Geocaching in the Twin Cities: A family-fun treasure hunt

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Until a few months ago, I thought geocaching could only be done in certain places. But then my brother (aka: Uncle Mike) came over and rounded the kids up for a geocaching adventure—right in our own urban neighborhood.

For those not in the know, geocaching is a high-tech global treasure hunt that involves placing or looking for a geocache using global positioning system (GPS) equipment. The cache is a hidden container holding kid-pleasing “treasures” like coins, bubbles, Pokemon cards, pencils, stickers—you get the idea. Once it’s found, you take something and you leave something. And there’s usually a little log book where you can record the date and time you were there (the app has an electronic version).

Mike’s Geocaching App (just $9.99!) easily located all of the caches near our house—there were a lot of them (who knew?). And the built-in GPS guided the geocachers on foot to their find. (Pick one further away and bike/hike/walk to it for a healthy bonus.) You can also borrow a free GPS unit for geocaching at some of the Three Rivers Park District parks. (Check this list for participating parks.)

You never know. There may be a treasure hiding right outside your door.