Monday, July 11, 2022
Pentacrest Museums

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History is partnering with Iowa City Downtown District to bring Where's Rusty? to the campus & community this summer. The museum mascot-themed scavenger hunt invites participants to find Rusty the Giant Sloth hidden in 29 downtown Iowa City businesses to win prizes. 

Long-beloved Museum of Natural History mascot, we can't wait to unleash him on downtown Iowa City!
- Director Liz Crooks, Pentacrest Museums

In similar fashion to ICDD's previous runs of Where's Waldo? and Hunt for the Elves, Where's Rusty? challenges folks to visit local shops where a Rusty look-alike stuffed animal is hiding in exchange for a stamp on their card from each business they find him in. Participants who find 10/29 Rustys win a prize and are entered to win the grand prize, winner announced on August 19th, 2022.

"One of the things that makes the University of Iowa so very special is our seamless campus integration with a thriving downtown, filled with entertainment and small businesses meeting every niche or mainstream desire," Pentacrest Museums communications coordinator Jessica Smith said, "Where's Rusty? is an opportunity for our museum to interact with the many local businesses we love and show our visitors—students and families alike—a good time with some unexpected engagement, exploration, and fun."

The museum's events and operations coordinator Shereena Honary hopes to see local families, staff and faculty, students, and tourists take advantage of the fun. "Where's Rusty? is the perfect way for new students arriving to Iowa City to familiarize themselves with all the town has to offer, and folks who already know and love our town need some fun, too."

Where's Rusty? is free to play now through Friday, August 19, 2022. During a celebration of a very Rusty summer at the museum in Macbride Hall on August 19th, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m., the museum invites guests to turn in their play card if they haven't yet, take selfies with Rusty, play games, eat treats, and watch the announcement of the grand prize winner.

Details to play:

Where can I get a card to play? Any of the 29 participating businesses have play cards. Look for signs with Rusty on the door of downtown businesses or just plan to start at the main drop locations during open hours: Iowa City Public Library, Iowa Book, or the UI Museum of Natural History.

Which locations are participating in Where's Rusty? The play card has the full list of participating businesses. You only need to visit 10 to get a prize and be entered to win the big prize. The list can also be found on the ICDD website or on the sample card here.

Where can I turn the card in for my prize and to be entered for the grand prize? Drop off your completed card at one of 3 main locations: Iowa City Public Library (children's room), Iowa Book, or the UI Museum of Natural History during open hours.

What is the grand prize? Grand prize winners will take home huge gift baskets with goodies from all the participating businesses. From gifts to gift cards, the best Iowa City Downtown District has to offer will be up for grabs!

What are the smaller prizes? Museum themed temporary tattoos or stickers are available at each of the 3 main locations (ICPL, MNH, Iowa Book) for participant pick after 10 Rustys are found and stamped cards are turned in.

When/how will the grand prize winner be announced? We will announce the grand prize winners at a special museum celebration, on Friday, August 19th, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. We'll selfie with Rusty, have treats and games, and announce the big winners at the end. Join us!

There's only one Rusty. How will he be in 29 places at once? We're hiding "Baby Rusty" the stuffed animal version of Rusty the Giant Sloth around downtown. He's adorable and a pretty darn close resemblance, just smaller than an actual giant ground sloth. The Baby Rusty stuffie is exclusively for sale in the Museum of Natural History's gift shop if you need your own.

Is there a Baby Rusty hiding at the Museum of Natural History, too? Yes! Don't be fooled by the Baby Rusty's for sale in the gift shop or the Rusty himself on exhibit, but there is a hidden Rusty in Iowa Hall (museum gallery inside the main entrance of Macbride Hall on the Pentacrest). You'll have to take a spin through the gallery to find him and our docent staff will be ready to stamp your card once you do.

Why Where's Rusty? Where's Rusty? is a partnership between the UI Museum of Natural History and the Iowa City Downtown District. Where's Rusty?, similar to the Where's Waldo? and Hunt for the Elves programs put on by ICDD, encourages support of local businesses, play, and exploration. In this case, an effort to include the museum and a local celebrity (Rusty) was made to build as a thank you to the museum which has been in operation with free admission for over 160 years—a pillar in this community. The museum is grateful to the Iowa City Downtown District for their gracious support of our community and commerce.