Scavenger (Treasure) Hunt Ideas and Clues for Adults

Treasure hunts, commonly referred to as scavenger hunts, are some of the best party games that are suitable for adults and children alike. Be it for casual purposes or corporate ones, scavenger hunts are a source of fun to all those who engage in them. One of the popular uses for treasure hunts is to help break the ice between people who have just met each other. This game can act as an amazing ice-breaker between professionals, as it instantly levels the playing field and removes those uncomfortable 'power' issues. Moreover, for friends, family and neighbors, they are a great way of helping people get much closer through lots of great healthy fun! However, many organizers seem to struggle to come up with effective scavenger hunt ideas for adults.


As with any game, the key to a great treasure hunt lies wholly in the planning. You will have to ensure that you have a great scavenger list that will keep all the people engaged in the hunt interested. You will also need to have the right clues for treasure hunts to be successful. This means that treasure hunt ideas for adults will be dramatically different to those for younger children.


If you are looking for great treasure hunt ideas for adults, you should first learn the different types of treasure hunts available. The first is the traditional scavenger hunt which involves the collection of a number of different physical items. These items are then brought back to the judges for confirmation. Sometimes this is just a crazy dash, where participants search high and low for the given clues and to be the winner by collecting the most items. However, more often clues are given to the location of the following items that are hidden after each item is returned, or sometimes the hunters may be given cyphers which will have to be deciphered so as to find the exact location of the other items. For this type of hunt, there will either be different clues for each team, or the clues are given in different orders to each team, to prevent them from cheating.


The second type of scavenger hunt is the photo scavenger hunt. Its popularity has grown over the years as has its ability to make the hunt more entertaining. With the photo scavenger hunts, the "hunters" either go out searching for objects to create pictures with, often having to complete different 'challenges', or they are given the clues that lead to objects within the hunt area (which can be as small as a garden, or as big as a city) and must then be combined with a list of poses/dares. With either style, scavenger hunt clues can be linked to many tasks that must be completed first in order to win the game.


There are a number of ways through which you can come up with your own treasure hunt ideas for adults. Unlike the kids' ideas, planning a treasure hunt for adults would take more time and would also require you to know more on what the adults are into.


However, it is worth making the effort, as with adults, these challenges can be as wild, or as timid as you like. Only you know your crowd, so pick challenges to meet their personalities. If you can get away with a few crazy moments, slip them into the challenge sheet (even with corporate events, you'd be surprised at how the managers just need to blow off some steam and have a laugh!).


Personally I like to combine a mix of challenges that can be used in any order with the clues. This means that they can choose the clue or photo to complete each of the challenges with, then take a photo or short video to prove that they solved this clue and completed one of the challenges. Poor planning on a team's part may mean they are stuck with a hard treasure hunt challenge and clue combination at some point in the hunt, really adding to the adventure! Can you imagine being stuck with the challenge of 'kiss the object and capture it on photo' but the next photo object required is a picture of a fish in a pond!? lol ... I think there may be some splashing!! However, if they are good friends, don't feel embarrassed to put in a few sexy/suggestive challenges. Nothing too graphic, but something that is sure to get giggle of embarrassment, or the rest of the team rolling with laughter. Cheeky challenges like "slow dance with an old lady" combined with a place/object clue can create fun times, especially if all the players are young ... me thinks some older girl's day is about to get a little brighter! ha ha


If you are planning a bachelor/bachelorette party, then a road trip scavenger hunt would be a great thing to go with and could REALLY provide some interesting photographic evidence (probably used for harmless blackmailing in the future!). Can you imagine the excitement of a mad night out on the town, or setting off in a car, with only the creator having a clue where the clues will lead. If you have a budget, you could even fly to a foreign city and race to complete a city scavenger hunt in a foreign land, before winding down with a beer, or a glass of wine, to ease into the night ... that is of course, if you don't decide to play your adult treasure hunt after all the wine ;-).


Whatever you decide, just make it fun and test out your treasure hunt for adults before the big day. There is nothing worst than getting halfway through a game, only to find out the organizer has forgotten something vital. A test run can be fun with friends and family, while also ironing out any issues before you start out with your main group that the hunt is for.


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Comments 21 comments

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 20 months ago from New York

Your scavenger hunts are always interesting. I loved the idea of a photo scavenger hunt. With today's phone technology it would be easier than carrying a camera around and you don't have to worry about being arrested for taking someone's mailbox or whatever!

Voted up, useful, interesting and shared.


