Scavenger hunt ideas are basically adventures waiting to happen.
They conjure that special rush associated with a good challenge and spark a desire to solve the riddle, beat the challenge, or find the mysterious hidden treasure. And almost no one can resist that dangling carrot, the prospect of finding treasure — be it actual gold or tasty snacks or even just more clues.
“There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy’s life when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure,” famed American humorist and author Mark Twain once said. Just change “every boy” to “everyone,” and we wholeheartedly agree.
Your treasures await within the scavenger hunt ideas below. Find one (or several) that inspire you to begin your quest.
Scavenger Hunt Ideas For Adults
To win this outdoor scavenger hunt, you and your teammates put your heads together not to find a list of items but to complete a list of epic challenges. You’ll need photo- and video-based evidence to complete this hunt, which means you’ll also have readily sharable memories at your fingertips.
A perfect team building activity for large groups, this scavenger hunt can accommodate groups of up to 5,000 by breaking them into small teams.
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: Naturally, the objective of this hunt is to be the first team to complete all the challenges. But even if your team isn’t competitive, you’ll still enjoy the journey. Slow things down and get to know each other better as you complete the challenges. Put a little extra panache into your photos and videos. (You might not get official points, but the extra effort will shine through in your memories.)
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Trendwatch 2020 edition. Dress up to capture your favorite (or most hated) fad from 2020. You might dress up like a loaf of sourdough bread or arrive with your disposable camera in tow.
How to get started? If you dare to accept the first of this hunt’s many challenges, then start here and follow the clues to request a quote.
2) Heritage Month Scavenger Hunt
Inspired by The Assist, a free weekly newsletter packed with workplace culture and productivity tips, the Heritage Month Scavenger Hunt calls for participants to celebrate diversity and learn some fun facts along the way.
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: Part competition, part history lesson, this scavenger hunt is a unique team bonding experience that gives participants an opportunity to dig deep down to their roots while racing to become the ultimate scavenger.
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: The Heritage Month Scavenger Hunt can be played by any sized group during multiple celebration months including but not limited to the following:
- Black History Month (Feb)
- Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (May)
- Hispanic Heritage Month (Sep)
- Native American Month (Nov)
The Assist takes it a step further and suggests playing this virtual scavenger hunt during any month that commemorates a marginalized group like Women’s History Month (March), Pride Month (June), Disability Pride Month (July), etc.
How to get started? Assign a host to research inventions by a person of a specific heritage. Have the host present the invented items to the participants prior to the scavenger hunt and set a time limit. The person with the most collected (and correct) items by the end of the time limit, reigns as the scavenger hunt champion.
During this bar crawl scavenger hunt hybrid, your scavenger hunt clues lead you to delicious brews, hopefully, some you’ve never tried before.
Modification! Make all your clues about one person to turn this into the ultimate going away party. (Talk about a fun way to make an exit.)
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: It combines mystery, challenge, good conversation, and delicious beer. What’s not to love about that?
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Oktoberfest. (Yes, you can absolutely still use this theme in July.)
How to get started? The road to fun is paved by beer. You can also talk to the beer guides at City Brew Tours to host an unforgettable event.
Scavify is an app that makes it easy to create and complete your perfect DIY hunt, a.k.a. DIYH. Create your hunt, choosing from a variety of challenge types, such as photos, videos, quizzes, and trivia. Have all your participants download the app to complete the challenges, see scores, and just generally have tons of fun.
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: You get to control every aspect of your scavenger hunt, but you barely have to do any work. Truly, it’s the best of both worlds. You get the customization of a DIY hunt while enjoying the convenience of a managed event.
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Yellow submarine, or The Beatles in general.
How to get started? Plan a scavenger hunt that will make everyone’s jaw drop by how efficient, engaging, and fun it is.
Explore a new city or even an old city as though it were new with the help of Let’s Roam. This scavenger hunt provider can infuse novelty and excitement into both the old and the new. A proprietary app makes it easy to romp around the city, completing challenges while your competitors do the same.
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: It combines the beloved excitement of travel and sightseeing with the whimsical fun of a scavenger hunt.
