How to Set up a Treasure Hunt

There are many variations of treasure hunt games, but the common goal is to send your party guests on a quest for "treasure" using hidden clues that can be found along the way. These interactive games can be geared toward children or adults, can be played indoors or outside and your guests can work in teams or as individuals. With preparation and a few easy steps, you can set up a fantastic treasure hunt for your next party.

Create a plan before getting started. Have a general idea of the clues' number and complexity you will create, and gear your plan according to the type of treasure hunters who will be playing. Young children should have a simplified hunt, but if you are setting up the game for adults, it can be more involved and complex.

Create the clues to guide your players through the game. Each clue should lead your treasure hunters to the next clue, and you ca use a simple sheet of paper or coloured paper to write or type your clues. It can be simple with wording such as, "Look closely near the lilac bush," or make it more complex with a riddle or puzzle. For example, if you've hidden a clue in the refrigerator, you could write something like, "It's very cold in here."

Place the clues in their hiding places. Have a list so that you can keep track of where you've placed the clue. Whoever collects all of the clues first wins the treasure.

Extend the length of your treasure hunt. Consider making your clues into tasks for each player to accomplish before moving on to the next clue. For example, require your hunters to do 10 jumping jacks or run in place while singing a song.


There are many variations that you could use. For example, you could place the clues in plastic Easter eggs or inside of mini-prizes. You could also create a treasure map for each player, providing a list of directions to lead them to the treasure. The clues could be pictures, riddles or poems with words missing. If you are setting up a treasure hunt for children, do not create more clues than the age of the child. For example, if the children are 5, limit the treasure hunt to five clues.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pen or pencil
  • Prizes
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About the Author

Caryn Anderson combines extensive behind-the-scenes writing experience with her passion for all things food, fashion, garden and travel. Bitten by the travel bug at the age of 15 after a trip to Europe, Anderson fostered her love of style and fashion while living in New York City and earning her degree at New York University.