Scavenger Hunts at The National Gallery of Art

  • private
  • adults
  • kids
  • indoor

The National Gallery Gallop Scavenger Hunt

Warning: This isn’t your ordinary tour

And thank goodness for that because it’s much, much better. Instead of just getting a whirlwind tour of this amazing museum, you’ll also get a team-building experience that will make you laugh, think, and bond with your group. You’ll follow a trail of clues though the galleries and tackle tricky, entertaining questions about the surprising art you find.

Your discoveries might include…

  • A shark attack against a guy named Watson (no relation, we hope)
  • The only painting by Leonardo da Vinci in an American museum
  • An eye-popping saint—literally
  • An ancient version of American Idol you can’t afford to lose
  • A remarkable Civil War scene made more famous by a Hollywood movie

And those are just a few of the highlights on this hunt. Don’t worry: you don’t need to know anything about art or the museum to play or to win. You just need a sharp mind and comfortable shoes. This “level playing field,” in which anyone can contribute to the victory, makes the game a perfect activity for any corporate group looking to add a dash of culture to a team-building outing.

The International Edition is perfect for groups with participants whose speak English as a second language.

A Kids Edition, for children and adults to enjoy together, is available for school field trips, scout outings, birthday parties—you name it! Suitable for ages 7 and up.

What people are saying about the National Gallery Scavenger Hunt

A 5-star review on Google: “My team and I did a scavenger hunt with Watson Adventures as a team building exercise, and we had a amazing time! The hunt was very interactive and allowed us to work together to get through each question, all while seeing beautiful art! Also, huge shout-out to our guide, Marquis!”

“We had a great time. Sharlette [the hunt host] was amazing! She was engaging and super energetic, and the team really enjoyed her enthusiasm. Last night at dinner, everyone just kept talking about the Hunt. We truly enjoyed it. The National Gallery was wonderful and it was great being able to use the questions to see everything the museum contained. It was also really fun to work within our teams to see how different minds work. We each learned new strengths.”

“We just wrapped up our adventure at the gallery and we had a blast! Thank you so much to you guys.”

Contact us to learn more about the scavenger hunt at the National Gallery of Art—and find more fun in Washington, DC!

  • public
  • private
  • adults
  • indoor

The Murder at the National Gallery Scavenger Hunt

Do you have what it takes to solve a murder?

You’re about to find out. A curator at the National Gallery of Art has been murdered, and he left behind a trail of cryptic clues connected with secrets in the museum’s masterpieces. Gather answers about the art with your team and you’ll begin to piece together a sordid tale about greed, lust, pride, revenge, and treachery, all revolving around the museum’s planned purchase of a long-lost painting by Leonardo da Vinci. The murder victim knew too much—and it’s up to you to discover what it was that drove one of four suspects to commit murder.

You don’t need to know anything about the museum or its art to triumph: all you need is a sharp mind and comfy shoes.

What happy hunters are saying

“I did a Watson Adventures private murder mystery at the National Gallery of Art for my birthday…all I can say is it was fantastic! All of my friends were so into it and had a wonderful time….Even though it was two hours, time went by quickly, it was so interesting and took us to rooms of the museum that I had never been to before. You needed no prior art or museum knowledge. Everyone from Watson was so helpful, and Sharlette did a wonderful job leading our group—she was personable, bubbly and made it that much more fun! It was exactly what I wanted and I loved everything about it..except being on a losing team!” —a five-star review on Yelp

  • public
  • private
  • adults
  • kids
  • indoor

The Wizard School Scavenger Hunt

Like Harry Potter on a Hogwarts field trip…

…you’ll explore the National Gallery of Art, in search of art that echoes characters, places, and enchanted objects in J.K. Rowling’s beloved books and movies. On teams, you’ll follow a surprising trail of clues through the museum and answer tricky, entertaining questions about what you find.

You might be challenged to track down…

  • A Snape-like potions master
  • Hagrid-like giants
  • Centaurs and unicorns who’d be at home in the Forbidden Forest
  • Mystical mermaids and strange sharks that seem straight out of the Triwizard Tournament
  • Cloaked and masked figures as terrifying as any Death Eater or Dementor

Plus, owls and dragons, fierce knights in armor, a powerful sorceress, and much more.

Both wizards and muggles (i.e., people who aren’t Potter experts) can play and enjoy this game. The hunt is not an addition to or variation on Harry’s adventures; instead, references to the books provide a surprising bridge to many strange and wonderful works of art. It’s a unique way to discover—or rediscover—the National Gallery.

  • public
  • private
  • adults
  • kids
  • indoor

The Whodunit at the National Gallery Scavenger Hunt

Watch your back: there’s a killer on the loose…

…and it’s up to your team to stop him! How? By playing the devilishly tricky scavenger hunt at the National Gallery of Art that the murderer created. When completed, you’ll learn who he is, which weapon he used, and where he hid the body. He sent the hunt to the police and dared them to try and solve it. Now they need your help.

