How the Hunts Work

How do the scavenger hunts work? What are we looking for?

On most of our hunts, you are not collecting objects, but searching for answers to tricky and humorous questions about the places you visit and sights you discover. No previous knowledge of a hunt location is necessary, but you will discover a lot of cool places and fascinating facts along the way, thanks to our crack team of writers and researchers. On a few hunts, you might also be challenged to take team photos (see examples on our blog), or buy food to nosh on, or solve a murder mystery.

What are the questions like?

Most of the questions don’t work out of context: They’re designed so that you can answer them only when you are standing in the correct spot. And they aren’t Google-able: We don’t want you sitting on a bench with your smartphone. But here’s a simple example: At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, clues will guide you to a medieval gallery where you’ll be asked: In here, which stained glass saint looks like he can’t get no satisfaction? Sure enough, there’s a saint who looks just like Mick Jagger—St. Roch, to be exact.

Is this a race? Will the people who live at the gym outrun me?

The hunts are not races, and we do not encourage people to run. The hunts are a test of your wits and your teamwork, not a test of physical fitness. We don’t want colleagues to feel embarrassed or excluded—and we don’t want to distress your lawyers with liability concerns.

How do we receive the questions?

At the start of the hunt, the Watson Adventures host and assistants will pass out clue sheets and team answer sheets, and possibly maps. We also provide pens and pencils. At the end of the hunt, you will turn in those materials and receive the answers. Scavenger hunts via smartphones are also available.

How many Watson staffers attend the hunt?

Generally, the ratio is one staffer for every 30 hunters. (For hunts with photo questions, it’s one staffer for every 25 people.) This can vary based on other factors.

How long does a hunt last?

That’s up to you, but generally speaking we recommend hunts that last 90 minutes to two hours, to get the full hunt experience without exhausting you. That is actual hunting or game time; an additional half hour or so will be needed for setting up the hunt at the start and then announcing results at the end. For our citywide hunts, we recommend three hours of hunting time.

Are prizes included?

Yes, we provide a prize for all hunts. Each member of the winning team receives a Watson Adventures medal, similar in appearance to an Olympic medal, suitable for draping over your neck and wearing with pride (and a bit of gloating).


Choosing a Hunt

How do I know which hunt is best for my group?

First, keep in mind that our hunts work basically the same way in every location. It’s the venue that changes the overall feeling of the hunt. If you’re choosing for a corporate group, you might want to pick a location where you don’t have to worry about weather, or a location that is most convenient to your office, or a location that’s near a great place to have a post-hunt party. If your hunt is in someone’s honor, you might pick a place based on the guest of honor’s interests.

What if I want a hunt in a location I don’t see on your web site?

You’re in luck: Our Grab ’n’ Go Scavenger Hunt can be played just about anywhere. Learn more.

Are smartphone scavenger hunts available?

Yes indeed! Our smartphone hunts run on any phone or tablet, in your browser, like an app (but without having to download anything from an app store). The smartphone hunts offer all the fun of our classic hunts, with real-time feedback on answers, hints when you’re stuck, a countdown clock, and more. Contact us to learn more.

Do I get to choose the starting place and finish line?

It depends on what hunt location you are interested in.

How small or big can the groups be?

Groups can be as small as four people—although please keep in mind that private hunt prices start at $630 for weekend hunts and $750 for weekday hunts. As for maximum group size, it depends on the location. But we’ve staged outdoor hunts for as many as 500 people. Contact us for details about specific locations.

If you have a group of 10 or less, you can arrange a Private Small Group Scavenger Hunt. In select cities, some of our most popular hunts are or will be available for two teams of up to five players each. Learn more.

What if it rains or there’s other unpleasant weather?

If you are worried about bad weather, you can choose to switch to an indoor hunt, if available, up to 48 hours before the start of the hunt. After that, you can reschedule a hunt for a small additional fee.

Can hunts be customized?

Definitely! Any hunt can have custom questions added, for an additional fee. We can tailor questions and challenges that feature trivia about your group or a particular person you are celebrating. See Customize a Hunt.

Does Watson offer indoor games in locations that may not be conducive to a scavenger hunt?

Yes! Consider The Trivia Slam, an amazing race while remaining in place. It’s a battle of wits and teamwork, featuring intriguing trivia, participatory challenges, audio rounds, a possible video round, and a twist that will have you rooting for and appreciating the other teams. For murder mystery fans we offer the Killer Trivia Game: part pub quiz, part whodunit, all fun for such locations as an office, a restaurant, a conference room, you name it. Contact us to learn more.


Booking a Hunt

How much does a hunt cost?

Prices vary based on the number of people you have, the choice of hunt, the length of the hunt, and any add-ons you want. That said, private hunt prices start at $700 for weekend hunts and $750 for weekday hunts. Contact us for a quote.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We ask for one month of lead time but frequently can pull a hunt together quickly, depending on the location.

When is payment due?

Payment for the contracted amount is due at least three weeks before the hunt. If you have more people than the original contracted amount, the balance can be paid after the hunt.

Is museum admission included in the price of museum hunts?

Yes. As a result, museum hunts cost a bit more than hunts in other locations. When we contract a hunt, we will add the museum admission to the price and arrange the tickets on your behalf.

My group has museum memberships. Must we still pay admission?

Yes. Museums say that participation in group events conducted by outside suppliers, such as Watson Adventures, is not a benefit included in membership. We will charge you the group rate that the museum charges us.

If a museum’s admission is “suggested,” why do we have to pay?

Some museums have a suggested admission price that applies only to individuals, not groups. The museums charge groups at a fixed, mandatory group rate.

Do your hunts include food or drinks?

We do not provide food. On Munch hunts we do recommend places where hunters can buy great snacks. Otherwise, it’s up to you to provide food and drinks while participants are hunting. Groups wishing to provide food generally choose a restaurant as the finish line.

Does Watson arrange for gatherings before or after hunts?

We can make suggestions of places near where you are hunting that would work for your group. From there, you can contact the venue directly.

Does Watson carry liability insurance?

Yes. We have met the requirements of every company we’ve worked with. It’s always a good idea to make sure that any special events vendor you deal with is covered. That said, Watson Adventures takes great care to make every hunt safe, and not one of the tens of thousands of people who have participated in our hunts since 1998 has reported a serious mishap.


Preparing for the Hunt

What should we wear?

Dress comfortably! In particular, wear comfortable shoes, since you’ll be walking for more than an hour.

Will we be able to check our bags and coats?

Carry as little as possible. If you are doing an outdoor hunt, you will have to carry anything you bring with you. If you are doing a museum hunt, keep in mind that museums often prohibit large bags in the galleries. And you probably don’t want to check your valuable laptop in the coatroom. Don’t bring luggage: Some museums won’t even let you in the front door. Keep in mind that some museums charge a fee for checking coats, and lines can be long and slow, so allow extra time for checking coats when the weather is inclement. Sorry, but Watson Adventures staffers cannot sit with your belongings during the hunt—they are needed on the hunt trail to interact with your teams!


Have Other Questions?

Contact us for more information! Call the Hunt Hotline at 877-9-GO-HUNT (877-946-4868), extension 11, or use the handy form below.