How to Organize a Treasure Hunt

July 28, 2015

A beginners' guide to planning a treasure hunt

Long before there was The Amazing Race, treasure hunts have been popular party games. Treasure hunts are terrific fun, but they require thoughtful advance planning. These guidelines will help you get started.

How to Organize a Treasure Hunt

The perfect clue

Ambiguous clues mean dead ends and lost treasure hunters. Gear your clues to your audience and you can have a fun game for all ages.The idea of a treasure hunt is to make a trail of clues that leads from one location to the next, and finally to a finish line. There need not be any "treasure" along the way, but there should be a prize for the person or team that completes the hunt and reaches the finish first.

  • If you're doing a treasure hunt for children, keep the clues simple, make the hunt brief and be sure that the area in which the hunt is to take place is safe and enclosed.
  • If you're doing a hunt for adults, make use of the location — be it a country house, a historic town centre or main street, or your own home — with cryptic clues, historical hints, puns and local knowledge to make clues harder.
  • First work out the route of your hunt, then write clues to fit. Remember, each clue must refer to the next place the hunters must go, not where they are now.
  • On your own property, you can attach or even conceal the clues about the place. For a hunt in a public place, issue a complete list of all clues to the teams — each one in a sealed envelope, perhaps.
  • Make your clues witty, baffling, intriguing — rhyming, if you like. A good clue is unfathomable on its own, but reasonably easy for a hunter who is in the right spot. If you need inspiration, search online for "treasure hunt clues" to find a wide selection of riddles and cryptic clues.

These tips will help you enjoy hours of fun searching for "treasure."

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