The Great Waldo Hunt :: CityMoms Report

//The Great Waldo Hunt :: CityMoms Report

Where IS Waldo? In this CityMom Report, Stacey is taking us over to the shops of 56th and Illinois to explore their annual Great Waldo Hunt, a fun family activity for kids of all ages. Taking place each July, it’s a chance to try your hand at a real-life exploration of where that red and white striped guy is hiding inside local shops. Take it away Stacey: 

There are a few things that are high on my favorites list: bookstores, free activities, and a good competition. {Hence why I love trivia nights at Books and Brews, but that’s a topic for another article.} One of our favorite summer activities encompasses all three:

The Great Waldo Hunt at Kids Ink Bookstore. 

If you haven’t been to Kids Ink, you should go – year round, they have great activities, as well as a good selection of unique kids’ and teens’ books, toys, and games. Our favorite cold Saturday activity is grabbing coffee from Starbucks or Illinois Street Food Emporium down the street, then playing at the Kids Ink train table and browsing books.

Great Waldo Hunt - theCityMoms

But every July, Kids Ink and the surrounding stores at 56th and Illinois turn into a Great Waldo Hunt. Yes, the same red and white striped Waldo you grew up with! {By the way, did you know publishers intended these Waldo hunts to be a one time thing to celebrate Waldo’s birthday, but they were such a huge success that hunts are held every summer at bookstores across the country?!}

To get started hunting, first head to Kids Ink and tell the staff you’d like to hunt for Waldo. They’ll give your hunters a list of the local participating stores, explain the rules, and then you’re off – it’s free to play!

MORE FUN TO CHECK OUT: Have you tried The Tie Dye Lab of Avon?

You’ll be looking in around a dozen local stores for a six inch tall cardboard Waldo cutout. When you find it in each store, tell the staff of that store, and they’ll give you a raffle ticket.

Great Waldo Hunt - theCityMoms

Great Waldo Hunt - theCityMoms

Great Waldo Hunt - theCityMoms

Collect as many raffle tickets as you’d like – it usually takes us about an hour and a half to do all the stores, but you could go slower or faster or break it up into multiple days. When you’re done hunting for the day, head back to Kids Ink. Write your kid’s name/phone number on the back of the tickets, then drop them in the box for a chance to win a prize. The first year we played, we won a gift card to Kids Ink, Waldo stickers, and a Waldo book.

My tips for making it even better:

  • All of the stores are super welcoming but they are not always stroller accessible. If possible, I’d wear young babies/toddlers who won’t/can’t walk.
  • If your schedule allows it, 10-11 am on a weekday is a great time to hunt. It’ll be more crowded on the weekends, and if you go any earlier in the morning some stores won’t be open.
  • Bring a pen and write your name/number as you go. I write on the previous store’s ticket while my kids are hunting in the next store.
  • This is great for any age. We’ve been going since my older daughter was 3.5 and my younger daughter was 5 months.
  • And totally optional, but if you want to extend your visit a bit, please patronize the businesses who help host this hunt! Since we don’t pay anything to hunt, we like to shop local as we go. Our favorites: cupcakes at Flying Cupcake, ice cream at Graeters, or lunch at Illinois Street Food Emporium.

Happy hunting!

MORE INFO: Kids Ink Bookstore is located at 5619 N. Illinois Street in Indianapolis. The Great Waldo Hunt runs July 15-July 31, is free to participate and open to all ages. No purchase is necessary to enjoy. Visit their website, call {317} 255-2598 or checkout their Waldo Hunt Facebook Event page for more details. 


Stacey Stover - theCityMoms


Stacey Stover is a California native who moved to Indy in 2014, Stacey likes seeing snow fall but lives for a nice hot summer.

Formerly a teacher, she now spends her days chasing her two daughters and the two little guys she nannies for. When the kids go to bed, she runs a custom sewing business.

2019-07-02T11:06:47-05:00July 2nd, 2019|
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