Last updated: Organising a Christmas scavenger hunt is a great festive game to play with family and friends. Of course, with social distancing and lots of online meetups and virtual hangouts on video calls such as Facetime and Zoom, the scavenger hunt needs to go online as well. We have been doing loads of Christmas quizzes over the last few weeks, so this week I decided to format the family Zoom fun in a different way. I mixed a few different types of question rounds along with a scavenger hunt round. It was so much fun and a nice challenge to get everyone running around the house trying to find objects on their indoor scavenger hunt. Yes, we do test a lot of the activities we share here on Christmasphere! When hosting your own Christmas scavenger hunt game you can either have that as the sole activity and expand on the suggested list below. Or you could do the same as we did and add it as an extra round to your quiz or family games night. Quick links to information in this post

What is an online Christmas scavenger hunt?

Simply, an online Christmas scavenger hunt is where a host will set some prompts or clues and in a set amount of time, all of the participants have to rush around their house to gather as many of the objects as they can to earn points. The person with the most points wins. The prompts can be as easy as a list of actual named items (e.g. candy cane, ornament, cookie) or it can be a clue or prompt that challenges the participants to think first about how to interpret and find an item that meets that requirement (e.g. find something shiny, find something you heat, find something related to the movie Elf). See below for our list of prompts or make up your own!

How to organise an online Christmas scavenger hunt

As the host or quizmaster, you will simply need a list of prompts/clues for items you want the participants to find plus a timer. We recommend keeping the time short enough that it is a challenge to find all of the items around the house. We think 5 minutes for about 10 items is a good challenge. Go shorter on time if you want the virtual Christmas scavenger hunt to be even more challenging. We assign different levels of points for each prompt to reflect how challenging it is and to keep it interesting. If you have children involved it’s nice to give them a bit more time for their hunt. It’s also a good way for them to earn more points if this is part of a wider quiz and they are contending with adults. We had the prompts on a PDF (which we will share below) which we opened up on a screen share on Zoom so everyone read for themselves what they need to find. The host sets the timer, we used one on our phone, and periodically called out the remaining time whilst the zoom call continued and the participants were searching. In the end, each participant has to present what they found for each prompt and the host decides if it meets it enough to be awarded the points.

Rules of the online scavenger hunt

  1. Participants have a set amount of time (e.g. 5 minutes) to gather items from around their house to meet each of the prompts.
  2. The list of prompts is displayed on the shared screen option for all to see.
  3. Each item must meet the scavenger hunt prompt, the host will have the final say.
  4. Everyone must be back at their screens/computers when the timer runs out. They have 10 seconds once the host announces times up to return to the zoom call. For every 10 seconds after that, they have 1 point deducted.

Christmas scavenger hunt ideas and clues

We have a range of 10 different prompts for the Christmas scavenger hunt reflecting various difficulty levels in terms of interpreting the prompt and chances of finding it around the house. Next to each prompt, we assign a number of points to reflect the difficult level. The list we made below is aimed at a family with older children and teens. Do adapt it as you like to make it more challenging for just a group of adults, or make it simpler for younger children. For young children use simple prompts or literal object suggestions. Christmas Scavenger Hunt List

Christmas Scavenger Hunt

You have 5 minutes to find any of the following:

  • Something you wear on your head (1 point)
  • Something made of wood (1 point)
  • Something sweet (1 point)
  • Something red (2 points)
  • Something snowy (2 points)
  • Something that jingles (3 points)
  • Something with stars on (3 points)
  • Something to do with the nativity story (3 points)
  • Something to do with Elf (the movie) (3 points)
  • Something to do with The Nutcracker (ballet) (5 points)

Christmas Scavenger Hunt

Download and print the Christmas Scavenger Hunt printable

You can download this version of the Christmas Scavenger Hunt printable to use with your family, friends, and colleagues.

