Although out-of-town in-laws, tourists and other visitors may speak such nonsense, these phrases would never pass through the lips of true Grand Rapidians...
What'd we miss? Tell us in the comments below.
Are you a TRUE Grand Rapidian? Looking for something fun to do with family or friends? A Grand Rapids-themed scavenger hunt might be just the thing!
GR Scavenger Hunt couldn't do the work we do without the awesome help and talent provided by our interns. Meet Taylor Bretzke, GRSH's newest intern extraordinaire. Welcome aboard, Taylor!
What were you like in high school?
"In high school I was everything from pageant girl, to show choir nerd, to painfully average student athlete. I kept myself (and my parents) content with relatively good grades but managed to nearly fail A.P. U.S History, twice. "
What new thing could you teach me in 5 minutes?
"Recently I've gotten super into watching/attempting yoga tutorials. After extensive trial and error, I am confident I could teach you what not to do while in a headstand in just five minutes. "
What inspires you?
For me the most inspiration comes from stories of triumph in times of tribulation. I think that the eureka moments in life that make people realize their own strength serve as an important reminder of power in preserving.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Following graduation I plan to dive into the world of public relations and work for a firm here in Grand Rapids. After learning the ins and outs of the field, I aspire to open my own agency one day!
Why did you apply for this internship? What are you most excited about for this experience?
I applied for this internship because I knew it would give me valuable hands-on experience in a fun and upbeat environment. I absolutely love the Grand Rapids area, and I was ecstatic about the opportunity to work for an up and coming company in an such an amazing city . The aspect about this internship I am most looking forward to is being a part of a company that seeks to bring joy and togetherness into lives of others.
Every year when spring arrives everyone gets antsy to shake off the winter blues! Since we all struggle to stay focused in the confinement of our own offices, it’s natural to fall into a monotonous daily routine, and we often put important de-stressing activities on the back-burner.
Time to Get Outside!
According to a 2008 study completed at the University of Michigan, both memory and attention improve significantly for people after interacting with nature. In other words, time spent outside actually increases productivity in other areas of life!
Here are 3 ways you can take advantage of the healthy benefit the outdoors provides.
Take an afternoon walk-
The busy work week makes it hard to find time to adventure outdoors. But a quick 20-30 minute walk outside can be enough to bring your mental awareness back into focus. Reconnecting with the outdoors washes the mind of unnecessary strain, and leave you feeling reenergized and content.
Embrace the spirit of adventure-
Whether it’s a weekend hiking trip in a new location, a day spent at a different beach, or an afternoon spent starting a garden, giving ourselves designated time to explore new environments is extremely healthy. As curious beings, it’s important to surround ourselves in new environments. Committing to and completing a different task also leaves you with positive feelings of accomplishment.
You don’t need to be on the set of a romantic comedy to justify an evening of stargazing. Time spent looking to the sky is actually a very underrated form of meditation. Not only does it provide peace of mind and relaxation, it gives us time to reflect on our bigger goals and place in the universes.
In addition to relieving stress, improving memory, and providing overall feelings of happiness, going outside also improves our concentration and focus. So for the benefit of your health and productivity, go out and enjoy the great outdoors!
Need another excuse to get outdoors? How about a Scavenger hunt!
Without great drinks, you simply can't have a great bachelorette party.
Even assuming you're a teetotaler, you still need to have a beverage that reflects your brides' unique personality and image. Maybe she's a tomboy (whiskey), maybe she's a diva (raspberry vodka). Whatever it is that makes her unique, here are 9 drinks that you need to serve to celebrate your bride's last days as a single lady.
1. The Cosmo
The queen of all lady drinks is the Cosmopolitan. Classy, sweet and guaranteed to throw a punch. You can't go wrong with serving Cosmos at your bachelorette party. Perfect Cosmo recipe.
2. Mango Jalapeno Margarita
Got a bride who's got a wild, spicy side? Whip up a bunch of these and the party will start immediately! Mango Jalepeno Margarita recipe
3. Cherry gimlet
Mix up some vodka, lime juice and cherry liquor (and throw in a couple maraschino cherries), and you've got yourself a simple yet elegant drink that goes perfect with tiaras and inappropriate swizzle sticks. Cherry gimlet recipe.
4. Dirty Mojito
This powerful tropical drink is perfect for summer nights (or recreating summer nights), and is just a bit darker and naughtier than its popular cousin. It uses gold rum, raw sugar (or simple syrup), club soda lime and mint. All aboard for tropic bachelorette party fun! Dirty Mojito recipe.
