Who loves travel and history? Use this Washington, D.C. Scavenger Hunt as a way to get the kids moving and learning – and at the same time! This DC Hunt is a great activity for families or can be used as field trip fun, as well. It’s as simple as printing and letting the run begin! Let’s get started!
Washington, D.C. is known for its rich history, iconic landmarks, and political significance. It’s no wonder that it’s a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. One unique way to explore the city is through a scavenger hunt. A national treasure hunt can be a fun and exciting way to discover the city’s hidden gems and learn more about its history and culture.
When was the last time that you stopped and looked around the streets of the District of Columbia? If you’re used to the area or planning a trip there soon, printing out this DC scavenger hunt activity can be super fun to do. A national scavenger hunt is a game where players are given a list of items or tasks to find or complete within a certain time frame. In the case of a capital scavenger hunt, players may be tasked with finding specific landmarks, solving puzzles, or answering trivia questions related to the city’s history. It’s a great way to explore the city in a fun and interactive way.
Why Washington, D.C.? The city is home to some of the most recognizable landmarks in the world, including the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Washington Monument. The city is also rich in history, with many museums and attractions dedicated to the country’s founding and political history. A treasure hunt in Washington, D.C. can be a great way to experience all of this while having fun with friends or family. It highlights the most popular points in the area and brings light to some fun history and things to talk about as well. The fun part is that all of the DC scavenger hunt ideas were made to be simple to find.
What is a Scavenger Hunt?
A scavenger hunt is a game in which players are given a list of items to find or tasks to complete within a specific time frame. The goal is to find all the items or complete all the tasks before time runs out. Treasure hunts can be played in various settings, including zoos, malls, parks, museums, and cities.
In a city scavenger hunt, participants are given a list of clues or riddles that lead them to different locations throughout the city. These clues may involve historical landmarks, famous buildings, or hidden gems that are off the beaten path. The goal is to solve the clues and find all the locations before time runs out.
Scavenger hunts are a fun and interactive way to explore a new city and learn about its history and culture. They can be played individually or in teams, and often involve a sense of competition and teamwork. Scavenger hunts can be customized to fit any age group or skill level, making them a great activity for families, friends, and coworkers. Overall, scavenger hunts are an exciting way to experience a new city and create lasting memories.
Why Washington, D.C.?
Washington, D.C. is one of the most exciting and historically significant cities in the United States. It is a city that is steeped in history and culture, and there is no better way to explore it than through a scavenger hunt.
There are many reasons why D.C. is the perfect destination for a scavenger hunt. For one, the city is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in the country, such as the White House, the Supreme Court, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Washington Monument. These landmarks are not only impressive to look at, but they are also rich in history and significance.
In addition to its landmarks, the Washington District of Columbia is also home to some of the best museums and galleries in the world. The Smithsonian Institution alone has 19 museums and galleries, which offer visitors a chance to explore everything from natural history to contemporary art. Best of all, the Smithsonian museums are free in D.C.
Washington, D.C. is also a city that is constantly changing and evolving. It is a hub of politics, culture, and innovation, which means that there is always something new and exciting to discover. Whether you are interested in politics, history, or art, there is something for everyone in D.C.
Overall, the nation’s capital is the perfect destination for a scavenger hunt for birthday parties, family travel, school field trips, or a bachelorette party. With its rich history, iconic landmarks, and endless cultural offerings, it is a city that is sure to excite and inspire anyone who visits.
Fun Things to Do in Washington, D.C. with the Kids
Using a city scavenger hunt can quickly cover a huge list of fun things to do in D.C. with the kids. Take a look at this D.C. treasure hunt list of places to go.
- Visit the Smithsonian Museums: The Smithsonian Museums are a great place to take kids of all ages. They’re free, educational, and offer a wide variety of exhibits that will capture the interest of children. Go over the museum options and let each family member choose the place they want to visit.
- Go to the National Zoo: The National Zoo is another great place to take kids. They can see a wide variety of animals, including pandas, tigers, lions, farm animals, and more. Keep in mind there is a bit of hill walking, grab a stroller for younger kids.
- Explore the National Mall: The National Mall is a great place for kids to explore. They can see the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and other iconic landmarks. Have comfortable walking shoes.
