What Is a Scavenger Hunt? What Is a Treasure Hunt? Are They the Same?
Scavenger hunts have been around for ages. They’re a popular choice for people of all ages as a way to make any event or occasion more enjoyable and entertaining. They can even be an event all their own.
The main difference between a scavenger hunt boils down to this:
A scavenger hunt is an activity that has participants go around collecting different items and performing different activities or challenges from a predetermined list.
A treasure hunt, although similar, typically involves participants finding clues one at a time. Each clue leads them to the next clue and so on until the treasure is ultimately found.
Often times, the term is used synonymously, especially in today’s world or team building, virtual scavenger hunt, and scavenger hunt apps.
Who uses scavenger hunts?
Anyone really. It’s a tried and true activity for people of all ages from kids to adults to employees to students and more.
In today’s business world where employees are demanding more engagement and better company culture, these hunts are even used as team-building activities and a way to help remote teams connect and create stronger bonds and better working relationships.
So, what can you hunt for with a scavenger hunt?
The real question is, what can’t you?
There is no shortage of inspiration and pre-planned lists out there, proving that you really can have a scavenger hunt with just about any theme or list of items.
Virtual scavenger hunts are even becoming increasingly popular because so many people are working remotely these days.
Read on to learn about the most popular types of scavenger hunts and clues and how you can plan your own.
How do you organize or create a scavenger hunt?
Traditionally, scavenger hunts were performed with pen and paper.
Fortunately, today, there are apps and platforms like Scavify that make it easy to create, organize, and run your scavenger hunt effortlessly. These apps also take the interaction to a different level with features like photos, videos, GPS, QR codes, trivia, notifications, and more.
1. Adult Scavenger Hunt
The basic adult scavenger hunt can include any theme and type of clues that you desire. These will typically be more difficult than clues for children’s hunts, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. The great thing is that you can choose. Riddles are fun, and you can even take selfies and videos to add to the entertainment.
Adult Scavenger Hunt List:
Look in and out and all around, I don’t exist, but everywhere I can be found. (Take a picture of your shadow.)
Find two memes that describe your current mood and your feelings about life in general.
Take a five-second video doing the most ridiculous thing you can think of.
Scrub-a-dub-dub, I’m not in the tub, but I do like to splash around. In a bowl or in a snack container is where I can be found. (Goldfish-- animal OR snack cracker!)
Take a photo of the funniest street or business sign in your town.
2. Employee Scavenger Hunt
Employee scavenger hunts are great ways to get people engaged and working together in the office, or any other work environment. They can be fun for corporate events and special occasions, or even just as team-building exercises. Although you really can use just about any clues that you want, things that relate to work are a good place to start.
Employee Scavenger Hunt List:
Figure out who on the team was hired first and take a picture of them. Do this without talking, texting, or emailing.
Find four employees wearing jewelry and glasses. (This works better in large companies with lots of employees.)
Go to the company website and find the sitemap. What is the third item on the list?
Look up the company’s name on Google with the word “taco”. Submit the first search result.
Count how many office phones are in the building/office/department. Put a time limit on it for an added challenge!
3. College Student Scavenger Hunt
Colleges are another great place for scavenger hunts. It’s a fun icebreaker and can help people connect and get to know one another. These clues are often more ridiculous and some might seem like outright dares. It’s a lot of fun, but make sure that everyone’s being respectful on campus and not breaking any rules.
College Student Scavenger Hunt List:
When you’re not in class you’re having fun. Go find the creature that cheers for number one! (Photo with the school mascot.)
Find three buildings or gardens named after alumni or donors.
Find and photograph three fraternity houses and their logos, but only if five of the brothers are there and will get in the photo.
Head to the library and go to the reference section. Grab the third book on the fourth shelf to your left. What’s the book?
Find all five food groups in different cafes and shops across campus. (Campus-only cafeteria or snack bars.)
4. Team Scavenger Hunt
Instead of setting everyone out to do the scavenger hunt individually, you could decide to team everyone up. This can be a lot of fun, and it doesn’t require a lot of changing of the rules. You will be able to get more creative with team-oriented clues and items, though.
Team Scavenger Hunt List:
Take a photo of two team members in front of a famous landmark.
Stop and grab a coffee. Ask the barista if you can get a group photo.
Bring up TikTok and shoot a video that recreates the first dance video that you find. One team member can film, the rest must perform.
Whether you’re two or three or four, you cannot all go through the same door. You file in, one at a time, and when we’re full, you wait in this line. (Take a picture of a queue line outside of a restaurant/building/attraction/etc.)
Wash your hands and cover your face, social distancing means six feet of space. Show us your best representation of the #safesix rule!
