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14 Christmas Scavenger Hunt Ideas

Tis’ the season to be jolly, so it’s time to bust out the mistletoe and hang up those stockings. I’m talking about Christmas! And what better way to celebrate the most joyous time of the year, than with some fun Christmas activities.

I don’t know about you, but in our family everyone loves a good scavenger hunt! Whether you’re celebrating a holiday or just bored during the weekend, it’s a great way to while away an hour or two. So we’ve gathered up some of our favorite Christmas scavenger hunt ideas to add a little more excitement to your celebrations.

Fantastic Christmas Scavenger Hunt Ideas

Here are our favorite Christmas scavenger hunt ideas that you can play with your friends or family. We’ve even sorted them into three easy categories so you can choose the most fitting scavenger hunt games for your yuletide celebrations.

Christmas Scavenger Hunt for Kids

These fun hunts will keep the kids entertained even after they unwrap all the presents! You’ll have plenty of time to prepare the X-mas ham while your little ones are busy finding all their favorite holiday decorations.

    1. Your kiddies will have lots of fun finding all the gingerbread people with this Catch the Gingerbread Man scavenger hunt. Hide these cutout gingerbread “cookies” around the house, and if you want to make it even more enticing you can leave real cookies in a few of the hiding places too!

Catch the Gingerbread Man

    1. This indoor scavenger hunt is ideal for a snowy Christmas where you prefer to stay inside. Each clue leads participants to a household item, with a simple rhyme for the kids to enjoy. And they’re sure to love the super cute Christmas cartoons on every card.

indoor scavenger hunt

    1. Santa has lost his reindeer, and it’s up to your little ones to find them in time for Santa to deliver everyone’s presents! This super cute printout scavenger hunt features all nine of Saint Nicks’ famous reindeer for you to hide around the house.

Find Santa's Missing Reindeer

    1. Designed for a variety of situations, The Resourceful Mama has made a Christmas scavenger hunt that can be used at home, around the neighborhood, or even when visiting friends or relatives.

Winter & Christmas Scavenger Hunts

    1. This sweet little scavenger hunt from Moritz Fine Design is a great way to spend Christmas morning after the kids have opened all their presents. We recommend putting one gift each aside for your children, and keeping it as the final clue they need to find at the end of the hunt.

Christmas Treasure Hunt-

Christmas Scavenger Hunt for Adults

That’s right, scavenger hunts aren’t just for kids. If you don’t have children of your own, or you and your fellow parents want something fun to do once the kids are in bed, we’ve got some options for you!

    1. This Christmas-based murder mystery scavenger hunt (say that five times fast!) may look complicated, but it’s easier than you think. Not to mention it’s so fun, it’s almost deadly! It’s up to each player to find as many clue cards as they can, so they can find the killer.

Murder Mystery Christmas Scavenger Hunt

    1. Though this scavenger hunt can be played by all ages, we think some of the clues are a little tricky. For this reason, we think MyTuesdayTherapy’s scavenger hunt is ideal for a group of teens or adults who want to spend an hour competing to decode these cryptic Christmas clues.

Christmas Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Teens

    1. It may not be strictly Christmas-themed, but this scavenger hunt is perfect for those childless adults who celebrate the festive season with a night on the town. Put a fun twist on your Christmas party with the Adult’s Night Out scavenger hunt.

Adult Night Out Scavenger Hunt Clues

    1. Another one better suited for teens and adults, this selfie scavenger hunt is a cute Christmas-themed romp through the house or neighborhood. Just make sure you do your hair first! The aim of Life with Heidi’s game is to take a selfie with each item on the list. The first person to take every selfie (and provide evidence) wins!

Selfie Scavenger Hunt

Christmas Scavenger Hunt Games for the Whole Family

But of course, the best scavenger hunts are the ones you can play with the whole family! Round up the kids, cousins, nieces, nephews, and grandparents for these fantastic family scavenger hunts.