- Take a tour of the White House: If your kids are interested in politics or history, a tour of the White House can be a great experience. Learn how to get a white house tour.
- Visit the National Aquarium: The National Aquarium is a great place to take kids who love marine life. They can see a wide variety of fish, sharks, and other sea creatures. This adventure will take you all the way into the heart of Baltimore, so consider a day trip to this famous city in Maryland or even attend an Orioles baseball game while you are there.
- Go on a bike ride: Washington, DC has a lot of great bike trails, including the Capital Crescent Trail and the Mount Vernon Trail. Rent a bike and take your kids on a scenic ride. You can also grab a segway or rent a scooter. If you fear the kids using their own mode of transportation, grab a pass for the Metro or a sightseeing tour bus.
- Visit the National Air and Space Museum: The National Air and Space Museum is another great place to take kids. They can see historic airplanes, and spacecraft, and learn about aviation history. If you have a car, consider visiting the second and larger location, Dulles Air & Space Museum, in Virginia. (Yes, there are two Air and Space Museums in D.C.)
- Go on a boat tour: In Georgetown or Old Town Alexandria, take a boat tour of the Potomac River and see the city from a different perspective. It’s an amazing way to watch airplanes take off over the river from Reagan National Airport.
- Visit the National Archives: The National Archives is a great place for kids to learn about the history of the United States. They can see the original Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and other important documents.
- Explore the National Gallery of Art: The National Gallery of Art is a great place for kids who love art. They can see works by famous artists like Van Gogh, Monet, and Picasso.
Use this list in the creation of your own places to go and see when visiting D.C.
Planning Your Scavenger Hunt for a DC Trip
Planning a scavenger hunt in Washington, D.C. can be an exciting and fun experience. However, it requires careful planning to ensure that the participants have a great time. Here are some tips on how to plan your scavenger hunt:
The first step in planning a scavenger hunt is to choose the locations where the participants will search for clues. The United States Capital has many interesting and historical locations that can be incorporated into the scavenger hunt. These fun places turn into a unique adventure full of memories and excitement.
Some popular options include:
- National Mall
- Smithsonian Museums
- National Monuments and Memorials
- Dupont Circle
- Georgetown Beauvoir Playground
- Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
- Smithsonian’s National Zoo
- The Willard Hotel
- Old Ebbitt Grill
When selecting locations, it is important to consider the difficulty level of the clues and the distance between each location. You want to make sure that the participants can complete the scavenger hunt within a reasonable amount of time or extend the activity over multiple days.
The next step is to create clues that will lead the participants to each location. Clues can be in the form of riddles, puzzles, or simple directions. It is important to make the clues challenging but not too difficult. You want to make sure that the teammates can solve the clues without getting frustrated.
Some tips for creating clues include:
- Use puns or wordplay to make the clues more interesting
- Incorporate historical or cultural references to the locations
- Make the clues visually appealing by adding pictures or graphics
- Try rhyming words and phrases
Setting Up Rules
Finally, it is important to set up rules before letting everyone pound the pavement. Adults and kids need to know the guidelines and what to expect so that it’s a fair finding!
Scavenger Hunt Rules to review include:
- The start and end times of the scavenger hunt
- The number of participants (team vs. individual)
- The use of electronic devices (such as smartphones) during the scavenger hunt
- The consequences for breaking the rules
For a scavenger hunt, you can do it individually or team up in pairs. Be sure to set a time limit and decide how proof of objects being found will be displayed. (Most people will just use a cell phone to snap pictures as proof!)
It is important to communicate the rules clearly to all participants before the scavenger hunt begins to avoid any confusion or disputes. Verbalize the rules and expectations so that everyone is on the same page. Have a moderator or someone who is not participating available to answer any questions and tally up the total points at the end of the time.
By following these tips, you can plan a fun and exciting scavenger hunt in D.C. that the participants will remember for years to come.
Top Scavenger Hunt Spots in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. is a city rich in history and culture, making it the perfect destination for a scavenger hunt adventure. Here are some top scavenger hunt spots in the nation’s capital that are sure to make for a fun and exciting experience.