KDeus profile image

KDeus 2 years ago from Florida

Brett, these are great suggestions! I especially think the road trip treasure hunt would be fun! While I have had scavenger hunts for the kids before, I've never attended or planned one for adults. That might just have to change thanks to your suggestions!


allelsematters profile image

allelsematters 4 years ago from Philippines

Cool idea of activity especially when having camps. Thank for sharing! :D


donnah75 profile image

donnah75 4 years ago from Upstate New York

Brett, this is a fun idea. Years ago, we used a scavenger hunt as an orientation activity for the staff at the summer camp I worked for. It was geared to allow them to get to know each other and the city we were located in. It was an awesome, fun activity. Voted up and sharing.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Brett,

This would be a real icebreaker as you say and end up with loads of laughter and fun for the people involved. I really like the photo scavenger hunt idea. With digital cameras it would be so easy to snap all kinds of photos and see who got the best one showing this or that on the list. Makes me smile just thinking about it. Voted up, useful and will share.


PenHitsTheFan profile image

PenHitsTheFan 4 years ago from Home

That's a neat idea. It would make a great team building activity for a corporate retreat.


MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

This is a really interesting topic, I've never thought of treasure hunting that way, or that it could be so much fun for adults! Thanks for sharing this. Voted up and interesting, awesome! :)


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

This is a good idea, Brett.

Treasure hunting for kids is fun but to break the ice between adults is ideal via this.

will try this out...thanks!

voted up as useful/interesting and sharing it across


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 4 years ago from Somewhere in Asia Author

Hey Frugalfamily,

Yea, I agree completely. Road trips can be a bit dull, but trying to meet challenges and spot items for a photo scavenger hunt could make it a good laugh! Not to mention, that it could keep the kids amused and 'quiet' (at least not complaining) ... as they try to be first to spot things and/or take photos!!

Cheers for stopping by


frugalfamily profile image

frugalfamily 4 years ago from Houston, TX

I'm waiting for all my kids to have cell phones (or cameras) so we can all do this together this year. Would make for a really good road trip activity too don't you think?


algarveview profile image

algarveview 4 years ago from Algarve, Portugal

Hi, Brett, this is an awesome idea, much like the one for kids, a real icebreaker, you are right,though probably it will be even funnier if people already know each other... Voted up. Thanks for SHARING and have a great day!


CassyLu1981 profile image

CassyLu1981 4 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

I've done the photo scavenger hunts before. So much fun and really awesome for those of us who love to take pictures of EVERYTHING! Great ideas in this Hub. voted up and shared :) Thanks!!!


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca

I love the idea of scavenger hunts... but unfortunately I don't know many people who would probably partake... especially the photo scavenger hunts. However, a cool option might be to add it to a family vacation. This would really force you to explore the different areas and would probably make for some great memories. Thanks For Sharing. I think I might have to do some sort of Scavenger Hunt for the next Road Trip!


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

What a great idea! I love how you said that this is a great ice-breaker. I'm going to pass these ideas on to the HR's at work. Nice job. Votes and more.


laurel536 4 years ago from North Carolina, United States

I have always loved scavenger hunts and I hope to use some of these ideas. The idea of combining clues and challenges was really interesting and I hope to have an oportunity to try it.


jenubouka 4 years ago

Awesome idea Brett!! hey even adults like to go on a treasure hunt adventure!


wheelinallover profile image

wheelinallover 4 years ago from Central United States

Here we start teaching them young. My favorite "where are mommy's keys", asked of a two year old. He found them about 90 percent of the time, once he remembered where he left them. We actually do simple verbal scavenger hunts with the children. It keeps them occupied and hopefully out of trouble.

We like what you wrote about corporate scavenger hunts, hadn't thought about doing on but it sounds like a great idea to help blow off steam.

Voted up, awesome, and SHARING.


viking305 profile image

viking305 4 years ago from Ireland

Those Scavenger hunts look like they would be really great fun! I think the Road trip scavenger hunt would have some great photos at the end of it too!

Thanks for SHARING. Up and awesome


Courtney L J profile image

Courtney L J 4 years ago

haha this is great! I want to do this with some friends. Good hub


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

You come up with the best ideas, Brett. This is great for a party as well as breaking the ice at meetings. Voting this Up and Useful. Socially SHARED.


LaThing profile image

LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

This is a great idea! We always do a scavenger hunt with the kids in the summer, never thought of having adults involved! I like the Photo Scavenger Hunt idea. One thing we do is leave different clues at different places leading to the same goal, in that way everyone is doing something different.

Thanks for the great idea, sharing it!

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