5. Virtual Scavenger Hunt
Virtual scavenger hunts are growing in popularity as more people are working and attending school remotely. It’s a way to keep people connected and engaged with more than just another team meeting or icebreaker that only involves conversation. Virtual hunts can be fun because you can truly search for just about anything.
Virtual Scavenger Hunt List:
Type “fruit loops dog” into Google and choose the funniest image result that you find.
Go to YouTube and search for “chicken dance”. Share the first video result.
Share a screenshot of your computer while you’re working/in class and hide something in the screen for everyone else to find (an icon, a word, etc.).
Go to Amazon and find the best price on “Huggies multipack diapers”. How much are they and what do you get?
Find three online message boards that are dedicated to your favorite TV show. Share the one with the most ridiculous name.
6. Digital Scavenger Hunt
Digital scavenger hunts can be a reference to either the medium in which the scavenger is completed. Or it can refer to the types of items and challenges to go after. Either way, this can involve computers, smartphones, or other devices that people use to find things or perform certain tasks as part of the hunt. Here are some examples.
Digital Scavenger Hunt List:
Find the settings on your smartphone and change the screen to dark mode (or out of dark mode). Take screenshots of your menu.
Search your device for the app that takes you shopping the most. Share a screenshot of the icon.
Find three holiday sales on smartphones that aren’t iPhones. Share the providers offering the specials.
Look up the virtual menu for your favorite restaurant. Find your favorite dish and share it with the group.
Take a video of your favorite lunch break activity (walking, eating, napping, etc.).
7. Photo Scavenger Hunt
Doing a photo scavenger hunt can be a lot of fun, thanks to smartphones. There are so many different ways you can take photos, from selfies to group shots and even having people recreate famous photos or works of art. It’s a lot of interactive fun and there are endless clues to come up with.
Photo Scavenger Hunt List:
Take a photo of something that rhymes with “dog”.
Share a selfie of you doing the latest viral pose or dance move.
Take three photos of places you visit while you’re on vacation (for vacation hunts).
Take a photo of something people use without thinking about it (car, phone, floor/sidewalk, etc.- points for creativity).
Take a group selfie where everyone is making a different emoji face.
8. GPS Scavenger Hunt
A GPS scavenger hunt is a fun way to incorporate GPS locations or even explore a new area. You can create clues based on specific locations or GPS coordinates, and have people use their smartphones to track down the answers. You can get as complex or keep things as simple as you’d like.
GPS Scavenger Hunt List:
Type in this address. Go there, then take 10 steps in any direction. Look to your left. What do you see? (Type of business/building.)
Use your GPS to travel 1.3 miles from your starting place and check-in at the city’s most famous landmark.
Check out the great exhibit at this address and check-in.
What type of attractions can you find when you visit the corner of [Intersection]? Check-in while you’re there.
Type your hotel name in the GPS. What’s the next closest hotel? Go check it out and check-in.
9. QR Code Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts have gone high tech, and thanks to QR codes, it’s easier than ever for you to put these codes to use with a QR code scavenger hunt. They can be scanned as a way to check-in or confirm that a task or clue has been completed, or they can be the clue. Here are some ideas.
QR Code Scavenger Hunt List:
Look high, look low, look around and below. Find the code by the main gate and you’ll be ready to go. (Scan the QR code to start the hunt.)
If you’re finished with the task, scan this code to check it off your list.
If yes means no and no means yes, which code to scan is best? Try them all but listen for the chime. That means you got it right this time. (Give them multiple codes, only one works, etc.)
Scan the horizon and look for fun. Complete the clues one by one. Then, scan this code when you are done.
Look up to the left and down past the trees. Look for the digital squares and dots that you see. This is the code, scan it and be free.
10. Video Scavenger Hunt
A video scavenger hunt is another great way to take advantage of technology. You can incorporate videos as a part of your hunt or create an entire hunt around videos only.. Here are some great examples of video clues to consider.
Video Scavenger Hunt List:
Take a video of the entire group doing a popular TikTok dance. The worst dancer wins the round.
Compose a video introducing your town like you’re a news reporter.
Take a video of the busiest street in the city or the busiest freeway during rush hour (do NOT do this while driving).
Record a video of you singing your favorite song to the tune of “Happy Birthday”.
Take a video of your kids explaining what bills are (great for adults with small kids).
11. Phone and Computer Scavenger Hunt
Much like the digital and virtual scavenger hunt, the phone and computer hunt is a great way to take advantage of digital technology and have a little fun. Some examples that you’ll find on a phone or computer scavenger hunt include are below.
