Review UrbanQuest at 4th Street Live in Louisville, KY

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 photo urban_zpsf5f734f7.jpgMy four munchkins and I decided to try something different
to kick off our summer vacation.  There
is an interactive website called UrbanQuest that allows you to explore a city, whether it is your own or on vacation, in a
type of scavenger hunt.  The Quest is
riddled with puzzles and quizzes that allow you to take an even closer look at
the environment around you.  When I
started mentioning UrbanQuest in conversations it seemed as though the majority
of people who had heard of it and/or participated had been involved in some
type of corporate team building exercise and there were mixed reviews.  I had to see for myself.   I know our readers always want to know, is
it fun for kids?   I set out on a
beautiful “Fun Friday” with a 3,4,7, and 9 year-old to find out.
Tip 1: Do some light research.  The website is pretty user friendly and it
was not complicated to navigate. 
Louisville currently only has one local Quest.  It starts at 4th Street Live.  I did some general reading on their website to
get a feel for what our adventure would be like and how long it would take. I created a checklist of items that you don’t want to leave
home without. 
What you’ll need to get started :
  Smartphone/tablet or other device with Wifi printout of your Clues.  (Ours was 13 pages long and it is helpful to
have color since some of the clues are pictures)
  Snacks/drinks (Which I did not have and I paid
the price…literally at a snack shop)
  Kid apparel and supplies like Sunscreen, hats,
comfy shoes, sunglasses.  (All the clues
are outside so there is very little chance of shade)
  I also strongly suggest a clip board.  (Nope, didn’t have one of those either.  As you see in the pics, my 9 year-old had to
find some creative writing surfaces)
 photo urban1_zps1beedf0c.jpg photo urban3_zpsd70fa090.jpgThere are two options for the timing of the Quest.  We chose a 2 hour timed adventure because we
love a challenge.  There is also an
option that is not timed.   Initially the gist is, when you are ready to
begin your Quest you pop onto their website on your smartphone.  The final destination will be your
lunch/dinner reservations.  You won’t
know the specific destination until you decode your final answer at the end and
plug into their website.  You are only
faced with the choice of cuisine and price scale.  There were 2 family friendly options.  We chose Asian Fusion because if it involves
rice, my kids are down.  Not only that
but I despise kids menus that consist of pizza, grilled cheese and buttered
noodles.   *which is ironic because that
ended up being our menu at 3pm…but I digress. 

Tip 2:  Beware of the broken clue.  After all my premeditation I was not
prepared to be baffled by the very first clue. 
The people at UrbanQuest call these “broken clues” and ask that you
report them.  Obviously the landscape of
our city changes constantly and although a majority of the clues made total
sense, the first one was a complete bust. 
I was hoping it was not a sign of things to come.  Turns out, it wasn’t…just a rocky start.
Without giving away too much I will
simply say that from that point on the clues were super obvious.  They were easy and fun to find.  My kids are very observant of detail and love
search games like I Spy and Where’s Waldo. 
As my 4 year-old would say, “This is right up my alley, Miss
Whitney”.  Even the 3 year old got in on
the action.  I would show him the
pictures as we approached the clue and he would find it every time.  I loved watching him enjoy himself because in
all honestly he is usually just along for the ride.  Not this time.  My 9 year-old had his head in the game
and went right to work jotting down our answers and leading us to the next
one.  My 7 year-old was just enjoying
the walk and being his co-pilot.  She’s a
little more on the “let someone else do all the work” side of things right
now.  I’m sure that will
change….maybe…some day.

Tip 3:  Give yourself extra
time.  This is a lot of walking,
folks.  A. Lot.  With potty breaks and pep talks about the
importance of things like holding hands no matter what and staying on the far
side of the side walk away from traffic so that I don’t have a panic attack
every five minutes,  your trip will
extend another hour before you know it. 
At least that was our experience.  
So if you want to have lunch at 2pm start your quest at 11am instead of
12pm.  Worst case scenario is that you
would have an early lunch.  We all know
that the alternative, a late lunch, may possibly result in some type of
mutiny.   Luckily I survived…this time.
 photo urban2_zps0802985d.jpgOverall it was a great opportunity
to work on our street behavior navigating downtown.  We love hanging out downtown.  It is a great way to enforce the importance of
their safety in the city as it compares to their neighborhood where I am not
quite as edgy.  My kids got street
smarts, yo.   We even took our first FREE Trolley ride.  Did I mention we were completely exhausted?
Since I’m pretty familiar with
downtown I was able to cut about 4 blocks off the end of our excursion and we
were still able to find out clue.  It had
been 2.5 hours and they were exhausted.  
If you get stuck or need a shortcut the answers are on the last page.  That came in handy when we second guessed a
couple of our answers.  They also encourage
using life lines like Google or asking the people around us for help, which we
did multiple times.  People skillz too,
yo!  We parked our bottoms at the last
clue and let the big kids decode our final answer.  I plugged it into the website and voila, our
lunch reservation appeared and we were only a couple blocks away.  However, I had been to this spot before and
decided it was a little too pricey so we opted for another restaurant that was
closer to where we parked at 4th Street Live.  What was on the menu?  Grilled Cheese, Pizza and buttered
noodles…oh, the irony!  Regardless they
definitely earned it and ya can’t win ‘em all.
To sum things up we had a blast and
if there was another Quest option here in Louisville we would most likely do it
again.  It would be a great pseudo
self-guided tour on vacation with the fam too. 
The initial cost was $19.99 plus
the cost of lunch
.  Not too bad for 3
solid hours of entertainment for 5.  I
would certainly recommend our readers with older kiddos give it a shot.   Toddlers will require quite a bit of help,
but it is definitely a brain game and I am all for those no matter what
age.  Their site goes more in depth with
puzzles and something they call Quizzles which I have yet to look into.  Now that I know my older kids enjoyed the
hunt so much I will definitely have them check it out to see if there are any
other fun options to train their brain. 
Anything that encourages learning about our fabuLOUs city is a win with
me.  Check it out for yourself and Happy
Questing!

By guest contributor: Whitney

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