Scavenger Hunts at The American Museum of Natural History

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The Museum of Natural Hysteria Scavenger Hunt

“You won’t want to miss this adventure.” –Time Out New York

Go on an expedition across centuries, civilizations, and solar systems so surreal that you’ll think of this Upper West Side gem as the Museum of Unnatural History. You’ll find out why a T. rex can’t stand up, attend an Amazonian beer bash, discover New York’s largest rodent (no, it’s not your landlord), see the crappiest gift a president ever gave the museum, and more.

Not a scientist? No worries! No previous knowledge is needed. This humor-filled game has been recommended by the New York Times and Newsday, among other media outlets.

More team-building fun on a Museum of Natural History scavenger hunt

On hunts for private groups, if you’re looking for an activity that makes many teams pull together, try the special Mixed Alliances Edition. Teams of three players will take turns collaborating with two or three other teams. They are competing against each other—but they must cooperate to win. Each player will interact with up to 11 other players during the hunt.


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The Murder at the Museum of Natural History Scavenger Hunt

Can you figure out who did it?

Someone—or some thing—has been bumping off museum staffers involved in acquiring a sacred Egyptian relic. Is it the dreaded Curse of Ahtchu? Or is a serial killer on the loose? Your team of sleuths will have to crack a hieroglyphic code and uncover the museum’s secrets to stop the killings.

While solving the crime, you’ll get an amazing whirlwind tour of the American Museum of Natural History. From the giant blue whale on the lower level to the T. rex on the top floor, anything could be a clue…and everything is a suspect.

Are your sleuthing skills up to snuff? We strongly recommend at least three players per team.


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The Naked and the Damned Scavenger Hunt

See natural history as an R-rated action movie

Mother Nature takes the gloves off—and some Homo sapiens respond by taking off everything else—on this unusual quest through the American Museum of Natural History. The dangerous and the sensuous compete for your attention as humorous questions lead your team to startling exhibits that often go overlooked.

Highlights include actual shrunken heads, X-rated Aztecs, venomous liquor, killer earthquakes, an authentic headhunter’s ax, a shocking burial site, a sexy jungle girl, and a collector of foreskins. This definitely isn’t your G-rated elementary-school field trip.


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The Wizard School Scavenger Hunt 2: The Museum of Magical History

Embark on an amazing wizarding adventure…

…where you’ll search for exhibits that echo characters, places, and enchanted objects in the books and movies of the Harry Potter universe. Be prepared to track otherworldly creatures through a forbidden (rain) forest, dance with Hagrid-like giants, encounter a cute cousin of dragons, stalk hunters scarier than any Auror, and more.

Both wizards and muggles can play and enjoy this game. The hunt is not an addition to or variation on Harry’s adventures. Instead, references to the books will provide a surprising bridge to many strange and wonderful museum exhibits. It’s a great way to discover—or rediscover—the museum.

This hunt was inspired by our popular Wizard School Scavenger Hunt at the Met, but it’s not a sequel. You don’t have to complete one to play the other.

For ages 10 and up. It’s a great hunt for kids and adults to work together on the same team, or as a fun romp for all-adult teams. At least one adult must accompany all teams with kids.


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The Museum Strikes Back Scavenger Hunt

A long time ago in a museum not so far away…

Explore worlds you never knew existed at the American Museum of Natural History as you and your team search for artifacts that echo the characters, creatures, and planets of the Star Wars movies.

Highlights include…

  • Bantha-sized beasts in the Hall of Mammals
  • Giant bugs as gross as Geonosians in the Hall of Biodiversity
  • Hunters as fearsome as Boba Fett in the Halls of African and Asian Peoples
  • An underwater world any Gungan could call home in the Hall of Ocean Life
  • Samurai who helped inspire the Jedi in the Hall of Asian Peoples

Is the Force strong with your team? It doesn’t matter—anyone can enjoy this game. It’s not an addition to or variation on the adventures of Luke, Leia, and Han. Instead, references to the movies will provide a surprising bridge to real-world history.

