Glittery star ornament hanging on Christmas tree with lights

Jolly Raleigh Scavenger Hunt Clues

Jump To:

Clue 1 Clue 2 Clue 3 Clue 4 Clue 5 Clue 6 Clue 7 Clue 8 Clue 9 Clue 10 Clue 11 Clue 12 Key

Use these clues to find hidden light displays located at 12 of our Raleigh Parks sites! 

The scavenger hunt can be completed in any order and at any time at your own pace between December 1-12 from 2 to 7 p.m. daily.

If you haven't registered online for the scavenger hunt, follow the instructions on how to participate on this page. 

Clue 1

Historic image of iceskating on Lake Howell at Pullen Park

Twas a chilly December day back in 1940.
Lake Howell had frozen over,
Folks in Raleigh were feeling quite sporty!
Children with skates rushed to this park in a hurry.
They rode the carousel and enjoyed the snow flurries. 
The R-F-D had some good advice.
“Let’s use our fire hose 
and add an extra layer of ice.” 
Ice skating on Lake Howell was quite the sight to see! 
Come and find the clue here where a little train might be. 

Need Help? View the key here.

Clue 2

Toy holiday carousel

Mr. Allan Herschell was quite the master carver. 
Take a ride on his horses
or chariots be your charter. 
Round and round you go
in this historic piece of art. 
This fun Raleigh ride is better than a go-cart! 
Peep through the windows and maybe you will see
the magnificent ‘Holiday Horse’ 
who is sure to bring you glee! 
Draped with garland and bows, 
she awaits your 'hello!’. 
Do you know where to find her? 
John Chavis will probably know! 

Need Help? View the key here.

Clue 3

Interior of historic home with stairs with red carpet and large fireplace

At 420 N. Blount Street, 
visitors were received
on an evening in ‘51, 
to celebrate New Year's Eve.
Gathered ‘round the table, 
along with their hosts, 
the guests prepared for the midnight toast. 
This house had many a similar event, 
from 1910 to 1970.
Mr. and Mrs. Tucker spread holiday cheer, 
at this house with large columns
and a porch with two tiers. 
Find the next clue at this home's new address, 
moved in 1975, 
where today it still rests. 

Need Help? View the key here.

Clue 4

Sidewalk lined with candy cane lights

Built in 1900, a historic house of brick. 
Today it’s used for weddings, 
Parties and picnics. 
It was once a small dormitory surrounded by a farm. 
T’was the campus of the Methodist Home for Children. 
It’s really quite a site,
Every morning, the dairy attendants
milked the cows at first light. 
On a special morning each year, 
To the children's delight,
Warm milk was brought inside
mmm….just right! 
Today, this building sits in the beautiful Fletcher Park. 
Follow the candy cane trail 
to this historic landmark.

Need Help? View the key here.

Clue 5

Woman wrapping up holiday gift

This park lies within an old Wake County community. 
In the early 1900s, a training school was built
on this land by Mr. Berry O’Kelly.
There were ten structures on the
campus complex 
back in it’s prime. 
On the fenced-in playground
Find swings, drums, and slides.
It’s located near Meredith 
and NC State. 
Each year at Historic Method Day,
please come join us and grab a plate.
Can you guess where’s the next clue?
Come find us with friends
family, or the whole crew!

Need Help? View the key here.

Clue 6

Kiwanis Park

Long ago when dinosaurs
roamed the Earth at dark, 
they loved to hang out
on the land that is now Kiwanis Park.  
Tyrannosaurus Rex, Brachiosaurus,
and Pterodactyl too, 
would gather to deck the halls, sing carols,
and exchange a gift or two.  
Every year, a different dinosaur
got to place a star on top of the tree.  
One year, Santa chose a T-Rex
Oh, how happy he would be! 
But the T-Rex was very nervous and
didn’t know if he was up to the task.
You see his arms were too short, 
and he thought the others would laugh.  
The T-Rex said to Santa, “But what if I
can’t reach the top of the tree?  
I’m afraid that all of my friends 
will make fun of me.”  
Santa said to the T-Rex, “Have no fear, T, 
I know that you can do this if you truly believe.”  
After the ornaments were hung and the lights were lit, 
it was time for T-Rex to do it.  
T-Rex slowly walked up and saw the tree
had been cut to height. 
He could easily reach the top 
without struggling all night. 
T-Rex turned around to Santa who
gave him a wink.  
Come see T-Rex in Kiwanis Park 
You’ll be happy…I think.

