Hands up who’s ever been on a scavenger hunt? A team event, running around solving clues and undertaking challenges to see who is the fastest and most accurate.
Well, last week we headed to Old Town Temecula for a family day of fun. We downloaded the Temecula Urban Adventure Mini Quest to explore the township (and also earn some much needed Qantas airpoints before they disappeared).
Urban Adventure Quest is basically an online version of a scavenger hunt, run through your smart phone. You get to see the local sights and learn the town’s history, while answering various clues from phone prompts. Good old fashioned family entertainment!
You earn points for correct answers, lose points for keying in wrong answers, and rise through the ranks of the leaderboard, based on the time taken to follow all the direction and the number of points you end up with.
Old Town Temecula embraces the ‘old’, with western styled buildings and loads of rusting machinery, taking you through it’s rich history of the arrival of the stage coach, railroad and ranches. A real ‘frontier’ look and feel.
It’s also a hub for many events, and a hive of activity with many bars and restaurants.
With the twin tornados in tow, we took our time during our Quest. Our first stop was the gardens surrounding the civic buildings and City Hall, for snacks (of course).
We strolled the wooden sidewalks of ‘Main Street’ and ‘Front Street’, checked out the murals, artwork and interesting buildings, chuckled at the humorous tombstone inscriptions at Boot Hill (which had a sneaky ‘find-a-word’ clue), and soaked up the historical stories. Oh, how I wanted to tip my cowboy hat and do a little line dancing, and I don’t think anyone would have noticed.
We avoided the many wine and oil tasting places that were calling our name. For past experience we’ve learnt that such a wonderful visit is not a pleasurable experience with the kids. We ended up stopping for a wonderful lunch at the PUBlic House (you can check out my blog on our scrumptious meal here).
We wandered the stores (plaques on certain buildings were a key to solve another clue), and enjoyed the metal sculptures of Ricardo Breceda.
The kids were getting a little scratchy in the hot afternoon sun, but in general, all was going well on the until we hit a clue regarding a big rock monument next to the museum. We needed to read the wording on this monument, to solve our clue, however a group of 10+ homeless and undesirable types were using it to lounge about on and do undesirable things. Skipping that clue put a dampener on things, and we decided it was time to head off.
The Urban Adventure Quest is a fantastic concept. Although the tornados were a little young to assist with the clue solving, they still enjoyed ‘exploring for treasure’ and making our way around the township. I made sure they received their ‘treasure’ (a.k.a chocolate Girl Scout cookies) when we arrived safely back to the car.
Even though we didn’t quite complete our mission, we still thought the concept was great. We’d definitely look at purchasing a Quest for another USA destination. It’s an interesting way to discover a city.
Next time, we’ll be back minus the kids, to check out the wines, olive oil and night life.
And, yes, I have provided feedback to the creators of Urban Adventure Quest regarding the congregation of undesirables. Not a great look for a tourist activity.