This hunt is suitable for ages 10 and up.


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The Museum of Natural Hysteria Scavenger Hunt for Kids

Explore 6 continents and 8 planets in 90 minutes!

Kids and adults work together on this scavenger hunt, which reveals the weirdest, the wildest, and the wackiest secrets of the American Museum of Natural History. You won’t be collecting objects—drop that fossil!—you’ll be searching for answers to quirky questions about the amazing exhibits you discover.

This team game is suitable for children ages 7 and up. No previous knowledge of the museum or its contents is required—you just need eagle eyes, good teamwork, and a flair for adventure!

Along the way, your team might…

  • Search for snakes in Africa
  • Touch ancient meteorites and dinosaur bones
  • Find out your weight on the moon (don’t worry—it’s good news!)
  • Discover why a T. rex shouldn’t stand up
  • Brush by brown bears and buffalo
  • Goggle at far-out fashions in far-off places
  • Cower at a crouching cannibal
  • Mingle with cavemen
  • Dive beneath a life-size blue whale to get in the swim with a monster squid

The game is designed for teams of five or six kids, with one or more adults per team. We’ve been staging this hunt since 2000, and we know just the right level of challenge to engage every child and adult on a team.

Perfect for school groups—or any group!

What a great class trip or summer-camp activity! The scavenger hunt is a fun-filled way to introduce kids to the marvels of the museum, leaving young hunters yearning to learn more. Plus, the game makes it easy for adults to serve as more than just chaperones—they are fully engaged teammates. Numerous school groups have raved about this game, including schools with hundreds of participants. It’s also a popular choice for kids’ birthday parties and other special occasions.

What happy hunters are saying

“I have currently taken students from my high school to four hunts. Each time we have gone, the students have had a wonderful experience. The enthusiasm I have seen, the teamwork that has been displayed, has been thrilling for me as an educator. My job is to keep students engaged, and Watson Adventures does that with ease. Not only are the students doing something fun—they don’t even realize how much they are learning in the process.”


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The Fright at the Museum Scavenger Hunt for Kids

If you enjoyed Night at the Museum

…then you’ll love this adventure, which features exhibits that inspired scenes in the hit movie. Kids and adults work together to take on Dexter’s capuchin monkey cousin, a not-so-woolly mammoth with tooth trouble, personal items that belonged to Teddy Roosevelt, a dance that Sacagawea would have done, a scary Easter Island statue, an attack by a monster whale, a slice of a giant tree, humongous warring moose, Aztec and Incan warriors, dangerous dinosaurs, and much more.

This game is a great way for kids to see the museum’s highlights, as part of a birthday-party outing, a family get-together, or a school field trip.


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  • indoor

The Magical Creatures Scavenger Hunt

The wizarding world is full of fantastic beasts…

…and it’s up to you to find them. Inspired by the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films and books, this adventure unveils the extraordinary—and the seemingly ordinary—at the American Museum of Natural History.

A not-so-renowned wizard is writing a field guide to rival a certain wizard’s now-legendary textbook on magical creatures, and you’ll be given a sneak preview. Find beasts that could only be things of magic, from the deepest ocean to the highest mountain.

On your quest, your team might…

  • Learn how zebras got their stripes
  • Fawn over a tiny, cuddly cousin to dragons
  • Find the creature that muggles call the dodo bird (Silly muggles!)
  • Swim with tubular creatures
  • Meet the animal inspirations for Howarts’ Houses

Along the way, complete a unique bonus challenge by identifying the fanciful features of a beast the wizard swears he encountered in the wild—and narrowly escaped with his life!

For ages 10 and up. Each team must be accompanied by at least one adult.

If you’re looking for a hunt for kids (or adults) that’s more about the world of Harry Potter, consider the popular Wizard School Scavenger Hunt 2: The Museum of Magical History.


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