Need Help? View the key here.

Clue 7

Dog in Santa Hat in front of green leaves

If you’re looking for recreational activities, 
this is the park!  
It has baseball fields, a community center, 
tennis courts, and a dog park. 
The shady trees and gazebo 
provide a perfect picnic spot.
It has fun summer camps when
the weather gets really hot! 
Who’s that in the window 
stealing the star from the tree? 
He’s wearing Santa’s hat,
but he’s completely green! 
Come spread some holiday cheer 
at 2405 Wade Avenue. 
Say hi to the Grinch, Max and little
Cindy Lou Who!

Need Help? View the key here.

Clue 8

A view of part of the open lawn at Moore Square with the city buildings in the background

In the heart of downtown Raleigh
Is a square for entertainment. 
From markets to concerts to trivia, 
this green space will bring amazement! 
Since 1792, this place has offered “Moore.” 
A visitors’ center and water feature 
are here for you to explore! 
Santa loves to visit this site and enjoy a “square burger” and fries, 
while looking out onto the field before he takes off into the skies.  
As one of the five public green spaces in the City of Raleigh, 
this park has lots of programs that are sure to bring your jolly!

Need Help? View the key here.

Clue 9

This is the Briggs Hardware building which is home to the City of Raleigh Museum.

The Briggs Family sold tools, supplies,
and even toys at their store. 
For almost 100 years
they made little boys' and girls' hearts soar! 
They loved to see the displays in the big window. 
Now this place has a different purpose
explaining historic info. 
From toy store to museum, 
this place has had quite the journey!
Find your next clue here 
to get some “City of Raleigh learning.”  

Need Help? View the key here.

Clue 10

Gingerbread house parts all laid on counter

Take a scenic drive 
and turn on to Wilmington Street. 
The place for this next clue 
is a special house lined with treats!
This home has a rich history 
as the only African American house museum in the state. 
It was built in 1901. So original! How great! 
Let’s go back in time and imagine the festivities that took place. 
Listen close to hear the clue about this historic space. 
“The Pope Family has been so busy decorating their house today. 
They’ve added bows and ribbons because Santa is on his way! 
Singing with excitement, 
the Pope’s finished decorating their homestead. 
For as you drive by this site, 
it will look just like gingerbread!

Need Help? View the key here.

Clue 11

Group of people laying in the snow making snow angels

Years ago, in Raleigh, there ran a little trolley. 
You could ride to many places. It was really quite jolly!  
You could ride all over town for only just a nickel! 
But weekend traffic would slow, putting businesses in a pickle. 
To get people on board when they were off of work, 
electric companies-built amusement parks 
at the ends of trolley lines as a perk!
“Five points” of roadways occurred from this great idea. 
When Santa came to Raleigh to deliver presents to good boys and girls. 
He made a stop at Five Points to give it a little whirl. 
You see, there’s a special place where grown-ups could feel like kids again.
There’s dancing, fitness classes, and a café to make some friends. 
Can you figure out the clue? What’s your result? 
I’ll give you a hint, Santa’s an active adult!

Need Help? View the key here.

Clue 12

Holiday wreaths with red bows hanging on historic home front doors

Margaret “Peggy” Lane Mordecai 
lived in one of the oldest houses in Raleigh. 
Don’t believe me? Well, let’s take a ride on the Raleigh trolley! 
On special holiday evenings in this large plantation home, 
you could find many holiday treats 
like cakes and honeycomb. 
Garland and wreaths were hung so the holiday spirit would thrive. 
This home has had holiday cheer since established in 1785.  
Come explore this park and learn a thing or two 
about the 1200 acres of farmland in which corn, wheat, and cotton grew. 

Remember to bring your letter to Santa at this stop! A special mailbox that goes out to the North Pole awaits you here.

Need Help? View the key here.


If you need a little help in figuring out our riddles - find the answers below:

  1. Pullen Park
  2. Chavis Carousel
  3. Tucker House
  4. Borden Building at Fletcher Park
  5. Method Community Center
  6. Kiwanis Park
  7. Jaycee Park
  8. Moore Square
  9. City of Raleigh Museum
  10. Pope House Museum
  11. Five Points Center for Active Adults
  12. Mordecai Historic Park




Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources