Wednesday, January 14, 2015

We had an Urban Adventure!

This post is part of a sponsored campaign via US Family Guide.

Remember shortly before Christmas when I introduced you to Urban Adventure Quest?  After several delays for a nasty 3-week flu in our house, I finally got my family bundled up and went out exploring on the Salt Lake City, UT, self-paced scavenger hunt.  I'll tell you up front, it was a great way to spend a few hours on a weekday afternoon!

As I explained before, Urban Adventure Quest is an "Amazing Race" style scavenger hunt throughout the city of your choice and at the pace you set.  You can race against the leader board of other people who've competed in that city, or just take your time and complete the challenges at your leisure.  I think our Adventure Quest experience was fairly typical, so I'll share the highlights of how it went...

The Beginning
Our initial instructions included a general starting place with basically no other details, other than to have a smartphone, paper, and pencil with you.  The Salt Lake City starting place is an open-air mall downtown.  After checking in on the website, the challenges begin and you input your answers as you go along.  Our first clues included finding statues, bricks engraved with specific words, and reading a plaque to find a person's name.  

Challenges & Clues
All complete, our Adventure Quest had around 20 questions that took us on a path through approximately 20 city blocks and covered all of the downtown area.  Several times there were options to either use public transportation or to walk and also an option to skip past several clues if the group wanted to avoid going up the steep hill to the Utah Capitol Building.

We were impressed with the variety of puzzles and hints used to figure out the clues.  Some were local sports or history facts, some involved counting objects in an area, and several involved sketching out pieces of answers to figure out the clues. Each clue gains you points and also has options for getting hints. Some of the clues are easy with a Google search, and some of them took some actual problem-solving.   For example, this is the clue that taxed our brains and took us the longest:

Urban Adventure Quest clue: Find the next location by combining the 1st letter of each starred 4-letter name

The Ending
The Salt Lake City Urban Adventure Quest concluded in a very central location, albeit one we had walked directly through earlier in the day.  After entering our last answer, we automatically were given our scavenger hunt time.  We had actually skipped the steep capitol jaunt as our boys are all under 7 and we were still recovering from the flu.  Our time ended up being 2 hours and 43 minutes.  There is a leaderboard on the website where you can compare your times if you are so inclined.  Also at the end is the option to take a survey and give input on your day in exchange for a discount code on your next adventure.  

Those are the things we really liked.  Here are a few of things I'd like to see improved in the future:

~More detailed initial information on where the scavenger hunt begins and ends so you can choose a logical place for parking.  My husband had to run back and move our car out of a 2-hour parking spot and then had to leave us to go get the car when we were done.  The ending spot would have been an ideal place to park and walk to the beginning, if we'd known beforehand.

~The web application could use some finessing.  The print was quite small and if we zoomed in, the "hint" and "submit" buttons overlapped.  It was easily solved by zooming back out, but should work better on a technology-centric program.

~For the Salt Lake City adventure quest specifically: Allow extra time for the clues that take you through Temple Square.  We did not have any trouble there, and never felt uncomfortable, but by nature the LDS missionaries working there are very friendly and will stop to make sure you're having a good time.  I think they would've been more than excited to help us find the answers to our clues, if we'd asked, but just know it's going to take longer to say hi to everyone you pass along your way.

I LOVED going on our Urban Adventure Quest!  I'm undecided if it was because I was in an area I am familiar with, or if I would love it just as much in a city where it all was brand new.  At a group price of $45, it'd be an extremely economical to spend a day on vacation or to show visitors around when they're in town.  Right now, the 20% discount I mentioned before is still available if you enter FGBLOG when signing up at Urban Adventure Quest.

Check out the list of available Urban Adventure Quest cities here.
I'd love to hear if there's a scavenger hunt near you!

This post is part of a sponsored campaign via US Family Guide.
I received a complimentary product to complete my review 
but the experiences and opinions are my own.


Farrah Fong said...

An urban adventure sounds like so much fun! <3 I gotta round up my friends when I'm back for vacation one of these days and do one in SF! :D

Inge Speemanns said...

This sounds so amazing! Wish we had this where I live!