A Christmas scavenger hunt game is great fun for kids – and the family! Add excitement and fun to the Christmas walk or keep the kids and teenagers busy with a very special Christmas programme. To make the scavenger hunt a quick success, here are ideas, tips and 24 tasks and puzzles.
This Christmas scavenger hunt game is a fantastic activity for children and the whole family at Christmas time. There are tasks to complete, riddles to solve and a fabulous treasure to find at the end – with or without a special theme. It is a great way to keep the children busy during a “boring” Christmas walk, to have time to prepare for Christmas while the children are busy or to prepare a special programme for the family.
One and the same scavenger hunt for toddlers, teenagers and adults – they never please everyone, do they? That depends! Have you ever tried a Christmas elf hunt, a reindeer hunt or the historic Christmas photo scavenger hunt? For scavenger hunts with young children, teenagers and adults, the tasks need to be family-friendly and you can mark simple tasks “for children”. If the Christmas scavenger hunters are all of a similar age, you should definitely adapt the difficulty of the Christmas scavenger hunt game.
As a rule of thumb – tick-off tasks and easy search scavenger hunts for the little ones (3-6 years), tasks and easy puzzles for the older ones (7-11 years) and puzzles with or without a story for teenagers and adults (12-99 years). In any case, there must be a reward or treasure for the kids to find at the end. It doesn’t have to be an expensive material thing – it can also be a party crown that the person gets to wear or the right to decide the programme on Christmas Day. Of course, the treasure can also be the Christmas presents!
A Christmas scavenger hunt game can be done in many different ways! Here you will find ideas, tips and lists of suggestions for 12 tasks for children (3-7), puzzles for teenagers and adults.
Christmas Scavenger Hunt Game Ideas
First, a secret to success: this Christmas treasure hunt should be so good that everyone remembers it for years to come! But how do you do that? The secret is to personalise it. Use inside jokes, family history, birthdays, anniversaries, school enrolment, graduation, wedding, past Christmases, innuendos, etc. for your clues. Remembering or learning and recognising familiar names and stories in conjunction with the clues makes it personal and immensely fun for everyone.
Christmas Treasure Hunt Ideas for Children Aged 3-7
Awesome Christmas scavenger hunt game idea that makes decorating Christmas tree a nice game
For young children, the scavenger hunt should not be difficult. An easy way is to let them find or do things and tick them off. A Christmas scavenger hunt game is easy to create: think about what you want the children to discover and write them down like a To Do list with boxes to tick off. As soon as a map is completely ticked off, the treasure is given as a reward.
I prepared my last scavenger hunt for Christmas as a surprise for a family visit where the children were 3, 4 and 6 years old. During our traditional Christmas walk, each child got the task card and when they had all filled in their cards, we went to the treasure together. Since my kids can’t read yet, there were pictures next to each word.
Easy Christmas Treasure Hunt for the Little Ones (Time: Max. 30 Minutes)
- Scavenger hunt with tasks to find: for objects in the house (in bad weather), for outside or in the neighbourhood (great when there is snow!), at the Christmas market), in the city or in the department stores’ (there is especially much to discover)
- Cookie hunt: Cookie hunt! Cut out biscuits in different motifs (presents, fir trees, bells, Santas, reindeer) to find in the house! The big treasure is a gingerbread house (or the ingredients for a gingerbread house that you bake together)!
- Christmas decoration scavenger hunt: Turn decorating the Christmas tree together into a scavenger hunt. For each Christmas decoration there is a slip of paper with a clue, which are drawn in turn. First solve the riddle, then decorate with the answer, then solve a new riddle and so on. Especially nice are clues from the family history of inherited Christmas decorations, which are thus passed on to the children!
- Sock Hunt: For this scavenger hunt you will need lots of socks. Fill each sock with a clue card and hide them all over the house (or in certain rooms if you don’t want the children to turn the house upside down). Some socks will be filled with blank cards, in others you will put a small Christmas gift or sweet in addition to the clue card.
12 Tasks – Search and Check off
- Find a Father Christmas (search)
- Search for an angel
- A string of lights (search)
- The most beautifully decorated Christmas tree (search)
- search for or make a snowman
- Have a snowball fight (do it!)
- Make a snow angel (make!)
- A medlar (search)
- search for a wreath
- Ice or snow (search)
- Search for an arc of lights (search)
- Find a fir branch (search)
Christmas Scavenger Hunt for Teens and Adults (30-60 Minutes)
A mixture of tasks and puzzles bring variety to the Christmas scavenger hunt game
For a Christmas treasure hunt game for children from 7 years and teenagers, you should plan more preparation time. You need tasks, puzzles and you have to think about the route and the treasure. The Christmas scavenger hunt game is particularly rounded and enjoyable with a story that culminates in a finale. To save you time in preparation, here are ideas for different scavenger hunts and tasks and riddles that you can take on.
Think about which special places and objects in the neighbourhood are particularly suitable for the Christmas scavenger hunt game. For example, the large decorated fir tree on the town hall or church square, the huge Christmas pyramid at the Christmas market, or conspicuously decorated places or houses in the neighbourhood. Think of riddles or tasks for these and add a clue to the solution (e.g. arithmetic problem for the candles of the Christmas pyramid and the solution number “candle 12”).
