A scavenger hunt through downtown Chicago

Looking for a way to add fantastic fun to a night in the city? You’ll score an alley oop with this Chicago Loop scavenger hunt. I did the night of my daughter Juju’s 11th birthday. It was a huge hit, with the girls running place to place, posing in front of their finds and giggling at each other’s guesses.

It was a great way to get outside, get them moving and get in a little Chicago history.

The coolest thing about it? Aside from feeding the parking meter, it was a free adventure.


Knock. Knock. Go to what is called Chicago’s front door. Get in close for a photo. Hint: Hope you brought an umbrella-you may get wet!


Here kitty, kitty. These brothers have been standing still for almost 150 years. They are huge sports fans and don jerseys. They also love Christmas and wear a wreath “collar” during the holidays. Gather under them and roar for a picture. Bonus if you can give me their names.


Don’t drown. You get a “crown” for this one-wade your way through the waters, then strike a pose. Aim high and tell us how tall these glass video towers are.


Oh beans, this 100-ton outdoor sculpture is not officially called The Bean. Check out the “clouds,” then get in its “gate” and take a cool picture-let’s shoot for 21 smiling faces! Can you figure out its official name?


Look up at the jewel of “the mile.” Oh, and it would be SO dumb if I didn’t give you a piece of gum.


Holy cow! Chicago is such an urban city and in the middle of it is a piece of farmland. Find one of these (there were 320 in all) that made Chicago famous (and raised a ton of dough for charity) in October 1999. Quick picture here. We need to keep on MOOooooving!


Got a nickel? It used to cost just five cents and was a booming business for many during the Great Depression. Now it’s one of the foods Chicago is most known for. If you can guess what it is, you can eat one. Get a picture with mustard in the creases of your smile.


Fast travel it does make, go under it and you start to shake! Photo op: Get in step, start to assemble, if a train comes through, you’ll start to tremble!

Bonus: There is no other system quite the same, but do you know how it got its name?


You’re in the Loop, you’re a good snoop. Head where folks used to go for a late greet-often called the “Great Street.”


Tick tock. You rock if you can find this famous clock.


Smile for the camera, you could be on the news. This is the place where you can get a front-row look at a newscast from the sidewalk.

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