Phone and Computer Scavenger Hunt List:
Find the most ridiculous selfie in your camera roll and share it with the group.
What is the oldest video on your phone?
How many files do you have saved in your Documents on your computer?
Screenshare: take a screenshot of exactly what you’re doing and share it with the group.
Find three people who have different phones than you and take selfies with them showing them off.
12. Office and Workplace Scavenger Hunt
Having a scavenger hunt at the office is a great way to get everyone up and moving and have a little fun. Even if you work in a warehouse or another type of industry, you can still have fun with these hunts. It can also help people build relationships, but most importantly it’s going to be a good time. Here are some things to find on a work scavenger hunt.
Office and Workplace Scavenger Hunt List:
Take a picture of the time clock closest to your workstation. (For those who have them.)
How many safety kits can you find in the warehouse/building? Where are they?
Find the cubicle closest to the elevator. How far away is it? (10 steps, etc.)
Find three people working on different projects/tasks and take their picture. Ask what they’re doing and share with the group.
Take a selfie with the CEO (Make sure that the boss is on board before adding this challenge!)
13. Team Building Scavenger Hunt
Team building and engagement are big topics in the workplace right now. When you’re dealing with remote teams, it can be even harder to convey that sense of culture and connection with your employees. Scavenger hunts are a fun way to do that while also challenging people’s critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills, whether your team is remote or in-house.
Team Building Scavenger Hunt List:
Find three ongoing projects that were started in June of 2020.
Count the number of visible staplers in the main office. Don’t go rifling through drawers!
It’s the peak of the day and I’m ready to go, find me in the fridge, and into your belly I’ll go! (Take a photo of your lunch for the day.)
Get a selfie with the boss.
Google search the company name plus “orange frog” and choose the funniest image result.
14. College Campus Scavenger Hunt
On a college campus, there are plenty of great things that you can hunt for. These spaces have a lot of fun and plenty of interesting people, as well as tons of ground to cover. You can even organize a virtual college campus scavenger hunt if you want students to participate remotely. Here are some great clues for college hunts.
College Campus Scavenger Hunt List:
Find three fraternity or sorority logos and take a picture (houses, flags, clothing, etc.)
Visit the main library and figure out how to get to the self-help section without asking for any (help, that is).
How many buildings are on campus? (This one might require some sleuthing.)
Find three freshmen studying in the campus library. Bonus points if they’re studying different classes.
Take a photo of three groups of students playing or hanging out on the grounds.
15. Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
An outdoor scavenger hunt is especially fun right now when there isn’t much else that people can do. Getting out and getting some fresh air is always good, and you can use clues found in the world around you or hide clues outside as part of the hunt.
Outdoor Scavenger Hunt List:
I rise and I fall from the east to the west. Don’t look straight at me if you know what’s best. (Photo of the sun/sunset.)
Take a picture of three different kinds of trees.
Find a car that looks like yours on a road trip and snap a photo.
Look for the funniest street sign that you can find.
Look under a log or under that rock, just hope that I don’t slither down in your sock. (Snake/worm)
16. Zoo Scavenger Hunt
The zoo and other tourist destinations are a great place to have a scavenger hunt. For kids’ parties or even just for the grownups who want to have a good time, there’s so much that you can do. From sharing photos of exhibits to learning facts about animals, it’s fun for everyone.
Zoo Scavenger Hunt List:
I live in the water but I don’t swim around. On the floor of the ocean or in a tank, I’ll be found (coral reef in an aquarium).
Take a picture of the zoo’s newest exhibit.
Take a video of the gorillas during feeding time. (Or any other animal of your choosing.)
How long does the average koala live? (Visit the exhibit to find out.)
How many different exhibits does the zoo have? (You might have to ask for this one.)
17. Hotel Scavenger Hunt
On vacation, a hotel scavenger hunt can be a fun way to spend a day exploring and learning about their nearby area. Here are some clues to get you started.
Hotel Scavenger Hunt List:
I may be a card or a code or a metal tool, but you’re not getting anywhere without me, fool. (Your room key.)
Take a photo of the breakfast buffet on your first morning and your last morning and compare the two.
Where do the towels come from? Find the laundry room, if there is one, and take a picture with the dryers.
Bubble and fizz, my water is hot. Outdoors, you’ll wear clothing, but in your room, you will not (hot tub).
Take a video of you singing karaoke at the hotel bar/lounge. (Bonus points if they don’t have a karaoke machine or setup!)
18. City Scavenger Hunt
City hunts are fun because there is so much out there to see and explore. When you’re traveling, you’re going to sightsee anyway. Why not learn something and have a mission about it along the way? Here are some fun clues.