5. Purple Nurple
We want to make sure that shots take their rightful place on a list of bachelorette party drinks. Throw in some coconut rum, triple sec, Blue Curacao liqueur and a splash of cranberry juice and you've got yourself a lady's lady shot. Purple Nurple recipe.
6. Sex on the Beach
Going old school with this one (your parents were probably drinking this when you were conceived). The experts at the International Bartenders Association Archers lists insist that this drink has Peach Schnapps, Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka, orange juice and cranberry juice, shaken together and then strained into a Highball glass. Not a bad way to get your vitamin C. Sex On The Beach recipe.
7. Blushing Bride
Here's exactly how you start your bridal party off right — with a a champagne cocktail made with peach schnapps and grenadine. Serve in long-stem champagne glasses and garnish with a cherry. Make this one a virgin by using non-alcoholic sparkling wine instead of champaign. Blushing Bride recipe.
8. Pineapple Whiskey Sour
Here's a drink for your whiskey girl, but still sweet enough that everyone will enjoy. And it's really simple: pineapple juice, lemon juice and a shot of your favorite whiskey. Pineapple Whiskey Sour.
9. The Bitter Devil
Beer cocktails are all the rage, and it seems to us that drinking a cocktail known as "The Bitter Devil" may be just the drink to end the night on (unless you count Gatorade and a couple of ibuprofen). Bitter Devil Recipe.
When you sell custom scavenger hunts for a living, after awhile you get pretty good at coming up with unique challenges. When GR Scavenger Hunt first started in 2015, we had a lot of fun challenges that people seemed to enjoy a lot.
But after a few months the creative juices really started flowing and we dreamt up new, never-before-seen challenges, based often on what we saw in the world around us. Today, we can almost pull challenges out of thin air without even thinking. The secret? Let one idea inspire you into your next, and don't be afraid to come up with silly or outrageous ideas.
Want to learn more? Here's some of our best tips & inspiration for coming up with creative, engaging, even teachable scavenger hunt challenges that have never been seen before.
1. Google Doodle
Go to google.com — you don't even need to type any search terms. Check and see if there's Google Doodle up for that day (there almost always is) and use that for inspiration. Timely, relevant clues are fun clues! Simply use the "I'm feeling Doodley" option to see a random Google doodle. For example, here's what the logo from a few years back:
Turns out that day was Gideon Sundback's — the inventor of the zipper — 132nd birthday. If it were me, I'd start thinking about zippers. What would be a fun photo with a zipper? I might use that prompt to create a challenge like, "Gideon Sundback invented of the zipper! To honor this accomplishment, take a photo of a team member with a coat, jacket, vest, etc. zipped all the way up past their nose, with only their eyes peeking out." That would actually make a pretty fun photo, right? Then head to the next Google Doodle and do the same thing over again.
2. Random image generator
Go to http://photo.net/photodb/random-photo. Here's the first photo that showed up when we did it:
Ok, you might be saying, "That's a pretty boring photo." But hold on — try to think of all the things you associate with that image. Trees — the first thing that comes to my mind is climbing trees, so you could have a team member do that to earn points — but maybe you don't want to hurt any trees (or have your scavenger hunters hurt themselves climbing!). So instead, you could have them find a certain kind of tree — say a maple — to earn points. That's just what I came up for that photo. See how easy this is getting, once you start thinking creatively?
3. Google News
As I mentioned earlier, creating scavenger hunt clues that are relevant and timely can make a huge difference in the "delight" factor of your scavenger hunt. Just for kicks, we picked today's science news to prove you can come up with a scavenger hunt clue from even the most obscure references. Take this screenshot:
Ice! Perfect! Maybe you create a scavenger hunt that requires teams to bring back some ice (an especially difficult task in the dead heat of summer), or create their own ice sculpture.
4. Find something they're passionate about.
Are you celebrating someone's birthday or organizing a bachelorette party? You almost have your clue-writing job cut out for you. You can have teams find items that come in the celebrant's favorite color, find their age listed somewhere in the architecture or a license plate, find a local who's also a fan of the same team. Get creative!
