Every city has its big attractions and in the rush to see everything you might miss out on some of the hidden gems. We recently discovered a great number of interesting details as we explored San Antonio via Urban Adventure Quest.
An Urban Adventure Quest is a bit like a small-scale version of “The Amazing Race” – without the dangerous bits and the questionable foods. It is a smart-phone based scavenger hunt through one of more than 30 popular cities. It is timed, but that’s ok – the only price to win is bragging rights and a wonderful day out exploring (and brainstorming) with family, so you can complete it at any pace you want. On our last full day in San Antonio we set off to see what the local Urban Adventure Quest was all about.
Armed with a pen, a notepad from our hotel and my iPhone, we walked a few short blocks to the starting point near the Alamo. We soon discovered that some of the quest challenges involved finding a detail of a building or plaque the would lead us to our answer.
Some of the challenges were trickier, such as the one involving the Alamo memorial. Lets just say it involved counting buttons on the figures, the number of cannonballs depicted, some basic math, and counting letters.
Let’s also just say it wasn’t as easy as it looked and we ended up using a clue to help out (and nearly all of our guesses)! It also allowed us more time to examine this monument than we had given it on previous days.
Our Quest took us into the Alamo and challenged our history knowledge. We were happy when we successfully completed the challenge here! (It required a bit more detailed reading of the Alamo history, and we walked away with a deeper understanding of when things played out in this particular period of history.)
There were also (slightly) easier challenges that the kids enjoyed, like matching up clues with letters to spell out an answer. This is the kind of puzzle that my daughter really enjoys!
In between challenges the Quest offered up interesting tidbits of local history and trivia, referred to in the game as “Urban Questology”.
Eventually we were led down the River Walk – right about lunchtime. Smart game – it suggested this might be a good time to eat so we took a break to enjoy the view and eat. So we did!
And it was a good thing we took a break to feed our tummies and power our brains. Our game had a little “glitch” in La Villita. We had scribbled down the clues to solve on our handy-dandy notepad and were well on our way when glancing at the phone I discovered the challenge was gone and we were onto the next one. We continued on to find the rest of the answers needed but the word we needed to unscramble…well, it didn’t make sense.
(So if you can tell me the answer, Quest guys, let me know, ‘kay?)
The next few challenges brought us up to street level. This challenge in particular had us scratching our heads (and maybe using a clue) but we finally figured it out! (Nice play on perspective, guys.)
From there, we wandered around to the Cathedral for more challenges that took us back towards the starting point. One of the clues was housed in a building that conveniently housed a Starbucks so we took another well needed break. We were almost done!
Well caffeinated (in the case of the grownups) and sugared up (in the case of the kidlings) we set out to find the final few challenges!
The last one was tougher than we expected (and we used another hint, drat.) The kids anxiously awaited our score:
We finished with a time of four hours, twenty-three minutes (including a leisurely lunch and coffee break) with a score of 500 points!
(That may or may not have put us around 50th place, and I don’t care.) With a combination of puzzles to solve and questions to answer, we found a fun way for our competitive kids to spend time in teamwork and exploration!
My 11-year-old has asked to take on the Dallas-based quest next, and I think it just might be a great way to explore and see the city from a new perspective!
I was provided a free Urban Adventure Quest to explore San Antonio. All views and opinions are 100% my own.