How to Plan a Scavenger Hunt for a Christmas Party

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Deck the halls with dozens of hidden Christmas-themed items for guests to gather on a holiday scavenger hunt. Less linear than a treasure hunt that leads guests on a designated path toward the prize, scavenger hunts can get tricky in a limited party area. Avoid the mad dash in a confined space by planning a clue-based hunt that gets guests mingling outdoors, as they search decorated yards for photographs of answers to their Christmas riddles.

Things You'll Need

  • Hint list answer key
  • Christmas riddle hint list
  • Digital cameras
  • Laptop
  • Laptop-TV connection cable (RCA, S-Video, VGA, DVI, or HDMI, depending on the jacks available)
  • Assortment of "prize" holiday ornaments and decorations
  • Hot chocolate
  • Christmas cookies
  • Generate a list of Christmas-themed items to place on the hint list answer key by walking around your neighborhood to discover what decorations are in your vicinity. Include a broad spectrum of holiday and winter items such as a nativity, Santa Claus, reindeer, a sleigh, a snowball, a Menorah, a star, an angel and a Christmas tree.

  • Devise a list of both easy and difficult Christmas riddles based off the items on the hint list answer key for guests to decipher together. For example, create a clue based off of familiar song lyrics by writing "grandma should have noticed the crossing sign" as a hint for reindeer, or thesaurus-based clues such as "a Noel topiary" to guide guests to a Christmas tree.

  • Inform invited guests to bring along their digital cameras, as well as the computer connections for the cameras, in order to participate in the holiday hunt. Be sure to have several extra digital cameras on hand -- borrowing as needed from friends, family and neighbors -- for guests who have forgotten to bring one or didn't have one. Make sure to inform guests to dress appropriately for an outdoor, winter scavenger hunt.

  • Divide the party guests into scavenger hunt teams, making sure to place friends and couples on separate teams in an effort to let the guests mingle and make new friends. Clearly state the time frame in which they must complete their hunt by and ascertain that each group has at least one person with a watch or clock.

  • Give each team at least two copies of the clue list and instruct them to take all their scavenger hunt photographs on only one camera so that they can be judged as a group. Inform guests that extra points will be awarded for creative or amusing solutions to the riddles, such as making a snow angel or photographing a snowball in flight.

  • Hook up the laptop to a large television screen with the appropriate connection cable to display the scavenger hunt finds. Attach each team's digital camera to the laptop and present their photographs to the entire party. Keep track of which items each team has photographed on the hint list answer key. Serve hot chocolate and Christmas cookies as the guests observe each others' photographs and mingle to discuss their scavenger hunt adventures.

  • Tabulate the scores and announce the winners; then let each guest select a holiday ornament or decoration from the provided assortment as a take-home prize. Let the winning team select their prizes first, leaving the leftover ornaments to be taken home by the others as consolation prizes.

  • Photo Credit christmas house image by michael langley from Fotolia.com
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