Exploring The City With UrbanQuest

Monday, September 22, 2014

DISCLOSURE:  This is a sponsored post in conjunction with USFamilyGuide.com.  I received a free UrbanQuest scavenger hunt in exchange for a review.  No further compensation was provided.  All opinions are my own.

I've always wanted to take the chance to spend a day and play tourist and actually visit all the great sites around where I live.  I was born in Washington, DC and raised close by in Maryland, but there are so many places in the area that I've never been to.

Recently, I had the opportunity to go on a  scavenger hunt around DC through UrbanQuest.  The company offers Quests where you can explore your city and learn fun facts along the way.  The Quests feature a series of clues that lead you around town until you reach your final destination: a mystery restaurant where a reservation has already been made for you and your group.

For Washington, DC, UrbanQuest offers one Quest that starts at the National Mall.  As many times as we've visited the National Mall, we still haven't seen everything.  So, I thought this would be a fun way to do it!  Ideally, I would have liked to have done the Quest early in the day, with just my husband.  Or even with my husband and the older kids.  But, with work and no babysitters available, we ended up doing the Quest on a Sunday evening after I got off work.  Because we had all four kids with us, we opted not to have the mystery restaurant reservation made.  Though, I think that would have made it more fun.  Like something to work for at the end.

It was a pretty nice evening and luckily, we didn't run into any traffic driving into DC.  We did have to circle around the National Mall area for a bit to try and find a parking space.  That's one of the things we hate about doing things in DC -- trying to find parking! At least it was a Sunday so parking was free.

Before we left home, we printed out the set of clues we needed to see where we were going.  The starting point for the National Mall quest was at the Washington Monument.  We've driven past it a bunch of times, but have never taken the kids to see it.  After parking, we made our way over to the Washington Monument.

Walking to the Washington Monument
The Quest had us leaving the Monument right away, but we hung out for a little bit and let the kids run around and we took pictures by the Monument.  I don't think I had ever been up that close to the Washington Monument.  Or if I had, it was a LONG time ago!

Next, the Quest had us head to the World War II Memorial.  I had been wanting to visit but never had the time, so it was nice to finally get to see it.  The Quest had us looking for certain state names, which appear on the pillars in the memorial.  We also had to find a quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt.  While my husband and I looked for things, the kids wanted to hang out by the fountains.

The World War II Memorial
My husband filling in answers for the Quest
Another shot of the World War II Memorial

Next, we headed to the Korean War Memorial -- yet another site I've never visited.  Here, we had to look for a message engraved on a wall and write down the names of some of the countries that were allies during the Korean War.

The Korean War Memorial
Another shot of the Korean War Memorial
Then, we had to pass the Lincoln Memorial to head to the next stop.  None of us had ever visited the Lincoln Memorial, so, even though it wasn't part of the Quest, we stopped to look around.  We took a few pictures and then my husband and the older three kids walked up the steps to see Lincoln while I stayed with the baby in the stroller.

In front of the Reflecting Pool, with the Washington Monument in the background.
The Lincoln Memorial
The next stop was the Vietnam War Memorial.  The kids were amazed at how many names were on the wall.  My daughter wondered why there were so many boys, but hardly any girls.

Looking at the names on the Vietnam War Memorial
The task here was to find a quote at the base of the flagpole at the memorial and fill in the blanks.

The last stop was the Albert Einstein Memorial.  I didn't even know this existed!  The statue was a lot bigger than what I was expecting.  Here, we were supposed to find a quote by Albert Einstein.  All the kids wanted to do was climb him!

At the Albert Einstein Memorial
To finish the Quest, we had to gather all the answers we collected and put them into a grid to come up with the Final Answer.  I then had to log onto UrbanQuest.com on my phone to put the answer in to unlock the safe.  If I had made a restaurant reservation, then the mystery location would have been revealed.  Instead, it just told me that I completed the Quest and earned some badges.

We completed the Quest!
By now, it was getting late and the kids had school the next day.  I think, if it was earlier in the day, the restaurant reservation would have been nice.  We were starving by the time we were done!  It was quite a bit of walking around and the kids took turns being pushed in the stroller.  But, overall, it was a lot of fun and a great way to see sites that we would not have normally visited.

I'm hoping they have more available for DC soon and I saw they have one for Baltimore, so we may try that one.

If you're interested in trying out an UrbanQuest in a city near you, they're currently offering readers of Stuff I Got a 20% discount.  Click here for the coupon. Quests are normally $10 per person, excluding the cost of the meal.  If you do one, let me know how it goes!  I'd love to hear about it!