  • Either use the PDF digitally to read off or share the screen on your video call.
  • Or you can print it off to share when we are back to in-person physical scavenger hunts.
  • To get your copy of the Christmas Scavenger Hunt you will need to simply fill in your details below, confirm your email, then you will get the link and password to the secret resource library where you can download your copy.

Happy hunting! You might also like:

  • List of Christmas Quizzes
  • Candy Cane Scavenger Hunt
  • 12 Virtual Games To Play on Zoom

Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year. The weather is cooler, we get our fix of warm hot chocolate, and nights can be spent snuggling by the fireplace. But the weather isn’t the highlight of wintertime. The holiday season always means it’s time for some family and friendly fun! How would you like to bond with your favorite people while solving challenges on a special Christmas scavenger hunt? We’ve made the entire process easy for you. With our guide, you’ll be able to plan an entire holiday scavenger hunt, from clues to rewards. Who knows? You might even make this a new family tradition!

Plan a Scavenger Hunt this Holiday Season

If you’re on the lookout for an effortless holiday outing, look no further than our epic scavenger hunts. These hunts are sure to be loved by everyone—younger, older, and in-between. You’ll be able to explore the best wintery landmarks in your city or a nearby town as you take part in photo and video challenges and compete for bragging rights. And you won’t even need to sweat the details! We have a connection or two at the North Pole and we’ve got it covered.

Tips for Hosting a Christmas Scavenger Hunt

Choose a convenient day and time.

The most important step of organizing a Christmas scavenger hunt is to get the timing right. Pick a date and time that is suitable for everyone attending. Be sure to work it around travel schedules. Host it before the holidays get really crazy, or make it part of your Christmas Eve festivities. If you’re planning the activity for your immediate family, you might even want to make it a part of Christmas morning, after opening gifts from Santa, of course! Have the kiddos hunt for some special surprises. While it’s perfectly fine to keep the finer details of your hunt a secret, you might benefit from informing your family and friends that you plan on holding a Christmas season hunt. This will help them plan their holiday around the event. Your hunt might range from a couple of hours to an entire day, depending on how big you want to go. It is essential to be mindful of your family’s time, and keep them posted beforehand.

Be winter-ready.

If you’re in an area with major seasonal fluctuations, ‘tis the season to be cold! A Christmas scavenger hunt almost guarantees chilly weather, be it a breezy evening in Florida or a snowy day in New York. Make sure your participants are prepared to face any inclement weather. If you want to head outdoors for the hunt, pack a jacket, earmuffs, and gloves so that you can stay warm. In fact, you can give each participant hunt-themed gloves or hats. If you’re competing in teams, each team can have its own color! Or make a reindeer team, a snowman team, a team of elves, etc. This will add an extra element, and your family will have something to take home after a memorable hunt. You can also get your family complimentary hot chocolate coupons so you’ll have something warm to gush over. The options are endless!

Choose a theme.

This is the ideal time of year for a themed scavenger hunt. Themes can help turn your treasure hunt into a full-fledged fun Christmas game! Here are 8 of our top hunt ideas to make your event truly festive and memorable!

  1. Holiday Photo Hunt: Print out your favorite photos and hide them around the house, with clues written on the back. This will be a charming trip down memory lane as participants hunt for new clues and makes new memories.
  2. Search for Lights: If your neighborhood is twinkling with Christmas lights, incorporate the displays into your hunt or use them as clues along the way from stop to stop!
  3. Cookie Hunt: Make each challenge cookie-related, like decorating sugar cookies with holiday motifs or cutting shapes of elves, gifts, reindeer, and candy canes! The grand finale can involve gingerbread!
  4. Elf Hunt: We love this hunt—Each participant must find specific elf decorations around the neighborhood and city. At the end of the hour, the team that finds the most elves wins!
  5. Ornament Hunt: This indoor DIY hunt is a great way to decorate the Christmas tree together. Write a clue for each ornament and put the printable Christmas scavenger hunt clues in a box. Take each clue out and guess which ornament it denotes!
  6. Caroling Hunt: Write clues based on popular Christmas carols and Christmas songs. Solve and answer each clue by singing the carol. For example, the first clue could be a riddle about bells and hunters will have to sing “Jingle Bells” to move on. You’ll be in the holiday spirit in no time!
  7. Stocking Stuffer Hunt: This hunt is easy to pull off. Hide clues inside stockings around the house. Make sure you leave some blank cards in stockings as decoys. When a participant finds the right clue, they move on to the next round! If you hide some small Christmas gifts in with the clues—finders keepers!

