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Chinese New Year Scavenger Hunt

  • Justin Herman Plaza 1 Market St San Francisco, CA, 94105 United States (map)

The Chinese New Year Treasure Hunt is a unique urban adventure game played on the colorful streets of Chinatown, North Beach, and Telegraph Hill amid the excitement, noise and spectacle of the annual Chinese New Year Parade. It’s a scavenger hunt for information in which teams collaboratively solve clues leading to off-the-beaten-track locations connected with local history, art and culture. 

Each clue leads to a location within walking distance in a one-square mile area, where players must find and use a piece of information to answer a question. The information could be wording on an historical plaque, a detail in a mural or public artwork, a unique architectural feature or a distinctive business sign, something you might never notice if you weren’t looking for it. The treasure hunt is a great exercise in visual awareness that hones your observation skills and makes you more aware of your environment. Participants often discover memorable sights they’d passed by hundreds of times and overlooked. 

Teams will travel on foot over streets trod by 1849 gold-seekers, 1870s silver barons, 1920s crime writers and 1950s beatnik poets, finding obscure landmarks, forgotten architectural delights and secret vestiges of San Francisco's past. Teams solving the most clues in the shortest time receive prizes and bragging rights. 

Clues involve wordplay, puzzles, trivia, anagrams, map reading and other fun challenges. They’re designed to be too difficult for one person but solvable by a team using their collective brainpower, so working together is key to succeeding (and to every team member having fun). 

There are four divisions in the treasure hunt, offering clues suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to experts.  The hunt is designed to be enjoyable by all ages and ability levels, by long-time San Francisco residents and new arrivals. You can participate at your own pace, racing from clue to clue or walking leisurely and stopping for snacks, drinks or espresso.

Players can come with a team already organized or can join like-minded hunters at the event. At the FORM TEAMS HERE area we facilitate everyone joining a team and matching up people who have similar approaches to doing the hunt, from laid back to highly competitive. The treasure hunt is a great way to make new friends.

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