Christa Geraghty | 

Play Where's Waldo Local in July for Fun & Prizes (It's FREE!)

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Calling all Where’s Waldo? fans! We’ve got a free, fun summer activity for you. Through the end of July, you can play the Where’s Waldo Local (or, Find Waldo Local), a month-long scavenger hunt for a chance to win Where’s Waldo books and other merchandise, like gift cards to area businesses. We’ve got all the details on where, when, and how to play Find Waldo Local.

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What is Where’s Waldo Local?

A Where's Waldo sign next to a Waldo standee

In an effort to promote independent bookstores and the Shop Small movement, Candlewick Press (publisher of Where’s Waldo? books) joined up with the American Booksellers Association to launch Find Waldo Local in 2012. Up to 300 independent booksellers nationwide (that apply) are selected to host a local event that includes prizes and a party, complete with a Where’s Waldo? themed cake at the end of the month.


Find Waldo Local kicked off July 1.

The Where’s Waldo Local event began July 1, 2023 and runs until July 31. Each community ends the scavenger hunt with a Where’s Waldo? themed celebration and giveaway. Dates for the party vary from July 31 through Aug. 5, 2023.


Participating Bookstores & Cities for Where’s Waldo Local in 2023

graphic snippet of independent bookstores participating in where's waldo local game event 2023

This year, at least 237 booksellers will host the Where’s Waldo Local event. You’ll need to visit your local sponsoring bookstore to begin your hunt for Waldo. Click on the image above to see the full list of host bookstores and their locations.


Start the game with a Find Waldo Local passport.

A close up on the stamp book for the Where's Waldo Local event

Through July 31, 2023, you can play “Find Waldo Local” in select communities nationwide. Waldo (technically a cutout) will visit a set number of participating local busine­sses in designated towns and cities throughout the entire month of July. Like searching for Waldo in the classic Where’s Waldo? books, your job is to find as many Waldo cutouts (to earn stamps) as you can before the end of the month. While the rules may vary slightly from community to community, here are the basics:

  • Pick up a ‘Where’s Waldo passport’ (to collect stamps) at the host bookstore.
  • Find Waldo’s glasses in the host bookstore and get a stamp in your passport.
  • Visit the participating businesses listed (we’ve seen as many as 25) in your passport to search for the Waldo cutout.
  • Spot Waldo in one of the listed businesses and get a passport stamp or signature from an employee.
  • Receive a temporary Where’s Waldo? tattoo and a coupon for $1 off a Where’s Waldo? book when you collect a minimum number (varies per community) of stamps. You must show your passport at the host bookstore to claim your prize.
  • Fill your Find Waldo Local passport (or reach a set minimum), and return it to the host bookstore to get an entry into a drawing that’ll take place at the end of the event. Prizes vary, but here are some we’ve found:
    • Deluxe set of Where’s Waldo? books
    • Gift cards to local businesses
    • Gift baskets
    • Free one-year family museum memberships

You must be present at the giveaway/party to win any prizes.

Related: Free Things to Do With Kids This Summer



Where’s Waldo? books you can buy now.

If you aren’t fortunate enough to have a Where’s Waldo Local event in your area, you can buy Where’s Waldo? books and search at home on your own or with family and friends. Our selection has something for everyone, whether you grew up with Where’s Waldo?, are new to the game, even those on the go:


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