We ended 2021 and brought in 2022 with our second annual Twelve Days of Christmas Give-Away. It was a great success!
Each day, from Dec. 25 through Jan 5, we wrapped a box full of Pure Muskoka goodies and dropped it off in different locations throughout Muskoka. Every day we took a photo of the package in its location and would then post it on social media for all to see. The gift belonged to whomever could recognize the location and get to it first. Finders keepers! Those who went out in search of the gift and walked away empty handed, had an opportunity to receive a 20% discount on a future purchase if they emailed us a selfie in that same location. Win, win!
Yes, all of the gifts were found…..and yes, twelve lucky people/families got some great PM swag! SO much fun! But for us, the success of the give-away was measured by the the feedback we received, and the number of people that enjoyed getting outside and exploring Muskoka for the sake of this fun scavenger hunt.
Some days the locations were pretty well known and obvious, but other days we made the search more challenging. We chose random times to venture out each day, so there was never any way participants knew ahead of time when the photo clue would be posted.
Many of you asked about the locations along the way, so we thought we’d write this summary of the give away and where each gift was located.
Day one (Dec. 25th) we decided to stay close to home and dropped the gift off right along the boundary of Wahta Mohawk Territory and the town of Bala, right near the generating station off Ragged Rapids Rd. This was a really tough one and we weren’t even certain it would be found! If you know your local generating stations, you may have been able to figure this one out by zooming in and having a good look at the background in the photo, but we had a lot of people stumped with this one. We received a message about two hours after we left the area, informing us that the package had been picked up (and shared amongst a family). We were so happy!!
The second day (Dec 26th) we dropped the gift off at the Gull Lake Barge, in Gravenhurst. This one would have been easy for most people that are familiar with Gravenhurst, but the angle of our photo didn’t make it as obvious as it could have been. The gift was found very quickly by some folks who weren’t aware of the give-away, but were super happy to find it, nonetheless.
Day three (Dec 27th) we ventured over to Hannah Park, in Port Carling, and left the gift along the Indian River shore overlooking Steamboat Bay and Duke Boats. Again, a pretty popular spot, but without zooming in on the background of the photo, not so obvious! There were a few people in the park that day, so we had to be creative and a bit sneaky getting in and out of the park without the gift being seen.
Day four (Dec 28th) was our day in Bracebridge. After driving around for awhile, we decided we wanted a pretty picture of the falls, so we ended up leaving it on the viewing platform on the East side of the rapids just off Entrance Drive. This made for an easy find (and a beauty photo!) The package was found by someone who had participated in the first few of days, but was either stumped by the location or arrived too late. Persistence paid off!
Day five (Dec 29th) we travelled North to Huntsville. We decided to go to Muskoka Heritage Place and leave the gift beside the old bell by the Park Dr. entrance. Over the holidays, Heritage Place was a popular spot because of the Eclipse “Walk With Light” forest night walk, so we figured it would be one of the more recognizable locations. Many folks were out walking around that day, and received our first “it’s gone!” message within about 5 minutes!
Day six (Dec 30th) we took a hike on the look-out trail in Walker’s Point and left the gift on a chair….waaaaay up…..overlooking Lake Muskoka. It was a grey, but mild day, and we thought a perfect opportunity for people to get outside and enjoy the view. Lots of people thought this was Huckleberry Rock when seeing the photo, and we can see why.
Day seven (Dec 31st) we dropped the gift in Port Sandfield by the swing bridge. This is a popular place in the Summertime with the bakery and ice cream shop and the gift was found quickly. What a nice way to end 2021!
Day eight (Jan 1’st) we were relaxing at home and decided not to venture far. The gift was dropped on a bench near the Bala town dock overlooking Bala Bay. We received a lot of messages that day from people who had gone looking for it (a fun New Years Day activity) and as far as we can tell, it didn’t last 5 minutes out there before being found! You’ve got to be quick if you want to get those in-town gifts first!
Day nine (Jan 2nd) we went back to Gravenhurst and left the package on the end of the dock overlooking Muskoka Bay, right in front of Boston Pizza. We decided to go a little earlier this day, so that the restaurant wasn’t open yet. We wanted to make sure we had a chance to post the photo before the gift was found. This proved challenging in some of the busier locations we chose.
Day ten (Jan 3rd) we went back to Port Carling and left the gift on one of the docks at Duke Boats. It was definitely one of the more obvious locations and we were happy that it was found by someone who had been tuning in every day and actively participating. It was shared amongst family members and brightened everyones day.
Day eleven (Jan 4th) we went on a road trip up to Port Sydney and left the gift by the “Heritage Tree” along the river by the rest stop in the middle of town. What a gorgeous location! We don’t get out that way very often and are definitely planning a trip back there next Summer to enjoy the waterfront and the town a little more.
Day twelve (Jan 5th) we decided to go West and head to Foot’s Bay. We left the gift on one of the docks at the Marina. It was found and enjoyed by another local person who had been tuning in and participating in the scavenger hunt. It’s always fun for us when we get to find out who ends up with the package. :)
We have really enjoyed organizing this give-away the last two years. It has given us a wonderful reason to get out and explore all of the “nooks and crannies” of this beautiful place, and spread some joy around. Thanks to everyone who participated, either actively, or virtually from locations that were too far away to travel from. We look forward to doing it again next year, and maybe even adding a Summer version, so please stay tuned!