If you are thinking of fun activities for both kids and adults, you will be glad to know there are endless ideas you can try. One of the most popular is the scavenger hunt, which is easy, inexpensive, and doesn’t take much to prepare. It’s the perfect activity for birthdays, Christmas, Halloween, and basically any event. With that said, below are some scavenger hunt ideas for you.
Before you get to the scavenger hunt ideas, it’s good to be clear about what a scavenger hunt activity is. A scavenger hunt is a game or an activity where the participants go around to collect various items, complete a set of activities or do a list of challenges. The game is usually timed and is played either by individuals or in teams.
You win a scavenger hunt if you return with a completed list. Some people get confused between a scavenger hunt and a treasure hunt, which is understandable. These two games are similar where the participants find clues to what they are looking for or need to do. Every clue they find leads them to another clue until they finally find the treasure.
If you search on the internet, you will find countless scavenger hunt ideas to try. However, many of them seem too complicated to make by yourself. So, you might ask yourself, “How do you make a simple scavenger hunt?”
Creating or planning a scavenger hunt has to do with planning.
Below is a process you can follow in planning a simple scavenger hunt:
- Plan the route where the scavenger hunt will be.
- Scout the locations and note places that are best to hide clues.
- Write the clues, number them, and put them inside the corresponding envelopes.
- Allow enough time to plan the hunt and make it exciting.
- Look for helpers to assist when setting up the scavenger hunt.
- Set up the hunt, making sure you hid the clues really well.
- Create a contingency plan for things that go awry.
- Keep things more entertaining by adding extra awards.
The scavenger hunt ideas in your mind will be easier to do with the steps above.
A scavenger hunt is more fun if it involves things or steps out of an ordinary scavenger hunt activity. If you often do a scavenger hunt and it’s always the same old thing, changing it to add different prices is enough to liven up the game. Another idea involves having a theme, which will excite participants who like your chosen theme.
Before getting into the tips to create clever clues, take the time to understand who will be participating in the scavenger hunt. This is essential to gauge the difficulty of the clues. Your goal is to make it not too difficult, but just enough for the average group to be able to solve it.
Here are some ideas on writing clues for your scavenger hunt:
Cut up pictures and put the pieces in hidden locations. You can increase the level of difficulty by raising the number of pieces. For instance, you can have 3 to 4 pieces for kids, 8 to 10 pieces of pictures for teens, and 12 to 20 pieces for adults. Scatter them at different locations along the route, with players needing to assemble them to find the next clue.
Rebus puzzles are an example of clever clues perfect for scavenger hunts. In a rebus puzzle, you use different pictures to indicate a word. For example, if the clue is the phrase “I love you.” You can make a rebus clue from this by using the picture of an eye, heart, and a sheep (ewe). You can also make it more difficult by mixing words and images to make the participants think more.
Another clever way of making scavenger hunt clues is using secret codes, which also comes with varying difficulty levels. A simple code would be replacing letters with numbers. You can make it more difficult by using symbols or pictures. The goal is for the hunter to decipher the codes to get a clue for the next item.
While this isn’t something most people can get off the top of their heads, rhyme clues are pretty clever. You can create your own rhyme clues by using old nursery rhymes as patterns, then tweaking it a bit based on your theme. If not, you can use part of the nursery rhyme itself. It includes a bit of wordplay, which is perfect if you have a knack for writing.
You now have some idea on how to plan and create your scavenger hunt activity. But what if you still have no concrete idea of what type of scavenger hunt to do? Well, below are ten scavenger hunt ideas you can do on your own, plus a bonus suggestion.
This scavenger hunt idea is super easy. All you need is to give your hunters a piece of paper to list the items around the location of the hunt. The catch is they can only list things that start with the letters of the alphabet. Of course, they can’t skip any letter, and they have to do it in alphabetical order The first person to complete the alphabet is the winner.
This is one of the trickier scavenger hunt ideas perfect for adults and kids who enjoy a good challenge. You hide the items all over the route and give the clues to your hunters. In this scavenger hunt game, the clues are written in rhyming riddles. This is a fun activity for both kids and adults, with the rhyming riddles allowing the hunters to think on their feet as they search for clues.
The idea behind this scavenger hunt game comes from the I Spy road trip game. It is pretty much the same but with a check sheet of specific items you need to spy to complete the game. The hunters will follow the route, looking around to find the particular items on the list. The goal is to check them all with the first person or team declared the winner.