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Dance challenge. Pick a triggering object and start dancing every time you see it. For example, every time you see someone with a stroller, you must start the dance party.
How to get started? Hunt down new reasons to love your favorite places. You’ll learn about the city and each other on a one-of-a-kind adventure.
Pro-tip! Don’t forget to stock up on energizing scavenger hunt provisions, such as a Caroo snack box filled with healthy snacks, jerkies, nuts, and a few delicious sweets.
Scavenger Hunt Ideas For Work
The perfect playlist, the perfect snacks, and the perfect games certainly make an office party stand out, but if you really want your event to go down in the history books, then you must appeal to your participants’ emotions. This scavenger hunt does the trick, prompting players to perform acts of kindness instead of solving challenges or finding hidden items.
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: It’s thrilling to chase clues or crack a mind-bending riddle, but you’ll never forget the look a person gives you when you’ve made their day with kindness.
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Mr. Rogers. Dress up like the kindness commander in chief himself. (This is also easy as all you really need is a cardigan.)
How to get started? Make kindness go viral.
During this hybrid of a scavenger hunt game and a team building activity for work, players must properly answer questions about their colleagues before they get the next clue that will lead them to the next item on the scavenger hunt list
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: It combines the fun of a scavenger hunt with the rewards of a team-building activity.
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Zombiepocalypse. Why not up the stakes of your office game by pretending the fate of the living human population is at stake?
How to get started? It may be challenging to hide physical clues around your office. Someone is always around. Make things easy on yourself and fuss-free for your participants with a handy platform that makes it easy for you to create scavenger hunts and push clues out to mobile devices.
Searching for items can be thrilling, but the true magic of an adult scavenger hunt, like all fun office activities, lies in getting to know your coworkers. We’re not just talking about spending more time with them. This activity was designed to help participants learn more about each other than they could via spontaneous conversation.
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: The challenges feel exhilaratingly competitive on the surface while being all about relationships at the core.
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Icebreakers. Have everyone come prepared with, or even wearing (in the form of a sticky note, for example) their favorite icebreakers.
How to get started? Find out just how much you know or don’t know about your co-workers.
This fast-paced virtual activity blends together the best parts of real-life escape rooms and scavenger hunts. However, the stakes are personal in this exciting challenge. An anonymous and decidedly unfriendly stranger has a cache of your private, dare we say embarrassing, photos. Stop the perpetrator before they ruin your social and professional life.
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: The stakes are high and terrifyingly relatable, which makes the play that much more thrilling.
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Gossip column. You might be chasing the person with all the secrets, but you can at least pretend you’re searching for the next scoop of juicy gossip.
How to get started? Let the games begin. You don’t have anything to hide, do you?
Pro-tip: There are more virtual adventures where this came from. Get additional virtual scavenger hunt ideas.
Scavenger Hunt Ideas For Teens
10) Stream Dream
Teens stream some good shows and hunt for items on the stream while they do it. Just select a show and then create a list of household objects, colors, or even spoken words or phrases to listen for.
Gather to watch or group stream a few episodes. The first teen to find all the items wins.
Tip! Up the teen factor by turning this event into a sleepover.
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: Teens will probably already be watching their favorite shows; this fun activity just brings the party where the action already is.
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Trending show characters. Teens get to dress up and act like the characters from any show they’re absorbed in at the moment.
How to get started? The foundation of this hunt is a successful watch party. Make sure yours is perfect.
11) Tiktok on Lock
Select a list of Tiktoks and create a series of corresponding clues. Your hunters may be able to find them all or they may jet off on a tangent; either way, they’ll have fun.
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: You’re not asking teens to be doing anything they wouldn’t be doing already, namely browsing Tiktok.
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Internet sleuth.
How to get started? Get inspiration from one teen’s Tiktok-documented account of tracking down a mysterious family fortune.
12) No Filter Fotog
Many teens grow up now with some serious raw photography skills. They understand visual communication better than practically any other age group. Let them flex their muscles with a scavenger hunt designed to spotlight their camera tricks. Crowdsource the clues and prompts from actual teens to make sure everything is current.
