Remember that scavenger hunt from highschool with all your friends?

The thrill of racing to beat the clock, the laughter and smiles of your friends, and the incredible bonds that were formed?

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Creating the Perfect Scavenger Hunt

We'll go over the different types of Scavenger Hunts. (Click any of the following to jump straight to that idea.)

Scavenger Hunt Ideas

Holiday Scavenger Hunt Ideas

Holidays are the perfect time to have a scavenger hunt! 

4th of July
Use a patriotic theme with National Treasure style clues or other historical clues.
Decorating with Red, White and Blue will also help to create a patriotic theme

Easter
Place your clues inside easter eggs along with candy
You can use the easter story for clue inspiration

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Christmas
The 12 days of christmas is an ideal inspiration for a Christmas Scavenger Hunt
The nativity story can also be used for inspiration

Halloween
This is probably one of the most popular holidays to base your scavenger hunt off of
Hide your clues in spooky decorations and use candy generously!

Valentine's Day
Get romantic with the clues and use lots of candy
Encourage your participants to pair off


Adventure Scavenger Hunts

Everyone loves a good adventure, especially combined with a scavenger hunt!

Create obstacle courses, rope swings, and clues that lead your players through a dark room.

Scavenger hunts that lead through an abandoned building or require embarrasing yourself also add an element of adventure.

Outdoor Scavenger Hunts Ideas

Combine these with camping or a trip to a local campsite!

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Use wild plants or signs of wildlife to create a clue list. Your hunters can collect photos or actual wildlife. 

Alternatively, if you live near a beach you can use shells and other beach collectibles. 

Also consider a farm setting. All of these are options for scavenger hunts in the outdoors.

Sports Themed Scavenger Hunts Ideas

You can host these at a sports facility like a ball field, ice rink, basketball court at a public gym or at a sports museum. 

You can collect photos or use sports trivia as a source of inspiration for clues.

This is perfect for teenagers who love sports!

Treasure (or Pirate) Hunt Scavenger Hunts Ideas

This is one of the most popular types of scavenger hunts!

Players love the pirate theme and following clues to a treasure! 

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If you want to get extra creative, you can bury chests in the dirt under a big X. 

You can make these hunts as long or short as you'd like by adding extra complexity.

An alternative theme is Indiana Jones with puzzles and jungles. Just use your imagination!

Hollywood Scavenger Hunt Ideas

For this idea, focus on movie star feel.

You can assign characters or let your players dress up as their own actor of choice.

Fake red carpet, stars, gold cups, and gold awards are the key here. 

Make your players feel like Oscar winners and throw in movie trivia for the clues. 

Film-Based

This is one of the most versatile scavenger hunt ideas. 

Choose a popular movie and base the hunt off of it. 

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Decorations, clues, trivia, costumes, food, etc can be based off the movie of choice.

For example, a Harry Potter themed scavenger hunt is ideal for young teens who like this series.

Each player can dress up as their favorite Harry Potter character and then follow the clues to the treasure(s). 

Science and Technology Scavenger Hunt Ideas

With this idea, focus on science and technology facts.

This is for a pretty specific crowd so be sure your players will be prepared. 

You can use historical trivia or technology tricks to create the clues.

Non-Profit or Charity Scavenger Hunt Ideas

Choose a non-profit or charity and use the scavenger hunt to raise awareness or even funds. 

Part of the scavenger hunt could include passing out awareness cards in exchange for signatures or something similar. 

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Alternatively, your players could quiz strangers on their knowledge of a particular topic, and tally scores based on the answers. 

Decorations can also be based on the cause like Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness.

The important thing is to make the experience fun for the players!

Throw-back or Retro Scavenger Hunt Ideas

Your guests may be older or even younger with an appreciation of times gone by.

90's grunge, 60's hippie, or even 20's flapper are an option for themes. 

Similar to some of the other scavenger hunt ideas, use trivia to create a clues list. 

You can incorporate old dances or Name that Tune games.

Indoor Scavenger Hunt List Ideas

Sometimes when it is raining or too hot/cold to be outside, you have to get creative with your scavenger hunts

The advantage of indoor scavenger hunts is that your options are limited and you don't run into situations where your players end up searching outside the bounds of the game. 

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Books provide perfect opportunities to hide clues. 

Internet-based or social media scavenger hunts are a nice modern twist as well. 

Activity Based Scavenger Hunt Ideas

Use this as an opportunity to tie in a fun activity to your scavenger hunt. 

Cooking, woodworking, sewing, scrapbooking, or even legos are all potential "Activities" to combine with your hunt.

For example: Have your players go on a scavenger hunt to collect pieces for their scrapbooks. 

You could also collect pieces of wood, rocks and leaves to decorate a terrarium in a bottle. 

The list of creative scavenger hunt ideas is endless. Hopefully these ideas will be of help!


