A well-designed scavenger hunt is a real highlight that the participants often remember fondly even years later. However, some preparations are necessary to ensure that the scavenger hunt is a success. Of course, the most important thing is to have tricky scavenger hunt puzzles that are a challenge for the participants. If you plan a very elaborate scavenger hunt or several groups are involved, it can be more fun if a whole team works on the preparation. Here are some suggestions and questions for a successful scavenger hunt.
When working out the tasks for your scavenger hunt, you should keep in mind the age group which will participate. Scavenger hunt tasks for children should be exciting but not too difficult. On the other hand, the puzzles in a scavenger hunt for adults can be slightly trickier. If you have a mixed group with adults and children or the children are of different ages, there should be questions for the younger and the older ones so that no one feels left out. If the group includes senior citizens or people with physical disabilities, the riddles for a scavenger hunt should be designed so that they do not involve too much physical activity or long walks.
The duration of the scavenger hunt depends very much on the people involved. Skilled youngsters or adults who enjoy tricky scavenger hunt questions and challenges will respond enthusiastically to a scavenger hunt that goes on for more than one day. Especially for younger children, the scavenger hunt's tasks should be designed so that they can be solved in a manageable timeframe. Here, the scavenger hunt should not last too long. On average, two to three hours is a good time.
The number of questions depends heavily on the duration of the scavenger hunt and the participants' ages. If the scavenger hunt tasks are very elaborate and the participants need a certain amount of time to solve them, you should not include too many puzzles in your scavenger hunt. Too many scavenger hunt questions can also quickly lead to frustration among children. So, how elaborate should your scavenger hunt be? That depends on the time and effort you want to invest in the preparations. The age and background of the participants are also important.
Last but not least, the occasion also plays a decisive role. For a children's birthday party with very young participants, easier tasks are advisable. Puzzles with an advanced difficulty level could quickly overwhelm the children. Feel free to get help if it becomes apparent that your scavenger hunt tasks require a lot of preparation.
Should there be an accompanying story that integrates the scavenger hunt tasks? A thrilling storyline makes the scavenger hunt more vivid and also helps when thinking up the tasks. Scavenger hunt puzzles with a specific thematic background are becoming more and more popular. You can organize a scavenger hunt for film fans, nature lovers, hobby historians, mystery enthusiasts, sportspeople, and much more. A scavenger hunt can be designed as a city tour, where exploring the city is in the foreground. But you can also add an elaborate story: A murder mystery, an action film plot, something historical, and much more. Even a fantasy theme with wizards, elves, and orcs can be a lot of fun. As soon as you start to deal with the respective topic, you are sure to come up with suitable questions.
There is no shortage of opportunities for an exciting scavenger hunt. Of course, family holidays such as Christmas, Easter, birthdays, bachelor parties and anniversaries are very suitable. Exciting puzzles are the perfect way to get to know a city, a neighborhood, or a particular building. Scavenger hunts can also convey knowledge about a specific person or strengthen the team spirit of a group. If possible, you should design the scavenger hunt tasks so that everyone involved gets a chance to shine. Of course, this is not easy if you don't know the group members very well.
The tasks' design ultimately determines how elaborate a scavenger hunt will be and what material is needed. For example, you should decide whether bystanders such as bartenders or waiters are involved? Do the participants need a mobile phone or tablet? In this case, clarify this with the participants in advance or provide one yourself. Are slips of paper, pens, binoculars, magnifying glasses, or other things needed? Do the participants need costumes? Public transport? A car? You should clarify this in advance with all participants.
A scavenger hunt can take place in the park, throughout the city, in your own house and garden, a castle, and many other sites. Depending on how elaborate and long you want it to be. The rule of thumb here is: For younger children or the elderly, the area should be manageable.
Hide the clues and the next puzzle well, but in a way that it is still possible to find them. Suitable places include niches, tree hollows, lockers, shops, the underside of a park bench, and much more.
Modern technology can contribute enormously to the success of a scavenger hunt. Using GPS technology and coordinates, you offer participants an exciting challenge. However, you should avoid using technical devices with younger children. When organizing a scavenger hunt with a historical or fantasy background, too much technology could spoil the unique flair.
Selecting an appropriate prize for the participants is extremely important when organizing a scavenger hunt. For a themed scavenger hunt, the treasure should ideally match the theme. For example, cinema tickets are great for film fans, a small crown for “little princesses” while a magnifying glass certainly excites fans of criminal investigations. If you are celebrating a bachelor party or an anniversary, it is a nice personal touch if the treasure matches the protagonist.
If you keep these points in mind and make full use of the possibilities of the play area, your scavenger hunt is sure to be a complete success - an exciting event that will remain in the memories of your fellow players for a long time.
Equipped with the above information, you have already taken a big step towards creating your scavenger hunt. However, you will have noticed that there are many things to consider and that developing your scavenger hunt takes a lot of time. There is also the question of whether the participants will like their scavenger hunt puzzles in the end. Therefore, it is worth considering whether you want to plan and organize the scavenger hunt yourself or whether you would prefer to use a tried and tested concept. In the following table, we compare the advantages and disadvantages of both options.
| Organize yourself
Pros & cons self-organization
| Book tickets
Pros & cons ticket booking
|Very time consuming||Simple booking|
|Paper only||Intuitive web application|
|Free of charge (except material costs)||Not free of charge|