Scavenger Hunts at The Philadelphia
Museum of Art

  • private
  • adults
  • kids
  • indoor

The Secrets of the Philadelphia Museum Scavenger Hunt

Discover the weird and wacky side of art…

…on a whirlwind tour of the best—and strangest—art in this amazing museum. Decipher clues and answer tricky, humorous questions as you travel across time and continents. You’ll explore such destinations as a French monastery, a Chinese palace, an Indian Temple, a Pennsylvania Dutch kitchen, a Japanese village, a medieval knight’s tomb, and the palatial rooms of European nobles, to name a few of the highlights.

Along the way, you might search for…

  • A Dutch master doing something fishy in one of his own scenes
  • A mule that might cry, “Hey, no smoking back there!”
  • A sweet drink with a rotten ingredient
  • A colonial version of a dribble glass
  • A dragon with horrendous halitosis

But no knowledge of art or the museum is required to enjoy the hijinks and perhaps even win: you just need sharp eyes and comfy shoes.

Countless corporate groups have enjoyed this hunt as a team-building activity since we first offered it in 2004. A version for kids and adults to enjoy together has been recommended by GoCityKids.com. Suitable for ages 7 and up, it has proven popular with all kinds of groups, from teachers leading school field trips to parents looking for an unusual birthday-party activity.


  • public
  • private
  • adults
  • indoor

The Murder at the Art Museum Scavenger Hunt

Greed, lust, pride, and revenge…

…are all possible motives for murder on this devious whodunit. The victim? A curator who knew too much. He left behind a trail of clues linked to secrets in paintings and other objects at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. As your team gathers answers about the art, you realize that his death had something to do with the museum’s upcoming purchase of a Leonardo da Vinci painting.

Crack a secret code left in the victim’s personal calendar, decipher the mysteries in the museum’s art, and discover what drove one of the four suspects to commit murder. 


  • public
  • private
  • adults
  • kids
  • indoor

The Wizard School Scavenger Hunt

Dodge the dragons, mind the magic!

Embark on an enchanted field trip through the Philadelphia Museum of Art in search of art that will remind you of the characters, locations, and magical items in the world of Harry Potter. Armed with only your wits and your wand—er, pencil—you’ll find a powerful sorceress, a potions master similar to Snape, centaurs and other fantastic beasts, strange sharks and mermaids that look like they belong in the Triwizard Tournament, and frightening figures that could double as Death Eaters and Dementors.

Wizards and muggles (i.e., those who aren’t Potter buffs) can play and enjoy this game. The hunt is not an addition to or variation on Harry’s adventures; rather, references to the books and movies provide a surprising bridge to amazing art. It’s a great way to discover—or rediscover—the museum.


  • public
  • private
  • adults
  • kids
  • indoor

The Whodunit Scavenger Hunt

A murder mystery with even more of a twist

It’s your team’s task to stop a killer. How? By playing the diabolical scavenger hunt he created at the PMA. You’ll search the museum, answering tricky questions about surprising works of art along the way, and when the hunt is finished, you’ll learn the killer’s name, the weapon he used, and where he committed the dastardly deed. He’s toying with the police, and now he’s daring your team to try to catch him.

No knowledge of the museum or art is necessary. You just need sharp eyes and comfy shoes.

We also offer a family-friendly version of this hunt for kids ages 10 and up. Each team must include at least one kid and one adult, with a maximum of six players per team.


  • public
  • private
  • adults
  • indoor

The Escape the Philadelphia Museum of Art Scavenger Hunt

Solve a puzzle, save your life!

You’ve been poisoned! And you need the antidote—fast. The only way to get it? By playing this game, created by the madman who dosed you, and coming up with the combination to unlock the box that contains the cure.

You’ll follow the villain’s diabolical clues through the PMA as you search for revealing works of art. You’ll also answer tricky questions about what you find, interact with our staff to tackle sneaky puzzles, and eventually crack a code. Sure, you can escape a room, but can you unlock the box and escape the museum? Your life depends on it.

