Taylor's family really loves the Amazing Race TV show. So much in fact, that a few of us are planning on trying out in the next couple years.
Before heading out to Russia, Taylor and I really wanted to do one last family gathering. I found a post on Pinterest that was all about making your own Amazing Race group date. (Found on the Dating Divas website HERE. It comes with printables and ideas, too.) We did some altering, and made the family game edition of The Amazing Race.
Our game took place at a local park in Salt Lake City, Utah. Teams had to visit a large cemetery, dash through an old mall, drive to a random gas station, and then complete some challenges at the park. The plan was that everyone would arrive on time, play the game without any problems, and have a really great time. I found some props that I wanted to set up on a table (Pinterest fever, I tell you.)
The reality of the situation was that Taylor and I could not find a place to print off our game cards (we procrastinated...) because most stores were closed for Memorial Weekend. We arrived late, without the clue cards, and played without any cute decorations. I ended up writing the clues on the back of the clue envelopes. I arrived a little flustered, which I tried to squelch, because it was just a party after all. It was silly to think that anything needed to be perfect. :)
The actual game definitely were some snags, mostly on getting lost... the teams weren't allowed to use their cellphones for a GPS, and the youngest team struggled with that. In the future, we might change it, so that all teams can complete all the challenges. We were also racing against the sun, and there were some homeless men stealing some of our props in the park. Nothing that doesn't make for a good story, though :)
Even without the decorations, handwritten clues, and shuffling of teams, there was lots of laughter. Lots of people trying things that they wouldn't do normally. Except my younger sister, who refused to eat baby food. ;) In the end, I felt enriched and happy to be a part of these two amazing families.
Overall, I think it went really well.
Next time though, I really want to use those darn clue cards that I had spent a good while creating!
Make Your Own
In case you wanted to design your own Amazing Race party, here are some ideas for you. (Printables are at the bottom).
1. Decide an area. You could do it small scale, like your neighborhood park or mall, or a larger scale, like throughout a city. I chose an area that wouldn't be as well known because I thought that would be more exciting (although it backfired in some cases, so keep some sort of rescue in mind if a team gets really lost)
2. Choose your challenges. This is the best part of planning. The Amazing Race show puts in a lot of history and cultural activities in their challenges, so I opted to do the same. (I'm all about people learning and having fun. ;) ) Not a requirement though.
There are three challenge components of The Amazing Race show: Route Info, Detour, and Roadblock. Route Info is the general "go here, do this, get the next clue". Detour means they have to choose between two challenges. Each challenge should have a pro and a con to doing them. Such as, Challenge 1 may be easy but time consuming, vs. Challenge 2 is hard, but short. Roadblock means only one team member can accomplish the task, and every person has to take a turn doing a Roadblock. Have a mix up of these challenges.
3. Set your rules. Are they allowed to use a GPS? Do they need to take pictures as proof? Make sure that they know them before they head out!
4. Check out the areas before you go. I only did this on a couple of our challenges. It worked out, but next time I'll need to go beforehand to make sure that the challenges are actually possible.
5. Choose the prize! Are they going to have the satisfaction of winning? Or do you want to include a real prize? In the actual game, the winners receive a million dollars. We decided to give them an 8 pack of 100 Grand candy bars. (They got 8 because that's what they come in. We told them it was the tax deducted version.)
Here are our game cards that you're free to take. I left the info on them for ideas, but you can easily open them in Photoshop or paint, and replace the challenges with your own.