Keep extra supplies handy.

Whatever the type of hunt, it’s wise to keep some extra supplies ready. This can range from extra copies of clues, stationery, or a few extra winter garments to keep guests warm. You never know when you might need an extra blanket or a pair of scissors. If your hunt is outdoors, make sure to carry these supplies in a designated car. This way, the participants will be able to call the designated driver in case of any emergencies. For an indoor hunt, keep a stash of paper, glue, an extra deck of clues, and other craft supplies.

Consider using a scavenger hunt app.

Still with us? If this is sounding like a lot, it’s because it is! Planning an entire scavenger hunt by yourself can be quite the task, especially with the holiday season keeping you preoccupied. You could try to find a free printable Christmas scavenger hunt, but a search like that can be time-consuming. If time’s getting away from you or event organizing is not your thing, you can opt to use a specialized service (like!) or a scavenger hunt app. It will make things much easier. With Let’s Roam’s scavenger hunt app, you’ll be able to host a smooth, hassle-free event at the touch of a button. Since our hunts are in more than 400 cities across the globe, you’ll be able to organize and coordinate a seamless event. Each team needs only one mobile device with a voucher to log in and access the clues and challenges. Since the hunt is completely app-led, participants will be able to pause and resume and hunt at will. You can stop the activity at any time for a hot cocoa break! In addition, the live leaderboard lets you monitor scores in real-time, so you can keep track of points for bragging rights. If you want something a little more specific, like incorporating a special holiday tradition or Christmas trivia that pertains to your group, contact our expert guides. We’ll hook you up!

Make a detailed list of rules and guidelines.

Before you embark on your family Christmas scavenger hunt, jot down what’s allowed and what isn’t. You don’t have to be a Grinch, but rules make scavenger hunts run smoothly. For instance, are participants allowed to Google answers on their cell phones, or should they rely on the ole’ noodle? Is skipping a clue allowed? How many hints does each team get? Distribute copies to your attendees so that they’ll be able to reference them at any time during the event. Depending on how critical the rules are, you might want to add a point penalty when someone breaks a rule.

Decide how teams will “win.”

What type of scavenger hunt do you want to have? In case you opt for a time-bound hunt, the winner will be decided by who reaches the final destination first. If your hunt is outdoors, make sure it is safe for the participants to run and race against time, especially if it is cold and slippery outside. You might also opt to have a task-based hunt. For instance, if you have five hidden clues in each location, the team that finds the most clues wins. You can also crown the winner based on the most creative team of the lot. In case you have many photo and video challenges, the most creative video wins the prize!

Make a list of things your teams will look for.

Before you write down the clues for each round, decide what the prize will be. Here, you can go crazy and opt for holiday-themed goodies, or go old school. The choice is yours! For outdoor hunts, look for popular landmarks and city-based trivia. If you want a pre-made city-based hunt, Let’s Roam’s outdoor Christmas scavenger hunts will take you around the most popular landmarks of the city, with photo ops and trivia at every turn. For indoor hunts, you can hide clues in decorated envelopes. Show off some origami and crafting skills as you fold the handcrafted paper into shapes like wreaths and mistletoe. The more unique and colorful your clues, the more entertaining the event will be.

Create tricky but age-appropriate clues.

