If you’re planning a trip to New York for a group of people and need a fun activity to do, try out this NYC scavenger hunt list.
The idea is to organize a photo scavenger hunt, with teams (or individual players) taking part in a race to take photos of tourist attractions in New York City.
- Camera for each team/player (cellphone cameras are fine)
- NYC scavenger hunt list (see below for ideas)
- Put together a list of tourist attractions for teams to find
- Split the group into teams (or individuals) and give them all of the resources above. Money may be needed for the subway, entry to the Empire State Building, pizza, etc
- Set a time limit and a meeting place for everyone to return to
- Instruct everyone that they have to take photos of all the items/activities on the list
- Send them out!
NYC Scavenger Hunt List
Your list can contain any number of tourist attractions in New York, but could also include a few additional activities for them to complete.
Here’s a list of 20 different things for teams to take a photo of:
- Statue Of Liberty
- Chrysler Building
- Empire State Building
- View from the top of the Empire State Building
- Brooklyn Bridge
- Entrance sign for Central Park
- Times Square
- Rockefeller Center
- Interior of the Grand Central Terminal
- Merrill Lynch bull
- UN headquarters
- Madison Square Garden
- Trump Tower
- South Street Seaport
- Waldorf Astoria hotel
- Guggenheim Museum
- Toys “R” Us
- Eating a slice of New York pizza
- Photo with someone dressed up as the Statue Of Liberty
You may wish to set some rules for teams, particularly regarding how close they have to be to an attraction to take a photo of it.
For example, you may want to set a rule that they have to actually travel by ferry to Liberty Island to take a photo of the Statue Of Liberty, rather than simply being able to take a photo from a distance.
This will make the scavenger hunt more challenging, but could prove to be too challenging. Due to having to wait in line for the ferry, at the Empire State Building, etc, players may not have much time remaining to visit the other tourist sights.
There are a couple of ways you can score this NYC scavenger hunt:
1) Award one point for every item that they’ve taken a photo of
2) Award a different amount of points for each item, based on difficulty of completion. If choosing this option, ensure that the points are included on the scavenger hunt list – that way, players can make an informed decision as to which items they want to take priority.
For example, a photo of Times Square or of them eating a slice of New York pizza would be simple, so might just be worth one point. A photo from the top of the Empire State Building might be worth 5 points, as they’ll have to stand in line for some time, possibly preventing them from completing the entire list.
Regardless of how you score the scavenger hunt, two or more teams may finish with the same number of points.
It’s therefore worth including a tiebreaker activity that each team must complete. This can be anything you like, but you can make it more fun by choosing something like “Buy the tackiest New York City souvenir that you can find”.
The winner of the tiebreaker would therefore be whoever you decide has found the tackiest souvenir!
You don’t have to offer a prize, but a fun reminder of this NYC scavenger hunt could be for the winning team to receive all of the tacky souvenirs.
Visiting New York can be expensive, so check Groupon in the weeks leading up to your trip for deals on things to see, do and eat.
If you liked this idea, you’ll love our book – 52 Scavenger Hunt Ideas. Get it from Amazon now.