On July 1, the Water Street Bookstore downtown  kicked off Exeter’s annual, month-long Waldo Scavenger Hunt, leading swarms of kids and parents into 26 shops to hunt for hidden Waldo cutouts (for prizes, of course).

Kids begin their hunt with a visit to the Water Street Bookstore, where they find Alice, a friendly coordinator of the scavenger hunt eagerly standing behind the register in the young readers’ section. When Alice is not helping customers or talking about books, she’s happily handing kids their very own Waldo Passports–blue sheets stamped by staff members that record where kids find Waldo–and planning the last minute details of the party at the end of the month for the tenacious participants who bring back their completed passports.

Once participants have their passports, they’re off to stores like Picture Framing and Fine Old Books and Whirligigs Toys. Jennifer, the cashier at Picture Framing and Fine Old Books, says she tries to keep Waldo very well hidden. But kids still seem to spot him immediately. However, Caroline, the cashier at Whirligigs Toys, says that most kids that come into her store need several hints before they can find him. But the cashiers agree that no matter how long the kids take to find the paper cutout, the hunt is still a great pastime for family and friends.

Although finding 26 Waldos may seem like a tedious, unending task, Alice says that many people complete this challenge in just a day. After they finish, they show her their passports, and she gives them a raffle ticket for the prize drawing at the winner’s party on August 6.

The super cool prizes are donated by the participating stores. In fact, in past years some of the prizes have been a shark tooth necklace, a Spiderwick Chronicles book, and a moleskine journal.

There’s only one week left to earn these exciting prizes. So stop reading, and start hunting!