Scavenger Hunt Ideas Teens

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Creative Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Teens

Scavenger hunts aren’t just for kids – they’re a blast for teens too and can be a great way to add excitement to a weekend or spice up a party. These interactive games are perfect for encouraging teamwork, critical thinking, and are just plain fun.

Whether you’re a parent planning a birthday party, a youth group leader organizing an event, or a teen looking for a fun activity with friends, these scavenger hunt ideas will keep everyone engaged and entertained.

A group of teens looking at a map

Tips for Planning a Scavenger Hunt for Teens

When planning a scavenger hunt for teens, creativity is key. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Choose a Theme: A themed treasure hunt creates an immersive experience. Consider popular teen interests such as a zombie apocalypse, superhero quest, or a high-tech gadget hunt.
  • Incorporate Technology: Teens are tech-savvy, so include challenges that use smartphones, such as taking photos of specific items or using GPS for location-based clues.
  • Vary the Challenges: Mix up physical tasks with puzzles or riddles to cater to different strengths and keep participants curious about what’s next.
  • Safety First: Ensure the hunt is conducted in a safe area and that all participants understand the rules, including boundaries and inappropriate behaviors.
  • Keep it Fair: Be mindful of age and physical ability differences. Everyone should have a fair chance at succeeding in the challenges.
  • Encourage Teamwork: Design tasks that require collaboration to solve. This fosters communication and social interaction.
  • Reward Efforts: Provide small rewards at each stage, with a grand prize at the end, to keep motivation high.
  • Time Constraints: Set a reasonable time limit to maintain energy levels and excitement throughout the hunt.

Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll craft an engaging and memorable treasure hunt that your teen audience will treasure.

Have Rules for your Scavenger Hunt for Teens

Setting clear rules is essential for the success and enjoyment of the scavenger hunt. Here are some basic rules to ensure a fun and fair experience for all participants:

  • Stay Within Designated Areas: All participants must remain within the boundaries set for the scavenger hunt area.
  • Respect Property and People: Do not disturb or take items from private property, and always be courteous to others not involved in the hunt.
  • Use Technology Responsibly: While technology can be used, it must not infringe on anyone’s privacy or involve cheating.
  • Follow the Clue Sequence: Teams must follow the clues in the order given unless instructed otherwise.
  • Teamwork is Mandatory: Participants must stay with their team at all times and work together to solve the clues.
  • No Interference: Teams are not allowed to tamper with other teams’ progress or clues.
  • Safety Over Speed: Although time is a factor, safety should never be compromised for the sake of speed.
  • Check-in Times: Teams must check in at designated times or locations to ensure safety and adherence to the rules.
  • Be Environmentally Friendly: Respect nature by not littering and not damaging natural landmarks or wildlife habitats.

At the end of the day, the main goal is to have a good time, so while competitiveness is encouraged, it should never come at the expense of sportsmanship and enjoyment.

Outdoor Adventure Hunt

What better way to enjoy the great outdoors than a scavenger hunt that gets you moving?

A boy and a teenaged girl on a scavenger hunt outside

Objective: Explore nature, learn survival skills, and have fun with friends.


  • Include items that can be found in your local park or a nearby hiking trail.
  • Incorporate basic survival tasks such as building a small shelter or identifying edible plants.
  • Ensure safety by defining boundaries and providing guidelines about the area.

Outdoor Adventure Hunt Ideas:

  • Identify five different species of birds in the park.
  • Find and photograph a squirrel carrying a nut.
  • Take a selfie with a tree older than 100 years.
  • Capture a photo of a butterfly on a flower.
  • Complete a challenge of balancing on a fallen log.
  • Spot a deer or other wildlife and take a picture (from a safe distance).
  • Find a rock shaped like a heart and photograph it.
  • Take a selfie with a body of water in the background.
  • Find a leaf from each of three different types of trees.
  • Spot a rainbow and take a picture.
  • Capture a photo of a sunset or sunrise.
  • Find a trail marker and take a picture with it.

