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Scavenger Hunt NYC - Have Fun Exploring!

Updated on June 7, 2014

For generations there has been a certain allure attached to New York City (commonly shortened to NYC). The city has gained fame as it has become the object of countless fantasies for thousands of people. Some simply want to visit while others want to stay. Some are looking for a vacation, some a new life, and others still a chance at fame and fortune. But if you’re considering going to New York for the first time in your life – or if you’re a veteran who has somehow managed to run out of things to do – then you might be interested in a scavenger hunt: NYC edition.

A scavenger hunt in NYC might sound a little daunting at first. After all, they don’t call it “the big apple” for nothing; it’s a pretty large place. That being said, keep in mind that you don’t have to make use of the entire city. Don’t spread yourself – or your group – thin by trying to cover every location you’ve ever read about (or seen in film). You don’t want to find yourself exhausted, an hour from your hotel, at sunset, with half of your list left to cross off.

Preparing for your Trip

If this is your first time to New York then you are going to want to do a little bit of research. What hotel sounds best for you? Which one is the most appropriate in terms of pricing? What interesting locations are nearby? You certainly don’t want to pick a hotel that is physically outside of the city. The traffic to get in (and out) can be awful and you don’t need to spend half the day trapped in your car.

Speaking of cars, you’re going to want to find a place to put yours. There will probably not be a parking lot at your hotel. Instead, do some investigation into the area beforehand to find a parking facility. You’re going to end up spending some cash on storing your car away, but it is by far the best option.

Keep in mind that this means that you’ll be without your own vehicle for the duration of your stay, so factor that into your plans. Are you fit to walk around a lot or are you going to need to take taxi cabs everywhere? If you go the route of taking a taxi then you’re going to need money set aside for said taxi. And if you plan on hitting up a lot of different locations then this can get pretty pricey – and fast.

This brings us back to the first point: the location of your hotel is important. The farther you are from your desired destinations, the more time you’re going to waste walking there, and/or the more money you’ll spend on taking taxi cabs.

Deciding What to Put on Your Scavenger Hunt List

When you’re done picking out a place to stay and you know the gist of what is in the area – as well as what you’d like to see - it is time to make your actual scavenger hunt list. Since this is a scavenger hunt in NYC, you’re going to want to pick things that you couldn’t get elsewhere. For example: you can let your inner tourist shine through and buy novelty t-shirts that are only available in New York City. There are plenty of stores that sell content exclusive to their New York City locations (such as the Nintendo World Store), and there are countless small gift shops that will sell you a shirt with a simple design, the name of the city, and the year of its foundation. Yes, it’s kind of generic to seek a shirt like this, but it’s also kind of fun to buy a silly memento.

Another interesting type of item to seek out is that of the street artists and vendors. On any given day you will always run into a few people selling their artwork (or prints of others). The prices of these can range from really cheap to unreasonably high, so use your best judgment. If you find a nice piece it makes a great conversation starter for people who visit your home later.

Also keep in mind that the scavenger hunt list doesn’t have to be filled exclusively with things that you can take home and keep forever. You might consider picking out a famous restaurant and adding it to your list of things to “scavenge.” After you find it and enjoy a meal there you can cross it off, having gotten what you came for. Or you can pick out famous stores and locations that you’ve always wanted to visit. The Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and Broadway (you could even get tickets to a show) all come to mind.

If you want something a little more permanent than that you can take pictures at all of these locations, or retain any ticket stubs that you might get. Even without pictures you will surely remember these items of your hunt more fondly than most, as they are the locations that have immortalized and romanticized New York City so heavily.

Other Things to Know

If you’re bringing your children along they’re sure to enjoy the trip, but be careful when planning your day. You don’t want to spend the entire duration of your stay in kid’s shops, but you also don’t want to force them into clothing store after clothing store. Balance out your interests with those of your children and alternate wish fulfillment.

If you have an especially young child and you want to go see a show on Broadway, you might be out of luck. Infants and toddlers have shorter attention spans then us, so if you do bring them to something and they get bored do not be excited if they ask you to leave. You should do your best to gauge the willingness (and behavioral traits) of your children so that you can know just how much they can stand.

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    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      Here I am at AOL. Now I have shared but my Pinterest isn't working! Lots of fun here and btw I love your "photo", good job on the creation for sure.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      What great ideas Brett. Obviously NYC has a lot of attractions and it would be hard to narrow things down but I love your idea of taking pictures (that's the photographer in me). Seriously, what a great way to scavange and look what you will have when you are done!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

      Unfortunately for some reason all my share buttons are unavailable in HP so I'm hopping over to AOL to do the sharing.