Thursday, January 5, 2012

Stray Boots Scavenger Hunt

Meredith was doing some shopping on RueLaLa the other day and saw an advertisement for a cellphone scavenger hunt company called Stray Boots.  Since they had three scavenger hunts based in Boston, she thought it would be the perfect family activity after Christmas.  We chose the Downtown Boston hunt and started at the Old Meeting House near Downtown Crossing.  The hunt works as an app on your phone and you enter the answers to clues in order to get your next clue and continue your search.  It was a fabulous way to get outside, walk around Boston and get a history lesson all at the same time.  

The only real problem with the hunt wasn't a fault of the hunt writers at all:  the December temperature in Boston was freezing.... and the Southerns weren't necessarily dressed for the cold.  A few of the Elliots - cough, HENRY, cough - were also underdressed for the occasion so the Southerns shouldn't feel so bad.  I, on the other hand, was decked out in coat, boots, mittens, scarf, hat and wool sweater.  I hate to be cold and I came prepared.  I also brought extra hats and mittens in my bag but no one except Josie took me up on my offer to borrow anything.

For the most part, the hunt has you looking for historic markers that are scattered around the city buildings, but we also got to see some historic sites and statues.

Gordy and Meredith took turns reading the clues, answering the questions and directing us to the next location:

We saw plaques that we had never noticed before and inlaid markers that we had walked over thousands of times without reading:

We even got a grand tour of a very ancient, city cemetery while we looked for Samuel Adams' grave marker (which ended up being right next to the front gate, whoops!)

The city was empty, since few to none of the offices were open.  It was fun to be able to move around without getting in anyone's way and it was fun to be able to spend time looking at the architecture and historical landmarks.  

Avery & Lily helped with the hunt by posing like one of the statues (we were asked to demonstrate what the statue was doing):

Luckily, the Southerns were game for this activity because the Elliots - for all their warm-clothing superiority - were feeling cold, tired and hungry.  

The hot chocolate wasn't helping, so we ended the hunt a little early and went out to lunch.  I'd love to do the scavenger hunt again in the spring or summer and I'd love to also try one of their other available tours.  It was well written, easy to follow and very fun and informative.  

If you find yourself in Boston - or one of their other city locations - give it a try:


Lisa W. said...

What fun! Sounds like something my kids would love - in warmer weather! :-)

Martha said...

Yes! Agreed! It was way too cold for a prolonged outdoor activity, but it was still a whole lot of fun. We'll try it again in the spring or summer.... with ice cream instead of hot chocolate!

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