Idea No.


Amazing Race Party -13yr- Photo-Op Tasks



August 2007


Tonya in Fond du Lac, WI  USA

Special Mention

Amazing Race Party

Well first of all, I normally DO NOT have birthday parties for my kids; we get together with grandparents and have cake and ice cream.  My kids have been jinxed with a mom who doesn't believe in giving parties every year.  However, my daughter was quickly approaching 13 and desperately wanted a party with her school friends.  So I began brainstorming an Amazing race theme around our city, which involved local businesses.  I called a few businesses and they were keen on the idea and the party went from there.   

First, when all the girls arrived (total of 8 including my daughter) I had them break balloons to find out what team they were on.  Inside the balloon I had a piece of paper with the team name Monkeys or Elephants to help eliminate any fighting over who was on who's team.  I asked them to tie a bandana anywhere on their body as long as it could be seen of course the Monkey team had monkeys all over it and the Elephants had elephants.  I wrote up a list of rules for each team to read before they started the race so they knew what was expected from them.  For example, if a person couldn't go through with a challenge, they would forfeit a point.  However, they had to choose another person to complete the task before they could move on and etc.   

I gave them their first task, which was to go find 10 items from different houses in the neighborhood.  One team could only go to even house numbers and the other team only odds.  I figured this would save my neighbors from giddy girls ringing their doorbells.  I was the chaperone for my daughter's team and another mom graciously volunteered to drive the other team around town.   

Once each team finished the short scavenger hunt in the neighborhood, they raced to the appropriate chaperone to get their first clue.  I wrote up riddles or fill in the blanks or different clues to describe the business they need to find in our town.  As a team, they must tell the chaperone where to drive them and hopefully an envelope is waiting for them there.  If not, they must rethink their clue and try another business.  Once they arrive to the correct destination an envelope with a task is waiting for them. 

Once they are done with the task, they get another envelope with the next clue and so on.  The 2 teams had 12 places to visit the Monkeys had the beginning route and the Elephants had the backward route.  I had the teams on opposite routes so they wouldn't run into each other; this kept the girls under suspense of what team was ahead.   The girls enjoyed the tasks at the different locations I selected in town.  I figured most 13 yr old girls just love public embarrassment right!  Once they figured out to go Cost Cutters, their task, as a group was to do each other's hair in a funky style placing random ponytails and spraying colored hairspray in their hair.  The birthday girl had a tiara and sash waiting for her (she's a tomboy, so I knew she'd hate it. Smile). 

Their next clue took them to the movie theater.  We have 2 theaters in town and the other team went to the wrong one oops!  The task asked them to pick 1 team member who wanted to walk the red carpet.  Once they chose a team member that person had to put on a boa and big, oversized sunglasses and pose for the camera.  During these tasks if a person had to wear something, the outfit must remain on them throughout the race.  Next, they were onto Starbucks where they had to add up everything on the menu that had the word ice in it.  The answer was in the envelope, but the chaperone held onto it and told them whether they had to keep guessing or if they were right.   

In target they had to find an apparel item that spelled H-A-P-P-Y, such as hat for H and so on then someone had to model it later.  They went to KFC and had a group photo with the Colonel on the park bench and then had to break a code in order to move on.  At the bowling alley they had to count all the chairs and then find a song on the jukebox that was in the clue.  A local fish store allowed the girls to come in and fish for goldfish out of their pond.  At a video store they had to buy bubble gum until they got a yellow one or until they ran out of money ($3.00 that was in an envelope provided for them for the race).  Then the girls had to go outside of the video store and dress one of team members as a Christmas tree using garland and bows.  (remember they have to keep all of it on during the race).  At the grocery store they had to tie on a balloon somewhere on their body and leave it there for the duration of the race. 

Then the girls went out to parking lot and picked 2 team members to feed ea other baby food, which was disguised with food coloring.  They were eating banana, but they were disgusted with the color and could barely eat it.  After torturing them with baby food, they went to McDonalds and someone had to sing the McDonald's rap to the manager.  This was quite entertaining!!  I provided them with the lyrics on their task card, but they didn't appreciate this challenge! Smile.   

A local ice cream parlor provided 3 different types of ice cream for them to try and they had to choose my daughter's favorite flavor.  Of course, she was banned from this challenge; she couldn't help her team members!  And finally, their last stop was a gas station and someone had to drink a slushi as fast as they could.  Once they were done, they had to race back to our backyard and pose in the shape of a pyramid. 

The winning team was awarded movie size candy and the losing team had a cancellation prize of bite size candy.  Once we were all united again in the backyard, the girls were laughing at each other and asked who had to do what.  By this time everyone looked goofy and they were extremely hyper!  5 of the girls stayed overnight I set up tents in the backyard in order to save my house from all the girls.  My husband had the pizzas ready when we got back and the girls ravished it!  We made a fire in the backyard, made smores, I bought glow sticks, and they played night games until midnight.  In the morning I made pancakes and then finally all the girls were gone by noon! 

This party required good organization and planning skills!!  There was a lot of prep work by calling the business and having the manager approve the activities, making the clues and task cards, thinking of all the clues, setting up chaperones, buying the accessories for different challenges, having 2 cameramen (my son and his friend) to take pictures at each site and videotape everything so the girls could see the other team, and arranging the envelopes and clues to be dropped off at the correct businesses the day before.  A lot of work, a few glitches, hysterical laughs, 8 happy girls, and a party they have still talked about since July 28th!

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