The National Mall
In the heart of downtown D.C., the National Mall is a must-visit location for any scavenger hunt in Washington, D.C.. No this isn’t a shopping center. In fact, it’s owned by the National Park Service. With its iconic landmarks such as the Lincoln Memorial, World War II Memorial, Washington Monument, and the United States Capitol, the National Mall offers a wealth of opportunities for scavenger hunt clues and challenges. Participants can also explore the many museums and monuments located along the Mall, including the National Museum of American History and the National Museum of Natural History. In addition to historical sites, it has a lot of green space, fountains, and a reflecting pool. It’s the perfect spot for an outdoor scavenger hunt.
The Smithsonian Museums are another great location for a scavenger hunt in Washington, D.C.. With over 19 museums and galleries to choose from, participants can explore a wide range of topics and themes. Some popular museums for scavenger hunts include the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Gallery of Art, and the National Portrait Gallery.
Located just outside of Washington, D.C., in Virginia, Mount Vernon is the historic home of George Washington and offers a unique scavenger hunt experience. At George Washington’s Mount Vernon, participants can explore the beautiful gardens and grounds of the estate while searching for clues and solving puzzles related to the life and legacy of the first President of the United States. This is a great place to visit for a half-day trip if you are staying in D.C. for multiple days.
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery is a solemn and historic location that can also be a great spot for a scavenger hunt. Participants can explore the cemetery while searching for clues and completing challenges related to the history and significance of this important national landmark. Some popular locations within the cemetery for scavenger hunt clues include the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame.
Overall, the country’s capital offers a wealth of opportunities for a fun and exciting scavenger hunt adventure. With its rich history and diverse range of attractions, participants are sure to have a memorable experience exploring the city and its many historic landmarks.
Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Different Age Groups
Now cater your National Treasure Hunt to different age groups.
For younger children, a scavenger hunt can be a fun and educational way to explore Washington, D.C.. Here are some ideas for scavenger hunt kids’ clues that will keep kids engaged and excited:
- Find a statue of a famous US president
- Count the number of flags outside the White House
- Take a picture with a police officer
- Find a street performer and watch their performance
- Spot a squirrel in a park
- Find a building with a green roof
Teenagers can be a bit more challenging to please, but with the right clues, they can have a great time exploring the city. Here are some ideas for a teenage scavenger hunt that will keep cool kids engaged:
- Find a mural or graffiti art in a trendy neighborhood
- Count the number of different languages spoken by tourists in a popular tourist spot
- Take a picture with a street vendor (or food truck) and try their food
- Find a place where a famous movie was filmed
- Spot a famous celebrity or politician in a restaurant or café
- Find a building with a rooftop bar or restaurant
For adults, scavenger hunts can be a great way to explore the city and have some fun with friends. Here are some adult ideas for a scavenger hunt that will keep the 18+ crowd entertained:
- Find a bar with a signature cocktail named after a president
- Count the number of different cuisines offered in a food hall
- Take a picture with a street performer and tip them generously
- Find a hidden gem restaurant that only locals know about
- Spot a famous politician or journalist in a café or bookstore
- Find a building with a rooftop pool or spa
No matter what age group you are planning a scavenger hunt for, there are plenty of fun and exciting ways to explore Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. is a bustling city with plenty of attractions to explore. However, it’s important to stay safe while enjoying a scavenger hunt. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
Before embarking on a scavenger hunt, it’s important to plan ahead. Make sure you know the area you’ll be exploring and have a map or GPS handy. Familiarize yourself with the location of emergency services and keep their contact information on hand.
While on a scavenger hunt, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and lose track of your surroundings. However, it’s important to stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times. Keep an eye out for any suspicious activity or individuals and trust your instincts.
Travel in Groups
It’s always safer to travel in groups, especially when exploring a new area. Consider doing the scavenger hunt with a group of friends or family members. Not only will this make the experience more enjoyable, but it will also provide an extra layer of safety.
The District can experience extreme weather conditions, so it’s important to dress appropriately for the weather. Wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers if necessary. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry or carrying large amounts of cash.
The District of Columbia can be hot and humid during the summer months, so it’s important to stay hydrated. Bring a water bottle with you and take regular breaks to rest and hydrate.