5. What are you passionate about?
One of our founding partners is really into reading and books. So one of her favorite scavenger hunt challenges is to have teams find a specific book at the library (to make it even more difficult, use call numbers), then go to a page to find a certain passage. Or you can make it as simple as "a photo with all your team members reading books." What's your passion — sports? History? Dogs? Again, think about that subject and what would make a great photo. That should get the creative juices flowing.
6. Pick a theme
Just for kicks, let's say you want to throw a pirate party. Why not create challenges around pirates? Have someone "swab the decks" (borrow a mop at a local establishment). Ask teams to make a stranger "walk the plank." Create an eyepatch out of found objects. It takes a little practice (and perhaps the brainstorming potential of a creative friend), but once you start thinking of ideas centered around a theme, everything starts to snowball!
7. Random word generator
Here's a list of words we just pulled from www.textfixer.com/tools/random-words. Starting with "miss," that makes me think of "Swing and a miss!" from baseball, so I might have them recreate a baseball game with found objects. Or "Miss America" and have everyone stand and wave, Miss America-style, on a staircase (a particularly entertaining photo if the team is all guys!).
8. Local News
Back to timeliness. Looks like the Harlem Globetrotters are going to be in my hometown this weekend — so I might create a challenge to take a team photo with someone over 6'5". Perhaps I'd ask the teams to find out who's playing at a local jazz club or recreate a traveling museum exhibit, or find the famous local time capsule. The news is chock full of ideas!
9. Local History
Every city and town and neighborhood has its own local history. Find out famous people who are from the area — for instance, Janet Jackson got married to her first husband in Grand Rapids, so maybe I'd have the teams stand in front of City Hall and recreate a wedding proposal with a stranger. Anthony Kiedis from the Red Hot Chili Peppers grew up near GR — maybe I'd have the teams do their best rock star poses.
This is another good way to diversify your hunt challenges. You can create challenges that require teams to answer a trivia question through a creative act. For example, we once created a scavenger hunt for a woman's 50th birthday party, where we asked teams to recreate the sport she lettered in during high school. A few teams got "cheerleading" right (with some pretty awesome photos to prove they were right), but we also got a basketball submission —which may have been wrong, but it was fun to see the photo regardless.
11. Get artistic
Chance are that are your teams will have an artist or a poet/writer on their team — these types of challenges allow them to shine! We often create challenges that require teams to write a haiku (which not only requires them to write poetry, but also know exactly what a haiku is), or create a work of art using found objects. This is actually one of our favorite challenges, because teams can come up with some pretty creative stuff.
12. Tap into nature
There's always the option to have teams stand barefoot in water (you briefed them about safety, right?) or to find a dandelion or find a build a rock cairn. Scavenger hunts generally tend to work better in urban areas (we find that incorporating total strangers into your game can be the best part of the hunt), but you can still bring in nature to your hunt.
13. Look around you.
Sometimes, inspiration is just as close as what's at your feet. Right now a dog is curled up at the author's feet — so a good challenge might be having the teams find a live animal. Or can you see your kitchen table a few feet away? Maybe it be funny to see a whole team crouching together underneath it! "Fit your whole team into a small space" is always a fun challenge, and to encourage extra creativity, you can add bonus points for the best entry.
14. Take a poll
If you've got a bunch of people on a team, you can ask them to take sides on a certain issue: night owls vs early birds; chunky vs smooth peanut butter; Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones. Have the individuals line up according to their preference and take a creative group photo.
I just got on Instagram, and this post popped up:
Besides the quote being pretty darn relevant to what this post is all about (we believe in the power of play to solve a lot of problems!), we also found a little bit of scavenger hunt clue inspiration: "Photo of your whole team under an umbrella." Depending on the weather that day, this could either be an easy or difficult challenge. Price your points appropriately!
16. Mystery photo
Assuming you want to put a little more work into your hunt, you could take up-close photos of local public art, a street corner or just about any location that would require the teams to guess where the photo was taken. Give them just the image, then tell them to take a team selfie in that exact location.
17. Long-lost twin
This is a pretty straight-forward challenge: have teams find the long-lost twin of one of their team members in a stranger (or possibly the person you're celebrating). It might surprise you how many look-alikes are out there walking around!
18. Physical attributes
Sometimes it's fun just to put the teams on the lookout for someone with a particular look or physical attribute. Bald men, red heads, and tall guys are all physical attributes we have our teams search out.
