Since today marks the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year, Thrill of the Hunt thought, what a better way to celebrate than with a scavenger hunt?  Seriously?  Yes!  Since we’re approaching Christmas, why not combine the two themes to hold a Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt or a Winter Solstice Scavenger Hunt.  Either way, they use the same basic background, night.

What would these scavenger hunts look like?

Naturally, when building any scavenger hunt, it’s easier to build the clues and challenges off of a central idea.  Whether you’re hosting a themed scavenger hunt for friends and family, your organization or club, your workplace, or for the entire neighborhood, it’s a perfect time to get together and spread a little good cheer.  Thrill of the Hunt encourages family involvement.

These scavenger hunt themes are best held outside, or use a combination of inside and out.  The clues can be tackled in teams or with individuals.  Get creative when planning and outlining your scavenger hunt.

Christmas Theme
For the Christmas theme, perhaps include biblical entries.  Use this time to reinforce the true meaning of Christmas, Hanuka or your special celebration.

It’s always nice to add good deeds as challenges, such as holding a door for someone, or paying forward for a stranger at the register.  Another nice idea would be to hold a toy drive as part of the scavenger hunt.   This doesn’t need to be a huge ordeal to simply give back.  Perhaps just donate a few minutes of your time to visit an elderly person, a child, or a family.

Depending on your area, a great challenge would be to shovel someone’s walkway or driveway.  Perhaps the scavenger hunt can focus on one neighborhood to really make an impact, or for no other reason than to have fun together.

Personalize your challenge by making a wreath, or another item, and donating it to a good cause, someone in need, or simply to brighten a person’s day.

Perhaps use Christmas pop culture as part of the scavenger hunt to include questions about Christmas movies and cartoons.  Who doesn’t love Charlie Brown Christmas trivia?

Use caroling as part of the scavenger hunt.  See how many people really know all the words to your favorite Christmas song.

Remember no matter what you choose, use social media to get friends and family involved and take pictures and video to post to online.

To really participate in the true meaning of Christmas, complete the good deeds and remain anonymous.  The real fun would be to find someone who posted your kind efforts.  Maybe make that the challenge, to see how many good deeds are posted online that were associated with your scavenger hunt.  Then, identify them to specific teams, but keep it within the group to maintain anonymity.

Chatter Box Coffee Shop Thrill of the Hunt Scavenger HuntWinter Solstice Theme
With a Winter Solstice theme, incorporate other cultures and their traditions within this celebration.  Make the clues from around the world.  As for the challenges, you can never go wrong with random acts of kindness, as listed above.

Light up the night

For either of these themes use lights!  Not only will it act as a safeguard walking around at night, but it will draw attention to your activity, and hopefully spread the Christmas cheer.

What kind of lights?  Be creative!  Flashlights are practical, but maybe try something new, and use battery operated Christmas lights to turn yourself into a walking Christmas tree!  Either decorate your entire person, or a select item like a hat or shoes.

Another option would be use glow sticks and bracelets and such.  Go to the dollar store and load up on neon glowing accessories.  How much fun would everyone  have, kids and adults alike with lighting up the night.

Maybe try the old fashioned way and use candles.  This would be another big challenge, to keep the candle burning throughout the scavenger hunt.  Of course, the participants will need to be extremely careful not to get burnt or damage any area in the process with stray flames.

Here’s a big challenge for someone really ambitious.  Use your house as a clue, actually your Christmas lights.  Create a sort of rebus out of the glowing strands of mini light bulbs.  Challenging right?  Yes!  But how cool would that be to have the Christmas lights display a scene, which is also a rebus to figure out!

Another challenge that I’m not sure is achievable, is to use lights to create a QR Code.  Once the viewer scans the image, it takes them to a Christmas message, or it’s a means to donate to a local charity with every view.  What a unique way to raise money for a good cause!  I’d love to hear from anyone who could make this happen!  In fact, Thrill of the Hunt will give a special prize for someone who accomplishes the rebus or QR code light challenges.  Email us at, we want to hear from you!

Holiday Cheer Rebus - Thrill of the Hunt Scavenger Hunt


Perhaps it’s cold in your area.  A perfect time to include local coffee and tea shops on your stop!  Not only can you warm up, but you can patron the local businesses and spread your own holiday cheer.

If you live in an area that has a lot of cultural restaurants or stores, do your research and incorporate those establishments into your game, or simply use them as part of the clues and challenges, enlightening the participants about the area they may have never explored.


Depending on your area, a scavenger hunt on foot is typical and perfectly acceptable, but if you can add another dimension of fun, do it.  Uncovering clues and completing challenges while riding a snowmobile would be great fun!  Any all terrain vehicle would work too, again as legally permitted.  Have the participants use snowshoes or skis to use the winter elements to make your scavenger hunt custom and unique.

Portage PA Thrill of the Hunt Scavenger HuntTechnology

Thrill of the Hunt loves using technology to add new levels of interaction with our scavenger hunts.  In addition to taking pictures and video, we suggest using facetime to interact between groups.  This would be ideal between team members who may need to split up, or simply as a way to stay in touch with family and friends not participating.

Grand finale

Upon conclusion of the scavenger hunt, bring everyone together for a bonfire, or a sled riding gathering.  Maybe hold a party at someone’s house, so everyone can warm up and re-live their stories from the adventure.


Remember, it’s always advised to reach out to the local businesses and merchants beforehand, asking permission to use their establishment as part of your scavenger hunt, even if you place a clue or two outside a store location.  Please ask permission even if your having the participants enter a store for any sort of challenge, especially if they don’t make a purchase.  Make sure to show respect for these establishments.  Thrill of the Hunt has found more than not, the businesses are eager to join in and they appreciate being included on the hunt.  Your scavenger hunt will also be well received when the locals are on board and involved.  You might even get a sponsor to assist with donations.

Please note, depending on the area and the extent of your scavenger hunt, make sure you have permission to host such an event.  This usually depends on the area, the number of participants, the cause (if it’s a personal bachelorette party or a corporate function).

Whatever you do, please don’t trespass and always respect your neighbor.

Side Note

Please note, you don’t have to be religious or of a specific religion to do good deeds.  Even if you don’t celebrate the holiday season, being kind and showing respect is accepted everyday of the year.

If you’d like to learn more about our suggested themes and ideas, or you’d like to see if a scavenger hunt could fit into your holiday plans, let us know.  We’d be happy to discuss.  Did you create your very own holiday scavenger hunt?  Share your story with us!

Happy Holidays!

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