By following these safety tips, you can enjoy a fun and exciting scavenger hunt in Washington while staying safe and secure.
Washington, D.C. Scavenger Hunt PDF
Instead of panning your own DIY Treasure Hunt for a DC Trip, grab this fun one. We’ve done the hard part for you and put together a really exciting activity with adorable photos and of course a fun D.C. Theme.
This printable Washington, D.C. Scavenger PDF is done for you. Simply buy, download, and print your way to fun. You can use it on a family trip to Washington, for a class field trip, for a day trip, or whatever. Who says that you can’t have a little bit of friendly competition while seeing the sights?
In this scavenger hunt for kids, you might notice that some of the items are larger than others, and that’s because they’re worth more points. This scavenger hunt PDF can be done in a fun way or used to add up the points to see who can get the best score the quickest.
How can I use this Washington, D.C. Scavenger Hunt printable?
It’s as simple as printing and getting started. This is a great way to encourage family bonding during a family vacation or even use it as a way to acclimate the kids on a field trip to the capital.
If you do not have a printer, simply download the PDF to your phone and make sure everyone has access to the hunt on their own device. Instead of printing and checking off items, keep photographic evidence of when you visit each location in Washington. Having photo challenges gives players an interactive role in the hunt. This can also be via a virtual scavenger hunt where players share photos of the location they visit providing everyone a scrapbook of shared photos from each site.
The biggest thing to remember is that there isn’t a wrong way to use it. No matter when or where you start, there will be objects and locations being looked for and curiosities to learn about them being hatched.
Washington, D.C. Scavenger Hunt List
Keep in mind that this is a FUN game – and enjoy the sites along the way! This scavenger hunt for a Washington, D.C. Trip contains historic and iconic spots including:
- Lincoln Memorial
- Wright’s Brothers Plane (National Air & Space Museum)
- National Cathedral
- Washington Monument
- U.S. Capitol Building
- John Hancock’s Signature on the Declaration of Independence (National Archives Museum)
- Arlington Cemetary
- Star-Spangled Banner (American History Museum)
- Cherry Blossom in Bloom (spring season)
- Hope Diamond (Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History)
- National History Dinosaur Fossils (Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History)
- White House
- George Washington’s House (Mount Vernon)
- Ride Metro Train
- Thomas Jefferson Memorial Tidal Basin
- Potomac River
- Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
- Panda (Smithsonian’s National Zoo)
Remember – the bigger the image, the more points that it’s worth! Points are clearly marked, so maybe chase those larger circles first if doing this hunt against another team.
Do you have to visit every D.C. location on the Scavenger Hunt?
No, part of the fun is the challenge of the circles. There is pressure to get them all, but going into the scavenger hunt with planning and prep will allow you to plan your best route. One team’s idea might be to add up the little circles quickly by visiting them first. Another team might chase the larger circles for huge point collections. In a timed scavenger hunt, not everyone will complete all the challenges. Add the scavenger hunt clues you found and total your points to declare a winner.
Wrapping Up the Hunt
After a thrilling scavenger hunt through the streets of Washington, D.C. participants are sure to be buzzing with excitement and adrenaline. As they make their way back to the starting point, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure a successful conclusion to the hunt.
Firstly, it’s important to gather all the clues and items collected throughout the hunt. It’s also a good idea for the moderator to review the clues and answers to ensure that everything has been correctly solved.
Once all the clues have been gathered and reviewed, the group can reconvene to celebrate their success. This is a great opportunity to share stories and experiences from the hunt, and to congratulate each other on a job well done. Consider these exciting stories over an evening’s dinner in the District.
Finally, it’s important to thank the scavenger hunt organizers or teachers for their hard work and dedication in putting together such an exciting event. This can be done through a simple thank-you or a small token of appreciation, such as a gift card or a personalized note.
Get the printable Washington, D.C. Scavenger Hunt
Get ready to explore the streets and historical sights of Washington, D.C. on your next adventure. This fun game proves that seeing the sites of history can be fun and exciting to do. This scavenger hunt printable takes your adventure to the next level and offers the perfect balance for kids and adults to enjoy.