Tech Treasure Quest

Technology adds a fun twist to the traditional scavenger hunt format.

Objective: Solve puzzles and find clues using smartphones or tablets.


  • Use GPS coordinates for geo-caching or create QR codes that link to clues.
  • Incorporate social media challenges, like taking a photo with a local landmark.
  • Encourage creativity with video or photo tasks linked to each clue.

Technology-Based Hunt Ideas:

  • Scan a QR code to reveal the next clue.
  • Solve an online Sudoku puzzle to obtain coordinates for the next location.
  • Use a geocaching app to find hidden treasures.
  • Play a GPS-based game like Pokémon Go to collect virtual items.
  • Solve a digital jigsaw puzzle to reveal the next clue’s location.
  • Use a smartphone app to identify constellations in the night sky.
  • Participate in an augmented reality scavenger hunt using a mobile device.
  • Complete a quiz on a scavenger hunt website to unlock the next challenge.
  • Solve a series of online riddles to progress through the hunt.
  • Scan barcodes to collect virtual items and clues.
  • Use a map app to navigate to different waypoints and complete challenges.
  • Participate in a live-streamed scavenger hunt with challenges broadcasted in real-time.

Mall Scavenger Hunt

Perfect for rainy days, a mall scavenger hunt can turn shopping into an adventure.

Inside of a mall

Objective: Find items, snap pictures, and complete tasks in a local mall.


  • Include fun fashion challenges, like putting together a themed outfit.
  • Mix in some good deeds, like helping someone carry their shopping bags.
  • Keep it wallet-friendly by focusing on photos and performing light-hearted tasks.
  • Brand Logo Hunt Ideas:
    • Find the logos of five different clothing brands and take a photo of each.
    • Take a selfie with a store that has the biggest logo displayed.
    • Locate a store with a logo that includes an animal.
    • Find a store with a logo featuring only text, no symbols or images.
    • Take a photo of the most colorful logo you can find.
  • Fashion Findings Ideas:
    • Locate a store with a display of shoes in every color of the rainbow.
    • Find an outfit with polka dots and take a photo of it.
    • Take a selfie with the mannequin wearing the most extravagant outfit.
    • Find a store that sells matching outfits for best friends or couples.
    • Spot a fashion accessory that is completely outrageous and take a photo of it.
  • Price Tag Pursuit:
Rack of clothes with discount tag
  • Find an item that costs exactly $10 and take a photo of it.
  • Locate the most expensive item in the mall and take a selfie with it.
  • Find three items on sale for at least 50% off and take photos of each.
  • Take a photo of the most unusual item you can find for under $5.
  • Find an item that costs exactly $20 and take a selfie with it.
  • Beauty Bonanza:
    • Find a store offering free makeup tutorials and take a selfie with the makeup artist.
    • Take a photo of a perfume bottle that has the most unique design.
    • Locate a store that sells skincare products made from natural ingredients and take a photo of their display.
    • Spot a store with a beauty product named after a famous celebrity and take a selfie with it.
    • Find a store that offers a makeover service and take a photo of their logo

Charity Challenge

Combine fun with community service in a charity-based scavenger hunt.

Objective: Achieve altruistic goals while engaging in competitive play.


  • Incorporate acts of kindness, like volunteering at a food bank or cleaning up a local park.
  • Include tasks that involve fundraising or collecting donations for a cause.
  • Encourage reflection by having participants share their experiences at the end.

Community Service Hunt:

A teenaged boy mowing a lawn
  • Collect trash from a designated area and dispose of it properly.
  • Volunteer at a local animal shelter and take pictures with the animals.
  • Offer to mow the lawn or do yard work for an elderly neighbor.
  • Organize a food drive and donate the collected items to a local food bank.
  • Visit a nursing home and spend time chatting with residents.
  • Participate in a beach cleanup and document the amount of trash collected.
  • Help organize a community event, such as a fundraiser or festival.
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen and help serve meals to those in need.
  • Donate gently used clothing or household items to a local charity.
  • Assist with a community garden project, such as planting flowers or vegetables.
  • Offer to babysit for free for a family in need of childcare.
  • Write thank-you notes to essential workers and deliver them to local businesses.

