Classic Scavenger Hunt Kit Guide
You’ve got everything you need to make an amazing adventure for someone. The basic set-up of the classic scavenger hunt is simple: personalize your clues, hide them in fun locations, give the solver the first clue to launch the adventure, and have them find their personalized golden ticket prize at the end. But, what’s most exciting is the endless ways you can customize your adventure.
Check out the ideas below to help you get started.
If you have questions on creating a scavenger hunt, want advice, or are interested in seeing examples from other’s scavenger hunts, then join our Facebook group here or reach out at email@example.com
- Plan your scavenger hunt in advance. We always recommend starting to plan by deciding how you want the scavenger hunt to end and then working backwards clue by clue from there. Once you know how you want the adventure to flow, it will be much easier to write the clues and physically place all of them in the right spots.
- Make your scavenger hunt personal. The more specific you make the adventure to the solver, the better it will be. You can weave in inside jokes, nicknames, personal memories, and special locations into the adventure.
- Make sure you consider how long it will take your loved one to solve the clues, as well as travel time depending on the different locations of the clues.
- If you hide clues in public spaces then make sure you hide the clue in a spot where it’s not likely to be tampered with by other people. Alternatively, you can have someone waiting in the public space to place the clue just before they get there or make sure no one else takes it.
- Place a clue in the pocket of their favorite shirt or jacket
- Draw a treasure map on a clue based on a rough sketch of a room, house, or apartment layout showing the location of the next clue
- Place the clue under the bed or under their pillow
- Place the clue in their lunch bag/purse/backpack
- Place the clue inside a drawer
- Fill a tupperware container halfway with water and put in the freezer until frozen. Put a clue waterproofed in a small ziplock bag and weight it down with something before filling the remainder of tupperware container with water and placing back in the freezer. Then take it out to have a clue frozen inside a block of ice.
- Include with a clue two polaroids of the same location (e.g. a bookshelf) and label one polaroid ‘before’ and one polaroid ‘after’. Make sure the two photos are identical except for one thing that is different where the next clue is hidden (e.g. one book that is in the after photo, but not in the before photo).
- Have the previous clue direct them to a specific book and specific page where you hide the next clue.
- Place the clue in a cupboard.
- Tape a clue under their chair
- Place a clue under the keyboard at their desk
- Place a clue behind the television or framed art hanging on a wall
- Tape a piece of string/clear fishing wire to the ceiling and tape the other end to the clue so it looks like it’s suspended in the air
- Tape a clue to the bottom of string hanging from a balloon
- Tape a clue under a park bench
- Tape a clue to a statue/monument
- Tape the clue to the steering wheel of their car
- Bury a clue in sand in a bucket, at a beach, or at a playground
- Attach a clue to a small toy boat and put it floating in a pool, pond, or bath tub
- Tape a clue to a sign along a hiking trail
- Hang a clue from a branch
- Tape a clue to a birdhouse
- Use GPS coordinates to direct the solver to their next clue. You can use google maps or websites like https://www.gps-coordinates.net/ to convert an address to GPS coordinates.
- Attach a clue to a pet’s collar
- Attach the clue to a remote controlled car and have it drive up to meet the solver
- Attach the clue to a drone and fly the drone to the solver to deliver the clue
- Ask a local restaurant/coffee shop/business owner to hold onto one of the clues and give it to the solver when they arrive and say a passcode of your choosing
- Put the clue in a watertight container (e.g., waterproof cellphone case, heavy-duty ziploc) and attach it to a weight/buoy in water
- Have a clue put inside a ‘smash cake’
- Have a friend/family member waiting at a particular location to deliver the next clue to them
- (fridge): Cheers! Let's celebrate you and me. If you look where you'd chill champagne, you never know what you'll see.
- (shot glass): This time you won't find tequila, vodka, or rum. But instead this container will be holding 1.5 ounces of fun.
- (candy drawer): With each puzzle you solve, you're uncovering the truth. Next, search in the place you go when you have a sweet tooth.
- (candle): Usually this gives off a nice warm glow. Is that where you'll find your next clue? If you don't look, then you'll never know...
