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Things to do in Manhattan’s Upper West Side

Things to do in NYC Upper West Side, History of the upper west side

Are you looking for things to do on Manhattan’s Upper West Side? Our self-guided walking tour/scavenger hunt will take you around this neighborhood and through Central Park.

See all the sights while having fun and learning some history! You will walk from Lincoln Center and its many theatres and make your way up Central Park West to see several important buildings including the Dakota. Enter Central Park at Strawberry Fields to see Bow Bridge and Belvedere Castle. Exit the park at the American Natural History Museum and walk to Broadway to see several other historical buildings, churches, and theatres as you return to the start location.

Solve challenges at every step to discover your next destination and learn new things. Learn a little history as well as interesting facts about what surrounds you. See the sights.

You should plan a good 3 hours for this activity, wear comfortable shoes, and be certain your phone is fully charged. As well, you’ll need a data plan as WiFi will not be enough. Further, a street map and bottled water could come in handy.

Things to do in the Upper West Side? See the sites!

Over your 3-hour adventure through the city, you will see:

  • Central Park
  • Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • New York Historical Society Museum
  • Strawberry Fields
  • Spooky Central
  • Sherman Square
  • Juilliard School
  • Cherry Hill
  • The Dakota
  • Belvedere Castle
  • The Beacon Theatre
  • The Ansonia
  • Many monuments, and much more!

We tested this tour in August 2022, and again in the spring of 2024

Scavenger Hunt

Our scavenger hunt is a self-guided walking tour of the see you can do on your smartphone. Over 3 hours, it’ll take you to all the significant sites, teach you some history, and challenge you with puzzles and various questions. You’ll never walk more than 5 minutes between stops. Take as long, or as little, as you wish as you’re in control of your page on this adventure. Above all, we hope you have fun!

There are, in fact, 3 versions of the tour available to you. A longer 5.3km/3.5mi Explorer version takes you to all the sites mentioned above. A regular 4.0km/2.5mi Tourist Scavenger Hunt only takes you to Strawberry Fields within Central Park, but skips the rest of the park location. Finally, a much shorter 2.9km/1.8mi Mini Scavenger Hunt doesn’t take you further than the Dakota, cutting west and back again on Broadway.

Learn more about the Upper West Side Tourist Scavenger Hunt on our description page.

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COVID-19 update for Tourist Scavenger Hunt

COVID19 update

COVID19 updateWe wish to keep you informed about our status during the COVID-19 outbreak. More specifically, we want to reassure our clients, and those planning to try a scavenger hunt in the coming weeks.

First off, rest assured that we are currently free of the virus. We live on the South Shore of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. As of March 13, 3 pm, there are only 17 confirmed cases in Quebec. Extraordinary measures have already been taken by the government to prevent things from getting out of hand.

We care about your safety and your health. As such, we don’t only comply with our government’s recommendation. We are paying close attention to those of the governments where we operate as well. That includes the United States, France, Netherlands, Portugal, Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.

Scavenger Hunt Status

Our scavenger hunts will remain available throughout this crisis. Our activity is one you engage in with 1 to 5 other persons for a period of approximately 3 hours. 

There is no expiry date on your scavenger hunt. Should you choose not to do it now because of the outbreak, we totally understand.

You can do it anytime in the future, at your leisure.

However, we recognize some of you have bought our activity as part of a trip that you may have canceled. Know that we will honor all requests to transfer your purchase for any other scavenger hunt of your choosing.

Large crowds

As our activities normally lead you through important tourist locations, you would normally encounter many people, Times Square, Place Jacques Cartier, Praça do Comércio, Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre and Fisherman’s Wharf are such examples.

Governments have forbidden events and gatherings of over 250 people. Due to the current situation, we believe you are unlikely to encounter large crowds along your scavenger hunt, should you wish to proceed to do so at this time.

Sanitary conditions

As we are not responsible for the cleanliness of the public places our activity leads you through, we encourage you to stay safe by wearing gloves and avoid touching the various monuments and info-signs we identify. 

Further, we encourage you to refrain from using handrails, unless you are wearing gloves. You don’t know who touched them before you, and whether or not they were infected.

