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Holiday Photo Scavenger Hunt!

I love throwing parties.  And, if I say so myself, the Holiday Photo Scavenger Hunt in NYC this past weekend with my friends did not disappoint!  It actually came together even better than I had imagined and I have to thank my friend Stephanie for coming up with the idea, and my friend Chris for helping put together our list of photo hunt items! This was my first time doing a photo scavenger hunt (the only other scavenger hunt I’ve participated in was running around Magic Kingdom and solving riddles – which was also a lot of fun, but nothing compared to this past weekend).
So about two months ago my friend Stephanie (who has been living in the city for about 6 months or so) told me she wanted to do some sort of scavenger hunt/pub crawl in the city with a holiday theme, and asked me to help her find places and get friends together since I have been in the city much longer than her.  I immediately recalled my friend Chris mentioning to me months earlier that he had some old photo scavenger hunts lists on his computer and he wanted to set one up again.  After a few meetings of coming up with ideas (our list had 100 tasks) and scouting out some bars for the viewing party, we were ready to go. 
So basically the day went down like this:  we ended up with 8 teams of 4 people per team that met at 3pm at Washington Square Park.  The actual title of the day was XXX-Mas Scavenger Hunt, and we encouraged dirty team names and costumes.  Some people came with elf hats, some with ugly Christmas sweaters, and one of the guys on my team broke down and bought a full Santa suit to wear.  (Myself and my friend Hilary wore light up reindeer antlers and suspenders with jingle bells attached).  Each team had to fork over an envelope with $40 in order to get their packet of tasks.   We met for about 15 minutes, described the basic rules, and had to meet back at a bar in Midtown East.  We chose a lower Manhattan meeting place with an upper Manhattan ending place that would essentially force the teams to travel through the city, and would take them easily through the Macy’s Herald Square area, Times Square, and of course Rockefeller Center.
Since we are all in our mid – 20’s there were obviously some ridiculous things on the list, and of course we wanted to encourage some casual day drinking. Most of the tasks required either team members to be doing something with a stranger (ex: get a piggy back ride from a stranger, hold a strangers baby, kiss a bald guys head), or to be in a specific spot (ex: team picture in front of the Rockefeller Tree, team member wrapping a gift at the gift center in Macy’s, team members on the bleachers in Times Square). Everything required a picture as proof.  In order to prevent teams from breaking up to get more pictures, all pictures had to be on one camera. The hunt lasted just over 3 hours.
At 6:30 we all met at a bar where I had previously reserved the back room, which came complete with a projector and white screen.  I brought my little netbook and we took turns hooking up each team’s camera.  One person had to go through each picture and describe what task they were trying to complete in it, and the audience basically cheered if they accepted it, or booed if they felt it didn’t adequately complete the task (part of the fun was trying to take advantage of vague wording or creative interpretations of tasks). Different tasks were worth different points, and the team with the most points won.  After some technical difficulties with the projector we started at about 7:15pm, and we had all been drinking and we all like a little friendly competition so you can imagine it was pretty loud and fun!   
Remember the $40 we had everyone submit?  Well with 8 teams we raised $320 – $160 went to the winning team, and $160 we donated to a local homeless food charity.  So even after all the fun we did some good as well.  Several people mentioned to me they were already planning for how they are going to do better next year!  With so many people planning for next year, I guess we’ve got to make this an annual thing!
We all really had a great time, and this is something that with a little imagination, can be tailored to any city or large enclosed area (I’m thinking a mall or amusement park), for any holiday or event.  You can be sure there were several people changing their profile pictures on Facebook to their favorite pic from the night!

Now that this party has come and gone, I need a new party to look forward to planning!  NYE perhaps??

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