How to host an urban scavenger hunt party, Part 2

Scavenger hunt list, a cupcake and an off-camera serenade. This was one team’s way of collecting 20 points!

* If you missed Part 1, check out Monday’s post! We covered the basic theme for the party as well as how to make kick-ass pirate-approved invitations.

Now on to the Scavenger Hunt list, rules and the game itself!

Once the invitations were sent out, I moved on to the most important thing — the scavenger hunt list. First off, I needed to decide how to go about having people “find” things. I chose to combine digital photography with physical evidence. Some of the things were just needed to be captured on camera  — things like:

* a mullet    * a person wearing a concert t-shirt   * a squirrel    * a parking ticket    * a person in uniform   *a full-sleeve tattoo    * a political bumper sticker  * a team member challenging a stranger to a beer-chugging contest (my personal fave!)  * an out-of-state license plate    *  a Smart Car   * the team serenading me with a candle-lit birthday dessert

A few of the photos pertained directly to Portland, such as a photo of the team in front of various well-known statues or hitching a ride in one of the pedi-cabs that are always around town. This can obviously be tailored to any city using landmarks or local novelties which adds to the fun. It’s also nice because things like this can help the teams run into each other, which bolsters the competition.

On the other hand, several items were things the teams needed to collect and bring with them. I did warned each team member to bring about $5 in cash just in case, to prevent any potential shoplifting temptations:

* a pint glass with the name of a brewery on it   * a cupcake    * something containing both chocolate and bacon   * a cocktail umbrella  *  a tall boy of PBR    * a copy of the (free) adult magazine Exotica   *  a receipt from a gas station for $.35 of gasoline  * a lipstick kiss on a team member’s face (cannot be from another team member!)  * a fortune cookie   * an item of food from a food cart

Here’s some of the shenanigans we caught on film:

I don’t know if this is a “uniform” but it was seriously pretty amazing!

Why is this guy holding a Red Bull? You’ll find out on Friday!

Once the lists have been made — remember, don’t let anyone see these in advance! — assign points for difficulty. I did a range of 5-20 points. Print out a copy for each team, and hey, while you’re at it, burn the edges to make them look like treasure maps (see the photo at the top of the page).

Next you need to establish some rules. I had several:

  1. Teams may not separate for any reason
  2. Smart phones and maps are allowed (each team was given a city map)
  3. Each team must arrive on time to the final destination
  4. One person on each team must have a fully charged digital camera

Then you need to determine how to organize this shindig, starting with making your teams.

I did two teams, each with six members. You can decide if you want to make the teams up prior to the party or if you want to do it PE class style (which sucks for the last person left) or randomly (like choosing names from a hat). I did a very confusing method, which is hard to even explain after the fact. The basic issue was that I had a lot of people who didn’t know each other very well and I wanted everyone to be comfortable, so I invented a complex combination of all three options.

If this is a dilemma you also find yourself in, consider this (simpler method): have each person buddy up with a partner and then team up the buddies. That way everyone has at least someone they know on their team. I promise you, by the end, everyone will be friends, but it certainly helps alleviate any awkwardness for the first bit of the party.

So now you have your lists, the rules and your teams. What’s left?

The final post in this series will give helpful hints on actually playing plus ideas for prizes and the after party, including a link to the most amazing rum cake you will ever eat!


5 thoughts on “How to host an urban scavenger hunt party, Part 2

  1. The best part of that panda was that the girl wearing the suit seemed seriously depressed. When we asked her to put the mask on for a picture, she says, “oh, ok, I guess,” all Eeyore-like. I mean, c’mon, you’re wearing an awesome panda costume, how bad could life be?!

  2. Pingback: How to host an urban scavenger hunt party, part 3 | Attempts in Domesticity

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