This is one of the most important steps of planning your hunt. Who is your hunt supposed to cater to—little children? Tweens? Adult friends? Your clues and questions must be age-appropriate. If kids are involved, family-friendly is the way to go. With adults, you can use more complex clues and include some libations! If your scavenger hunters are of mixed ages, you can mark clues specifically designed for younger children. Label them “For Kids Only” or place those clues in different colored envelopes. That will appeal to little ones, who will be even more excited to spot specials clues just for them. It will give the adults some time to catch their breath too!

Personalize your questions.

The best way to make your hunt memorable is to personalize and customize your clues and questions. Load up your clues with inside jokes, references, family trivia, and other customized clues. You can include birthdays, anniversaries, graduation stories, prom date trivia, and many more. The more personalized the questions, the more your family will love the clues. This is a great way to keep the entire group engaged. If you can, try to keep this a surprise. Spotting familiar names and clues will be a holiday treat for the fam!

Prepare holiday food!

The best way to your family’s heart is through their tummies! Keep everyone’s energy by providing holiday treats. In fact, you can make this a part of the hunt too. This works well for indoor hunts. For instance, one of the tasks for the hunt can be decorating sugar cookies or completing a gingerbread house kit. This is a Christmas activity that both kids and adults will enjoy alike. For an adults-only game, you can try an eggnog chugging contest or a pie-eating competition. The more, the merrier!

Place your clues.

Hide clues in strategic spots—in and around Christmas decorations, for starters. For example, you can hide your clues inside Christmas stockings, near the fireplace, inside Christmas ornaments, or even under pies. For some more holiday fun, wrap your clues with Christmas-themed wrapping paper. Your family (especially the kids) will love unwrapping clues and finding new clues inside.

Make use of Christmas landmarks.

If you’re leaning towards an outdoor hunt, make the best of Christmas landmarks. Use your neighbors’ Christmas lights and decorations as landmarks. You can also head over to your nearest mall to gape at their Christmas trees and find a clue nearby. Make the most of the outdoors by incorporating snow and other winter staples in your games. One of the tasks can be building snowmen or making snow angels. The entire family is certain to have an amazing time!

Decorate a tree.

What’s Christmas without a spectacular Christmas tree? Incorporate this into your scavenger hunt by making this one of your tasks. Here are a couple of ways you can do this. One of the tasks of the scavenger hunt must be making an ornament for the tree using craft supplies. Participants can use paper to fold it into different shapes, or glue a string to a ball and hang it on the tree. They get their next clue only after hanging the ornament on the tree. Another way to go about it is by hiding an ornament inside the house. Your family must hunt for the ornament and race against time to hang it on the tree. The first team to hang the ornament gets a bonus clue in addition to the usual clue.

Make the end goal worth it!

The holidays are a time of family and giving. To get your family all excited and amped up for the Christmas scavenger hunt game and holiday party, make sure the final prize is worth it. You don’t have to shell a lot of money for this (unless you want to, of course!). Make sure the winner of your hunt gets something special. This can be as simple as bragging rights or a prime spot in the holiday photo with the whole family. They can also get special holiday PJs or a handmade crown!