You’ll be supplied with a list of suspects, weapons, and places. By following the trail of clues and answering clever questions, you’ll narrow down the list and provide the police with the evidence they need to catch and convict the killer. Can you figure out who dunnit?

No knowledge of the museum or art is necessary. You just need to pay attention to the details and work well with your team.

We also offer a Kids Edition of this hunt. It’s a great game for introducing younger audiences to art and the National Gallery, whether you’re planning a birthday party, a scout or camp outing, or a school field trip. Suitable for ages 10 and up.

What are people saying about the Whodunit at the National Gallery Scavenger Hunt?

A 5-star review on Google: “My team had an absolute blast with the team! Sharlette [the Hunt Host] was AH MAY ZING!! Can’t wait until our next one!”

Praise from a client: “Everyone loved the scavenger hunt. I heard a few people mention that they’re going to recommend Watson Adventures to future groups coming into the city. It was a great experience. Sharlette and Marquis were wonderful hosts. I’m hoping to convince some of my family and friends to come into the city to do some of the other hunts.”

Join us on weekends on hunts for the general public—click on the button below to see the schedule.

Or contact us below to learn more about how your group can experience our National Gallery murder mystery scavenger hunts—and find more team-building fun in Washington, DC!

  • private
  • adults
  • indoor

Escape the National Gallery Scavenger Hunt

You’ve been poisoned!

That’s the bad news at the start of this scavenger hunt. But wait—there’s good news! (Sort of.) The evil mastermind who did this has challenged you to solve a series of puzzles to save your life: come up with the combination to a box and you’ll get the antidote. Sure, you can escape a room, but can you unlock the box and escape the East Building of the National Gallery of Art? Your life depends on it.

You’ll follow the villain’s diabolical clues, which lead you to explore the visually spectacular East Building, searching for telltale works through the galleries that feature eye-popping 20th-century art. Your team will have to answer devilishly tricky questions about secrets in a wacky Warhol, a mind-bending Magritte, a daffy Duchamp, a quirky Calder, a puckish Picasso, and more. You’ll also interact with our staff and tackle sneaky puzzles to crack a code.

Don’t be daunted! No knowledge of art or the museum is required: you just need sharp eyes, comfy shoes, and excellent teamwork.

  • private
  • adults
  • indoor

Brain Squeeze! A Trivia Scavenger Hunt

If a trivia quiz and a scavenger hunt had a baby…

…it would look a lot like this unusual game. Here’s how it works: each question challenges your team to answer a trivia question—about movies, music, history, sports, science, books, and more—and that answer becomes a crucial clue to answering a question about an object on display. If you like pub quizzes, you’ll love this hunt.

How might your knowledge come in handy?

  • Recalling one of Lady Gaga’s hit songs could help you figure out what’s going on in a painting of a sneaky card game.
  • Remembering how many stars are in a famous dipper can help you locate a goddess getting a constellation prize.
  • Knowing which creamy confection, also known as a mille-feuille, was also named for an emperor will help you find him in his study to get the time.

You can use your smartphone if you get stuck, but keep in mind that teams that get the answers faster will get more questions and score more points. Are you up for this unusual scavenger hunt? Contact us to learn more—and find more team-building fun in Washington!

  • private
  • adults
  • indoor

The Naked at the National Gallery Scavenger Hunt

No clothes? No problem!

For the subjects of art highlighted in this hunt at the National Gallery, that is. Your fully dressed team will follow clues through this esteemed museum and answer tricky, humorous questions about what you find. All of the questions involve nudity, whether you’re looking for naughty nymphs, a surfing sea monster, eye-catching codpieces, bathing beauties, the original Adonis, or shark bait named Watson (no relation, we hope).

No knowledge of art, or nudity, is required.

  • private
  • adults
  • indoor

The Art of Darkness Scavenger Hunt

Brace yourself for some serious chills and thrills…

…on this eerie adventure at the National Gallery of Art. On teams, you’ll follow a trail of clues through the museum halls and answer tricky, entertaining questions about the macabre art you find.

The sights and frights might include…

  • Captivating decapitators
  • Battered and fried saints
  • Surreal snakes and hungry sharks
  • The charming scene of a deadly avalanche
  • An artist who can truly say, “D’Angers’ my last name”

Plus, shipwrecking storms, haunting hunters, scary skulls, and much more. Scared? Don’t worry: the questions will have you laughing more than cowering. But it’s fair to say that after this hunt, you won’t see the National Gallery in quite the same way.

Watson Adventures is not affiliated with the National Gallery of Art, which does not endorse or recommend these events. Admission to the National Gallery of Art and all Gallery-sponsored events is always free.

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