Search Pinterest boards to find scavenger hunt-related pins. I chose this one randomly:
Now you could just copy these word-for-word. They're not terrible, but they're not all that creative either. (And frankly, I've found you need a nice mix of easy and hard to pull off a great scavenger hunt.) So pick any clue — let's say #30, "Graffiti in a washroom" — then put a twist on it: graffiti that features an animal, graffiti that says something profound, etc.
20. Sing a song
Maybe the person you're celebrating has a favorite band or singer. Maybe you ask teams to come up with an "Ode" to beer (or whatever). Or have a stranger sing happy birthday to the birthday person. If you can have your participants take a video, these are a lot of fun to watch after the hunt!
21. Get physical
Some of our favorite pictures require people to get out of their comfort zones a bit. Have them strike their favorite yoga pose, build a human pyramid or play a "children's game" with strangers. The videos from these kinds of challenges can be some of our favorite!
22. What day is it?
Every day celebrates something. Today happens to be National Sweatpants Day, so we might have the teams celebrate by finding stranger wearing sweatpants and taking a team selfie.
23. Borrow something from a stranger
Another one of our favorite challenges — mostly because it proves how nice and accommodating total strangers can be when it comes to playing games. Our favorite is having a team member borrow a tie, then take a photo of both the borrower and the loaner together (a hat might be another good item to borrow). But this could also apply to having teams pretend to walk somebody's dog or serve a stranger's food.
Still need more help?
Finding fun, custom scavenger isn't as difficult as you might have thought it was, but for some people, creativity just doesn't come naturally. But that's where we come in! We've had years of practice of creating fun, family-friendly, engaging, safe scavenger hunt challenges that get everyone involved. So if creating your own scavenger hunt challenges is too much time or effort — reach out! We're happy to help!
Anyone can plan a pub crawl. But it takes a little extra creativity to move beyond "hanging out at the bar" together into an epic night of awesome revelry.
The key is finding a fun theme that everyone can get behind — and one you can pull off with as little planning as possible. Because once you name a theme, a date, a time and a location, everything else falls in place.
Planning your own pub crawl?
You can't just pick any theme
You can always go with themes that everyone else is doing (zombies seems particularly popular these days), but the most successful themes reflect the times — and your personality. Anyone with half a brain can grab a group of friends and head out on the town with no or little planning, but having a theme makes the night memorable. It makes it appealing — if anyone was on the fence about attending when you invited them to your plain old pub crawl, they'll be jumping at the chance to be party of your themed pub crawl.
So what are some good ideas for pub crawl themes? Here are 9 suggestions that will have people clearing their calendars to join you for a night out on the town.
Scavenger hunt theme
Perhaps we're biased because we're such scavenger hunt freaks, but when you add a competition to your pub crawl, everyone jumps in right away. Trying to solve crazy challenges like finding the best beard in the bar and taking a team selfie, or having the bartender create a drink just for your team, brings an unbeatable element of fun to just plain old drinking (which, let's face it, is usually pretty fun all by itself). Finding things is FUN. Completing crazy challenges is FUN. Scavenger hunts are FUN. When you're competing for free drinks at the end of the hunt (always a good prize to offer the winning team), you can bet everyone will bring their A-Game. (Take a look at our scavenger hunt built just for pub crawls!)
"Gotta Drink 'Em All" Pokemon Go Pub Crawl
PokemonGO is all the rage right now, and thus because it's so timely (and has built-in games and moving around), it's a perfect theme for a bar crawl. Meet at your favorite PokeGym and start battling it out over beers. Winners at each location get to pick the next bar.
Hulk Hogan theme
Take your vitamins and say your prayers, because Hulkamania isn't just for the 80s — it's also a chance for you and your friends to wear blonde moustaches and overtly flex your muscles in front of strangers. By letting the Hulk become your alter-ego for the night, you have no other choice than to have an awesome experience. (And if this photo doesn't motivate you enough to try this theme, we don't know what will.)
Pick your favorite 80s movie
Whether it's Top Gun, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Star Wars or The Lost Boys, movies made in the 1980s offer plenty of catchphrases to yell at the bar and costumes to wear that will keep everyone guessing.
Or maybe instead of picking just one movie, you have everyone come dressed as their favorite 80s movie character — that gives everyone a little bit more flexibility when it comes to dressing up (though the photos won't be as cool as if everyone is from the same movie).
