Museum Scavenger Hunts in Washington, D.C.

The Museum of Natural Hysteria Scavenger Hunt

  • private
  • adults
  • kids
  • teens
  • indoor

From whales to insects, from mummies to diamonds…

The wonders never cease on this whirlwind tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. You’ll follow a trail of clues and answer tricky, humorous questions about what you find as you travel to China, Africa, South America, the Ice Age, ancient oceans, and beyond. Plus you’ll get a great heaping helping of the new eye-popping jaw-dropping dinosaurs exhibit, aka the Hall of Fossils! 

A museum scavenger hunt full of surprises

On this slightly surreal adventure, you might discover…

  • A tell-tale bone that links a T. rex with your chicken dinner
  • The least secure hiding place for the famous Hope Diamond
  • What town you should probably avoid during a meteor shower
  • A neanderthal’s distinctive “humidifier”

And those are just a few of the secrets on this eclectic hunt. You don’t need any previous knowledge to triumph—you just need good teamwork and comfortable shoes!

We also offer an International Edition for groups with ESL participants. And the Kids Edition of this hunt has been recommended by Budget Travel and GoCityKids.com. Suitable for ages 7 and up.

What players are saying about the Museum of Natural History scavenger hunt

Since the debut of this scavenger hunt in 2004, corporate groups have raved about the experience.

A 5-star review on Google: “Truly amazing team fun activity. Unleashed our competitive spirit and great bonding experience with my colleagues. Our host was so enthusiastic and funny, we enjoyed her energy!”

Another 5-star review on Google: “Utilized Watson Adventures for a team-building event for our department. Sharlette was such an enthusiastic host with a vibrant personality. She definitely contributed to the fun and awesome experience. I received many thanks from the staff, it was a big hit!”

Yet another 5-star review on Google: “It was a wonderful experience! I definitely recommend [the Museum of Natural History scavenger hunt] for team building.”

Still another 5-star review on Google: “We went for a work event and had a great time! Would definitely recommend.”

Contact us to learn more about our Smithsonian Museum of Natural History scavenger hunts—and find more fun in Washington, D.C.!


The National Gallery Gallop Scavenger Hunt

  • private
  • adults
  • kids
  • indoor

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!


The National Treasures Scavenger Hunt

  • private
  • adults
  • kids
  • indoor

If America had a giant attic…

…the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History would be it. On teams, you’ll follow clues through the galleries of this eclectic treasure trove, in search of answers to tricky, humorous questions about artifacts and memorabilia representing all eras and aspects of American life.

Along the way, you might discover…

  • The real color of Dorothy’s ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz
  • A gadget Alexander Graham Bell built to save a president’s life (it failed)
  • The original Star-Spangled Banner and some “bombs bursting” on silver
  • Edison’s first bulb, a bizarre toaster, and other electrical innovations
  • Lincoln’s last top hat and Mary Lincoln’s bird feet
  • Julia Child’s kitchen, apparently plagued by elves

Plus, full-size locomotives, vintage cars, monstrous machines, and many more amazing artifacts. But you don’t have to be a historian to triumph—you just need good teamwork, sharp eyes, and comfortable shoes.

Great for group activities in D.C.

Since our first hunt at this museum in 2004, countless groups have boosted teamwork and morale on this hunt. Boost the team-building experience even more with the Mixed Alliances Edition, in which teams take turns working with other teams. You must collaborate and cooperate to win.

Young hunters can get in on the fun as well, with a Kids Edition suitable for ages 7 and up. It’s perfect for an unusual school field trip that even the chaperones will love, a birthday party that guests will be talking about for days, or an exciting summer-camp outing that the kids will write home about.

What people are saying about the scavenger hunt at the Smithsonian

“We did the scavenger hunt for a team building exercise and loved it. We had a great time and can highly recommend it.” —a review posted on Google

“This company makes attractions even more fun! They were very organized, well planned and gave clear directions. The amount of time given was perfect and the hosts were wonderful.  Thank you, Watson Adventures!”—a review on Yelp


From Hidden Figures to Icons: An African American Museum Scavenger Hunt

  • public
  • private
  • adults
  • kids
  • teens
  • indoor

Black history comes alive

…on this scavenger hunt that reveals the best of the Culture and Community Galleries.

On teams, you’ll follow clues that guide you through the galleries to find amazing objects and answer fascinating questions about them. No previous knowledge of the museum or Black history is required: you just need sharp eyes and comfy shoes.