Tip! Even if you’ve got a shy crowd, you can still make this activity a success. Just come up with a list of shot types they can find on their social feeds instead.
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: School activities may mandate teens and tweens put their phones aside. They’ll appreciate an activity that doesn’t force them to part with their favorite accessories.
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Game characters. Let them decide which games to focus on. By the time you Google what might be cool right now, something else will be.
How to get started? Take a look at how beautiful a photographic scavenger hunt can be.
Scavenger Hunt Ideas For Kids
13) Welcome to Zootopia
Can you spot a giraffe, a red panda, and a Kodiak bear all in one day? You can during a zoo scavenger hunt. Head to the local (or virtual) zoo to spot an extensive range of animals that would otherwise exist together only in dreams.
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: Fantastic animals and intriguing clues make this hunt a gem among kids activities.
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Conservation. Take advantage of the educational signs and activities placed around the zoo that discuss conservation on both a macro and micro level.
How to get started? Find the perfect location for your perfect scavenger hunt.
14) Park Quest
Your local park has pretty much everything you need to create an epic nature scavenger hunt. Older kids will love romping through the seemingly boundless freedom of the great outdoors as they spot and document (via photograph, checklist, etc.) a list of animals, plants, and insects they would never be able to find on their own backyards.
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: Kids get to spend time outside. This scavenger hunt provides enough structure to help them enjoy their time to the fullest while not providing so much structure that they feel limited.
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Nature documentary. Tell kids you need their help creating a new nature documentary. You need them to find and photograph or capture via video every item on the hunt list. As a final touch, aggregate all their work into a slideshow or video for sharing.
15) Beach Comber
A beach scavenger hunt is the perfect summer activity. Sandy shores make the ideal landscape for a kids’ scavenger hunt. You can bury items where they’ll still be safe and easy for kids, from preschoolers to fifth-graders, to find.
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: Kids will learn with each item they find, but as they gallop around on the sand, they’ll also be able to pretend they’re the wild pirates they read about in storybooks.
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Make it an alphabet scavenger hunt. Each letter of the alphabet gets one item with that beginning sound. Enhance the challenge by prompting kids to also come up with rhyming words for each item name.
How to get started? Get a handy alphabet-themed free printable scavenger hunt for kids.
Scavenger Hunt Ideas At Home
16) Do I own this?
An indoor scavenger hunt can bring a little excitement and brightness back into any rainy day. Even adults or teenagers who think they’re too cool or too old for such games won’t be able to resist the fun once they get into it.
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: Most people spend a lot of time in their own homes. They may forget about all the cool things they own. This home scavenger hunt will open up their eyes and make them feel gratitude for everything around them.
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Food. Give everyone a selection of food riddles and challenge them to solve the mind teaser and then find (and enjoy) the food each riddle refers to.
How to get started? Some pretty printable lists of fun things from Etsy will help you kick off your search in style.
17) My Surreal Backyard
To do this backyard scavenger hunt, have participants hunt down and capture with photography the hidden artistic potential in their backyards. Hunters might find this magic in a detailed closeup of a moldy birdbath or an upside-down view of a garden hose. They may get as creative as they want as long as they present, in the end, a mini portfolio of artistic and well-composed shots that transform their backyards into wondrous places.
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: Most cell phones come with ridiculously high-quality cameras these days. Everyone is at least sometimes tempted to try out their photography skills. This activity allows them to explore their hidden artistic depths.
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Photography contest. You’re basically National Geographic. Only one hunter will receive your coveted photographer of the year award.
How to get started? Just browse these award-winning iPhone photos to get a small taste of the possibilities.
18) Treasure Hunt
This is the classic textbook kind of progressive scavenger hunt people picture when you say “scavenger hunt.” You’re not just finding a list of things; you’re finding a series of clues that lead you to the ultimate payload, a treasure chest waiting at the end.
Tip! Turn this into the best retirement party ever by hiding a retirement-related gift along with each clue. Plan the progression so gifts get bigger and bigger until the final gift, which could be something like a travel gift card.
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: It takes advantage of that works-every-time gamification tactic of leveling up. Hunters will be intoxicated by the rush of progress they get with each clue they find. Finding the big treasure at the end will feel like the ultimate victory.
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Pirates and parrots. Can you really go searching for treasure without thinking about pirates? Just give in. Embrace your inner pirate.
How to get started? Start your journey with these comprehensive instructions.
Outdoor Scavenger Hunt Ideas
19) Nice by Nature
An all-around crowd-pleasing scavenger hunt and also a perfect complement to an employee wellness program, a nature-based scavenger hunt opens up a world of possibilities. Hide subtle and zero-harm clues around trees or have everyone hunt for certain kinds of mushrooms. You can even extend the adventure by turning this into a month-long hunt where people really get into the game and spend some quality time outdoors.
Modification: You can also make the goal of this hunt finding each other. For example, each weekend for a month, send your group 3 hike suggestions. Make sure no one tells anyone else which ones they plan to do and have everyone see how many of their colleagues they spot.
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: It feels more like a wild natural adventure than a pre-planned activity.
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Urban naturalist. Challenge everyone to do one beneficial thing in every natural place they go instead of simply doing no harm of course.
How to get started? Learn about the online platform real-world scavenger hunt outdoor enthusiasts have enjoyed for years.
20) Lookin’ Good in the Neighborhood
During this photo scavenger hunt, hunters simply snap selfies. You can send all your players a straightforward list of selfies to take or you can make things a little more challenging by giving them a list of riddles they have to solve to figure out where to take their selfies.
Tip! Make a custom hashtag to turn your social media feed into a “scoreboard” that inspires people to race toward the finish. Cooper has already done five pictures? You better pick up the pace.
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: Everyone will explore their neighborhood, maybe even meet a few new people, and also get some pretty sweet pictures of themselves.
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Wandavision. Your neighborhood might seem perfect, but what’s really going on?
How to get started? Challenge players to snap selfies with trees or cars.
21) Camp Adventure Time
What could be better than a scavenger hunt? A scavenger hunt and obstacle course hybrid. Players find clues waiting at the end of each obstacle. They have to crack the clue and complete the next obstacle if they have any hope of winning.
Tip! Round out your camping trip with these outdoor team-building activities and party games.
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: Obstacle courses get everyone moving, huffing with a competitive spirit, and often, embarrassing themselves horribly, which only leads to that sweet, sweet gut-busting laughter that makes memories and solidifies bonds.
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Summer camp.
How to get started? Start building your own obstacle course.
Funny Scavenger Hunt Ideas
22) Magic Hat
Consider this idea a madcap combination of improv, truth or dare, and a scavenger hunt. You don’t even need to write any clues. Just pick a public venue and scheme up challenges, or dares, on the spot. Take turns pulling challenges from a hat.
Hunters can win simply by completing all the challenges they pull. The key to this game is being willing to embarrass yourself and also being ready to support your teammates while they embarrass themselves.
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: Impromptu ideas will absolutely lead to riotous laughter. It’s almost guaranteed.
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Athleisure catwalk. Easy. Everyone can bust out their favorite flexible-fitting finds from the days of social distancing.
How to get started? Do some studying beforehand so you have some good dares in mind.
23) Viral Hunters
@nbcsnl𝗙𝗹𝗶𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗰𝗵.♬ Nonstop – Drake
Simply take turns completing some of these hilarious viral internet challenges. They must complete one challenge before they receive the next until finally, they complete the final challenge and receive a password to your apres-hunt speakeasy.
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: There’s a reason viral internet challenges go viral. They’re hilarious and fun for pretty much everyone. Doing a bunch can only add up to more fun.
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Speakeasy. Only successful scavengers know how to get it.
How to get started? Find your park.
24) Zoom Host Says
Zoom may be the venue for this hunt, but don’t worry; you will not spend the whole time staring at your screen. During this hunt, your host will challenge you to find (and bring back to present proof of course) a variety of hilariously unrelated items, for example, an egg and then a board game.
The only way to finish is to find everything they tell you to.
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: You just never know what the host is going to ask you to fetch next. The surprises will be unexpected and hilarious.
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Pajama party. Everyone will be completing this hunt at home, so why not be comfortable, right?
How to get started? Get the play-by-play instructions.