Pick your favorite article of clothing
This is a twist on the Snuggie theme, which was popular a few years back. Daniel Tosh is famous for picking one article of clothing that he wears for every season of his show on Comedy Central: cardigan sweater, bow tie, kaftan, and sweater vests. Take your pick, and have everyone wear their favorite version — they can be tame or wild, it's up to the participant.
Literary Pub Crawl
Harry Potter seems an obvious topic, but depending on your taste and style, you could go more classy (Jane Austen, anyone?) or more raunchy (50 Shades of Grey), which sounds like a bachelorette party waiting to happen. You could also have readings along the way, or visit bars that have a literary backstory.
Lumberjack/Lumberjill Pub Crawl
We all can find a flannel shirt, a toque and an eyebrow pencil for a moustache last minute. A lumberjack theme will put you in the mood for drinking, the costume is comfortable (and warm) making it easy to move quickly from pub to pub in the winter months, and the possibility is high for breaking out in song (isn't that something lumberjacks do?). This theme gets bonus points for being easy, unique AND fun.
Dress like your parents
This is a twist on dressing up for a specific era and instead you dress like your parents. Most people will just pick the 90s or the 80s and expand on that theme, but you may have some friends who want to get really specific and wear bow ties or house dresses. What's it like to be your parents on a pub crawl? You're about to find out.
Let the Universe decide
Assuming you've got a date in mind, picking a theme from that day's holidays can be a no brainer. For instance, I just checked, and today is National All or Nothing Day, while March 8 is Be Nasty Day. Use checkiday.com to find out what you should be celebrating today. Or pick a month: August is National Golf Month (come dressed in your favorite collared shirt and tacky pants).
Got any more great theme ideas? Leave 'em in the comments!
It used to be that scavenger hunts were just for kids. Maybe at camp someone handed you a list of things like "acorn" and "a leaf in the shape of a heart;" or maybe your dad sent you out into the neighborhood looking for a rubber band or some other random item to get you out of his hair.
But it turns out scavenger hunts can be AWESOME, now that you've grown up and pay bills and actually enjoy going to Target. Why not take the time-tested kid scavenger hunt and turn it into something crazy-cool? It's time to turn your birthday party from just a boring get-together where everyone brings a card and then leaves an hour later into an epic celebration that will be remembered for months — if not years — later.
Psst...want us to do it for you? We've done the work and designed a hunt designed just for adult birthday parties.
A great scavenger hunt starts with your guest list
Birthdays usually mean bringing together people from all different parts of your life (or if you're planning for a spouse or partner, people from different parts of their lives): work friends, family, childhood buddies, college besties, neighbors, friends from church or the PTA. For the person celebrating their birthday, it means having all the people you love best in one place. But it can be awkward for those who only know you in a certain context, and don't know anyone else at the party.
That's where a scavenger hunt can step in and save the day: by putting two to four people together who don't really know each other — and then ask them to complete a bunch of tasks that asks them to be a little silly, or display some special talent — your friends will become fast friends in the span of an hour, not to mention they'll learn more about each other than they ever could sitting next to each other at the table.
So as you're planning your scavenger hunt, think about who would make a great team — maybe Emily from accounting recently mentioned her love of yoga, and your sister was just raving to you how much she's enjoying the book Poser: My Life in 23 Poses, it may be time to get these two together for an hour and a half of scavenger hunting. Also, generally speaking, the more people you have to participate, the more fun everyone will have.
Set clear expectations for the hunt
hMost people think they know what a scavenger hunt is all about, but when it comes down to it, the details remain a little fuzzy. That's why it's good to establish a set of rules BEFORE your hunt, and send them out to everyone who's invited at least several days ahead of time so they know what to expect. This reduces confusion, and may also keep some of your more competitive friends and family from getting themselves or others into trouble. If people read through the rules ahead of time, and then you briefly go over them right before the hunt actually starts, they're more likely to enjoy themselves and not wind up disappointed because they didn't understand something. Whether it's the boundaries of where people can go, or how they approach strangers, the clearer you are about what a team needs to do to win, the better.
Enlist the help of friends (and strangers)
We get a lot of questions about whether or not the person running the hunt can actually be in the hunt — and the answer is totally up to you. But if you do decide to participate, then you'll either have to 1) not score the hunt — which is fine, sometimes it's the journey, not the destination, right? or 2) enlist someone else to help you out, which means having them agree to receive all the photo and video texts and keep track of points. You may also want to consider giving yourself a handicap of 5 points, since you'll have likely have seen all of the challenges beforehand. This doesn't necessarily disqualify you from the hunt, but it's probably a nice gesture to prove you've got no intention of "cheating."