    1. This easy list-based Christmas scavenger hunt is the perfect way to get the whole family out of the house – and you don’t have to set up any decorations yourself! Have adults and kids pair up, and see who can find the most items around the neighborhood. Just don’t forget to bundle up first!

Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt

    1. If you live in a particularly decorative neighborhood, the Christmas Lights scavenger hunt is the ideal activity for you! See how many decorations your family can find on your street, and spice it up by playing bingo (first to cross off five in a row) or a points-based competition.

Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt 2

    1. This simple scavenger hunt has enough clues to play both indoors and around the neighborhood, with an ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ category. It’s a flexible checklist-style scavenger hunt with enough items to keep the family busy.

Simple Scavenger Hunt

    1. VanillaMintPrints’ Christmas scavenger hunt on Etsy is a little more difficult – each group of items you need to find is worth different points based on rarity. If you’ve got a competitive family, this scavenger hunt can get quite fast-paced as people race to find the hardest items.

Fun Christmas Scavenger Hunt Game

    1. It’s not just the awesome graphics that make this Christmas activity unique – it’s also, well, the activities! Your family and friends should be split into teams, and each team has to find the right clues and play one round of a fun Christmas game before they can move on to the next clue. It’s a great way to get everyone involved and to make the traditional scavenger hunt even longer.

Christmas Scavenger Hunt Activity

Tips to Keep in Mind While Planning Christmas Scavenger Hunt Games

Watch the Weather

If you live in the northern hemisphere, chances are you’re going to enjoy a classic winter Christmas.

For this reason, you may want to stay indoors to avoid cold temperatures and keep your kids from trudging snow and sludge through the house!

However, a snowy outdoor scavenger hunt can add an extra element of excitement to the game too.

If you do want to venture out into your backyard or neighborhood, be sure to dress warmly and keep younger children supervised.

You may also want to print your clues on a more durable card instead of paper, or even keep your clues in containers so they aren’t destroyed by the snow.

If You’re Going Out, Keep Supplies on Hand

This is relevant wherever you are in the world, but particularly if it’s winter.

Make sure you have extra coats, jumpers, scarfs, etc in case one of the kids loses something in the snow.

You should also take extra pens, notepads, and copies of the scavenger hunt checklist or clues (if relevant).

When kids are having a lot of fun, it’s very easy to drop things or leave them somewhere.

If Indoors, Be Creative

Most of the above scavenger hunts are designed for indoor play. However, let’s be honest – we don’t all live in large houses that our kids can romp through for hours.

If you live in a smaller house or apartment and the scavenger hunt is indoors, you may need to get more creative. For example, stretch the game out and keep your kids entertained longer.

Make Sure There is a “Winning” End to the Game

Scavenger hunts are fun in and of themselves. However, kids can feel a little cheated if there’s no gold at the end of the rainbow.

Make sure to put a reward, big or small, at the end of a hunt (Christmas cookies are always a win!).

If it’s a checklist or points-based scavenger hunt, set up a prize for the winner.

If it’s a less competitive hunt, we like to put aside a small wrapped gift for each child as the last clue.

After all, it’s Christmas!

Keep Your Safety Guidelines in Check

In many places, you still need to take some safety measures, particularly pertaining to the Covid-19 pandemic.

If your scavenger hunt is taking place around a neighborhood, make sure to check the area you live in to see what safety protocols are in place and make sure you can still play safely according to those guidelines.

The great thing about a scavenger hunt is that participants are usually dispersed across a large area, so there shouldn’t be many problems!

We also recommend you go over some basic safety rules with the kids who are playing. For example: don’t go any further than X area, don’t climb anything to look for clues, don’t leave your teammates behind, etc.

But most of all a Christmas scavenger hunt is meant to be enjoyed. That is why you should encourage everyone to have fun!

Nothing says Christmas spirit more than an afternoon romping around with friends and family. And if you need more great Christmas party ideas to help with that, check out A Subtle Revelry for all your holiday-related arts, crafts, and DIY needs.

If you love scavenger hunts, you’re going to love our Halloween scavenger hunt ideas!