Christmas is great and all, but do you know what it's missing? Gamification. Add plenty (and a ton of extra excitement too) with a Christmas scavenger hunt. We've got the clues and ideas to make this a totally fun and festive success.
There are a couple of ways to play the whole scavenger hunt game, and we've got options for both here. Scale the difficulty so everyone can enjoy it, whether they're five or 105. And while they're hunting, you can sit back and enjoy some eggnog. You earned it.
Christmas Scavenger Hunt Checklist
One of the ways to do a scavenger hunt is to have a checklist of things for people to find. Since it's the holidays, make those items related to Christmas. This printable Christmas scavenger hunt checklist is perfect for any age, but you can make it trickier by adding a few bonus items that are harder to get.
To play, everyone needs to collect the items on the checklist or take pictures of the things they find. Set a time limit or make it a race to up the challenge level.
If you need help printing these scavenger hunts, take a look at our handy guide to Adobe printables.
25 Basic Christmas Items
These are the basic items on the list:
- Red bow
- Candy cane
- Wrapped present
- Christmas card
- Christmas cookie
- Something homemade
- Santa hat
- Christmas wish list
- Holiday decoration
- Christmas ornament
- Christmas book or story
- Gift tag
- Cookie recipe
- Some kind of elf
- Jingle bell
- Picture or decoration with a reindeer on it
- Something that looks like snow
- Festive sprinkles
- Christmas tree light bulb
- Snow globe
If you're making this scavenger hunt for younger kids, feel free to cross some of the items off the list before they start.
Bonus Items to Add for More Challenge
Make your holiday scavenger hunt a little harder by including some of these bonus items:
- Photo of a weird display of holiday lights
- Something that's been regifted
- Ugly Christmas sweater
- Santa (the big guy himself is the most challenging item of all)
Christmas Morning Scavenger Hunt Riddles & Clues
If you want to make it even more exciting to give and receive, send the recipient on a scavenger hunt to find their present. For littles, you'll want to keep this super simple, but with tweens, teens, and adults, you need some challenging clues.
We like hiding the big gift and then sending them all over the house (or even the neighborhood) looking for each clue. The final one leads them to the prize. Print out these blank clue cards and add the perfect age-appropriate clues to help them find their present.
Easy Clues for Younger Players
These clues are perfect for the littlest hunters. Keeping it simple will help them feel successful.
- Santa's hat is warm and his suit is red. Find the next clue under your ______. (bed)
- You've found some Christmas clues, and you'll find more. Go look by the wreath on the front ______. (door)
- Rudolf's known for his red nose. Go check the spot where you put dirty clothes. (hamper)
- On Christmas Day we have a dinner. Go look where we eat to be a winner. (table)
- "Ho, ho, ho" is what Santa said. Go look for a clue where you rest your head. (pillow)
Moderately Difficult Clues for Everyone
Older kids and adults need clues that are a little more challenging. We like these ideas:
- You need to stay warm when you go out in the snow, so find the clue where your feet would go. (boot)
- Santa's eyes are merry and his beard is long. We need this thing for a Christmas song. (speaker, stereo, etc.)
- Christmas clean-up takes time, we understand. Go look where you might wash your hands. (any sink)
- Whether it's cocoa, coffee, or cider in your cup, you'll need this item to heat things up. (microwave or stove)
- Santa comes in through the chimney; we all know that. But the rest of us wipe our feet on the ____. (doormat)
More Challenging Clues
Add even more challenge to your Christmas scavenger hunt with these clues:
- When it snows outside, we shovel it up. Find a clue where we unwind and clean up. (bathtub)
- There's a chill in the air and frost on the breeze. To protect yourself, you need some of these. (mittens, gloves, boots, etc.)
- Outside it's too cold and covered with snow, but indoors, we've gotten a few things to grow. (any plant)
- If Santa's clothes are dirty from chimneys and flues, this is the chore that's the next thing he'll do. (washer or dryer)
- Santa loves a snack when he's in the mood. Look for a clue next to the food. (fridge, cupboard, pantry, etc.)
One of Our Favorite Holiday Games
Whether you're adding some challenge to finding the best gifts or just want a fun party activity to celebrate the holiday, a Christmas scavenger hunt is one of our favorite games. Add your own clues or modify these to customize the hunt to your own needs.