Assemble Your Search Party! Find Waldo Returns to Houston in July

How long will it take you to spot Waldo at the 16 local businesses participating in this year's Find Waldo" scavenger hunt? Sharp-eyed searchers will need to be on the lookout for a red-and-white striped T-shirt and knitted cap this month, as local businesses once again host this fun tribute to Waldo, and awareness-raiser for the Shop Local cause.

"We added businesses in the Heights this year," explained Brazos Bookstore's resident Kids Specialist (and Grand Czar of Teen Romance), Mary Catherine Breed. "We have an existing partnership with Travis Elementary, so it seemed like a perfect fit." Brazos will serve as the Find Waldo Local Headquarters, and returning businesses include Buffalo Exchange on Bissonnet and the Monster PBJ food truck. New businesses include Tulips & Tutus, the oolala boutique, and Heights Candy Bar.

The scavenger hunt is simple: pick up a passport at any of the participating businesses (except online vendor, Dixie's Dessert Delivery) and earn your passport stamps by finding Waldo in each location. Ten stamps earns you an "I Found Waldo" button, and a $1 off coupon, redeemable at Brazos Bookstore. Earn all sixteen stamps and be entered to win a six-volume, deluxe set of Waldo books. Each stamp collected also enters you to win prizes from participating Find Waldo retailers. In short, more stamps equals more chances to win awesome stuff--and more opportunities to support locally-owned businesses.

The month-long Find Waldo scavenger hunt will be capped off by a Grand Prize Celebration at Brazos Bookstore on Thursday, July 31 at 2 p.m. Since the participating stores are all generally located in three neighborhoods--Montrose, Rice Village, and the Heights--earning the ten stamps needed to snag an "I Found Waldo" button (and bragging rights) shouldn't take longer than one ambitious weekend.

"Break it up into neighborhoods, and do one each day. You can do it in a weekend, or stretch it out all month," suggested Breed, who also recommends following participating retailers on social media to interact with other Waldo-lovers, and win even more prizes. Brazos is upping the ante with a "Find Waldo" Twitter photo contest. Simply share the photos you take with Waldo along the way, and tag them with the hashtag #FWLBrazos--a winner will be chosen at the grand prize celebration.

Get more information on Find Waldo, and a full list of participating businesses, on the Brazos Bookstore website.

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Christina Uticone