Friday, May 31, 2013

Keep It Local: Treasure Hunt at The Mansion on O Street

We do a lot of "out of the box" kids activities, but nothing quite prepared us for our visit to The Mansion on O Street. Part "spooky" mansion, part treasure hunt, part bookstore and antique store, part art gallery and a whole lot of random, the Mansion provided HOURS of entertainment for us. I literally cried when mom said we had to leave.

The Mansion consists of five interconnected townhouses and includes over 100 rooms and 32 secret doors. It's hard to count up the number of events and activities offered there -- it's a hotel, a museum, musical venue, etc. -- but it wasn't difficult for us to figure out what we wanted to do: a treasure hunt for the 32 secret doors (the treasure hunt tour). We went one afternoon after school and had an absolute blast. At the end of several hours, we had found 4. Turns out that's pretty good. On average, people find 2. We MIGHT have had just a little bit of help --although she didn't identify herself as such, we had the luck and pleasure to be greeted by the Mansion's founder, H.H. Leonards, who just may have taken mercy on us and given us a few hints (apparently her own children still haven't found all the doors!).

Along the way, we played chess in a bathroom, tried on fabulous clothes, played pool, perused books and tchotchkes, and admired art and musical instruments. Pretty much everything you see in the Mansion is for sale, including some really amazing music memorabilia. Mom's lucky she got out with just buying us a bottle of water.

There are a variety of tours offered at the Mansion -- you can check them all out and purchase tickets  through this link. It doesn't say online, but children under 5 are free -- just put in the notes on your purchase that you are bringing X number of kids under that age. The bar at the Mansion is also open to the public during weekday evenings for happy hour. If you go, keep your eyes peeled for mom and dad. Like us, they can never give up on a good treasure hunt. I've already requested to have my next birthday there.

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