Another festive weekend is here! How will you spend it? Why not get some friends together and have a Christmas Treasure Hunt? Personally, I am not a pro at treasure hunts and scavenger hunts, but Eric raves about them. Other than enjoying a strategy game marathon, I cannot think of anything Eric would rather do than go on an exciting treasure hunt.
When he was still living in California, Eric went on a few treasure hunts with his church youth group; and, one time, one of his team’s audio objectives was to record someone (legitimately) sneezing. They tried everything to cause a sneeze, and nothing worked! Right after they stopped recording after all efforts failed… Eric sneezed. It is a true and annoying story! Still, even though the team was sneezeless, they had a tremendous time!
It may be chilly outside, and you may have to contend with snow. Then again, it may be 70 degrees and delightfully balmy! Whatever the weather, you can make this work! And, there are several ways you can go about it. Here is one scenario:
- Create a Scavenger Hunt of Christmas Items – Each team has two hours to find as many items as possible. Their lists could include sightings of dancing Santas, the largest Christmas tree in town, and someone dressed as an elf. Each team can document their findings with pictures or video, and everyone can view the teams’ content at the after party (see below)!
- Several Teams – Whether you have two teams or ten, send at least four people out on each team for safety (and fun – it’s always more fun with a group!). The additional teams will also inspire greater competition – especially if they see each other out and about trying to collect items faster than the other teams!
- List of Items to Find – Creating the list should be a lot of fun. You want the items to be somewhat challenging, but not impossible to find. Perhaps you can list a few simple items, followed by some moderately difficult, and then extremely difficult items (e.g., a Christmas tree with white lights, a house with a Noel sign in the front yard, and a Santa standing on his head, etc.). The harder the item to find, the more points it receives!
- Time Limit – How long shall these hunts last? Is two hours enough, or three hours? Perhaps the group can vote? Have a starting and ending time and make the prize interesting!
- Biggest Item or Most Items Wins Prize – You can award one grand prize or several smaller prizes (e.g., prize for the most unique find, prize for most finds, prize for the fastest return time, etc.). If the teams agree, each person can contribute $5 to play; and then, the winning team can split the pot, donate the winnings to charity, or spend the money on a victory dinner!
- Have an After Party – All competition should remain friendly! At the completion of the hunt, you can round out the evening with a Christmas-themed after party! Pizza, soda, and Christmas goodies are always crowd pleasers! If you want everyone to hang out and relax, that is fine. If you want to provide some entertainment, that is good too!
- Think of Including a White Elephant Gift Exchange – Personally, White Elephant (i.e., Dirty Santa) parties are one of my favorite Christmas pastimes. If you think a treasure hunt and a White Elephant gift exchange is too much to cram into one night, that is fine; but, if you have the energy and time, it would be a hilarious way to finish out the evening. It is amusing, competitive, and delightfully ruthless – but all in good fun! Check out official White Elephant rules here!
What do you think? Is there a scavenger (collecting items) or a treasure (clues to a final location) hunt in your future? If not, at least a White Elephant exchange!? You can host a White Elephant party any time of year; so, if you cannot fit it in before Christmas, consider doing it for New Years, Valentine’s Day, Easter, or for Christmas in July!
Enjoy your last full weekend before Christmas. How will you spend it?!
Have you ever been on a treasure hunt or scavenger hunt?