Also, one of the absolute best parts of participating in a scavenger hunt is the interactions you get to have with total strangers. Of course you want people to be safe and aware of their surroundings, but most of the time strangers are totally game to help out with a scavenger hunt, especially if you ask nicely (and not have them do anything too embarrassing). So make sure you throw in at least a few challenges where your team needs to find someone who they've never met before in their life to help them out.
Customize the hunt for the person you're planning it for
One of the best things about scavenger hunts is that you can customize the challenges and trivia to the person you're celebrating. Do they have a favorite celebrity? Have the participants find someone who looks like that person to wish them a happy birthday on video. Is there a beloved childhood pet that only a handful of people know? Give extra points to the team that can guess the name/breed. Find inspiration in the person's social media feed, Google the year they were born, ask parents or siblings for funny stories, integrate the person's age into challenges — the possibilities are endless.
Offer prizes to more than just the top score
It's not absolutely necessary to have prizes — but we've found that it ups the ante (and the fun) significantly if people know they're competing for an actual prize. It doesn't have to be expensive — maybe it's the birthday person's favorite candy, or if you're ambitious, an elaborate trophy you make yourself out of spray paint and plastic animals you found at the thrift store. Regardless, a prize gives people something tangible to compete for. We like awarding prizes for other things besides the top score, including the most creative photo, MVP (Most Valuable Player) to the team member who goes above and beyond to creatively answer a challenge, best stranger, etc.
Share the photos afterward — responsibly
Once the hunt is finished, weed out any really embarrassing photos and make sure you share them with everyone who participated. It's best when you can set up your laptop and a projector to share the photos at the post-hunt celebration (many bars will even let you plug into their TVs), but even just creating a Facebook album or private photo cache after the party allows everyone to relive the fun. Just be sure to take out any photos that are really unflattering, or that might possibly make someone feel bad.
Or just download the hunt from us
Our hunts are an affordable, easy way to host an amazing scavenger hunt, without all the hassle. Our challenges are creative, offer something for everyone in the group and bring people together in a way that's non-threatening but totally fun. Schedule your hunt today, and we'll send you everything you need to know to run an amazing adult birthday scavenger hunt with your friends and family!
GR Scavenger Hunt is looking for a college student in the Grand Rapids area for an internship opportunity within our company. Applicants should have excellent verbal and written communication skills, extensive knowledge of the web and social media, knowledge of marketing, advertising, PR, events, and business, to assist GR Scavenger Hunt with some or all of the following responsibilities:
What we are looking for:
We are willing to tailor the position for the right candidate. Please send a cover letter, resume and your favorite thing about Grand Rapids to email@example.com.
GR Scavenger Hunt is a women and veteran-owned company based in Grand Rapids MI. We design and lead fun, fast-paced group events and activities (i.e. scavenger hunts) for corporate and private clients. Our goal is to create wildly creative and purposeful events and activities that result in long lasting relationship and improving our corporate client’s bottom line.
Really, you could hold a scavenger hunt any old place. I've seen everything from massive, multi-state annual hunt coordinated by the University of Chicago, to a mom who created a nature hunt in her backyard to try and entertain the kids for a few minutes during the summer. There are online scavenger hunts. There are special event scavenger hunts. There are even televised scavenger hunts (raise your hand if you've ever screamed "YOU IDIOT!" at the television during an episode of The Amazing Race).
But of all the places you could hold a scavenger hunt, Grand Rapids has so much going for it I daresay it's perfect. Here's why:
Grand Rapids is smack-dab in the middle of a renaissance — our history of manufacturing and blue-collar work ethic have collided — in a good way — with a global resurgence in the arts which has turned local. Grand Rapidians are a hardy and hard-working people (you'd never survive the winters here otherwise), but with a midwestern hospitality you won't find in Detroit, Chicago or any other nearby big city. The culture in Grand Rapids is a diverse mix of "tribes" (though we still have a long way to go), which for me, translates into Grand Rapids being "the biggest little town" I've ever lived in. For long-time residents, this translates into showing up at almost any public event and seeing someone you know, or at least spotting them in the crowd (it's up to you if you want to make eye contact with your old boss).
It was actually weirdly disconcerting for me last week when my husband and I went to Jazz in the Park at Ah-Nab-Awen Park and didn't see anyone we knew. How is this possible? And I'm not even a GR native — I first moved here in 1998.
