The real world is much more exciting than video games. The trouble is that it’s a tough sell to our children. They immerse themselves in worlds where slaying dragons and earning a million gold coins is the norm. How can a parent compete with that?

That’s the question that the Adventure Dad website hopes to answer.

Who is Adventure Dad?

I am. My name is Joe Dean and I’m the father of three sons, now ages 17, 19 and 23 (as of 2019.) Like every parent, I’ve struggled in my efforts to create lasting family memories with my sons and tearing them away from their screens have been a constant struggle. We seriously limited their screen time to only two hours per week (one hour on Saturday and one on Sunday) while they were growing up. In the early years what we found was that although they weren't playing video games during the week, much of their conversations and focus were still on the games, discussing strategies for difficult levels and bragging about their latest achievements, reliving the highlights from the previous weekend’s video game exploits. Trying to get them excited about hobbies, sports and other skills that will help them in the real world proved nearly fruitless and left me frustrated most of the time.

That’s when I changed my game tactics…

Let me begin by saying that for the past 20 years I’ve owned my own adventure design company for corporate events, private parties and fundraisers. I’m hired to bring in actors and themed props in an effort to create a whole world for my clients to interact with. I was creating MMO’s in the real world before the MMO existed online. It’s been a great job, unstable thanks to our unstable economy, but a great time has been had by all. I took my skills that I’ve developed for my work and translated them into activities for my sons.

The results were astonishing.

I began creating what I called “Adventure Nights.” Although the formats and themes for the Adventure Nights have evolved drastically over the years (i.e. What I did for them as teens is a lot different than when they were in Kindergarten,) the focus was bringing the adventure that they experienced within the video games to the real world. I’ve been known to send them on real spy missions within the city and hunting for Bigfoot in the woods. Over the years I also learned to incorporate many of the more addictive and engaging aspects of video games into the Adventure Nights, such as Experience Points (XP), rankings and leveling up.

In that spirit, this website was created. I’d love to share with everyone my victories (and defeats) over creating these types of adventures in hopes that you might get inspired to do the same for yours. It's been over a decade of providing these activites for my sons and now that they are older, they love to share with their friends what we did as a family and even INVITE them to future ones (yep, I still do it for them!...when there's a time where we're all together, that is!) Our Family Adventure Nights will probably go down as the fondest memories that my sons have as a family. And that feels great!

What did our Adventure Nights achieve beyond just a good feeling and great memories? For one, they broadened my sons minds as to what the world was all about. They learned that although video games are great (they still love them!) there are OTHER things in the world that can be a lot more exciting! They are all three very adventurous in spirit - willing to try ANYTHING new! Additionally, it broadened their own exploration of themselves and have been inspired on their own to learn foreign languages and pick up different artisan skills...ON THEIR OWN. Because they found themselves inspired, they explored new hobbies on their own.

Here you'll find fleshed out ideas for creating live adventures for your family and friends along with resources for helping to make the adventure real and exciting.

So - have fun perusing and don’t forget…it’s not the idea that will create the memory but what you choose to do with it!!!


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As we work hard to categorize all of our newest content, we've felt the need to create completely new websites for the sake of content continuity. This site (The Adventure Dad) focuses entirely on creative and exciting activities that would challenge teens and preteens to put down their screen and go on some real life adventures. However, please note the following sites as some of our content has been moved there as appropriate:

The Theme Party Hub - TONS of theme party ideas - www.themepartyhub. Although this site has literally 100's of pages of theme party ideas, we're hoping to build this site to even higher heights. The theme party ideas are organized in a way that is more accessible and fun!

Adventures For Everyone - Packaged adventure hunts for family travel trips and corporate events - www.adventuresforeveryone.com. Our 'event' and facilitation arm of Quest Experiences. This is also a great place to order packaged adventure hunts that are delivered right to your door. Unwrap the package in your local theme park, zoo or university and you're off!

Quest Experiences - Treasure hunt and theme party resources - www.questexperiences.com. Our oldest website, nearly two decades old, will still house our downloadable content as well as our treated paper products.

The Treasure Hunt Hub - Tips and tricks for creating your own scavenger hunts and treasure hunts - www.treasurehunthub.com. Designing a scavenger hunt or treasure hunt from scratch is all about the details. Here you'll find all sorts of articles on how to design your own adventure hunt in a variety of formats. Happy designing!

Theme Park Quests - All types of theme park fun - birthdays, hunts and more! - www.themeparkquests.com. As we are HUGE theme park enthusiasts, here you'll find all types of fun things to do at your local theme park...with a special attention given to the Disney brand theme parks.


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