Closing Thoughts on Christmas Scavenger Hunts

Hopefully, with those Christmas scavenger hunt ideas in mind, you’ll be able to delight your loved ones with a fantastic event. Many of these suggestions can easily be incorporated into an online hunt for a virtual Christmas party for family and friends. If you prefer, invite your gang to a hunt created by us! Each event—indoor or out—is packed with excitement! If you opt for a virtual scavenger hunt, you can purchase a multi-home party pack to share your indoor hunt with friends and family around the world. They’ll be able to compete with you online! You don’t have to let distance get in the way of holiday fun this year.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a Christmas scavenger hunt work? Planning a Christmas scavenger hunt is easy. Plan ahead, make a list of clues and prompts, and hide them in strategic locations around the house or your city. You’re all set to go! What do you need for a Christmas scavenger hunt? When hosting a Christmas scavenger hunt, you’ll need to come up with clues pointing participants to each location. You may also want to offer rewards if you’re not just competing for bragging rights. What’s the easiest way to host a Christmas scavenger hunt? Using a scavenger hunt app gives you all the tools you need to create an unforgettable scavenger hunt. Once you sign up, you can personalize your indoor or outdoor hunt in no time! What are some fun games to play at virtual holiday parties? Host a virtual scavenger hunt! You could also try this list of 25 virtual holiday party ideas. It includes Christmas Charades, some interesting twists on Christmas movie night, and more. Can I plan an indoor Christmas scavenger hunt? Yes, absolutely. With Let’s Roam’s indoor scavenger hunt option, you can turn your home into a scavenger hunt hub. Turn simple craft supplies and furniture into props for a hilarious family-friendly hunt! How can I start a fun new Christmas tradition? Find an activity that’s enjoyable for people of all ages, give it a try, and see if it sticks. Consider a Christmas scavenger hunt. It can be done year after year, but no two events are ever alike! You found our collection of fun holiday scavenger hunt templates. Holiday scavenger hunts are games where players compete to retrieve seasonal items or perform festive tasks. For example, you might hunt for a candy cane or sing a few lines of Jingle Bells. Holiday scavenger hunt templates are lists of clues, prompts, and items that serve as a starting point for the activity. You can do these activities at your virtual Christmas party, hybrid Christmas event, office Christmas party, or holiday team building event. This post the following templates:

  • Christmas scavenger hunt to find gifts
  • holiday scavenger hunt for kids with clues
  • Christmas scavenger hunt for adults with clues
  • Christmas scavenger hunt for kids
  • outdoor winter scavenger hunt
  • holiday scavenger hunt for the office
  • virtual holiday scavenger hunt
  • Christmas photo scavenger hunt
  • naughty & nice list scavenger hunt

Here we go!

Collection of Holiday scavenger hunt templates

Here is an assortment of free, printable holiday scavenger hunt templates for work, school, and fun.

1. Christmas scavenger hunt to find gifts

Instructions: Hide wrapped presents in the locations in the answer key. Then, give gift hunters the list of riddles or clues one at a time, and watch as players find the presents. If your game has multiple participants, then you may want to hide each player’s presents in different locations, and give those individuals the corresponding riddles. Holiday Gift Hunt template Holiday Gift Hunt answers

2. Holiday scavenger hunt for kids with clues

Instructions: Print the template and cut out each clue. Give players riddle number #1. The answer to the first riddle reveals the location to the second clue. Hide all the prompts accordingly. In the final location, hide a small gift. We made this template as a starter, however feel free to add additional clues if you want the hunt to last longer. Holiday scavenger hunt for kids template Holiday scavenger hunt for kids answers

3. Christmas scavenger hunt with clues for adults

Instructions: Split the group into teams, and give each team the list of trivia. You can either give players all prompts at once, or hide the next question at the answer to the previous question. You can ask players to physically gather these items, or take pictures that include the objects. We made this template as a starter, however feel free to add additional clues if you want the hunt to last longer. Xmas Scavenger Hunt for Adults template Xmas Scavenger Hunt for Adults - Answers

4. Christmas scavenger hunt for kids

Instructions: Give kids the list of items and ask the players to either gather the objects or take a picture of the items. You can give players the entire list at once, or name off items one by one and wait for each child to return with the items. Instead of awarding points to the first player to grab the objects, give points to every player who is able to find the items. If time allows, then you can also call on the children to talk about the items show and tell style. Kid's Christmas Scavenger Hunt template

5. Outdoor Winter Scavenger Hunt

Instructions: Head outdoors and take a walk around the woods or the neighborhood, looking out for the items on the list. Snap a picture of these sightings. At the end of the activity, count up the total number of list items found. You can play the game solo, or as a team competition. Outdoor Winter Scavenger Hunt template

