same time. One's for indoors and the other outdoors. Oh, and they work on adults, too.
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!