Calling all Amazing Race Wannabes
Yep, I am talking to YOU! The Amazing Race, is going into its 30th season and I know that I am not the only one to declare: “I could do that!” Here is your chance. I discovered the Urban Adventure Quest and they make it possible for anyone to vicariously play the amazing race. They have created an Urban Scavenger Hunt for over 50 U.S. cities. I had the opportunity to test-drive a couple of cities recently for Urban Adventure Quest. Minneapolis and Phoenix were on my upcoming itinerary. I was thrilled to find that both these cities had a Quest available.
The Amazing Race
One of the original creators of The Amazing Race, Elise Doganieri , used her own travels as inspiration. She wanted to communicate the value of meeting and interacting with the various local residents, and the idea of several teams of players racing across the world with local challenges that would test the team’s resolve and relationships. The show has experienced a long running success. I admit to being an Amazing Race groupie. The older I get and the more I travel, the more I realize that this “reality show” would be very challenging. So finding a more realistic opportunity was exciting.
UAQ (Urban Adventure Quest)
The Urban Adventure Quest creators also admit to being Amazing Race fans. Here is their inspiration shared from their website, www.urbanadventurequest.com
As fans of the T.V. show, Amazing Race, we always wanted to take part in this type of adventure, but couldn’t take the time off from our “real jobs” to do so. Wouldn’t it be great, we thought, if there was a way to experience the excitement and adventure of the Amazing Race in just one day?
While there were many one-day Amazing Race-type events happening in cities around the U.S., you had to be in a particular city, on a particular day, or you missed out. There really was nothing that offered the same excitement while providing the flexibility of playing on your schedule. And so we created Urban Adventure Quest.
Minneapolis Urban Adventure Quest
My first jaunt was the beautiful city of Minneapolis. I was traveling solo and had a very small window of time to try the Quest out. Eric West from UAQ warned me that it would be more difficult as a single player without a team of brains. I knew this would be true but I wanted to give it a try before I made my friends guinea pigs. I also hoped the Quest would be a great guide for exploring Minneapolis.
The Urban Adventure Quest in Minneapolis was fantastic. Eric was right, a team would have been better but even alone I loved it. The hunt guided me to sites of historical, cultural and social significance in the city. I wandered through parks and memorials, past iconic architecture and sports arenas.
Beyond seeing the beautiful city, the Urban Adventure Quest challenged my abilities. It required me to read instructions thoroughly, observe my surroundings closely, pay careful attention to details, spell correctly, decode cryptograms and solve mathematical problems.
Minneapolis Quest Results
As I mentioned before, I had a short window of time and after 1.5 hours I had to head to another appointment. At that point I had finished 6 of 19 questions and of those 6 I had totally botched 2 of them by not following the directions carefully. However, I was confident that my group traveling to Phoenix would love this game. I learned several lessons about how to perform better from this trial run in Minneapolis. Some day in the future I will return to Minneapolis and complete the challenge!!
Phoenix Urban Adventure Quest
Just a week later found us loaded with pen and paper, Quest-loaded phones, cameras, hats, water bottles and determined spirits ready to tackle downtown Phoenix. We selected one to be the “Quest Maester” and the other three to follow her assigned tasks. A hot, Sunday morning with little to no traffic it felt like we had the city to ourselves.
As a team we rolled along pretty smoothly. There were a few snags like walking right past the obvious clue and the hot sun burning through our patience. All easily resolved by a beer detour at a local pub. Overall, the team loved the experience and felt it had given us a wonderful tour of Phoenix. I noticed that there were some similarities in the types of challenges between the two cities, different clues but familiar problem-solving processes.
Phoenix Quest Results
We finished the Phoenix Urban Adventure Quest in 2 hours and 33 minutes with a score of 515. Team Go Learn Things ranked #308 out of 475. Okay not as competitive as one might hope, I guess our chances on The Amazing Race are slim. Winning isn’t everything, we laughed, we explored and we learned many new things. All in all we earned ourselves a wonderful brunch at Mother Bunch Brewing. Stay tuned for more on that reward.
Urban Adventure Quest Review
At the completion of the quest we were able to respond to a thorough survey. We appreciated the opportunity to give our feedback. We encountered an issue with one of the clues having been removed and making the question unanswerable, we shared this in our survey. Within 24 hours of our responses we heard from Eric and he was already correcting the issue. The Quests cost $49 for each team up to 5 people. Half of our team evaluated this price as reasonable and half found it slightly high. I thought this was a good price for 2+ hours of fun for four adults.
All in all I highly recommend trying one of these Urban Adventure Quests in your own city or an upcoming destination. This would be great for a family outing, a girlfriend getaway, field trips, couples travel, competitive friends, Amazing Race fans, the list goes on.