Help with planning an insanely great treasure hunt/adventure please!
May 13, 2017 10:23 PM   Subscribe

I want to create an adventure/treasure hunt style day for my sister, her husband, her best friend and my 7 year old niece. And I want it to be epic. It will be based predominantly outdoors and fingers crossed the English summer will be kind enough to assume it will be a pleasant day weather wise . I am brainstorming at this stage, considering how to plan it, what to include and any ideas and suggestions would be very welcome....more details inside!

So. I have been away from the UK for a while and I return this month (hurrah!). Over the last few years my sister has been incredibly supportive and amazing and just all around a hugely positive figure in my world whilst I was going through some traumatic events. As such, I want to create a day that she will adore. Something thoughtful, fun and something she will always remember. I wanted to also include the people who she would want to share this experience with (the bonus is that they are all awesome people).

So I have been trying to throw around ideas for how to make this happen. I will happily make props and games (I actually prefer it because I want to put a lot of effort into this instead of buying things anyone could buy). I have considered a Crystal Maze type set up. An RPG (sort of) in the style of D&D where they will come up against bosses and foes (i.e me or my partner where a game or task will require them to defeat us) - have to check for traps etc, I have considered a bog standard treasure hunt. I would like it to last for a decent while (at least three or four hours) - and the ultimate aim is to end up in a pre-arranged camp site (got to sort a good location) that my partner and I have already set up - I am aiming to have fairy lights, lanterns, bunting, a camp fire, some yummy food - I basically want it to feel magical and special for when the sun sets. They will have access to a car and to bicycles but I am aiming not to wander too far out of the village they live in - ideally they will walk or cycle to places. I am heavily leaning towards the whole day having a narrative - sort of like a murder mystery (possibly even a murder mystery) where the details unfold as they do each stage. I also like the idea of having bonus items they can collect for prizes (For example cardboard stars strung up around various places).

So. I would adore some help with ideas for themes/challenges/games that would make this day amazing. Please remember there will be one child present so I want her to be totally involved too - so anything with adult content that is inappropriate or she wont understand is not something I can use.

Any idea and thoughts are so much appreciated. Thank you everyone.
posted by TheGarden to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
My sister has done these for friends' birthdays. She has set it up ahead of time with shop owners/bartenders--"my friend will be coming in later; when she asks, can you give her this?" where "this" is anything from just a set of instructions to a box containing a game of horseshoes.

So you would pick places that are significant--shops you go to, restaurants she likes, etc.--and map it out. She starts with a clue to get to the first one and when she's there, she gets what she needs to do a challenge, and when she succeeds at the challenge, she gets her next clue. (In this context, the person running the hunt is along on the hunt with her). She's also done "extra challenges," where, say, you have to walk to your next location backwards, or greet three strangers as though they're old friends along the way, or whatever.

Another thing you can do is to have her meet up with other people along the route. So if there are others you'd like to invite to this party, you can have them in on it, and they can be waiting at certain stops at about the right time maybe with the next set of stuff, or maybe to be the next "big boss."

Are these the kind of ideas you're looking for? Things like specific puzzles/activities/challenges, and/or possible themes?
posted by gideonfrog at 8:45 AM on May 14


I'm not sure whether the plan is that everyone is going in a group from clue to clue, or splitting into sub groups or individuals but maybe some of these will work. If there are multiple groups going past "resetting" challenges can be more difficult.

We organised a scouts one which included talking to someone over a provided walky-talky at one stop. This could be "in character" and require a code-word from a previous puzzle/stop. If you've got one group travelling around they could just take that walky-talky, or of course there's a phone.

You could have a scavenger hunt sheet along the way as well (information off certain signs etc). We often give people a plastic bag to pick up rubbish on the way just to be tidy Kiwis. Codebreaking stuff. A clue in a box with a combination lock, the code is found on a previous clue. Or a key for a later lock.

Some things can take advantage of today's smartphone technology: A geocache you place yourself for just this, with GPS co-ordinates at a previous clue. A hidden QR code (sigh) that points to a custom webpage with a puzzle/further info. Mission to take a photo of selves with a particular view and send back to HQ. Mission to make a mandala or a butterfly out of natural materials (leaves, rocks, sand?) and send photo back to HQ. Write the answer in the sand, or with a piece of chalk on some concrete, then send photo back to HQ, etc.
posted by slightlybewildered at 4:10 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


Thanks for replying!

All of this is helpful. They will do this as a group so no issues with 'resetting' anything. I spoke to someone my sister is friends with last night, she gave me the details of people that live in the village that would be happy for me to drop things in their gardens/houses etc so combined with pubs/shops this should give me a few decent locations for them to go around.

Why "(sigh)" for a QR code - is there something terrible about them I should be aware of?

Do either of you have any games you can recommend?

Thanks so much, really appreciate the suggestions.
posted by TheGarden at 10:54 PM on May 14


No there's nothing wrong with QR codes, I just get the feeling the nerds find them to be terribly uncool!
posted by slightlybewildered at 2:28 PM on May 16


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