Give the Lady What She Wants: A Marshall Field’s Scavenger Hunt - Atlas Obscura
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Chicago, Illinois

Give the Lady What She Wants: A Marshall Field’s Scavenger Hunt

Explore Chicago's historic State Street department store on this unique scavenger hunt.

Hunting for the perfect gift is a daunting task all holiday shoppers are familiar with, but this year Atlas Obscura challenges you to search for something even more spectacular: the rich history of the city’s largest department store! Grab a friend, throw on your holiday best, and work to track down the stories of Chicago’s merchant princes and free-spending femme fatales inside the richly decorated, 125-year old architectural marvel that is State Street’s historic Marshall Field’s department store.

Take on on the tasks as a 2-person team, or test your mettle solo: either way, this epic hunt promises to send you scavenging through all nine floors of the iconic retail emporium. The best part of all? No coat required for this adventure—you’ll spend the entire hunt indoors.

Savvy adventurers won’t forget to charge their phones—our well-crafted clues can’t be solved with a simple Google search, but you’re likely to need some internet assistance to help you find the answers you seek. The final stop will land you in a mystery location, where you can expect to join Field Agent Patti Swanson (and your competitors) for a toasty winter treat. Our winning team receives a special gift—losers, we’ll buy your first beverage.


  • Ticket includes hunt and one drink ticket for participants 21+.
  • You must be 18+ to be part of the hunt.
  • The hunt can be done either solo or in groups of two.
  • This event goes on rain, shine, or snow!
  • Shrewd scavengers should meet Field Agent Patti outside of the main entrance to Marshall Field's on State Street.
  • Be ready to walk about a mile.
  • Wear weather appropriate clothing, but note that this hunt takes place inside of the department store.
  • Bring your fully charged smart phone for the hunt; while you can't google every answer, your phone will help with clues.
  • The event is ADA accessible. 
  • The ticket is non-refundable, but you can transfer your purchase by following this handy Eventbrite tutorial.




Patti Swanson is an architectural historian, educator, preservation enthusiast, and bookbinder living in Chicago. Raised near Austin, Texas, Patti came to Chicago in 2011 to pursue a degree in art history at School of the Art Institute of Chicago and stayed for the city's rich history, friendly people, and balmy winters. She worked as a tour guide for four years in various capacities before starting her own walking tour company, Chicago for Chicagoans, in 2016. Patti factors lots of local collaboration into her tours and strongly believes in making history accessible to everyone. She is best described as "Shazam for buildings," and can be found on her website Chicago for Chicagoans.

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