Geocaching with Metro Gathering

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I really enjoy playing the GPS game, Geocaching.  There are club events organized around the country.  One of the local events I enjoy attending is hosted by the group called Northern New Jersey Cachers. and they host an annual event called the Metro Gathering.  And it has been traditionally held at the historic Waterloo Village in North New Jersey.

Metro Gathering

I’ve attended this Metro Gathering event several years in a row. It has (so far!) always been held in Autumn, which makes it a perfect weekend trip for fall foliage and fun. Every year there is a special-themed Geocaching event, and I eagerly attend.

Games, socializing, and fun!

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This event always ends up being a fun day with friends, family, and kids.  Everyone gets involved in the various games, include a Bingo game where you meet and talk to other geocachers who have performed certain geocaching things (such as achieving a 5×5).  They sign the Bingo card game and you enter it into a chance to win prizes.  I really like how it gets you talking with other gamers and making new acquaintances.

Or just search for the lab caches that were created especially for the event.  Which the kids love doing. The club goes above and beyond with their cache hides and themes, making fun \”spooky\” finds for Halloween.  The local area also has several physical caches you can seek and find, if you wish to explore beyond the Village.

Themed Events

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Each year the event has a different theme.  This year’s event theme was The Witches of Salem and was scheduled very close to Halloween. So it was a perfect Halloween weekend.  Funny enough, the kids attending didn\’t get the theme as much as I did.  Was I dating myself??

Metro Gathering really goes over the top with their themed based items – and I want to give them credit for all of the fun that we have playing during the event.  Each year there is something slightly different. This year there was a magic eight ball and a barking dog inside a dog house.  Plus a pair of legs with red shoes hidden ‘under’ a house.  (You should join next year to better understand!!)

Wow – do the kids love this event

Nicely done, Metro Gathering! The kids were so excited by what they found that they would run back and shout at us slower-moving adults to hurry: “You HAVE to see this!!” they would shout.  It really made the day extra special watching the kids get big-eyed excited over the items they \”found\” in the Village.

Hocus Pocus Hunt

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We’ve attended this event enough times that the kids remember previous visits and are eager to take off and explore – confident they can find the clues.  This year there was an additional challenge to find the three Sanderson Sisters – Witches donned in costume in honor of the movie Hocus Pocus.

While reviewing the various games the kids could play, I had to explain what Hocus Pocus the movie was about.  I made their father promise to show them this movie as soon as they got home. I aged myself right then and there, in the village parking lot.

I told them they had to three three witches in the village, and when they saw the witches they had to go up to them and ask them to sign a specific Hocus Pocus game-paper.

Attacking the Witches

While the adults were getting organized and distributing game papers to the kids, and making our plan on how to start the game – the kids starting shrieking “There they are! There they are!  The witches are there!!

I looked where the kids were all pointing and saw three women getting out of their car.  In costume! People were rushing up to “find the witches” and get their signatures before the game even started. These poor ladies just parked the car and were already getting rushed with excited kids.

Luckily, these witches were kid-friendly and were great sports about the rushing mob. They explained that they weren’t officially playing yet and promised to be very active in the park all day.  They asked everyone to look for them inside the village only, since the parking lot wasn’t considered the game area.

The Game is afoot!

Now that the kids knew what the witches looked like, they grew determined. With a gleam in their eyes and tiny clenched fists, the kids were determined to find those witches again!   Those poor ladies.  They must have felt like rabbits in a field of foxes.  At some point the kids were set loose to hunt down the witches and claim their signatures.

Pumpkin Carving

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This year the geocaching event also hosted a pumpkin carving and decorating competition.  Attendees bring their best carved Jack O’Lantern to enter the competition. The village then uses these Jack O’Lanterns to decorate the village for Halloween.

Guests are invited to vote for their favorite pumpkin and a prize is given to the winner of the vote.  I’m always amazed at the creativity! There was a Jack O’Lantern that looked exactly like an apple core, a ‘burger’ with pumpkin fries, and cinderella’s famous pumpkin carriage.

All in all, this geocaching event is a great way to spend a fall day outside. Adults and kids alike get to stretch their legs in an historical village, surrounded by the brilliants of autumn trees, and playing a games, looking for clues, finding hidden caches, and enjoying the Halloween decorations.

The Metro Gathering event always turns out to be a great day spent with family and friends alike.   I’m already planning to attend next year. And the September 2019 theme is Port Royale. I think it will be time to get my Pirate gear ready!