Why build a business based purely on surprising people? “Because life moves fast and we don’t play nearly as much as we should,” say Surprise Industries founders and sisters Kat Dudina and Tania Luna on their website. By setting up surprises for big groups and individual clients alike, the duo, along with their imaginative staff, encourages the giddiness of play that often gets lost in the shuffle of adult responsibilities. With only a location and a time to arrive, participants are swept into an unpredictable adventure that may involve anything from attending an ice-sculpting workshop to being elected chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Boasting a membership of more than 80,000 North American singles, Meet Market Adventures offers free online dating, plus imaginative offline events. Shuck off your shyness with icebreaker games, dancing, and free hors d'oeuvres and drink specials at the Singles Mega Multi-Group Fall After Work Party, which takes place at one of New York's premier hotspots. The Singles Urban Race and Scavenger Hunt teams you up with three other people before sending you on a frenetic Benny Hill dash about town—creating ideal conditions for sparks and zero openings for awkward first-date silences. Otherwise, uncover a cute intellectual equal during Singles Pub Stumpers Trivia Night, or flirt with nostalgia over classic board games at Singles Games Night. Meet Market can also take the pressure off of finding a date for New Year's Eve with a blowout of more than 350 singles at chic STITCH Lounge. An Anti-Valentine's Day party, meanwhile, lets lovers of love and haters of Hallmark holidays boycott the execution of Saint Valentine with feng-shui love consultations, a live DJ, and free hors d'oeuvres and drinks. With admission to three events, participants will have plenty of chances to meet other singles, try out a new activity or venue in the city, and dust off decrepit datebooks that have long been relegated to doorstop status.
On Luxury Hunters’ scavenger hunts, sleuths use smartphones—which participants must provide themselves—to nab photos and videos of luxury goods that they uncover throughout New York City. At each event's kick-off, adventurers gear up for competition by reviewing the sponsor’s upscale goods and visualizing the high-end dinner prizes up for grabs. Next, vagabonds rush out to numerous trendy restaurants, shops, and bars to hunt down luxury products. Prey includes items from high-end brands such as Alma Tequila, Perugina Chocolate, The Film Annex, and more, representing a wide range of interests and vowel combinations. At a complimentary concluding soiree, guests may receive prizes based on the quality of their photos, and all guests depart with swag.
The organizers of Out-Fit Challenge, the first national LGBT mud run obstacle course, aim to spark new friendships between its runners by creating challenges that require not only personal perseverance, but the occasional helping hand. Obstacles such as barbed wire crawls or mud pits force racers to get dirty, and tandem climbing walls make runners rely on each other to progress.
After making it to the finish line, participants mingle with newfound friends or long-lost parents at the after-party. After showering, racers can change into their event t-shirt and don their finisher’s award with pride. Each participant can pick up their complementary beer from one of the bars, before mingling, dancing to live music, or chowing down on the food vendors’ grub.