Christmas is a time when we all get together to eat, drink, and make merry. But it’s not just about food and drink. Okay, it’s a lot about food and drink. But one of my favorite pastimes at Christmas – besides eating – is to organize a treasure hunt! A Christmas treasure hunt is a great way to add some extra excitement to your celebrations this year.
When I was a kid, I always used to get at least one present every year that was hidden, and I’d have to find it. What’s more, a Christmas Treasure Hunt doesn’t have to cost a lot of money – at the most basic level, all you need is paper, pens and your prize! In this guide, we’ll show you how to create your own treasure hunt from scratch, but also give you some totally FREE clues you can use yourself if you’re short on time. Let’s take a look:
Themes & Structure
First of all, decide whether you’re going to keep things simple with your Christmas treasure hunt, or if you’d like to take it up a notch. At a very simple level, paper and pen will work just fine for this activity. The idea is to write a series of clues, each one leading to the next, with the final clue leading to the prize. Whether that’s the main gift, a stocking filler, or just a piece of candy – that part is up to you! If you’re struggling to think of what to give as a prize, then check out our guide on 5 DIY Xmas Treasure Hunt Prizes For Kids!
There’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple for a fun Christmas game such as this. However, you could make things more exciting by creating a theme. For example, if your kids are super into the Marvel movies, you could make all the clues superhero and comic book related! You could even have the kids dress up in their favorite Marvel gear. Which, let’s face it, plenty of kids want to do at Christmas anyway!
You’ll also need to decide on some simple ‘rules’ for your treasure hunt. For example, what are the ages of the children involved? You need to make sure the clues aren’t too hard for the age group. Also, try to think about how long will it take the kids to get bored, tired, or hungry. If you have more than one kid to entertain, are they each going to have their own hunt, or share the same one? These are the things worth considering when you’re planning a hunt.
Think about how to craft clues that are age-appropriate
Xmas Treasure Hunt Riddles & Clues
Once you’ve decided, on theme, structure & rules, then it’s time to delve into the super fun world of riddles & clues! The basic idea here is to make up an age-appropriate riddle or clue to help people find things around the house. What you’re finding might be the next clue, or it might be the prize, but the goal is always to point to a location. It helps to think of the places you’re going to hide things first – starting with the prize – and then work backward, creating the clues that lead there.
Although this game is a great way to entertain kids, it can also be a fun activity for adults too, so we’ll look at clues for both adults and children. Let’s dive in:
Riddles & Clues For Kids
With kids, the major consideration is making the clues age-appropriate. You will want to make their clues pretty simple, and maybe even make them into rhyme if you think an extra hint might be needed. Think of your location first, then try to come up with a rhyme that works into it. You can use a website like Rhymezone to help, and then decide whether you want to make the clue more difficult by omitting the rhyming word. For example, you can come up with a clue such as:
“Christmas puts me in a great mood. Find your next clue where we keep our cold ______”
To which the answer would be ‘cold food’, i.e. the hiding place is the refrigerator (or the freezer). Simply include or exclude the rhyming word if you want to make the clue more or less challenging. The clues don’t have to rhyme either – if you really can’t think of a rhyme, then just the latter half of that clue – “Find your next clue where we keep our cold food” – would work fine. And don’t worry if you don’t have time to come up with any clues at all – I’ve provided some free ones you can use below!
These clues are available as a FREE printable – see below for the instructions!
Riddles & Clues For Adults
Making clues for kids is relatively easy. The harder part? That comes if you want to entertain adults too! But making a Christmas treasure hunt for adults is no less fun and rewarding. In fact, some of the most fun I’ve had at Christmas came when I was old enough to appreciate a well-crafted hunt!
With adults, it’s best to make clues based on a theme. Try to gauge the age range of your guests, and come up with something that was in the popular consciousness for most or all of them when they were growing up. Something most or all of them will know. For example, maybe if your guests are a little older they will all remember the Andy Griffith Show, and you could base your theme on that.
If you had the Andy Griffith shows as your theme, you could ask people to come dressed as the characters. Perhaps you could leave an episode running on the TV, and print out all your clues on themed paper from the show!
The basic principle of the hunt would be the same though: come up with your hiding places, and then create clues that lead there. With adults, you can afford to be a little more cryptic with your clues, and also more creative with your hiding places, incorporating the theme into them. For example, if your theme is based on a movie or TV show, you can hide knick-knacks and props from those shows around the house, and have your clues/prizes stashed there!
FREE Printable Xmas Treasure Hunt Clues
Here are some totally FREE clues you can use for your Christmas treasure hunt. I’ve also made a blank template you can use for your own clues if you want. These clues are aimed at kids, and you can either write these down yourself on your own piece of paper or you can use the printable format below. Either way: happy Christmas treasure hunting!
Click HERE to access these clues as a printable PDF! – there’s also a free blank template where you can fill out your own clues if you prefer. Here are the pre-made clues:
“Christmas is the time I love most. Find your next clue where you make your _____” (toast).
“It’s Christmas time, so don’t be a grouch. You’ll find your next clue behind the _____” (Answer: behind the couch)
“Reindeer pulling Santa’s sled. Find your next clue under your _____” (Answer: Under your bed)
“Lots of Christmas food and drink. Find your next clue by the kitchen _____” (Answer: The kitchen sink)
“Christmas puts me in a great mood. Find your next clue where we keep our cold _____” (Answer: Where you keep cold food, so hide the next clue in the freezer or refrigerator!)
“When it’s cold outside, there’s rain and sleet. Find your next clue where you put your _____” (Answer: Where you put your feet, so hide this clue inside a shoe!)
Don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog for more treasure-hunting fun. Found The Treasure is the only blog out there that’s dedicated to all things treasure-hunting!