- (pet): This ball of fur isn't just great for cuddles. In fact, they may be the only one who knows how you can solve this puzzle.
- (freezer): To find your next clue don’t think twice, check in the place where you can find ice.
- (pillow): When you sleep this is where you place your head, perhaps you’ll find something else there instead.
- (bookshelf/particular book): If you take a really close look, you never know what you’ll find in this book (give them a hint to the title and page number too).
- (their local/ favorite coffee shop): Normally you go here for a cup of joe, but this time ask for (*give them a secret passcode*). What will you get? If you never ask, you’ll never know.
- (any location): If you have any questions, just follow these directions: (give them the latitude/longitude or GPS coordinates of the location).
- (tallest point in the city): From this point in the city you'll get the best bird's eye view. It's also where you'll find your next clue.
- (pool): Not sure where to go next and need a tip? Maybe you should cool down and take a quick dip.
- (bbq): You're doing a good job solving this adventure - what a thrill! To uncover the next step, head to the grill.
- Give them one clue each day before their birthday that hints at what their birthday surprise/gift will be to build their excitement! On their birthday, give them the final clue to their birthday surprise/gift.
- Set up the scavenger hunt the night before their birthday and give them the first clue when they wake up on their birthday morning to start the scavenger hunt. Have the final clue lead them to find the golden ticket as their birthday gift.
- Have them complete the scavenger hunt on their birthday and have the final clue lead them to a location where you have a surprise party waiting for them.
- Write something you love about them on each clue and hide them around in easily discoverable places, so they can find your love notes as they go about their day.
- Write the scavenger hunt clues to bring them to special places or memories from your relationship (e.g. where you first met, where you had your first date, etc.)
- Leave a special memento, like a rose or photo of the two of you, along with each scavenger hunt clue.
- Give them the first clue the night before Christmas to build their excitement. Hide the rest of the clues around the house and have them continue the rest of the scavenger hunt on Christmas day with the last clue leading them to their Christmas gift.
- Hide the first clue to the scavenger hunt in the Christmas tree so that they find it on Christmas morning which launches their scavenger hunt and have the last clue lead them to their Christmas gift.
- Hide the first clue to the scavenger hunt inside of a present under the tree, so that they open up the present and find the clue to launch their scavenger hunt. Have the last clue lead to their Christmas gift.
The ink becomes completely invisible when subjected to heat and it stays invisible until it's chilled to freezing temperatures (e.g. at least 30 seconds in the freezer). Direct flame, steam, or the heat from a hair dryer will cause the ink to disappear. Ideas for how to use it:
- Write a clue using regular black ink and color over it using the disappearing ink pen. Make sure that you also give them a hint that they will need heat to reveal the message.
- Write a clue using regular black ink and add lines and symbols attached to the letters using the disappearing ink pen so that the message is no longer readable. Make sure that you also give them a hint that they will need heat to reveal the message.
- Write a clue using the disappearing ink pen and then apply heat so that it is not visible on the paper. Make sure that you give them a hint that they will need to put the clue in the freezer to reveal the message.
Great for both indoor and outdoor scavenger hunts! The needle will swing around the compass as you move, but the arrow will always point in the direction of north. For best accuracy, it’s best to map out any clues that will utilize the compass/directions using the compass that the solver will be using and to do a play-through yourself to make sure all of the clues flow properly. It’s best to give the solver a distance that they will need to travel in a particular direction so that the clue doesn’t become too confusing (e.g. “head 30 steps south” vs. “head south”).
Ideas for how to use it:
- Give the solver the compass and the first clue to launch the hunt. Have all of the clues in the scavenger hunt be directional based from the previous clue (e.g. “Take 30 steps south from this point to find your next clue).
- Use particular landmarks along the hunt and the compass to guide the solver from clue to clue. For example, have the solver use the compass to head in a particular direction for a certain number of steps and then look for something in eyesight to find their next clue. The visual landmarks could be things that you place along the hunt like flags along a hiking trail or other visual cues that would be noticeable to the solver.
- Along the scavenger hunt, have the solver find the compass with one of the clues and have the clue direct them to use the compass to find their next clue (e.g. “Take 10 steps west to find your next clue).