Teams of adults and kids completing fun, quirky missions in Fairmount Park this weekend, during the WinTOUR Scavenger Hunt

While competing for prizes, participants learn about Philly history during the Fairmount Park scavenger hunt.

A person poses for a photo in a tree.

Teams can go at their own pace in the WinTour Scavenger Hunt in Fairmount Park. (Fairmount Park Conservancy)

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If you notice groups of smiling adults and children traipsing through Fairmount Park this weekend, snapping photos on their cell phones as they engage in seemingly odd and unusual behavior, don’t worry.

This is the final official weekend of the WinTOUR Scavenger Hunt, which involves more than 185 teams competing for a variety of different prizes.

A child poses for a photo while hugging a tree.
The point of the Scavenger Hunt is to move, learn and have fun. (Fairmount Park Conservancy)

Amanda Daws Cohen is the program manager for the Fairmount Park Conservancy.

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She said each week for the past month, enrolled teams have been completing a series of 10 sometimes quirky missions they received on the GooseChase app.

“The missions are focused on different topics, so it’s everything from nature to history to architecture, and each mission sends participants to a different location in the park,” said Daws Cohen.

Two kids pose for a photo in a tree
Kids hunt for clues, complete missions and climb trees during the event. (Fairmount Park Conservancy)

Once the team arrives at a location, they must follow the directions given in the mission in order to complete it.

“One example from last year was one of the locations that we sent people to was the Art Museum steps,” she said. “As you can probably guess, what they had to do there is run up the steps similar to Rocky.”

She said the Rocky mission was a video mission, but there are also photo and fill-in-the-blank missions as well.

Why are people doing this?

“Fairmount Park Conservancy’s main goal with the WinTOUR Scavenger Hunt is just to get people out into the park during the colder months,” said Daws Cohen. “We know there are so many health benefits associated with just getting outside for a few minutes every day.”

John Sigmund is the director of partnerships and sponsorships for Fairmount Park Conservancy.

He said the first scavenger hunt back in 2017 only lasted a few hours, with everybody running around together in the park, but during the COVID-19 shutdown the event was expanded and spread out over the course of a month.

“It’s great for families, great for people of all ages,” he said. “You can get out there on foot, on a bicycle, a car, it’s a great way to kind of self-pace and have your own exploratory experience at the park, and learn a lot — that’s the best part.”

Daws Cohen said hopefully people are having fun.

“We hope participants are out there connecting with one another,” she said, “making some really great memories in the park.”

A person poses for a photo with a statue of three children walking on a log
Some missions require precise actions to be photographed. (Fairmount Park Conservancy)

Teams that completed their weekly mission were entered in a random drawing to receive a prize.

She said one week the winning team received tickets to the Please Touch Museum, and another week featured a gift certificate to the Cosmic Café.

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Sigmund said the mission of his organization is to bring the city’s parks to life.

“We work very closely with our partners at Philadelphia Parks and Recreation to activate the parks through incredible programs, capital projects, volunteer workdays, all sorts of great activities to bring the Delaware Valley out to celebrate our amazing park system,” he said.

His advice is “do the scavenger hunt because it’s a great way to get to know this beautiful historic and very fascinating park system that we have here in Philadelphia.”

The four-week event officially started Jan. 29 and wraps up on Sunday, Feb. 25 for teams competing for prizes; however, Daws Cohen said new teams can still sign up to participate in the Scavenger Hunt.

“The missions are going to stay up [on the GooseChase app] so people will be able to go back to each week and complete the missions through March 17,” she said.

Adults and children pose for a photo in Fairmount Park
Adults and children are participating in the WinTOUR Scavenger Hunt. (Fairmount Park Conservancy)

To participate you can visit Fairmount Park Conservancy’s website.

Fairmount Park is 2,050 acres, with many trails and historical structures.

Fairmount Park Conservancy is a non-profit organization that supports the city of Philadelphia and its parks and recreation activities.

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