Last weekend, my friends and I completed one of the most fun projects I’ve ever had the chance to work on.
We threw an Adventureparty.
Jen, Natalie, Paul, James and I had wanted to throw some sort of party that required stops with different clues. That’s all we knew.
We started in April.
We bandied about ideas for stops, locations, QR codes, Twitter updates, foursquare check-ins and all kinds of technology to add to the most comprehensive adventure we could think of. Since my birthday was next in the social calendar, we hooked our party to that event.
Guests received an invitation that looked like a telegram, with the only information being the date, a URL for RSPVing and a note that they should wear comfortable shoes for the Adventureparty.
They arrived to a table stacked with black felt fedoras and black sequined feathered headbands.
That table also held sparkling wine and flutes.
When guests arrived, that’s all they knew.
We let the pressure build until they could take it no longer.
That was fun.
I explained the premise of the game.
It was 1920s Prohibition.
Teams would go to four locations rumored to hold hooch before finding the Speakeasy at the end of the party. Jen and Nat handed each team their envelope with the explanation letter and first set of clues.
The packet included a letter explaining some of the basics of the game, a disposable camera, and the team’s first clue.
It also included a “Get out of jail free” card with Jen’s phone number on it.
They would need to turn in the emptied disposable camera to gain entrance to the final location.
(It was very 1994 of me, I know)
And like I’m always recommending, I hired some high school students to take photos as well.
Most of the photos in this post are from their brilliant eyes.
First stop? The cop.
Guests arrived at a murder scene.
Sergeant O’Malley had come upon a crime scene.
Bootleggers had killed each other for booze. The sergeant was having a drink for the fallen.
Bloody Marys were shared for the fallen.
Once teams finished their drinks, Sgt. O’Malley gave them the next clue.
Quietly piped Irish folk songs helped complete the scene.
Next stop? The local watering hole.
Guests had to attach 8 bits to the ceiling, drink a pre-purchased pitcher of ale and talk to the barkeep to receive their next clue which landed them at one of the more dangerous stops.
(There are no photos of this stop because, well, duh, high school students. Also, they got lemonades and pats on the head when they were done. They’ve grown up in wine country and know adults are silly creatures.)
Third stop? The hobo.
Friends found themselves at the abandoned barn, looking for a hobo with the final clue and tales of the rails.
Each team had to finish two bottles of hobo hooch before receiving their next clue. The night before, Natalie filled 375 ML bottles with hobo hooch, a Hawaiian Punch based cocktail sure to induce deep sleep eventually.
Next stop? The fountain
Guests found their way to the fountain at a St. Helena winery, where balloons with clues inside bobbed in the water.
There may have been shoes discarded and fountain-wading.
Fountain-wading makes for good parties.
You’ll notice we didn’t ask for permission at some of these locations.
The balloon clues held the final location.
The chef Sheamus Feely at Farmstead restaurant in St. Helena prepared a welcome “Bathtub Gin and Muddled Peach Cocktail to greet guests as they arrived. He served all manner of sandwiches to our teams. He was generous and kind and accommodating and you should certainly check in with them (a.) if you’re a local looking to do an event or (b.) if you’re visiting St. Helena.
(Plus, I saw him make an appearance on last season’s Top Chef, so there’s that)
There weren’t actual prizes given to the team that made it there first, other than bragging rights.
But it sure was an adventure.
Oh, and hey! Does this sound like something you’d like to do with a visiting sales team, your clientele or for your corporation? My friends and I had so much fun putting this together that we’d love to do it for you – any theme, any town, any sized group. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know if you’re interested!