Scavenger hunt highlights include…

  • Muhammad Ali’s boxing gloves and other sports hero memorabilia
  • Chuck Berry’s gleaming red Cadillac
  • Laughs with Richard Pryor and Moms Mabley
  • Personal items used by James Baldwin and other famous authors
  • A visit to the Bronx, the birthplace of Hip Hop

The scavenger hunt includes Photo Challenges and a Bonus Challenge with the Hunt Host. This game is great for corporate groups promoting diversity, or school groups on field trips, or anyone who wants to learn more about Black history and culture.

What people are saying about the Black history scavenger hunt

“The group really enjoyed the hunt. It was a great way to introduce the museum to those who had never experienced it, and many of the participants are excited about going back to explore it on their own. Sharlette [the Hunt Host] was amazing and we really appreciated her hosting the hunt.” —a recruiting manager for a law firm

Check out the weekend public hunt schedule below, or contact us to learn more about the scavenger hunt at the National Museum of African American History & Culture—and find more fun in Washington, D.C.!

Photo by Bernd 📷 Dittrich


The Air & Space Race Scavenger Hunt

  • public
  • private
  • adults
  • kids
  • indoor

Embark on an out-of-this-world adventure…

…at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall. On teams, you’ll follow clues through the famous aviation center, in search of answers to tricky, humorous questions about real-life propeller planes, jets, bombers and bombs, missiles and rockets—and much more associated with the history of flight and space exploration. This is some serious team building in Washington D.C.

Highlights include: a moon rock you can touch, the Wright brothers’ original first-flight plane, Lindbergh’s famous Spirit of St. Louis, the X-1 rocket in which Chuck Yeager became the first to break the sound barrier, the Lockheed Vega piloted by Amelia Earhart on the first solo transatlantic flight by a woman, and American and Soviet nuclear missiles (please don’t sneeze next to them). Currently only half of the museum is open, due to ongoing renovations, so objects included on the hunt are subject to change.

You might also search for answers to such questions as…

  • Find devices that 007 has used. While flying one of these devices, why should he get nervous when his head starts uncontrollably shaking? Answer: The jet pack shakes the pilot’s head when it’s low on fuel.
  • Find a bird trap. When two scientists discovered the background hiss caused by the Big Bang, what did they originally think caused it? Answer: Pigeon droppings on their antenna.

Please note that we’ve left out clues and directions in the questions above. The game is designed so that you can find the answer only when you’re in the right spot and looking at the right thing. You don’t need any previous knowledge to triumph—you just need good teamwork and comfortable shoes.

A Kids Edition of this hunt is suitable for ages 7 and up. It’s a fantastic option for birthday parties and school field trips—and for even the pickiest of participants.

We also offer scavenger hunts at the National Air and Space Museum: Udvar-Hazy Center, near Dulles Airport in Virginia. You’ll get to explore the center’s two giant hangars, filled with more than 200 aircraft, as you tackle our fun and funny game.

Contact us to learn more—and find more fun at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum!


The American Art Museum Madness Scavenger Hunt

  • public
  • private
  • adults
  • indoor

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.

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!


The Naked at the American Art Museum Scavenger Hunt

  • private
  • adults
  • indoor

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.


Escape to the Museum Virtual Scavenger Hunt

  • private
  • adults
  • indoor

Visit museums across the country—virtually!

Discover odd and unusual art and artifacts on this unique museum virtual tour. Tricky, fun trivia questions provide clues that lead you on a quest to explore 16 online museums of all kinds, all over America. You’ll pick your way through virtual galleries and historic locations, in search of amazing masterpieces, startling artifacts, dinosaurs, famous people, and more, earning points for uncovering humorous details, all without leaving your comfy chair.

No previous knowledge is required. You just need sharp eyes and great teamwork on this adventure. Thanks to video conferencing technology and our custom game app, people at home can play along with a Watson Adventures host, work with teammates, and have fun together. This game sends you searching for the strangest and funniest details in art hidden on museum websites.

Special editions for private groups

  • Want your colleagues to mix more during the game? The Mix & Mingle edition rearranges the teams at “halftime” to increase the number of people players interact with during the game.
  • The International Edition is great for groups seeking online ESL games.
  • If your group is up for a challenge, try the Brain Squeeze Edition, which adds devilish trivia questions to the clues.
  • Or if you’re an educator looking for online classroom games, consider the Kids Edition.

Want to see more of a particular city’s best museums and landmarks? Escape games for New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay Area, Texas, and Washington, D.C., are also available. If your group includes people from a variety of countries, whose first language might not be English, check out the Around the World Scavenger Hunt.

Contact us to learn more—and find more fun working at home!


Inquire About a Private Hunt!

Tell us About Your Event