Host a scavenger hunt in your area for your large group of family and friends, and make a memory that will last a lifetime.
Have you ever been host to a large group of people all looking to you to be their “cruise director” or director de l’amusement? Well in my family, we already are a large group of people, so anybody we add to the equation is already a party waiting to happen. How about family coming from out of town? How do you fill a week with activities that don’t break the bank yet still make some incredible memories? Hosting a photo scavenger hunt through the city is the perfect way to entertain a large crowd. All it takes is a little preparation, an iPhone, knowledge of some landmarks in your city, and hopefully a group of people willing to ham it up and have a good time.
How to prepare
- Come up with at least 12 landmarks in your area such as the town square fountain, Main Street theatre, hardware store, fast food chain, local park, produce section at the grocery store, a statue, body of water, etc.
- Think of 12 crazy ideas you can do at these landmarks. For example, pose as a rock group and snap your album cover photo, sing a song, interview a stranger, choreograph a dance and perform it, reenact a famous historical event.
- Now combine your crazy ideas with your landmarks.
- Write out clues for where each team is supposed to go and what they are supposed to do. If you can pull off rhyming your clues…even better. For example, “Where can I go to get an old shirt, that someone has loved before? Not from a closet, but hung on a rack. A second hand chance to restore. When you arrive, all gather your gear and come up with a costume that’s crazy. Dress up one choice member, and snap a quick pic. This isn’t the time to be lazy.” (answer: Go to a second hand store and gather items to dress one member in a crazy outfit and snap a pic)
- After you have written all the clues, seal the envelopes and place in a large bowl for drawing.
Scavenger Hunt Clue Ideas
- Find a color theme such as yellow and snap a picture with as much yellow as possible
- Pick up a bag of trash on the side of the road (hint: make sure both teams have a kitchen trash bag in case they draw that clue.)
- Create an album cover for your rock band
- reenact a famous historical event
- choreography and dance routine and perform it for people passing by
- gather hands around a pine tree and video yourselves singing “Fah Who Doraze”
- Build a snowman out of snow or rocks or whatever you can find
- hang from the monkey bars
- interview a stranger
- serenade a stranger
- pose like a mannequin
- take a picture or movie of everyone being a train on the railroad tracks
- reenact Billy Goats Gruff under a bridge
- pose and create a famous work of art like the American Gothic
- take a picture reading in a bookstore
- pick the perfect melon in the produce section at the local grocery store
- reenact proposing marriage at a jewelry store
- bring back a gum ball from a gum ball machine
- bring back a can of beans, a new toothbrush, and a bottled water from the neighbors
- yodel from the top of a mountain
- pose as your favorite animals and video what the local zoo would sound like
- give a clue about finding a specific tool and see what the team comes up with.
Divide your group into teams
All the clues have been written and it is time to divide your group into teams of 5-10 people. Most likely these will be driving teams, so think through who can drive under pressure, what ages of people would have fun together, balancing your introverts and extraverts, and making sure there is good supervision for younger team members.
Add a Little Fun
Your teams are all picked and the clues are ready to be dispersed. How about a little drama? Cue the music. Mission Impossible… Your mission, should you choose to accept it. Have Mission Impossible playing in the background as each team takes turns choosing their 6 clues. They are not to be opened until all teams are loaded into their cars.
Get Ready…Get Set…
Now that each team has their set of 6 clues, it’s showtime. Hint: it is a good idea to make sure all vehicles you will be driving are fully gassed up and ready to go, iPhones are charged, and everyone has used the bathroom and had a snack. Set a time to meet back at the house. The team to complete the most clues, and bring proof, by the allotted time, wins.
Time’s Up. Presentation time.
When the time is up, you better be back at base or points are docked. No squeezing in one last clue. You know who you are. If your group has some creative artsy types, good with photo and video editing, now is the time to shine. Bonus points to those fun edits that get extra laughs. These photo and video memories are also the treasures you will have for years to come. The exchange of humiliating stories, mishaps, getting lost experiences, how your group figured out the clues, and who was in charge of what in each group are what make presentation time the highlight of the day.
Polish off the evening with a fun meal together
Now you could take the easy route and order in pizza or Chinese. After all, who wants to come home after a long day and be stuck in the kitchen when everyone else is sharing stories of the day, right? With a little extra planning, you can make a feast for a crowd that comes together in no time… with all hands on deck. How about a build-your- own pizza or calzone bar? You could also do a taco, baked potato, or soup and salad bar. These ideas are filling, involve everyone, as well as come together easily if everyone helps share the responsibly of bringing all the toppings. It’s like having two parties in one. What a perfect way to end a perfect day.
Alternative Ways to do a Scavenger Hunt
There are several variations you can do when planning a scavenger hunt.
- a nature hunt– this can be done in your back yard, at a park, or on a walk. This is great fun and exercise and is especially great for children. All they will need is a sheet of paper with pictures of things to find in nature, how many, and how long they will have to find them.
- a neighborhood scavenger hunt– this is a great way to get to know your neighbors by scavenging through your neighborhood with a list of items such as can of green beans, shovel, old toothbrush, etc. and bringing as many items back in the allotted time as possible. The team with the most items, wins. Bonus points for those items that are hard to find.
- a treasure hunt – this is a little different than a scavenger hunt, in that it takes more planning and hiding clues. We did this at my son’s Pirate birthday party. Clues are hidden in strategic spots that lead to other clues, until finally a treasure is reached.
- a supernatural treasure hunt – If you have never been on a supernatural treasure hunt, in which you are on a search for God’s treasure, you are in for a treat. Groups gather to pray and receive clues from the Holy Spirit that send them on a chase through their city to see who is on God’s heart and what He wants to do for them. You can find out more about this here.