Tip: A treasure map is always great, as it connects the tasks and you can hide it at the first station to search!
10 Top Christmas Scavenger Hunt Game Ideas
For mixed Christmas treasure hunts that include young children, it is worth wrapping the clues in wrapping paper. The little ones have great fun unwrapping them and are thus also involved in difficult tasks!
- Santa Claus treasure hunt: Scavenger hunt with chalk arrows on the trail of Father Christmas to Santa’s sack (with treasure inside) with 5-10 stations
- Lights Hunt: If the area you live in is beautifully lit up for Christmas (or the city is close), incorporate the special lights in places into the scavenger hunt by connecting the clues to them.
- Christmas gnome and reindeer hunt (in the department stores’ or at the Christmas market): Everyone tries to find as many Christmas gnome and reindeer decorations as possible and photograph them with their smartphone. The team with the most hunting trophies wins!
- Christmas Photo Scavenger Hunt: The tasks in this scavenger hunt consist of finding and photographing certain places and objects.
- Christmas Carol Scavenger Hunt: All clues refer to well-known Christmas carols. The clues are solved together while singing the Christmas songs. For example, the clue “Bells” requires singing Jingle Bells to find the solution. The Christmas mood is set in any case.
- Neon treasure hunt: Treasure hunt in the dark with neon glow sticks etc. to the treasure
- Historical Christmas photo scavenger hunt: Print out photos of experiences at past Christmas parties and of ancestors and write a clue for another photo on the back. Hide the photos around the house. In the search for old memories, new ones will be created :-).
- Christmas puzzle scavenger hunt: There are puzzles to solve to get to the treasure
- Christmas Story Scavenger Hunt: Scavenger hunt with a Christmas story that is read aloud at each station with finale at the treasure.
- Christmas gift scavenger hunt: A different kind of gift-giving! Hide the presents in places that you have hidden in simple riddles (or pictures for the children).
6 Tasks to Solve Together
When a task is completed, the game leader gives the next clue.
- Build a snowman together! There’s no snow? Then build a rice witch!
- Who makes the most beautiful snow angel? Capture the results in photos
- Collect accessories for Christmas decorations
- Craft a new Christmas decoration for the Christmas tree (The task includes scissors, coloured paper, pencils and glue stick)
- Who finds the straw angel first and hangs it on the Christmas tree? (For this task, everyone goes alone in a race against time and the others to find the Christmas decoration, e.g. a straw angel. Whoever finds it and hangs it first gets a bonus hint or a small prize.
- For this task you need an empty box in which you deposit the next clue. Place it on a branch, as high up in the tree as possible. The task: Throw the can from the tree with snowballs or cones.
12 Scavenger Hunt Puzzles for Teens and Adults
A great source of inspiration for riddles are well-known Christmas poems and carols! For example, the next clue can be found in the place that appears in the first verse of “Oh, come, little children”. If you don’t know the words, you can google them :-).
What am I? riddles are also a good way to lead people to specific places. The absolute supreme discipline are riddles in rhyme form.
- In winter I’ll keep you nice and warm, in spring you’ll take me in your arms, in summer you won’t want to know anything about me, in autumn you’ll have to dress me. What is this? – Solution: Coat / winter jacket
- What greens in summer and winter, delights children at Christmas time? – Solution: The fir tree
- The next clue can be found in the place that appears in the first verse of “Ihr Kinderlein kommet”. – Solution: Crib
- I’m big or small, sometimes a house, sometimes a pig on New Year’s Eve. Once I’m there, I’m quickly gone again. What am I and where am I kept? – Solution: Christmas biscuits or biscuit tin
- You only need me at Christmas time. I used to be very popular, but unfortunately less in use today. I have no fear of heights and a very special place. If I fall, I’m broken. – Solution: The Christmas tree top
- In me there is silence, talking, singing, laughing, crying. Most people only visit me on Christmas Eve. – Solution: The church.
- I am a man with exactly one important task. I have a big mouth and a lever on my back. – Solution: The Nutcracker
- They appear at Christmas, in Harry Potter and also in the Lord of the Rings! – Solution: Elves
- You can hold me and shake me, but I just break. I carry a lot of snow inside me. What am I? – Solution: A snow globe.
- It is red, white and moves in a circle, is red and white again. What is it? – Solution: Santa Claus’s clothes in the washing machine
- I am big when I am young and small when I am old. What am I? – A Christmas candle.
- In which direction does Father Christmas travel when he sets off from the North Pole on Christmas Eve? – Solution: south. Everywhere is south as seen from the North Pole.
Have fun with your Christmas scavenger hunt game!
Looking for more treasure hunt tips? Here you can find tips for a scavenger hunt at home for kids and a birthday treasure hunt for kids. On Abenteuer Freundschaft you can also find a three-part guide with lots of tips, tasks and hints for a scavenger hunt for adults. On our creative leisure blog you can get new ideas every day for activities with friends, activities with children or with your partner!
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