Keys to the City: A Great Day in Harlem

When: Saturday, May 22, 2021, 10:00am
Price: $54
Keys to the City Logo
Image by Jörg Schubert, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Join us for a great day in Harlem* with the return of our fully outdoor scavenger hunt, Keys to the City! This past year has proven that it takes grit and determination to make it in New York. Do you and your team have what it takes to earn the Keys to the City?

50 Clues & 1 Grand PrizeUnlock secret places, historic haunts, and new views as you and your team solve clues in our daylong uptown scavenger hunt in greater Harlem's many vibrant neighborhoods, including Central Harlem, Hamilton Heights, Sugar Hill, West Harlem, Morningside Heights, Manhattanville, and East Harlem, which we are proud to call home. In one great day, you’ll encounter the past, present, and future of upper Manhattan as you document your journey – while helping us raise vital funds to support the Museum.

All clues are located outdoors, and the Hunt is designed to be done in a safe, socially-distant manner. 

*Sample Clue: Where did a group of 57 jazz legends and luminaries including Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Marian McPartland, and Mary Lou Williams gather over sixty years ago on another "Great Day in Harlem"?**


Adults (19 and over): $54 per person
Youth (7-18): $28 per person
Children (6 and under): FREE

Please note the scavenger hunt clues are written with adult users in mind and not specifically pitched at a younger audience. Please keep this in mind if you choose to bring children!


Make A Difference: 

Once you create a team, use your platform to raise funds in support of the Museum! Become a champion of the city we call home and keep our collective, New York culture and story alive, by sharing your fundraising page with friends and family, and win prizes for reaching your goal.

Support of Keys to the City helps the Museum continue to connect our community through various programs that explore the qualities that define New York and keep New York City’s culture alive through local events like Uptown Bounce, Museum Mile, and Keys to the City. With your support, our public and community programs can continue to serve approximately 10,000 New Yorkers yearly.

Learn more about the Museum

How the Hunt Works:

  • Teams of at most 10 and at least 2 players start from a location of their choosing to decipher clues to identify sites in West Harlem, Morningside Heights, Harlem, Manhattanville, Hamilton Heights, Sugar Hill, and East Harlem. Please contact us at if you don't have a team, but are interested in participating.
  • Clues are worth different point values depending on difficulty and distance. Teams do not have to visit every site; rather, the objective is to earn as many points as possible in the allotted time.
  • Teams must photograph all of their members at the clue sites and post their pictures to a team-designated Instagram account to earn points.
  • Please have your Instagram handle ready in advance – View instructions on how to create an Instagram account here.
  • In case of rain – The scavenger hunt will be rescheduled to Sunday, May 23 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Please note that no refunds will be offered if the event is moved to the rain date.


1st Place Team: 

2nd Place Team: 4 Tickets to One World Observatory at One World Trade Center

3rd Place Team: 4 Tickets to the Harbes Barnyard Adventure at the Harbes Family Farm in Mattituck, NY

Highest Team Fundraiser: Master & Dynamic Wireless Headphones  

Highest Individual Fundraiser: Gift card for one dozen cookies from Levain Bakery 

Event Partners:

Boxed Water
Dinosaur Bar-b-que Logo
Harbes Barnyard Adventure
Harlem Baking Co.
Harlem Blue Website Logo
Harlem Cycle
Harlem Haberdashery
HH Bespoke
Harlem Shake Logo
Legends Logo
Levain Bakery
Lexington Pizza Parlour
Master & Dynamic
One World Observatory Logo

Questions? Email us at  

In light of the ongoing health crisis and related uncertainty, registration fee refunds up to $46 for adults and $22 for youths will be considered on case-by-case basis. No refunds will be offered if the event is moved to the rain date. All donations from fundraising are non-refundable and fully tax-deductible.

**Answer: The musicians gathered at 17 East 126th Street between Fifth and Madison on August 12, 1958 to be photographed by Art Kane for Esquire magazine.

Community Partners

Special thanks to Harlem CycleHarlem EatUp!, Harlem One StopMaysles CinemaSugar Hill Creamery, and The Africa Center 

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