Culinary Crusade

Foodies will love a scavenger hunt that’s all about culinary delights.

Objective: Discover new foods, recipes, and cooking methods.


  • Involve finding exotic ingredients or local specialties.
  • Add a challenge to create a specific dish using only found ingredients.
  • Host a potluck at the end where everyone shares their dish and experiences.

Foodie Hunt Ideas:

A teenaged boy and girl with food in their hands doing a selfie in front of a food truck
  • Take a photo of a unique dish at a local restaurant.
  • Complete a taste test challenge by trying a new cuisine.
  • Find an ingredient you’ve never used before and take a picture of it.
  • Snap a photo of a chef preparing a dish in an open kitchen.
  • Take a selfie with a food truck and its menu in the background.
  • Photograph a food item that resembles a famous landmark.
  • Find a restaurant with a themed menu (e.g., Harry Potter-themed dishes) and take a picture.
  • Capture a photo of a rainbow-colored dessert.
  • Take a selfie with a waiter or waitress holding a tray of food.
  • Find a restaurant with a unique concept (e.g., board game café) and take a picture.
  • Snap a photo of a food item that’s on your bucket list to try.
  • Take a picture of a dish being flambeed or prepared with a special cooking technique.

Movie Magic

For film enthusiasts, a cinema-themed scavenger hunt is a blockbuster.

Objective: Relive favorite movie moments and uncover film trivia.


  • Tie clues to iconic movie scenes or famous quotes.
  • Involve tasks like re-enacting a scene at a local spot resembling a film location.
  • Have a movie night afterward where participants can enjoy their favorite films.

Movie Hunt Ideas:

  • Iconic Quotes Quest: Find a coffee shop and re-enact the “You can’t handle the truth!” scene from “A Few Good Men.”
  • Film Location Find: Locate a park and re-enact a scene from “Jurassic Park.”
  • Character Costume Challenge: Dress up as a famous movie character and take a photo.
  • Director’s Cut Discovery: Identify a movie’s director and find a poster of their film.
  • Movie Soundtrack Scavenger: Locate a store with a soundtrack from a famous film and take a photo.
  • Genre Guessing Game: Identify movie genres and find related posters.
  • Trivia Treasure Hunt: Answer movie trivia to reveal clues.
  • Movie Poster Puzzle: Collect pieces of a movie poster and assemble them.
  • Filming Technique Task: Perform a filmmaking task, like framing a shot creatively.
  • Movie Merchandise Mission: Find movie merchandise and take photos with it.
  • Hidden Film Facts Hunt: Discover hidden trivia about famous films.
  • Red Carpet Finale: End with a red carpet event before a movie night.

History Mystery

Education meets entertainment with a history-focused scavenger hunt.

Objective: Learn about local history and visit significant landmarks.


  • Include clues that lead to historic sites, museums, or monuments.
  • Integrate interesting facts or stories about each location.
  • Facilitate a post-hunt discussion about what everyone learned.

History Hunt Ideas:

  • Founding Fathers’ Footsteps: Follow a map to landmarks related to the city’s founders.
  • Monumental Memories: Take a selfie with different historical monuments.
  • Time Capsule Quest: Search for places where time capsules could be buried.
  • Artifact Adventure: Visit a local museum and find a list of historical artifacts.
  • Architectural Ancestry: Identify building styles from different historical periods.
  • Historical Figureheads: Dress up as a significant figure from local history and recreate a moment.
  • Secret Society Search: Uncover the history of any old societies or organizations.
  • Revolutionary Rendezvous: Find a spot known for revolutionary meetings or events.
  • Ghosts of the Past: Explore haunted historical sites and document ghost stories.
  • Pioneer Paths: Retrace routes taken by early settlers or indigenous trails.
  • History’s Headlines: Locate where a historic news event took place and report on it.
  • Heritage Heirloom Hunt: Discover family-owned businesses with historical significance.
  • Culinary Chronicles: Sample a traditional dish from a historic eatery.
  • Time-Travel Trivia: Solve trivia connected to historical events of the area.

