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Family creates Thanksgiving scavenger hunt in place of celebration at home

Even amid those challenges, one Moline family found a new, fun way to connect.

MOLINE, Ill. — A Quad Cities family was quite literally running around town this Thanksgiving holiday. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on gatherings in Illinois, the family could not celebrate this year as normal.

Even amid those challenges, one Moline family found a new, fun way to connect.

"Our family does like to do fun stuff like this," said Liz Rose.

It was new for Rose, too, who connected with her extended family from her car.

"We're all pretty competitive," Rose added.

In channeling that competitiveness, Rose's sister Lindsey organized a family scavenger hunt this year.

"So I've been working on the clues all week," Lindsey Hines said. "I picked out 20 locations on the Illinois side of the Quad Cities, came up with clues."

This was the first scavenger hunt for the family, according to Rose.

"This year obviously we wanted to play it safe and decided to celebrate with just our own households," Hines said. "But we still wanted to do something to make us feel kinda together today."

Each family was provided a set of clues to each of the 20 landmarks. Then, they had two hours to find as many as possible.

"We all want bragging rights even the parents, aunts and uncles, my parents," Rose said.

So, the group of 25 set out to find a red ribbon at each location, snapping a photo as proof, which gave them another reason to smile. 

Hines said she spent two hours Thursday morning driving around the cities hanging the ribbons, so family members couldn't find the locations early.

"This year's been sucky for everyone so trying to have fun, all of the kids are really close in age," Rose said. "All of the cousins are, and we grew up, all the cousins who are kind of putting this on, close in age as well, so just trying to make a new tradition for them and a fun way to spend the day."

This year, they created new traditions, since those from years past simply were not feasible this year.

"We always get together for Thanksgiving, we always go black Friday shopping together," Hines said.

"Those things just cant happen this year," Rose said.

This new tradition is one they'll always remember.

"It would have been really easy to be just behind a computer screen today, but where's the fun in that?" said Rose.

Through this scavenger hunt, they found connection with each other and the places they call home.

The winning family found 17 of the 20 landmark locations. Their prize included a Whitey's gift card and family bragging rights until next year.