GRATITUDE: Winter Wander scavenger-hunt creator Alice Kuder reveals how it went and thanks helpers

Did you try the Winter Wander this year? Local realtor and community advocate Alice Kuder organized it for the third year and says that thanks to participating businesses, volunteers, and players, it was a ton of fun:

The West Seattle Winter Wander Scavenger Hunt is a free, 10-day event designed to bring friends and families together for holiday fun! It also promotes and supports small West Seattle businesses, providing them with free publicity that will bring them to the attention of hundreds of potential customers.

Winter Wander by the numbers:

-In 2020, its first year, 12 teams signed up.
-In 2021, 24 teams registered.
=In 2022, 77 teams signed up, most of which pre-registered before the event even began. Registration wasn’t required unless players wanted to qualify for prizes, so many others may have just downloaded the clue sheet and map and played just for fun.

35 of the 77 teams submitted selfies. 16 teams solved all 25 clues. In addition to solving clues, teams earned points by donating to the West Seattle Food Bank and Toys For Tots. Each point earned an entry in the drawing for the Grand Prize Swag Bag filled with booty from local businesses. In the end, those donations were so generous that we gave away three swag bags instead of one! Those 3 were drawn at random from 2003 entries!

The three winning teams were: The Snow Leopards, led by Amy Converse; The Dog Pack, led by Chris De La Rosa; and Team Peckyno, Steve and Laura Peckyno.

Diana and Eric Huling, aka The Cotton-Headed Ninnymuggins, won the $100 First Place prize by submitting all 25 correct answers at 9:36 PM on Dec. 2nd, just 5 hours and 26 minutes after Winter Wander began!

Here is a sample of the creative team names: We Sleigh; Kraken the Clues; The Dingus Dashers; The Awesome Austins; The Yetis; and The Penguin League.

I hope and intend to make Winter Wander a West Seattle holiday tradition that our community can look forward to each year. It runs from the first Friday in December until the second Sunday in December, so the fourth annual Winter Wander will be Dec. 1-10, 2023.

Although I am the sole sponsor of Winter Wander, I depend on the generous assistance of a few volunteers to help me pull it off. This year, those volunteers included: Claire Sites, Randy Winn, Kathy Blackwell Harper, Shelley Barouh, Steve Bierman, Sarah Frances, Barb Joseph, and MJ Brick.

Swag bag donors:

Just in Case
Avalon Glass
My Necessitea
Meeples Games
Hotwire Coffeehouse
Seattle Sorbet
Sound Painting Solutions
Lars Gesing Fine Art Images
The Missing Piece
Dunn Gardens
Better Builders
Log House Museum
In Spa
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church
Penguina Jewelry Designs
West Seattle Adventures blog
Prestige Home Loans
Guild Mortgage
Equity Title
Procura Home Lending
Home Depot

Businesses that participated as clue solutions:

Animated Cafe
Better Builders
The Missing Piece
Lars Gesing Fine Art Images
Skylark Cafe
Pawsitively Kleen
Applied Martial Arts
Three Little Birds
Thunder Road Guitars
GoodMed Clinic
West Seattle Food Bank
West Seattle Fish House
Verity Credit Union
West Seattle Autoworks
The Westy

Any business that would like to be a clue solution next year, should contact me at or 206-708-9800.

Lastly, in case anyone wonders why I do this, here are some of the comments I got in emails.
“So grateful for the event – was a ton of fun! Thanks for doing it,. Alice – It was a great community builder!”
“Thank you so much – it was honestly the funnest we’ve had in a while so thank you for setting this up.”
“Our family is having fun with the Winter Wander! Thanks so much for making this happen in our community 😊”
“The Three Blind mice found the Grinch!! This was fun, saw amazing lights while driving around.”
“This was a really fun adventure. Thanks for putting this together.”
“Thank you for providing (me) so much fun this weekend!”

2 Replies to "GRATITUDE: Winter Wander scavenger-hunt creator Alice Kuder reveals how it went and thanks helpers"

  • Dora-Faye Hendricks December 18, 2022 (2:41 pm)

    As a close friend of Alice’s, I have witnessed and helped with parts of all three of her orchestrated “Winter Wander” scavenger hunts and want to attest to the enormous amount of work and personal expense she has donated in the planning, setting up, contacting community businesses, creating publicity herself,  and contact with all the participants.  The West Seattle Blog deserves to  be thanked for all the publicity they provided through the Blog before and now, after the Winter Wander has finished.  I’ve never heard of any other individual in this community or any other that has created, set up, and accomplished all the pieces of these scavenger hunts — for free participation by all the people and businesses involved. She did all this at her own personal expense (and she is not a CEO of a big, profitable company; she’s a single working woman (a realtor), living in the community (with her dog, Grace).  She deserves a LOT of appreciation and good coverage for her generosity and energy.  David Muir of ABC, and other major networks, have you heard of a free community activity that benefits the hearts of the  families or individuals who participate more than this one?  It’s good for America!!!

  • Bread December 18, 2022 (2:49 pm)

    How fun to put on this event for the community. Glad lots of people participated and had a great time!

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