Scavenger Hunts at The American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery

  • public
  • private
  • adults
  • indoor

The American Art Museum Madness Scavenger Hunt

Two museums, one amazing all-American adventure!

We’ve uncovered the most extraordinary, bizarre, head-turning, and mind-boggling objects and sights of two Smithsonian museums and turned them into one incredible hunt. On our whirlwind tour of the American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, you’ll answer fun, funny questions about the secrets of eye-popping artwork and a parade of famous Americans, from George Washington to Andy Warhol.

Highlights of the hunt include strange and humorous folk art, famous inventions, surprising presidential trivia, fascinating conservation studios, Civil War scenes, and startling contemporary works.

On this museum scavenger hunt your team might discover…

  • Which “Irish rock band” seems to have crashed near President Kennedy
  • Who made cooked spaghetti look tense
  • What the Gipper said when he first saw his portrait
  • An electrified state with a plethora of potatoes
  • Which inventor might have been offered a job at Hogwarts

You don’t need any previous knowledge to triumph—you just need good teamwork and comfortable shoes.

The Kids Edition gets students and adults working together and is great for school field trips (ages 7 and up).

Open until 7 p.m. every night!

If you’re looking for an after-work venue that’s impervious to weather, you’ve found it! These museums stay open until 7 p.m. every night of the week.

What are hunters saying about the American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery game?

“It took me to places I haven’t seen before in the gallery, which always surprises me.”

“This was the most amazing experience!”

“I wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed the Scavenger Hunt Saturday. Carole was a super [hunt host] and certainly joined in the fun we had. Everyone had a great time. Most people had not been to either The National Portrait Gallery nor to the American Art Museum but will be making plans to visit both soon.”

Contact us to learn more about the scavenger hunts at the American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery—and find more team-building fun in Washington!

  • private
  • adults
  • indoor

The Murder at the American Art Museum Scavenger Hunt

Two museums in one—and one murder mystery game

Breaking News! At the start of your scavenger hunt at the American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery, you’ve learned that there has been a murder in the galleries! Even worse, the victim is the Watson Adventures staffer who created a team-building game for your group. Now what?

The police have some questions for you—but it’s not what you think. Detectives think that the game might contain clues about who wanted the hunt creator dead. You need to break up into teams, complete the scavenger hunt through the galleries, and see if you can solve the mystery.

Perplexing puzzles and international intrigue

Along the way, you’ll also uncover quirky details in unusual and amusing works of art, and delve into the secrets of famous historical figures, from Pocahontas to recent movie stars and presidents. You’ll need to make sense of cryptic clues, crack a code, and send a text message to the dead man. No pressure or anything, but the fate of the free world just might hang on your teamwork.

This murder mystery game is a scavenger hunt that provides an amazing experience for bringing people together and bonding through laughter and discovery. Plus this dual museum stays open until 7 p.m., making it a great location for an after-work team-building game.

Contact us to learn more—and find more fun in Washington, DC!

  • private
  • adults
  • indoor

Celebrate Diversity at the Museum Scavenger Hunt

Discover diverse Americans at two Smithsonian museums in one: the American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery

In this team building diversity game, you’ll search the halls of two great museums for art and historical portraits that highlight the remarkable contributions and creations of people of many creeds, colors, native countries, and other perspectives.

Your group is in for an unusual treat as you explore conversation-sparking galleries in search of answers to surprising, fun questions about such figures as Sojourner Truth, Pocahontas, Martha Washington, Barack Obama, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, sculptor Isamu Noguchi, and Native American leader Ah-jon-jon, to name just a few.

Along the way, you might encounter art that reflects the powerful perspectives of women, the LGBTQIA+ community, and people of color and of different faiths.

No previous knowledge is necessary: You just need sharp eyes, comfy shoes, and good teamwork.

An International Edition is also available for groups that include participants who speak English as a second language.

What clients are saying about the diversity scavenger hunt

A 5-star review on Google: “We did the Celebrate Diversity hunt at the National Portrait Gallery as an all-company team-building event. It was beyond our expectations and completely fantastic! The team has raved about how fun and engaging it was. Be prepared to do a lot of walking…we were all over the museum and exhausted by the end…but super energized. Highly recommend!”

Another 5-star review on Google: “We had a great team building experience. Fun, exciting and inspiring. 100% recommended!”

“This was the most amazing experience!” —a hunter on a corporate team-building hunt

“I dread museums but this was great!!!” —a participant after a game for a nonprofit organization

Contact to learn more about this DEI scavenger hunt—and find diverse fun in Washington DC!

  • private
  • kids
  • indoor

The American Art Museum Madness Scavenger Hunt for Kids

Learn the mysteries in American history…

…on a whirlwind tour of two impressive, history-packed museums. Adults and kids team up to follow a trail of clues that lead you through the best of the exhibits—from freaky folk art and silly sculptures to Oval Office oddities, celeb secrets, and more.

You’re not collecting objects (put back that painting!) on this scavenger hunt. You’re finding answers to tricky and humorous questions that bring out the skills of everyone on the team.

Along the way, you might discover…

  • Portraits of the presidents—and the secrets some conceal
  • Appearances by many famous and colorful Americans, from the real Pocahontas to the man who worked closely with Bugs Bunny
  • Fascinating paintings that relate to kids’ interests, including the Headless Horseman’s wild ride, a balloon ride that might remind you of The Wizard of Oz, and a 19th-century “Wizard” suitable for Hogwarts
  • Modern art that will surprise and delight, including license plates with secret messages, art you can walk on, and the startling hidden home of a man named Sollie
  • Unusual folk art, which features surprising uses for tinfoil and wild whirligigs

No previous knowledge is required, but you’ll learn a lot along the way. It’s the perfect museum activity for any group that wants to get adults and kids working together and having fun—from school field trips, scout-group outings, birthday parties, you name it! Suitable for ages 7 and up.

What happy teachers are saying

A teacher’s 5-star review on Yelp: “We took a group of 30 eighth graders on a private hunt of the National Portrait Gallery. The kids were entertained, focused, and learned something! A win on all fronts! We would definitely recommend this hunt to any school groups visiting D.C. It makes for a fun day of competition and helps students get more out of museums than they normally would by listening to a docent. Thanks, Watson Adventures!”

Contact us to learn more about this fun scavenger hunt at the American Art Museum—and find more fun for kids in Washington, DC!

  • private
  • adults
  • indoor

The Naked at the American Art Museum Scavenger Hunt

Take an unblushing look at nudity in art…

…at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. On teams, you’ll follow a trail of clues through the galleries and answer clever, entertaining questions about what you find.

Along the way, you might uncover…

  • An Eve who’d get you to bite an apple
  • A giddy drinker
  • Native men with no need for a gym
  • A “topless” horseman
  • A nude that gives new meaning to the word hot

Those are just a few of the highlights on this revealing romp through centuries of art and history. Plus, you’ll dip a toe into the adjoining National Portrait Gallery to learn the salacious secrets of some rakish presidents and other famous Americans. No knowledge of art, or nudity, is required.

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