The 2016 Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt is only a few days away! While it’s tempting to stay warm indoors during this time of year, the Hunt is a great opportunity for families to enjoy winter and to learn more about the history of St. Paul and Ramsey County. Plus, how often do you have the chance to go searching for treasure anyway?
This is the 64th year of the annual Treasure Hunt, which means there is a lot of history behind the Hunt as well as experienced treasure hunters to compete with out there. And as a mom of three, I know it’s not always easy getting the kids out of the house, let alone all bundled up for a winter adventure. But don’t let that stop you! There are plenty of ways to enjoy the Hunt with your kiddos of all ages. Here are five tips to get you and your kiddos started on a new, exciting family tradition of treasure hunting:
1. Purchase and register your 2016 Winter Carnival Button. You do not need a button to take part in the Hunt, but having a button registered in your name will make you eligible for an additional $5,000 prize if you find the medallion. Buttons cost only $5.00 each and can be purchased at metro Cub Foods, Super America locations, and other retail stores. Buttons must be registered online by 11:59 p.m. on January 22, 2016. Learn more about purchasing and registering your 2016 Winter Carnival Button here.
2. Review the rules of the 2016 Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt. There are several guidelines that are important to follow when participating in the Hunt. For example, the rules clearly state that the medallion will not be hidden on a golf course, the State Capitol grounds, under any skating surface, or several other locations. You definitely don’t want to be digging in the wrong place! The rules also state how hunters may be eligible to win up to $10,000 for finding the medallion, and what one must do PROMPTLY after finding the medallion in order to claim the prize.
3. Know your history. There are many techniques for reading and deciphering the daily clues of the Hunt, but it never fails to know your history of St. Paul, Ramsey County and past hunts. Familiarize yourself with this list and map of where the medallion has been found in the past, and do a little research on the public figures who helped to found St. Paul. Every clue has more than one meaning and often references some sort of history in addition to the location of the medallion and what the medallion may be in or on. Get your older kids involved and have them help with the noodling, or get together with some friends to bounce some ideas around.
4. Prepare for the elements. Whether you plan to check out one park for 15 minutes or a list of parks all day long, you will want to dress for the elements. Wear wool socks, long johns, layers, boots, snow pants, and your warmest winter jacket. Don’t forget your hat, mittens and scarf because it gets cold out there folks. If you are bringing your littles with, make sure you take some breaks to warm up in your car and treat them to a warm lunch at a local establishment afterward.
5. Bring your tools. Bring a sled to tow your kiddos around and give them some tools that they can use for digging in the snow. My kiddos love using garden tools that are easy to handle such as trowels and small shovels. Give them some binoculars and a map of the park you are searching to keep them entertained too! For the adults, you will want a shovel, rake, and ice chipper. If you plan on hunting at night without the kiddos, make sure you bring someone else along as well as a headlamp or flashlight. It never hurts to have some pocket warmers on hand and a thermos of hot cocoa or coffee!
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The Hunt is just a few days away, so brush up on your history, put on those long johns, grab a shovel, and enjoy searching for some treasure with your kiddos!
-Aimee Farley, twincities.webtrisdigital.com and WhyILeftMyJob.com