Best Time to Visit Washington, D.C. for a Scavenger Hunt
Washington, D.C. is a great city for a scavenger hunt, with its many landmarks, museums, and historical sites. However, the best time to visit for a scavenger hunt depends on several factors.
Spring and Fall
The best time to visit Washington, D.C.for a scavenger hunt is during the spring or fall. The weather is mild, and the crowds are smaller than during the summer months. This makes it easier to navigate the city and find clues without being overwhelmed by tourists. If you visit in Spring, consider Cherry Blossom season when streets are lined with beautiful Japanese trees with pink flowers. From around March to April, the National Cherry Blossom Festival also creates a lot of extra events like the kite festival, races, and parades. This will also fill one of the items on your prepared D.C. Washington Scavenger Hunt.
While summer is the peak tourist season in Washington, D.C., it can still be a great time for a scavenger hunt. The longer days and warmer weather make it easier to spend more time outside, and many of the city’s landmarks and monuments are open late into the evening. If you visit during Independence Day, you will get plenty of activity and excitement in the District. July 4th does get hot, so prepare with extra water and garments that quickly cool you off.
Winter can be a challenging time for a scavenger hunt in Washington, D.C., as the weather can be cold and snowy. However, the city is still beautiful during the winter months, and the holiday season can add a festive atmosphere to your scavenger hunt. There is the national Christmas tree and historically, there has even been snow sledding down the State Capitol hill.
Overall, the best time to visit the District of Columbia for a scavenger hunt depends on your personal preferences and the type of scavenger hunt you are planning. However, with its many landmarks and historical sites, Washington, D.C. is a great city for a scavenger hunt any time of year.
A Washington, D.C. scavenger hunt is an unforgettable experience that is sure to leave participants feeling energized and inspired. By following these simple ideas, participants can ensure a successful trip and an unforgettable scavenger hunt on their trip. It’s a lasting memory of their time in the nation’s capital.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some fun locations to include in a Washington, D.C. scavenger hunt?
Washington, District of Columbia is full of landmarks, monuments, and museums that can make for exciting scavenger hunt locations. Some popular spots include the Lincoln Memorial, the National Mall, the Smithsonian Museums, and the White House.
How long does a typical scavenger hunt in Washington, D.C. last?
The length of a scavenger hunt can vary depending on the number of locations and clues included. Typically, a scavenger hunt in the District of Columbia can last anywhere from 2-4 hours. However, since this premade hunt goes out into areas of Virginia including Arlington and Mt. Vernon, your time may take longer, even an extra day or two.
What are some good team-building activities to incorporate into a scavenger hunt?
Scavenger hunts can be a great team-building activity, as they require participants to work together and communicate effectively. Some ideas for team-building activities include group photo challenges and physical challenges like relay races. You can even make an additional resource to this printable hunt like trivia questions and facts for each site you visit.
Can this scavenger hunt be used on an 8th-grade field trip to D.C.?
Yes! This scavenger hunt for teens is perfect to share with your students. Ideal for an 8th-grade Washington, D.C. trip (or any grade) teachers, students, and chaperones can explore the nation’s capital with a list of things to find. This will guide field trip groups for through the District of Columbia with a scavenger hunt checklist of things to explore. Make it a little competitive and it will soon become one of their favorite activities with much of the city covered by foot.
What are good scavenger hunt prizes?
Prizes are always a good idea. Before you have everyone participating in a scavenger hunt, make sure to set some rules and talk about the prizes. Do you want to have a prize for who gets the most points? Or who finds the most things in a certain amount of time? Or maybe you want to have a combination of all of the above? Consider stickers, small toys, or even Washington, D.C. souvenirs.
Are there any companies that offer pre-planned scavenger hunts in Washington, D.C.?
Yes, several companies offer pre-planned scavenger hunts in the District. These companies can provide everything from clues and locations to prizes for the winning team. Some popular options include Scavenger Hunt DC and Watson Adventures. Be sure to check out Groupon for Washington D.C. Trip Discounts on tours and hunts. You can also bring your own resource, our printable Washington, D.C. Scavenger Hunt and Amazon spiral bound book, Washington, D.C. Scavenger.
Also, take a look at free things to do in Washington, D.C.
Now it’s time to let the games begin! Enjoy your Washington, District of Columbia trip.
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