Education, Events, News

Bring your brains and brawn to the Motor City for a weekend of fun, fashion and fast thinking

What do you know about Detroit? Think you’ve got the Grand Dame all figured out? So prove it, brothers and sisters.

Your challenge, Dear Readers, is a good one this weekend. There is so much to do in Detroit that I don’t think one blog post could do it justice. Tour de Troit. The Next Urban Chef. Michigan F.A.S.H fest. University District Home and Garden tour. Detroit Cornhole Championship. The Belle Isle Aquarium opening. Detroit overload!

But if you need one more “To Do” on your list, please get your smartest friends together for two Detroit-based scrambles. The first takes place Saturday through my beloved Detroit Historical Society; the second is on Sunday through Challenge Nation.

A little about the first, mostly because its locally based and the proceeds go to the Detroit Historical Museum. This is the first time the Society is running what it is calling the 313 Scavenger Hunt, said Bob Sadler, director of public and external relations at the Detroit Historical Society.

You can sign up today or just show up with your team of up to five people around 11 a.m. at the Hard Rock Café restaurant in the Compuware building. The kickoff is at noon, and the competition will take around two hours. All ages are invited. Contestants will be asked to contribute a $10 suggested donation per person at the door, benefitting the Detroit Historical Society’s Past>Forward campaign. (Afterward, there will be appetizer and Happy Hour drink specials, in case you’re interested…But I digress.)

The 313 Scavenger Hunt grew out of three successful trivia nights between the Hard Rock and the Historical Society. The idea was to find an outdoor event that would promote the Museum, its renovations and the new displays that are coming when it reopens its doors Friday, Nov. 23.

“Essentially, it means to be a walking tour,” Sadler told me this week. “You’ll be getting a bit of a workout because it can all be done on foot. And every stop in some way is related to a space within the Detroit Historical Museum.”

There are even QR codes on the clues to guide you to one of the new displays, such as the much-anticipated Kid Rock Music Lab or Detroit Legends Plaza, which will feature greats such as Al Kaline, Elmore Leonard, Ted Lindsay, Derrick May, Jeff Mills, Dick Purtan, Sam Raimi, Martha Reeves, Barry Sanders, Kevin Saunderson, Devin Scillian and Lily Tomlin.

“It’s really going to cover the gamut and bring the museum into the 21th century with a lot of great things that people will remember,” Sadler said.

There’s a competitive element to it in the sense that the people who are the first to complete all seven stops and return to Hard Rock will receive prizes. But don’t worry – there will be a couple drawings for everyone who participants (you could win Lions tickets; others might get preview night tickets for the new Museum).

If you haven’t had enough, check out the Detroit Challenge. The Challenge bills itself as “the ultimate urban scavenger race.” So far, more than 700 people have signed on, which makes me think this is going to be one impressive case of mass hysteria. Detroit is one of 34 cities the Challenge will visit this year, so I guess we should be happy (organizers fail to check email on a regular basis, or else I could tell you more…Sigh.)

But what makes this one fun is the cash. Upon starting, the teams will compete to solve 12 clues, which are all over the city. The quickest team wins this race and qualifies for the $5,000 National Championship in New Orleans.

Oh, and if you need more, next week (Sept. 22) will launch the The Awesome Mitten‘s statewide Photo Scavenger Hunt, also known as Mitten Quest.

The competition between Grand Rapids, Detroit, and Traverse City should be epic. The hunt begins with a list of clues for you or your team to accomplish that day. The idea is to get you to explore your city and its history, landmarks and favorite spots.  A photo will be required of each task to prove its completion.

A little something for the sleuth in all of us. I’ll see you there!

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