No knowledge of art is required: you just need sharp eyes, comfy shoes, a smartphone, and excellent teamwork.


  • private
  • adults
  • indoor

The Brain Squeeze: A Trivia Scavenger Hunt

Show off your smarts, score points

Meet the game you didn’t know you needed in your life. Part trivia game, part scavenger hunt, and all fun. Here’s how it works: your team answers a trivia question, and that answer becomes an essential clue to answering another question about an object in the museum. The trivia comes from movies, music, history, sports, science, literature, and more.

For example…

  • A Lady Gaga song can help you uncover the goings-on in a painting of a sneaky card game
  • Knowing the number of stars in a famous dipper can help you locate a goddess getting a constellation prize
  • And a Freudian theory made even more famous by Woody Allen can help you spot a Roman statue’s, um, shortcomings

You can use your smartphone if you’re stumped, but don’t rely on it: teams that answer the questions faster will be able to get more questions and earn more points.


  • public
  • private
  • adults
  • indoor

The Naked at the Art Museum Scavenger Hunt

Clothing is optional…

…for the statues and figures in paintings featured in this game in the galleries of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. On this festive look at nudity in art through the centuries, you’ll find it cropping up in surprising places and in surprising guises. Your team will scrutinize paintings, sculptures, and period rooms as you answer tricky, humorous questions about the nudes and their, er, nudity.

Along the way, you might uncover…

  • Saints with shocking piercings
  • A sultry sea monster
  • Exotic gods with many arms to keep an eye on
  • A Peeping Tom who discovers a new meaning for the term “stag party”

…and many more surprises. No knowledge of art, or nudity, is required.


  • public
  • private
  • adults
  • indoor

The Sherlock Holmes at the Art Museum Scavenger Hunt

Can you crack the code and solve a murder mystery?

In this scavenger hunt based on a tale by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, wealthy businessman Hilton Cubitt has been murdered, and police suspect his wife, Elsie, who has also been shot. What the authorities don’t know is that Elsie may have been set up. A week earlier, she had received e-mails containing images of dancing stick figures. Though she’d insisted they were meaningless, she seemed distressed, so Hilton approached the code-breaking experts at Watson Adventures for help.

The crime scene included a crumpled copy of a scavenger hunt involving nudes at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where Elsie works on ancient manuscripts as a cryptographer. We believe that the hunt and the cryptic e-mails are somehow linked—and that they can exonerate Elsie. See if your team of sleuths can solve this mystery and save an innocent woman.


  • private
  • adults
  • indoor

The Art of Darkness Scavenger Hunt

Twisted, terrifying, and totally fun

For some serious chills and thrills, embark on this ominous adventure that highlights the weirdest, creepiest, darkest of the arts at the PMA. Your challenge is to follow the hunt’s clues and answer tricky, humorous questions about the macabre items you find.

Steel your nerves as you look for…

  • A devil who terrorized church ladies
  • A silent knight and unholy knight
  • A botched tonsillectomy
  • A sword that’ll make you talk about overkill
  • Dragons with bad breath
  • A peasant going “night clubbing”
  • Deadly musical fruit

The game provides a fun, unusual way to get friends or colleagues interacting, bonding, and laughing—especially around Halloween. You don’t need any prior knowledge of art or the museum to play, but after this hunt, you’ll probably never look at the museum again in quite the same way.


  • private
  • kids
  • indoor

The Cats vs. Dogs Family Scavenger Hunt

The ultimate furry face-off

Kids and adults work together to chase down cats and dogs hidden in works of art. You’ll search for misbehaving hounds, hungry kitties eyeballing birds, goofy pooches, crazy cats, and more. Whoever said curiosity killed the cat never went on this scavenger hunt. Your pack will find their enthusiasm unleashed and their tails wagging. You’d be barking mad not to enjoy it: this game is the cat’s meow for art lovers and animal lovers of all stripes.

This is a great activity to introduce kids to the joys of art and museums, whether as part of a birthday party or a school field trip. The hunt is appropriate for ages 7 and up.


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