Scavenger hunts help people get to know a city intimately, which may prove valuable when put in charge of hiding celebrity wax figures for the citywide celebrity-wax-figure hunt that takes place each Easter. Prepare for this venerable American tradition with today's Groupon: for $25, you get to participate in the Baltimore Challenge (a $70 value). The one-day urban scavenger race takes place on Saturday, July 3, and starts and ends at Luckie's Tavern on Market Place. Adults of every age, ability, and medieval guild are encouraged to participate. The race starts at 3 p.m., but you can show up as early as 1 p.m. to pick up your pre-race packet.
During the challenge, teams of two or more individuals will run helter-skelter around the city in a frantic race for cash prizes and personal pride, with a first-place award of $200. Not only will participants have to solve strands of interconnected clues that would test the deductive powers of even the most seasoned consulting detective, they'll need to plot spatiotemporal stratagems while exploring undiscovered corners of the city. Although being physically fit is a plus, quick wits and wise planning will ultimately determine the winners. Participation in the challenge gets contestants a clue packet, race-number bib, and T-shirt, and fees also help toward contributions to partner charities and the prize pool. The website offers a FAQ page with further details on the intricacies of the race, what to wear the day of, why it's not okay to bring a boa constrictor, and more.
After the race is through and winners determined, all participants are invited to partake in an afterparty and awards ceremony. Challenge participants can partake in food and drink specials while additional prizes, such as best costume, are announced. Proceeds from the race benefit Court Appointed Special Advocates of Baltimore, a nonprofit agency that serves troubled children caught up in the juvenile-court system. A challenge that's equal parts fun, charity, and adventure is hard for even the most spicily seasoned cynic to resist.