Did you know Grand Rapids had several brothels at one point? Or that Saint Cecilia's is reportedly haunted? Or that there was a major feud between two of the areas original founders, making the city boundary lines what they are today? Grand Rapids history is long and convoluted — it doesn't hurt that we have a U.S. president who called Grand Rapids home either. Having such a rich history is a gold mine for scavenger hunts, since learning about the hidden history of a place is not only fun and interesting, it can give you an edge when it comes to small talk at cocktail parties.
As if having a river flow through the city isn't amazing enough, parks like Rosa Parks Circle and Riverside Park provide wide-open spaces perfect for a scavenger hunt. And perhaps the most important feature, having a walkable downtown, means you have a wide variety of businesses that allow you to continuously add new challenges and opportunities for hunters to collect clues and items. You can run, you can walk, you can bike around this city with relative ease (in fact, the League of American Bicyclists named the city one of the most bicycle-friendly in the nation).
Some would say that the winter weather isn't as friendly as some our our southern counterparts (and as far as the other seasons — well, we all know summer and fall are both amazing in west Michigan), but I'd argue that winter actually makes the scavenger hunt a lot more fun. Stay tuned — GR Scavenger Hunt has some amazing activities planned for the fourth quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016. You may ice skate and snowball fight your way to a grand champion coming wintertime!
Although the culture, history and landscape of Grand Rapids certainly add to its reputation, it's the people of Grand Rapids who make it really special. I'm constantly humbled and reminded of just how good people are during our hunts. From the public servants who stop to pose for a picture, to the bartenders who take the time to tell our hunters about their favorite beer, these are people who about their community.
To borrow a line from the movie Roxanne, "I'd rather be with the people of this town than the finest people in the world!"
I'm sure there are more reasons I'm missing — a case could be made for GR's outstanding public infrastructure, or our nation-leading zeal for beer (scavenger hunts don't really become real until someone drinks a beer afterwards).
Why do you think GR is the perfect place for a scavenger hunt? Leave a comment below.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 17, 2015
Contact: GR Scavenger Hunt Creative Director Jill Hinton Wolfe
GRAND RAPIDS — Beer City. Furniture City. River City. Whatever you call it, Grand Rapids is home to some amazing restaurants, historical happenings and cultural attractions.
A new venture in town, GR Scavenger Hunt, aims to bring locals and visitors alike together through fun, fast-paced games and a passion for Grand Rapids, which just happens to be smack-dab in the middle of a renaissance.
Part photo hunt, part trivia game and part adventure race, GR Scavenger Hunt is a fast-paced game with teams of 2-4 people who compete to gain the most points to win prizes and bragging rights against friends, family and co-workers.
“It's absolutely one of the best ways to explore Grand Rapids,” said co-founder Jill Wolfe. “There’s something for everyone, whether you’re creative — you might write a haiku about the La Grande Vitesse — or intellectual — we have lots of fascinating trivia about the area — or athletic, since you’ll be racing around the city to collect points. People love that they get to have fun, get some exercise and learn a thing or two they didn’t know about this great city.”
Joint venture between two locally-women owned businessesHinton Wolfe owns Outdoor Book Club and Carol Distel owns Live Eventfully, LLC. Both are long-term residents who decided to launch a joint venture that combined elements from both their businesses.
“I love getting outside, having adventures and meeting new people,” said Wolfe, whose business Outdoor Book Club designs adventure experiences for groups based on great books. “When I met Carol, and saw her passion for all things Grand Rapids, it was a natural fit.”
“Grand Rapids is an amazing city with lots of art, history and friendly people,” said Distel. “It’s perfect for a scavenger hunt. Our goal is to bring people closer together while embodying the spirit of the city’s motto — ‘Moto Viget’ — strength in activity.”
GR Scavenger Hunt will offer a public downtown hunt on Thursday Sept. 17 where a limited number of teams can participate for $15. To sign up, hunters can visit http://preartprizescavengerhunt.eventbrite.com.
During ArtPrize GR Scavenger Hunt will be offering a free downloadable scavenger hunt that visitors can use to add an element of fun to the competition, along with custom private hunts for corporate groups and others.
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GR Scavenger Hunt is a woman and veteran-owned joint venture that believes in the power of games and a passion for the great city of Grand Rapids to bring people together.