6. Holiday scavenger hunt for the office

Instructions: This game works great for a team building exercise or a company Christmas party activity. First, gather the group and hand out the list of objects. Then, give players 10 to 15 minutes to find as many items around the office as possible. You can play the game in teams, or individually. When the timer runs out, count up the total number of items and award the player or team with the most points as the winner. Office Holiday Scavenger Hunt template

7. Virtual holiday scavenger hunt

Instructions: To start the game, first gather on a video call and ensure that all players’ webcams are on. You can split the group into teams, or play individually. Have a host read out items one by one, and ask players to grab the objects from around the house. The first player to produce the item on camera wins a point for themselves or their team. Virtual Christmas Scavenger Hunt template

8. Christmas Photo Scavenger Hunt

Instructions: Give players the list of items, and ask the individuals or teams to produce pictures that fit each of the descriptions. The photos can either be the results of online image searches, personal photos of teammates, in-the-moment recreations, or some mix of these approaches. There are many ways to do this photo hunt. Participants can play the game in person and show the judges physical or smartphone photos, players can share the screen or drop images in the chat during Zoom calls, or players can submit the pictures via online form or Slack thread. Holiday Photo Hunt template

9. Naughty & Nice list scavenger hunt

Instructions: The object of this game is to gather items that might qualify players to be on Santa’s nice list or naughty list. The leader reads out objects one by one, and players produce the items. This challenge works best as a remote team game. Teams gain points for every list item retrieved. The team with the total number of points wins the game. However the leader also counts up how many entries each group has in each category, and deems the team naughty or nice. These prompts are starters, however feel free to add even more objects to the list. You can also make the prompts more appropriate to the age group. For example, a child’s version of the game might include “broken toy” on the naughty list and “finished homework” on the nice list. Naughty & Nice Scavenger Hunt template

Final Thoughts

Holiday scavenger hunts are a good way to add fun and cheer to any holiday occasion, from end-of-year parties, to team outings, to lesson plans, to community events and friendly family gatherings. These particular games add holiday flair to the standard scavenger hunt protocol. Not to mention, the games get folks moving, interacting, and working together. For more holiday fun, check out this list of holiday icebreakers, these Xmas trivia questions, these online Christmas games, and these holiday party favor ideas. We also have templates for virtual scavenger hunts, office scavenger hunts, photo scavenger hunts and a list of fun scavenger hunt ideas. Plus, this list of treasure hunt games.

FAQ: Holiday scavenger hunts

Here are answers to common questions about holiday scavenger hunts.

What are holiday scavenger hunts?

Holiday scavenger hunts are games where players search for Christmas-themed items and perform festive tasks. These challenges are often part of office Christmas parties or holiday-themed lessons at school. You can also use these games as entertainment during gatherings with family and friends.

Where can I find printable holiday scavenger hunts templates?

The holiday scavenger hunt templates here on TeamBuilding are 100% printable and ready for gameplay. Other good sources for Christmas scavenger hunt templates include Pinterest, websites for teachers, and parenting blogs.

How can you use Christmas scavenger hunts?

You can use Christmas scavenger hunts as entertainment during holiday parties, engagement activities for lessons, or as team building exercises. These games can also serve as icebreakers.

How do you hold a winter scavenger hunt?

To hold a winter scavenger hunt, first find or create a set of themed clues and prompts. The easiest way to prepare for the game is to find and print a template online. You can either give participants a list of objects to retrieve or take a picture with, or hide a series of clues under seasonal items. Keep in mind that winter is cold in most climates, so you may want to keep as many clues as possible inside. To start the hunt, split the group into teams, give players the list, and announce the time limit. Or, you can name items one at a time, and award points to the first player or team to produce the item or complete the task. At the end of the game, count up points, and award a festive prize to the winners. Author avatar Author: Content Expert at
Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses. Angela Robinson

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