This scavenger hunt idea combines the fun of scavenging with technology. The basic items your hunters will need for this game is a GPS and their smartphone. The host prepares the cache boxes for the hunters to find beforehand. The location is uploaded to the site used for geocaching, which the hunters access using their phones. The hunters find the caches with the GPS to find clues to the treasure or complete their tasks.
The great thing about this being digital is that you can get others on social media to join in the fun. Just make a post about your online scavenger hunt, add the details in, and watch everyone have a great time searching around the city.
This scavenger hunt idea is great if you’re going to the beach. You can start the game on the way to the beach without telling the hunters the actual address of the destination. Instead, you give them the first clue when you leave, which naturally sends them to the location of the next clue, and so forth. The quickest person or team to find their way to the beach wins the prize you set aside for the game.
This is the type of scavenger hunt that doesn’t use complex clues. You also don’t have to host the game in another location. That makes it great if you’re hosting a scavenger hunt in the house or your backyard. The clues can be simple mathematical problems, words or a mix of both. The hunters try to find all clues or complete the tasks in the checklist to win the game.
This is a city-wide scavenger hunt, which may be complicated to make. The good thing about this scavenger hunt idea is that there are many things you can try. However, because it’s a city-wide scavenger hunt, there are more than a few things you need to set. You can find below a guide to help you set up your All City Scavenger Hunt:
- Allocate a specific timeframe for the activity enough for people to get into it without their attention span wandering. The recommendation is at least two hours.
- Pick a distance that the hunters are physically able to walk. When deciding the distance, consider if it’s enough to cover the timeframe you picked, including when making stops to look for clues. It should also have a start and end location.
- Decide the city to have the scavenger hunt based on your knowledge of the city, budget, and preferences. It is perhaps best to do the scavenger hunt where your home or office is, which should save you some travel expenses. This also gives you the advantage of knowing the neighborhood well enough to set up clues.
- Pick the neighborhood that will be the primary location of the scavenger hunt to be an area that can offer a fantastic experience. When choosing a setting, ensure that it is safe, has lots of establishments within walking distance, and is ideal for producing clues.
When you make the clues for the scavenger hunt, consider the things mentioned above. They will allow you to plan a fun, exciting scavenger hunt that also explores the city.
This scavenger hunt idea involves finding the best brunch in the city, which makes it perfect for friends who like eating good food. For this idea, you can start at a specific location where everyone gathers. The host provides the game’s mechanics, such as the prizes and the goal. Typically, this game involves tasks in different brunch locations with the team that accumulated the most points declared as the winner.
It’s a scavenger hunt, but the Family Game is more of a treasure hunt where a family looks for clues to find the treasure. This is a simple scavenger hunt game with the host or the parents writing hints and scattering them all over the house for the hunters to find. The clues help the hunters to get closer to where the treasure is, and whoever finds it first is the victor.
Scavenger hunts are perfect for getting campers moving. It doesn’t have to be that unique of a scavenger hunt – how about getting them to look around the camp for the items in their scavenger list? These items could be things they need while staying there, which is excellent motivation. Of course, the first person or team to check off their list ultimately gets a prize.
Geocaching has been mentioned before and is one of the most popular scavenger hunt ideas. It’s a fun game that will quickly get you addicted to creating and hiding things for others to find. It is also reasonably simple where the hunters only need a GPS, their smartphone, a comfortable outfit, and the GPS coordinates of the cache box.
Using the coordinates, hunters can go out there and explore. If they are lucky, they can find a cache box with incredible items inside. The fact you need to replace the things you discovered with something of the same value or greater makes this scavenger hunt even better. It’s simple without complicated clues, and it makes for a memorable experience.
There is not much difference in creating a scavenger hunt activity for adults than for teens or adults. Perhaps the only difference is the difficulty level, as a scavenger hunt game for kids won’t provide the same excitement as a game designed for adults. In that case, a scavenger hunt for adults is designed to make them think outside the box. It usually has more tasks, and is set in a larger location.
Planning a scavenger hunt at home is simple and easy. First, you will need to decide three things – the game’s day, time, and location. Of course, don’t forget to design the scavenger hunt based on the capabilities of your hunters to ensure you can provide them with a true challenge. Like the steps mentioned earlier, take the time to prepare the route to ensure it will be a fun, memorable game that everyone will enjoy.
There you go. Hopefully, this post gives you valuable scavenger hunt ideas for birthdays, Christmas, Easter or any occasion. Just keep in mind that the scavenger hunt you prepare doesn’t have to be overly complicated. As long as everyone enjoys it and it’s a fun challenge, you did well preparing your party.