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Scavenger Hunt Birthday Party

Updated on July 24, 2013

I think it's pretty safe to say that everyone wants to have a birthday party that everyone talks about fondly long after the party is over. And once you've done that once, you can never go back to ordinary. Each year you have to try to top the last. You have to keep the ideas fresh to keep up with that kind of self-imposed pressure.

A few years ago we tried a Scavenger Hunt for my teenage daughter's birthday party. Everyone loved it. We didn't have any trouble finding adult volunteers to help either since everyone thought it would be fun.

This is how we did ours:

  • We had the party guests all meet at our house. You can begin the party anywhere you like, but make sure you have everyone gathered at one place before you begin. Stragglers don't really work well with this type of party.
  • We broke up into teams based on the number of legal driving adults present and the seating capacity of their vehicles. In our case, we had four vehicles.
  • Each team was handed a bag (any type will do) and a typed list of items to find that was prepared beforehand. Knowing how many guests to expect and vehicles participating helps a lot.
  • We had several meeting points along the way at designated times so that the birthday girl could switch vehicles and ride with each group at some point during the adventure. (It's not much fun to go to a birthday and spend all day with other people besides the birthday girl.) Make sure the drivers are familiar with the meeting locations. Having cell phones helps tremendously in this. I gave the driver of each vehicle $10 in cash and a disposable camera that they could use at their discretion. They could use the money for gas, to purchase any items they may have trouble finding for free, or one driver even bought drinks for everyone in her vehicle. The camera was for anyone in the vehicle to take pictures of anything they wanted to. One of the places we stopped was a park. The kids took lots of pictures of each other there while they played for a bit on the playground equipment.
  • There were several places in town that I knew would be of interest to the kids. Included in my list were places they had to go and write down what they saw there or answer some question that let me know they had been there. They had to read several historical markers and give me dates of what historical event took place there, etc. There is also a house that has a huge concrete gorilla in their yard close to the street. They decorate the girl for each holiday and other special occasions. I asked them to tell me what they found at such-in-such address. Again, your drivers should be familiar with the location.
  • Below is a list of items to have the teams gather similar to the list we used. You want to have some items that are easy to find and some they may not find at all. That's what will spawn their creativity and a competitiveness between the groups. It may be the only thing that separates the ‘winner' from the ‘losers'.
  • Arrange for all the teams to meet at a specific time to end the hunt and make sure they understand that being punctual is part of the game. Have someone call out the list of items and have everyone hold up that item. You can have prizes for the winner.
  • Take up the cameras and have the pictures processed. Get extra copies and share them with the guests so that everyone has something from the event. Nowadays you can more affordably get all of the pictures put on disks and email them, etc.

Paper cup with a logo

Unsharpened pencil

Green rubberband

Yellow paperclip

Wooden clothespin

Piece of lace

Piece of string

Unused bandaid

Any size battery

Book of matches

Napkin with a logo




Piece of gum

Packet of ketchup

Packet of hot sauce



Red straw

Small toy

Something broken

Something pink and purple

Something wooden

One real flower

One artificial flower

White button

Two rocks-different colors


Two strands beads-different colors

Something old

Something in black and white print


Any type of hair accessory

A coin between a range of years

Guitar pick

CD from a certain year



Happy face sticker

Baseball card or trading card

Something with #1 on it


Something heart-shaped




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    • KCC Big Country profile image

      Karen Curtis 6 years ago from Central Texas

      Thank you keenan! That's a very nice compliment you gave me. My kids have seemed to enjoy my party ideas over the years. Maybe someday I'll get to plan my grandkids' parties! :)

    • profile image 6 years ago

      Your ideas are great for Birthdays. I wish my Mom had thought of this when I was a kid.

    • profile image

      partygames 7 years ago

      wow, great hub. loads of fun ideas, thanks!

    • KCC Big Country profile image

      Karen Curtis 8 years ago from Central Texas

      You're welcome, Vee! Have a great scavenger hunt!

    • profile image

      vee 8 years ago

      great ideas thanks!

    • KCC Big Country profile image

      Karen Curtis 8 years ago from Central Texas

      Thank you, Scavenger Hunt Ideas! :)

    • profile image

      Scavenger Hunt Ideas 8 years ago

      Good Post!

    • KCC Big Country profile image

      Karen Curtis 8 years ago from Central Texas

      *muah*.......Thanks so much for stopping by CC!

    • profile image

      C. C. Riter 8 years ago

      another one, ha

    • KCC Big Country profile image

      Karen Curtis 9 years ago from Central Texas

      OMG....what an awesome idea! I'll have to tell my daughter about that, she would love that!

    • Proud Mom profile image

      Proud Mom 9 years ago from USA

      One of my favorite dates in high school was comprised of my best friend and I coming up with clues to send our boyfriends on a chase of sorts. They showed up at her house expecting to pick us up, but instead found a note with a clue to get to another place. There, again expecting to pick us up, they found the first course of dinner in a little to-go tub with another clue attached. This continued until they finally found us. We had a wonderful dinner and LOTS of laughs!!!!

    • KCC Big Country profile image

      Karen Curtis 9 years ago from Central Texas

      Awwww...thanks Proud Mom! We've done three Scavenger Hunts (I think) and each of them were done very differently, but everyone loved them.

    • Proud Mom profile image

      Proud Mom 9 years ago from USA

      This is so much fun! I have many, many grand memories as a teenager doing scavenger hunts. Your kids are so blessed!