Get Clued In to WeHo-Area Scavenger Hunts

Participants in a scavenger hunt event in West Hollywood.
Participants in a scavenger hunt event in West Hollywood.

Ready, set … investigate!

If you fancy yourself a gumshoe, you can put your sleuthing acumen to the test at the West Hollywood “urban adventure hunt” put on by WeHo-based company Race L.A. on Sunday, Nov. 10.

Teams of 2-4 players receive a map along with a list of clues, which they have three hours to crack. Many of the questions will relate to WeHo places, which teams must visit to suss out the correct answers. The WeHo hunt is focused on the Sunset Strip and Santa Monica Boulevard, and all the hunting is done on foot. In that regard, the adventure hunts are different than Race LA’s namesake event, an “Amazing Race”-inspired hunt that involves driving around Los Angeles and following a sequential series of clues.

Race L.A. owner John Hennessy, a WeHo resident, said that people who live in an adventure hunt’s area sometimes go in feeling overconfident. Scavenger hunters, he said, must seek out things they typically wouldn’t notice.

“You put on a different kind of glasses,” he said.

Hennessy said that the questions are also designed to prevent smart phone users from finding answers online; the clues require physically going to the relevant WeHo spots.

WeHo is just one of the neighborhoods where Race L.A. runs urban adventure hunts. There are also hunts in Santa Monica, Pasadena, Long Beach, Santa Barbara and other Southern California cities and neighborhoods. This month, Race L.A. will run its first “Haunted Halloween Hunt,” which begins in Hollywood and takes hunters to other L.A. locations via metro.

Participants in the Halloween Hunt, which takes place on Saturday, Oct. 26, will earn points and collect goodies by completing wacky challenges, answering trivia questions and shooting fun photos.

When it comes to Halloween hunts, Race L.A. isn’t the only ghoulish game in town. Watson Adventure’s Haunted Halloween event, which includes visiting allegedly haunted Tinseltown spots, will take place on Oct. 26.

Watson Adventure launched with museum-based hunts such as its “Murder at the Getty” event and expanded to include neighborhood hunts.

In addition to its publicly promoted events, Watson organizes hunts for private groups, such as for birthday parties. There are two versions of each hunt — a paper-based version, in which you get a list of questions; and a smart phone version, in which the app gives you questions and can help you out with hints.

Julie Jacobs, the chief development officer at Watson Adventure, said that the company has seen a steady uptick in business in recent years.

The popularity of game-based reality shows such as “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race” has probably contributed to that trend, she said, and changed the perception that scavenger hunts are just for kids at camp. Another factor is that companies looking for team-building activities are starting to look for options that are accessible to everyone, rather than athletic activities such as a ropes course.

“I think games in general are seeing a rise,” Jacobs said.