City Scavenger Hunt List:
Find out where everything began in our little town. Head to the founding spot and see what went down.
Walk through the city and down to the beach. Look beyond the shore, just out of reach. Snap a picture of what you see (boats, etc.).
I stood tall and proud but today I lean. If you stand far away, you can lean against me. (Leaning Tower of Pisa.)
When was the city’s first cathedral built?
Click on this link and follow the GPS route. Have lunch and take a selfie with the sign. (Leads to a cafe/local diner.)
19. Park Scavenger Hunt
Parks are another great place for a scavenger hunt. The great outdoors has a lot to offer and there are a lot of fun riddles for these types of hunts, too. When planning a park hunt, add clues like these to keep everyone guessing and having a good time.
Park Scavenger Hunt List:
Take a picture with a broken tree or a tree that’s old and worn down.
When I am alive, I am bright and green, but when it turns cool, on the ground I am seen. (A leaf.)
Spin and spin and spin some more, but don’t let go or you’ll be sore. (Merry-go-round or tire swing.)
I smell but you smell me too. Sometimes I’m yellow, red, or blue. A gift or apology, I am great in either case. Just make sure you put me in a vase. (Flowers.)
Take a picture of three different animals, besides squirrels, that you can find.
20. Mall Scavenger Hunt
For those who enjoy shopping and socializing, the mall is another great place for a scavenger hunt. This can be a great opportunity for brands and property owners to help visitors get the most out of their visit.
Mall Scavenger Hunt List:
Find the best sale in the mall today. Is it better than half off for a store that isn’t closing?
How much is a slice of pizza and a cookie for dessert? Treat yourself!
Find the store that has a mannequin wearing [specific outfit].
There’s money here but nothing to buy. I look my best when the water flows high. (Fountain.)
Come to eat or come to play, either way you can stay all day. Find the desk where you ask for assistance and snap a picture from a safe social distance.
21. Christmas Scavenger Hunt
The holidays are all about having fun. A Christmas scavenger hunt can be a great way to hide or exchange gifts, or even just to have some fun during Christmas break. You can use holiday-themed clues or only search for Christmas-related items.
Christmas Scavenger Hunt List:
The stockings are hung by the chimney with care but don’t you dare start a fire in there. Down the chimney Santa will come, what will he see when he lands on his bum? (The Christmas tree.)
Find a snowman that’s not made of snow (ornament, decoration, etc.).
Find a house that you don’t live in unless you’re in a fairy tale. (Gingerbread house.)
Elf on a shelf and tinsel on the tree. Under the mistletoe is where you’ll find me. What am I? (A Christmas kiss.)
I’m hard but I’m sweet if you can get me to open up. I’ll try not to be messy, but I often get stuck. (Candy cane.)
22. Halloween Scavenger Hunt
Halloween is another great time for scavenger hunts. You can even create a spooky holiday-themed hunt that’s great for kids or adults, no matter what you have in mind. It can be part of a party or even done during trick-or-treating. Here are some sample clues to get you started.
Halloween Scavenger Hunt List:
I grow in a patch and I make a great pie. Every year for Halloween, people carve out my eyes. (Pumpkin.)
I’ll cost you some screams and a worry or two, but don’t run away when you hear me say “boo”. (Ghost.)
Find three different houses handing out the same candy.
If you walk through me, you’ll be a ninja but right now I’m probably fake. On the bushes and in the trees, a great decoration I make. (Spider webs.)
If it’s caution you seek, look to the tape. Find a yard decoration that warns of your fate. (Caution tape, fake headstone, etc.)
How to Create a Scavenger Hunt
Creating your own scavenger hunt is easy. All you have to do is come up with the clues (or take them from the massive list above) and set up the parameters. Decide what kind of hunt you want to have, where it will take place, and how a “winner” will be determined. For example, a traditional hunt is usually won by whoever completes the entire hunt first.
How to Create Online Scavenger Hunts
If you want to play online or do a virtual hunt, it’s just as easy. All that you need to do is decide on the type of game you want to play and how many people will be playing. You can share the list on a message board, social media, or even via email to make sure that everyone is on the same page and ready to play. If you’re doing it virtually, decide how everyone will be submitting answers, too.
Scavenger Hunt Apps
Today, you barely have to do a thing, even if you want the biggest, best scavenger hunt available.
Thanks to new apps like Scavify, you can enjoy plenty of pre-made and custom-made scavenger hunts for events, professional team building activities, and so much more.
No matter what you have in mind, there is something for all ages and interests, and the team at Scavify is dedicated to delivering a great hunt every single time. All you have to do is let us know what you want and we’ll take care of the rest.