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Inspired by the Museum: Geocaching Treasure Hunts

This post was written by Children's Museum Blog Ambassador, Anna Shirley. Follow Anna's posts on the blog or follow her on Twitter @ohhbetsy.

If you’ve explored the Pirates and Princesses exhibit, you may have found the hidden treasure left by a peg-legged Pirate. Following his prints, your little adventurer is led straight to the loot. After finding the pirate’s treasure at a recent visit to the museum, it got me thinking of going treasure hunting on our own. 

If you haven’t heard of geocaching, it is essentially an outdoor treasure hunting game. Geocaching is based on using GPS devices. Using the GPS coordinates, you navigate to a spot and try to find the geocache which is a hidden container. Inside, you should find a log book to sign and the treasure – small items left by others who also found the cache. You take something, leave something and put the cache back for the next treasure hunters to find. 


We’re just beginners at geocaching but we’re hooked. We love getting outside and searching for treasures all over the place. Here are a few tips to help you start geocaching with your family:

  • I downloaded the Geocaching app on my phone which acts as my GPS device. With the free version, you can only find certain geocaches while “advanced” geocaches require a paid upgrade. There are plenty of traditional geocaches to keep you busy so I recommend sticking with the free version when you start out.
  • Our first find was too small and what we had brought with us didn’t fit. We also didn’t have a pen to write our names on the log. We had to return later with a smaller treasure to exchange. After that, we put a pen and a variety of treasures in a bag to bring with us every time. Plus, we can keep it in our car for spontaneous geocaching while we’re out and about.
  • Remember that geocaches come in all different shapes and sizes which is part of the fun. We even found one hidden inside our local library!
  • Keep in mind that the GPS coordinates get you close but not always exactly to the spot. Your kids will be great helpers to search high and low. Some geocaches will have a hint to help you. It may take a while to discover and sometimes you might not find it but there’s always another geocache to find.