Though many anthropological museums focus on peoples who are long gone, the International Museum of Cultures displays more than 10 storied exhibits on contemporary indigenous populations from around the world, including Papua New Guinea, Mexico, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Here, visitors glean insight into the respective cultures and the challenges they face. As guests peruse the displays, they can explore Lakota Sioux artifacts such as dream catchers and arrowheads, learn about the hunter-gatherer Agta from the Philippines, and listen to Drumbeats of the World, an interactive exhibit that pulsates with percussive heartbeats from Ecuador, Pakistan, and Korea.
While some runners run for glory, self-discovery, or a personal best, participants in the Walking Dead Run 5k Adventure Race run for their lives. Guests surmount obstacles and duck and weave down dirt paths as they try to protect an affixed flag from two types of zombies: Stumblers and Chasers. The former ambles menacingly, and the latter sprints; both types sport grotesque makeup and drip fake blood as they hunt racers, trying to tear the flags from their flag-football belts. At the untimed race’s finish line, participants dust themselves off before a post-race party, complete with beer, food, and live music. Proceeds from the race go toward supporting the North Texas Food Bank.
The Mighty Mud Dash lays out 20 challenging obstacles across 5 mud-caked kilometers. The course demands that competitors slither through wire bear crawls, trudge through a 30-yard mud trench, and careen down giant mud slides on their path to the finish line, where a party with free beer and live music awaits. Known for the competitive spirit it inspires, the Mighty Mud Dash attracts many well-chiseled athletes, and rewards the fastest dashers, best dancers, and best-costumed competitors with awards at the event's conclusion.
Not many events can combine puzzles, obstacle races, and charitable giving—all while filling the downtown area with people in gorilla suits. Gorilla Challenge accomplishes all of these things in a single afternoon. With annual events held across the country, it is quickly becoming the premier event for raising fun and social responsibility. Several of the event’s clues are designed to bring awareness to topics such as literacy, poverty, environmental concerns, animal welfare, and elder care. Amid these consciousness-raising events, the company’s gorilla-suit-clad staffers make surprise appearances to award participants prizes and collect bribes in the form of fresh bananas or sign-language-speaking kittens.
Pirates, ballerinas, and characters straight out of the 1980s flood the streets of Dallas each and every fall, racing their way through TeamQuest Urban Race for Hope, all in support of Mary Crowley Cancer Research Centers. Teams of two clad in matching costumes or plain clothes gather clues and complete challenges throughout an 8K radius. Racers can take the course by foot or hop aboard buses, trains, and pedi-cabs–but not taxis–throughout the race and are free to use smartphones to call old cartography teachers for help. The first clue envelope is passed out promptly at 9 a.m., and the hunt concludes by 1 p.m., just in time to reward first-, second-, and third-place winners with cash or gift certificates. One hundred percent of the proceeds raised through registration fees are donated to Mary Crowley Cancer Research Centers.
The eclectic organizers at Red Frog Events take a lighthearted and fun-focused approach to building their adventurous events, such as obstacle courses, scavenger hunts, and themed bar crawls, to connect city dwellers with local neighborhoods. Their creative, interactive offerings include regularly occurring competitions such as the Warrior Dash, Great Urban Race, and Beach Dash, the proceeds from which usually benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Like the idea of having a pet rock, their events have grown more popular annually, and frequently spring up in cities across the United States.
Exploring a city can take a lifetime, but it is a brisk, timed challenge during The Amazing MetroQuest, an event designed in the tradition of CBS’s Amazing Race. Guided by their smartphones, duos dart through their metropolis, competing in whimsical challenges and toting packets of 10–12 clues. Each clue translates to a site the team must visit. Officials dole out prizes at the quest’s end, awarding not only the fastest teams, but also the ones with the best costumes to ensure not everyone runs in the same clearance-sale bear suit.