Holiday Scavenger Hunt Ideas
25) Catch a Cookie if you Can
Tie this Christmas scavenger hunt in with the classic gingerbread man folktale. Hide your clues along with gingerbread cookies. Sure, hunters may eat their cookies as they go, but they might also want to wait to follow all the clues to their final prize. (Yes, it’s even more cookies.)
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: Festive treats, festive costumes, and even more festive treats.
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Santacon. Young and old, male, female, and nonbinary — absolutely everyone must dress up like the white-haired icon himself.
How to get started? Start writing your perfect scavenger hunt clue.
26) Trick, Treat, or Clue?
This Halloween scavenger hunt lets grown-ups have what they’re always too afraid to admit they’ve been missing: trick or treating.
Set up a classic trick or treating session and stock up on healthy snacks. Attach hunt clues or hunt riddles on one out of every ten snacks or pieces of candy. That’s the trick to this scavenger hunt: players must collaborate to get all the clues and also figure out where they lead.
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: It’s trick or treating, but it’s not all about getting that sugar rush. It also involves collaboration and problem-solving.
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Throwback costumes. A themed scavenger hunt that lets you relive the Halloween glory days of your childhood? Where do we sign up?
How to get started? Get inspired by this spooky clue.
27) Follow the Eggs
Forget the traditional Easter egg hunt. Do an Easter scavenger hunt instead. You can still hide your plastic eggs, but replace the treats in each one with clues instead. Hunters can only get the ultimate treasure — a jam-packed Easter basket or snack box — if they’re the first to follow all the clues to its hiding place.
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: Finding eggs is fun, but the prize of the ultimate Easter basket adds some exciting competitive stakes.
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Cinematic bunnies. Harvey from Harvey, Roger Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, or that creepy guy from Donnie Darko. Every rabbit who’s ever enjoyed screen time is up for grabs.
How to get started? Get more plastic Easter eggs than you think you need.
Bonus: Go Find Your Candles
So it’s your birthday? We hope you didn’t assume that means absolutely everything will come easier for you! Stand up for a festive birthday scavenger hunt by hiding all those candles destined for the birthday cake around the party location. To unlock the clues they need to find their candles, the guest of honor must reveal a memory from (approximately) each year of their life so far.
Why this is a fun scavenger hunt idea: Many people take their birthday party, birthday cake, and the candles that top it for granted. They just assume someone will place the whole package in front of them. Making them work a little for it is a refreshing twist, and the cake makes a sweet reward.
Make this scavenger hunt unique with a theme: Throwback games. The guest of honor may coerce all guests to participate in their absolute favorite party game from absolutely any of their past birthday parties.
How to get started? Assemble your list of throwback games to execute your theme to absolute perfection.
People Also Ask These Questions About Scavenger Hunt Ideas
Q: What is a scavenger hunt?
- A: A scavenger hunt is traditionally a game that challenges players to find specified items. Find variations and themes for all age groups and occasions here.
Q: What are the benefits of hosting your own scavenger hunt?
- A: The benefits of hosting your own scavenger hunt include creative freedom, customizations that cater to your group’s interests, and the joy of experiencing a total one-of-a-kind adventure.
Q: Can I use a scavenger hunt to do team building?
- A: Yes, you can use a scavenger hunt to do team building. There are even some ideas in this list designed specifically to promote teamwork and collaboration.
Q: What are some good themes for my scavenger hunt idea?
- A: Some good themes for your scavenger hunt include Oktoberfest and game characters. There really is no end to the kinds of themes you can incorporate into your scavenger hunt. A good place to start is a subject that you are interested in or an upcoming holiday that you can celebrate while on the chase!
Q: How do I choose the right scavenger hunt service or host?
- A: Choose a scavenger hunt service or host based on the number of people you want to include and the type of hunt you would like to do. Find some providers and also DIY ideas here.
Q: How much does it cost to run my own scavenger hunt?
- A: If you run your own scavenger hunt, your expenses include only the cost of clue supplies, prizes, decorations, and other incidentals.
Q: How do I know if people had fun at my scavenger hunt party?
- A: Their smiles will say it all.