Ideas

Scroll down to find our guide on creating an amazing scavenger hunt!

I have also provided a list of clues with answers and a step-by-step walkthrough on how to host a Scavenger Hunt and ideas to go with it!

Scavenger Hunts are one of my favorite activities!

I love the competitiveness, creative ideas, phones and videos, and connecting with friends.

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In an age of smartphones and Netflix, playing games while thinking through the complexities of the ideas is a refreshing change.

I love to design them and participate in them with both friends and family!

Outdoor parks, malls, downtown centers, your own home, or even amusement parks make perfect venues for Scavenger Hunts!

Step 1: Choose a theme

Sometimes the theme chooses itself based on the event, such as a birthday party, holiday, bachelorette/bachl or a family reunion.

Otherwise, choose something that has a lot of possibilities such as a pirate theme, food-based, tourism, or a girls/guys night out.

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Costumes can make for a creative twist as well.

The theme needs to tie all the ideas together into a captivating adventure for everyone!

Step 2: Send the invite

Schedule the date of the event at least 2-3 weeks in advance, but ideally at least a month.

Location is important as it needs to be central for everyone and not require excessive driving to get to.

If the event is outdoors, be sure to check the weather and advise your guests to dress accordingly.

If there will be a lot of walking, be sure to mention this so your guests can plan accordingly and wear comfortable shoes.

Step 3: Create the clue list

While intimidating, this can be the most fun for the host.

You can assign points to each clue and even assign higher rewards to the more difficult ideas.

Encourage your guests to take pictures to document their fun. Maybe even offer extra points to the most creative or crazy photos.

Creating the clue list is one of the most fun parts of designing a scavenger hunt!

Step 4: Determine pre-hunt meetup

Determine a location for everyone to arrive at for planning.

You could use a prominent landmark, your home or a business parking lot.

If your event is in a public park or amusement park, be sure to give clear directions on the exact location within the park.

Be sure to encourage your friends to arrive on time, the whole hunt will be disrupted if someone is exorbitantly late.

Once the entire group is assembled, be sure to explain the rules. Provide printed rules if possible.

Remind everyone to have fun but not to do anything dangerous, or break any laws.

After everyone knows the rules, hand out the ideas, necessary hunt items such as pencils and paper.

Step 5: Arrange the Post-hunt meetup

At this point, you may either participate with anyone who may need help, such as younger guests, or prepare a finishing welcome for the contestants.

If you have asked your guests to text you the photos, you can begin sharing these on Social Media so everyone can see the fun!

Be sure to hand out the prizes to the winners and announce them after everyone has completed the hunt.

Most of all, don’t forget to have fun and not over-stress while you are preparing and facilitating your amazing scavenger hunt!

So that's it — how to host an adult scavenger hunt.

If you run out of time or would like help, take a look at Hostible for some pre-arranged scavenger hunts!


Clues

Scroll down to find the top 20 clues to make your scavenger hunt intriguing and entertaining!

#1

My life can be measured in hours, I serve by being devoured. Thin, I am quick. Fat, I am slow, and wind is my foe.

"Candle"

#2

What's black when you get it, red when you use it, and white when you're all through with it?

"Charcoal"

#3

Runs, but cannot walk, sometimes sings but never talks. Lacks arms, has hands; lacks a head but has a face.

"Clock"

#4

One sheet, two sheets, three, sheets, more.. some use less, some use more

"Toilet Paper"

#5

What is white when it's dirty and black when it's clean?

"Chalkboard"

#6

Stiff is my spine and my body is pale, but I'm always ready to tell a tale.

"Book"

#7

I have a sound that goes beep, and while the time I do keep, my main function is to heat.

"Microwave"

#8

What has a tongue that can't taste, eyes that can't see and a sole that will never die?

"Shoe"

#9

What loses its head in the morning and gets it back at night?

"Pillow"

#10

You're almost at the very end, but this is where your guests come in.

"Front Door"

#11

I have keys but no locks, with space but no room and allow you to enter but not get in.

"Keyboard"

#12

A clue to find where you keep things cold Where to go next is what you'll be told.

"Fridge"

#13

I start with an "e", I end with an "e", but I usually contain only one letter?

"Envelope"

#14

Bright like diamonds, hard like rock, I'm crushed or cubed or solid block. Look inside me

"Ice"

#15

Plug but no bath. Ink but no pen. Paper but no news. Cable but no TV.

"Printer"

#16

I have a neck, but no head, but I still wear a cap

"Bottle"

#17

What is filled six days a week but if you don't own it you can't take a peek.

"Mailbox"

#18

A clue to find where you keep things cold Where to go next is what you'll be told.

"Fridge"

#19

I wave all day but never tire, at the end of the day I retire. What am I

"A Flag"

#20

Used from head to toes, the more its used the thinner it grows.

"Soap"

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