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Uncover the secrets of Prospect Park on a Hack the Park team scavenger hunt

Museum Hack is taking their participatory learning to the great outdoors and mashing it up with an "Amazing Race"-style challenge for Hack the Park.
Museum Hack is moving it scavenger hunt outdoors to Prospect Park for Hack the Park. Photo: Zara Weissgerber
Museum Hack is moving it scavenger hunt outdoors to Prospect Park for Hack the Park. Photo: Zara Weissgerber

Central Park is fine, but it’s no Prospect Park — at least to Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the men who designed them.

It’s the kind of controversial tidbit that wouldn’t end up in most history books, but that Museum Hack specializes in on its guided tours, which are more likely to feature raps about King Tut and navigating the Met via Pokemon Go.

For their next event Hack the Park on May 11 — totally free, by the way — they’re doing things a little differently. Instead of a guide, you’ll be grouped into teams to five for a manic scavenger race across Prospect Park to find clues and complete challenges.

Along the way, you’ll learn the juicy details of its past as a cemetery, how Prospect Park got its name, some cool geology (you have glaciers to thank for those rolling hills) and “other stuff that’s really cool and interesting, but not necessarily something you’re thinking about if you were there with your friends,” says Mark Kennedy-McClellan, Museum Hack’s creative producer.

“The idea of hacking it is very much, ‘This information makes you enjoy the park in a different way, but also we’re gonna get you to do stuff and have fun with your friends in a way you wouldn’t expect to.’”

Teams of up to five will dash around the park “Amazing Race” style, finding landmarks, interacting with actors in costume and taking photos, whether it’s trying to do a three-legged race or identifying some of the park’s unique plants and trees. At the end awaits glory, and a FujiFilm Instax printer for each member of the team.

Each team will be using Fuji’s wireless hand-held printers to complete the challenges for maximum silliness, with zero drama over who’s going to share the photos later since you’ll have them instantly. “But in terms of getting the instructions and doing what you need to do, that’s with people and with paper,” says Kennedy-McClellan. “We’re trying to create memories.”

And while the usual Museum Hack experience is focused on adults — gossip, drama, sex and drugs are common topics, even (especially!) in fine art museums — this one’s suitable for all ages.

You’ll need to RSVP to get the exact meeting location for Thursday’s event, with the event going from 4:30-5:45 p.m.. If you can’t make it this time, the next Hack the Park will be on June 3, though that one will cost you $20.