“Look for this kinetic sculpture.”
“Look for the oldest house in Orlando.”
“Look for this building that was once owned by a baseball player.”
These clues, and more like them, took us from City Hall, on a trip around Lake Eola, as we hunted for clues in Let’s Roam’s Orlando Art Scavenger Hunt. We walked past the Orlando Public Library’s main branch, the Orange County Regional History Center, and, of course, many of the sculptures around Lake Eola on a hot, but fun Tuesday afternoon.
We wanted to do something special to celebrate a birthday, but didn’t want to be surrounded by too many people – and we wanted to get outside and move around. The Let’s Roam Hunts are a great way to do that. Our group of five was set to wander around downtown, and most of us knew very little about what we were in for.
How to get started
Before you start, you register with the app and each person on the team picks a role. There are challenges based upon the role that you pick, so it may be best to coordinate. Once you start, you are timed on how long it takes you to get to each stop.
How it works
Each stop brings you to a point on the hunt – either a sculpture or a building, and once you are there, you have a timer counting down for you to finish two or three challenges. These can be trivia questions (what does the sculpture symbolize) or photographs (feed the birds). You will definitely get some cute selfies to share if you want to. Some of the stations on the hunt also have information pages about sculpture or building, so you can learn more about what you are seeing. In addition to the location-based challenges, there will be personal challenges that are set by your role. Your team also earns points as you complete these but, unlike the location challenges, they are optional.
Getting from place to place
Navigation is not easy, but you get help – there is a map that shows you the general area that you need to get to, there is a counter that tells you how far away you are in feet, and a dot on the map tells you which direction you need to go. It is not the most intuitive system, but you will figure it out. Or, you can exchange points for step-by-step directions. We gave in and did that once.
Each person on your team who is using a phone (which doesn’t have to be everyone) will need to answer the questions and arrive at the spots before you can advance. For that reason, it is better to stick together, even though you may think fanning out and searching is easier. If you get too far away, the system will not let you check in.
Things to note
Some notes of caution – the hunt starts at City Hall so you want to park near it. The instructions are not entirely clear on that point. We did not find anywhere to get food or water until we were about 80% of the way through so you may want to bring bottles of water, and snacks for younger children (or hungry adults).
How long it takes
Plan for this to take 3 hours (longer if you take a detour to ride the swan boats). It’s a lot of walking, so wear comfortable shoes. How much? I wouldn’t venture to guess because we got lost a couple of times – it is possible to do a straight shot, but you’ll likely make at least one or two wrong turns along the way.
Go or No Go
The Let’s Roam Scavenger Hunt around Lake Eola is a Go for us. Overall, the scavenger hunt with Let’s Roam is a fun way to learn about, and find, the art that surrounds the Lake Eola area. It’s also a good way to find some new restaurants or snack places. It is a fine stand-alone activity, or one that you can couple with a meal and a trip to the library for new books. However you decide to do the hunt, your family will have some great memories, and some hilarious pictures as well.
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