Customer Support

Our customer support will remain available throughout this period, as it normally is.

You can reach us through our online form, by email at, by phone at 514-949-5201, or by text at 475-215-1013.

We are here to answer any questions you may have.

Our Plans

As the level of activity decreases during this time, we’re making the most of that newly available time.

We will be making available in the coming weeks English versions for the following scavenger hunts :

  • Vienna Ringstrass
  • Vienna Historic Center
  • Prague Old City
  • Prague Castle
  • Amsterdam

Further, we are, so far, planning on developing many new scavenger hunts in the UK, 1 in Philadelphia, 2 in New York City, and 1 in Brussels, which we will test this summer. 

This is of course if the situation takes a turn for the better. Otherwise, they will be tested at a later date.

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Tourist Scavenger Hunt for school outings

ideal for school outings

Are you looking for a low cost and educational school outings? Our tourist scavenger hunts are ideal for you for several reasons.

Low cost

Our activity is a very low cost to you. First, Determine how many groups of 6 your class(s) make up. Then, ensure you have at least one data-enabled smartphone per group. Our cost is $35 per group of 6 – not per person.

We don’t have student pricing as the cost is already low.

For example, a class of 30 students would make 5 groups. Your half or a full day out would only cost $175. That’s dirt cheap and ideal for your shoestring budget.

If you have more than 5 groups, contact us to obtain a 20% discount.


Our scavenger hunts are very educational. Every stop presents historical and current information. Students will learn or better understand their city’s history through that of the buildings, places, and monuments you will see along the way.

Additionally, most stops present you with challenges. These include simple code-breaking, mathematics, and observation. You can have your students working together (teamwork) to solve these. Or you can assign different students to tackle different ones to ensure everyone participates.


There is no schedule to respect or reservations to make. Schedule your activity when it suits you, at the time that’s convenient for you.

When you take your time at each stop, a scavenger hunt can take up to 3:30-4:00 hours. However, if your groups compete against each other on time, they normally take 2 hours to complete.

So it’s up to you to pace your scavenger hunt with the time you have available.

School Trips

Better yet, are you organizing a school trip to another city? We have scavenger hunts in over 12 cities. Some of them have 2 different hunts s available.

Add this activity to your trip for learning and lower your overall trip cost, as opposed to other activities which will cost over 20$ per person.

Plan it

So what are you waiting for? Buy your desired scavenger hunt in the # you need now and do it at a later date.

As soon as we see multiple buys, we contact you to help set up for your team leaders.

Contact us if you have any questions.

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Team building – looking for a different type of activity?

different type of team building activity

Team building activities are important for most types of organizations. The intention is for a team of coworkers to bond together in a different context from the workplace.

We’ve developed scavenger hunts in the most popular neighborhoods of many important cities. They are an ideal method for teams of 2 to 6 people to collaborate in solving riddles and challenges. You can earn and lose points at every stop along your hunt. Teams can compete with each other on their final score, or better yet on the time it took them to complete their hunt.

What does it involve?

The initial target audience was, in fact, visiting tourists – hence our name Tourist Scavenger Hunt.  Each is roughly 4 kilometers or 3 miles long with 40 stops and challenges. They take tourists an average 3 hours (or much more) to complete as they stop and visit everywhere along the way.

However, when companies organize their team building activity with us, they take less than 2 hours to complete as they prefer competing on time.

Along with your scavenger hunt, you will see the major sites and learn (or review) a lot of history. You will also discover where are located some of the neighborhood’s best restaurants and where some major films shot scenes.

Inexpensive activity

Our scavenger hunts are really inexpensive for companies to take advantage of. One scavenger hunt for a group of 2 to 6 persons costs $35, taxes included – not per person but for the group.

The biggest cost to you is taking the time to get to and complete the activity.

Better yet, if you wish you have 5 or more groups participate, and compete against each other, contact us to get a promo code to benefit of a 20% cost reduction.

You’ll buy the number of groups you need with a first promo code, then we’ll give you a second code for your team leaders to register for the activity on their mobile phone. Please ensure that your team leaders have a data plan for their cell phone.