Art Expedition

Spark creativity with an art-themed scavenger hunt.

Objective: Explore various forms of art, from graffiti to galleries.


  • Encourage participants to create their own piece of art inspired by the hunt.
  • Include items that represent different mediums, like sculpture, painting, or photography.
  • Visit local art hotspots or set tasks that involve appreciating or critiquing art pieces.
  • Graffiti Galore: Locate and photograph unique street art pieces in different neighborhoods.
  • Sculpture Search: Find and sketch outdoor sculptures or memorials.
  • Painter’s Palette: Identify a list of paintings through various art movements at a gallery.
  • Performance Pursuit: Watch a street performance or a live painting session.
  • Gallery Guesser: Match an artwork to its artist in a local art museum.
  • Cinematic Snap: Recreate a famous movie scene at its filming location.
  • Artisan’s Trail: Visit a craft market and choose a handcrafted item made by local artisans.
  • Mural Marathon: Find murals that tell a story about the local community.
  • Photographic Frames: Capture a photo mimicking the style of an iconic photographer.
  • Pottery Path: Discover a pottery studio where you can spin your own clay creation.
  • Literature Locations: Find spots described or represented in a famous piece of literature.
  • Creative Costumes: Dress as a famous artist and imitate their signature style or pose.
  • Abstract Adventure: Create an abstract piece of art using found objects from the scavenger hunt.
  • Installation Intuition: Locate a contemporary art installation and infer its meaning.

Prize Ideas

Keep your scavengers motivated with thoughtful prizes.

Reward Suggestions:

Wrapped gifts on top of a map
  • For culinary buffs, consider gifting a gourmet basket of ingredients or a cookbook featuring local cuisine.
  • Film aficionados might delight in rare film memorabilia, director’s cut editions, or movie tickets.
  • History enthusiasts could be awarded books on local lore, or passes to nearby historical sites and museums.
  • Art lovers would appreciate a ticket to a special art exhibit, art supplies, or a voucher for a local art class.
  • Bookworms might appreciate a signed copy of a book by their favorite author or tickets to a literary event.
  • Fashionistas would enjoy gift cards to local boutiques, designer items, or access to exclusive fashion events.
  • Music lovers could be gifted concert tickets, vinyl records, or passes to music festivals.
  • Nature enthusiasts would love outdoor gear such as binoculars, hiking boots, or national park passes.
  • Sports fans would enjoy game tickets, signed sports memorabilia, or a chance to meet a favorite athlete.
  • Technology enthusiasts might appreciate the latest gadgets and tech accessories, such as smart watches or virtual reality headsets.

Overall, the key to choosing the perfect prize is to consider the interests of your scavengers and choose something that aligns with their passions. With a well-thought-out reward, your scavenger hunt participants will be even more motivated to complete challenges and have a great time. You can also add an element of surprise by keeping the specific prize a secret until the end of the scavenger hunt. This will create added excitement and anticipation for the winners!


  • Don’t forget to offer something symbolic like a custom-designed trophy or a creatively themed plaque to commemorate their victory, which participants could take turns holding until the next scavenger hunt.
  • Certificates of achievement, customized with the participant’s name and the specific scavenger hunt theme, provide a personalized touch to the reward experience.

The options for teen-focused scavenger hunts are endless and easily customizable to interests and locales. Not only do these activities offer loads of fun, but they also foster life skills and community engagement. Get creative, stay safe, and above all, have tons of fun on your scavenger hunt adventures!

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