Treasure Hunts Ideas for Adults

Updated July 20, 2017

Treasure hunts are often associated with children, but there is no reason why adults can't have fun with them too. It's possible to buy organised treasure hunts from companies which specialise in them, or you can create your own. Online software is available to help you create your own treasure hunts. To create a treasure hunt, you need clues, a map, and some treasures.

Riddle-based Treasure Hunts

All treasure hunts use clues which must be followed by participants when they hunt the treasure. Riddles are cryptic clues which use wordplay, metaphors or double meanings. They often rhyme. Riddles are generally much harder to solve than simple clues, and are therefore ideal for adult treasure hunts, as they are often too complicated for children. You can make up riddles yourself, or you can use riddles you find in books and other resources, adapted to your treasure hunt.

Photographic Treasure Hunts

On a photographic treasure hunt, participants are given clues to find things to photograph. The clue is answered by taking a photograph. Rather than having a "treasure" prize at the end of the hunt, the photographs can be judged and prizes awarded for the best and most accurate pictures taken. A photographic treasure hunt allows participants to exercise their creativity during the hunt.


Geocaching is a worldwide game that uses GPS technology to locate treasures hidden by another geocacher. Participants all over the world put items of treasure in waterproof containers, hide them in a specific location, then list them online. Other geocachers can hunt for them using the coordinates given. Geocaches are placed all over the world, and anyone can participate just by going to a geocaching website and finding a geocache they want to hunt. Some geocaches are found using just one clue, others by using multiple clues.

Themed Treasure Hunts

Treasure hunts can be themed. Using a theme helps give the treasure hunt focus, and can make it more fun. The theme could be something relevant to the people participating in the hunt. For example; a local history group might use a historical theme. Themes could also be relevant to a particular occasion, such as Halloween. Themed treasure hunts use clues and maps which relate in some way to the theme. Possible themes include periods of history, Ancient Rome; places such as Hawaii; and activities such as the circus.

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About the Author

Alice Cuninghame gained a B.A. in history and politics before going on to work in the public sector for several years, writing numerous reports and political briefings. She is currently studying for an M.A. in creative writing while working as a freelance writer and editor.