Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Adults

Looking for a fun group activity other than a barbecue or an outdoor movie? Why not organize a treasure hunt party game?

A well-planned scavenger hunt can be just as entertaining for adults as it is for children. Whether your party scavenger hunt is for a casual event or your next workplace team builder, having a plan in place goes a long way toward making the event a success. 

While there are plenty of scavenger hunt ideas for kids, it’s not as easy to scavenge ideas for adults. To help remedy this, we’ve compiled some of the best scavenger hunt games for adults right here!

Scavenger Hunt Preparation

Organizing scavenger hunt party games doesn’t have to be a challenging task. However, the more forethought you put into it, the more fun you and your friends will have. Preparing a scavenger hunt for adults follows the same premise as making one for kids. You hide clues that point to other clues or require some task to be performed and documented, and the one who finishes first wins the grand prize. 

The benefit of hosting games such as an adult scavenger hunt birthday party is that you’re not restricted to indoor scavenger hunt ideas because most of the participants are allowed to cross the street or walk around the local area. 

Here are some adult scavenger hunt ideas and tips to get you started as you collect your birthday ideas in Atlanta.

Choose a Theme

The easiest place to start building scavenger hunt ideas is by setting a theme. A theme unifies the experience, and it also makes creating clues more streamlined. Plus, having a theme can be a reason to get your friends to dress in ridiculous outfits! 

Some themes to consider:

  • Pirate Theme
    An easy way to get your friends in costume is to take the idea of a treasure hunt birthday party and make it literal. While having a coast nearby can help with the immersion in this theme, it’s not a prerequisite.

  • Blast from the Past
    Choose a by-gone decade (yes, unfortunately, this includes the 90s) and have your friends searching for elusive tokens from the past.

  • Girls Night Out
    This theme can be great for a bachelorette party or just because it’s Wednesday Wine Night, but organize the ladies for a raucous evening rife with shenanigans.
  • Explore the City
    Just because you’re looking for a fun escape for an evening doesn’t mean you can’t learn something. Do a little research on your hometown, and have your guests running around to not-so-well-known landmarks for a photo hunt.

Determine the Location

A great scavenger hunt can be set almost anywhere (as long as you’re not trespassing). You can start formulating some fantastic scavenger hunt ideas by choosing the right spots. Places like the local neighborhood, a nearby city, the woods, a strip mall, or a farm are all common choices.

Once you’ve determined the hunt’s venue, you’ll need to map out the path you want the participants to take. Take some time to scout the location to ensure there are areas where the things they’ll be searching for can be hidden and not accidentally stumbled upon by a random passerby.

It’s not always possible to conceal the clues in a location where they won’t be discovered by chance. See if you can enlist the help of your neighbors to keep the clues safe before the participants arrive.

Come Up With Prizes

Even though most people will claim they’re joining a scavenger hunt for the “fun of it,” you might be surprised how much of the drive is actually for bragging rights or a cheap plastic trophy. 

The perfect prize doesn’t have to be an expensive item. It can be a simple coupon for a romantic dinner for two or a nice bottle of wine. You may even want to consider giving everyone a prize, such as movie tickets or a loot bag. Anything is fine, as long as it’s not as good as the first-place prize.

Send Invitations

Coming up with scavenger hunt ideas is time-consuming, and you don’t want to waste your efforts by informing potential participants too late. Everyone’s busy, so give them time to plan. You’ll want to provide your guests with an invitation at least a month in advance. This will give them time to commit to the date and move things around on their calendars if possible/necessary.

Ensure that your invitation gives your guests the starting time, ending time, and location, as well as an idea of what to expect. Some things you need to mention might include:

  • If they will need a car because you’ve planned a wide area for clue hunting 
  • If they need sturdy shoes because there may be some trekking involved
  • If they need a fully-charged phone or a camera because some of the clues may need to be photographed

Scavenger Hunt Clue Ideas

Creating clues and riddles is definitely the most fun part, if not also the most challenging. When formulating the clues or objectives, you’ll want to make a list long enough to ensure the majority of participants won’t be able to complete all of them within the time limit. 

To create a sense of urgency, you can assign points to each item on the list (with the more difficult to accomplish receiving more points) so that people will need to prioritize which things to get first.

While you’ll want a significant amount of the clues and tasks to be easily accessible, throwing in a few “near-impossible” ones can always prompt one of your friends to have an interesting story before the end of the night. 

Ideas such as getting a stranger to let you test out their high-end sports car should be worth more points than getting a stranger to sing “Bohemian Rhapsody” with you. 

For some quick ideas, here is a list of tasks (in ascending difficulty) that you can require people to complete before they can earn points or the next clue:

  • Take a picture next to a specific sign or mile marker
  • Find a passage in a book at the local library
  • Recreate a scene from a movie shot in your area
  • Reconstruct an image from a series of partial photographs hidden in a park
  • Give a store clerk a piggy-back ride
  • Get strangers to help you with a “clown car” challenge

Your imagination and sense of humor only limit the types of challenges you include, and while you will want to incorporate some crazy scavenger hunt ideas, don’t forget to throw in a few easy ones to keep the game rolling.

Looking for Other Games Like a Scavenger Hunt?

Organizing and running an adult scavenger hunt can be extremely fun and rewarding if it goes off without a hitch. However, sometimes, you may want to sit back and let someone else do all the planning so you can join in on the fun too. 

An excellent alternative to a scavenger hunt is to gather your friends and head to an escape room. At Paranoia Quest, we’ve developed complex challenges with custom themes, so you don’t have to. Here, you’ll use your imagination, test your limits, and bond with friends. Contact us today to organize your party!