Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Studio 5: Haunted Halloween Hunt!

* Video segment will be posted later this afternoon.

Halloween is chill.  Low-stress.  Why let kids have all the fun?  It's a perfect time for an adult party. 

Everyone loves getting out in those crisp, cool evenings, and it doesn't seem quite so strange to be lurking about (possibly in costume) around Halloween.  The unexpected IS expected! 

Having something to 'do' at a party is an ice-breaking, get-to-know-you, boredom-busting way of having people over.  The best parties I ever hosted was Scavenger Hunts, especially when combined with Halloween.

There is also something inherently fun about hunting; think Easter Eggs, ends of rainbows, buried treasure and  'Where's Waldo' books.  Team up, make it a competition with prizes and you have the ingredients for a seriously memorable party! 

By far, my most memorable moment was my first scavenger Hunt.  As I was making the list, I decided to add a few items I knew would be impossible to find, (just for fun) and for 500 points!  I added a dead black cat and a rabid dog.  As the evening progressed, one of the teams come busting through the front door, all giddy smiles, holding a bag in the air.  They told me they found a black cat!
I yelled for them to 'well, let it out'!
They looked at me like I was crazy and said, "but it's dead"!
"Then get it out of here!!" I yelled (yes, there was lots of yelling!)
A little later another group returned with a rabid dog.  Fortunately, this was just a stuffed dog with shaving cream all over its snout.  This was highly contested by the cat team!

I sent my teams all over the place, using photographs, audio tapes (this was back before smart phones and even CDs!) and hand written clues.  I'm not sure who had more fun, me, the creator, or them, the players!


Another bonus of doing a scavenger hunt at Halloween is your decorations.   You probably already have your house decorated for Halloween and even if you don't have 'enough', you can always ask a few friends to bring what they have.


All parties must include food, but it does not have to mean days in the kitchen cooking.  This party is all about the hunt, so keep it simple.  People love contributing to parties, help them to feel involved...by doing a potluck!  Otherwise, you could cook a large pot of soup or chili to warm them before heading outside, then, a little something sweet to eat while you're visiting after everyone gets back.


I left some room to add additional information (like dress-code - costumes?)

The least expensive way of doing this bringing the files to your local printer and print on colored cardstock.  You could use my colored versions as well.

You can also print on white paper and mat on colored cardstock.

This is a big party idea.  You'll need at least 4-6 people per team (per vehicle).  Too many people on a team and some might not participate.  Two few and it's not fun enough.
You'll need between 4 and 6 teams. 
That's 16 to 36 people invited.
 If you're doing couples that's 8 to 18 couples. 
This is a great party for getting to know your neighbors!

Scavenger Hunt

Download, print & cut.  Done!

A scavenger hunt is a written list of things teams of people gather.  There are SO many ways to do this, but the basic, simplest way is to have teams 'gather' items (give them a bag(s) or a box).  However, there are lots of creative versions.

This a comprehensive list perfect for any scavenger hunt.  Each item has a point value, so teams can decide if they want to leave the smaller items for last and focus on the harder to find larger point items.

This list includes team name and a start & end time, as well as rules.  You can add those to any of these other version on the back.

You can also print a map with boundaries on the back as well, so people don't stray too far.

You may want to ask guests to bring a head lamp or flashlights as well.

Halloween Photo Hunt

In this version, nothing is collected except what you can capture on your phone with your camera & video recorder. 

Similar list, except some really fun, interactive items that really get everyone involves, like taking a video of everyone standing in a bathtub, or Re-enacting a scene from a movie, or building a human pyramid.

The only tricky part of this version, is doing a quick upload of the photos/videos once they return home.  Looking and watching teams' can be hilarious!

A great after-party favor would be to compile some of the highlights of each team on a CD.

Halloween Costume Hunt

This is a version of a photo hunt, but this time, scavengers are finding things to create the costumes on this list, taking a picture and moving on to the next.

You'll really get some creative costumes and this would be a blast to watch afterwards!

 'Something'  Hunt

Another creative version, where you don't give them specific items to get, but allow teams to create they own!

Treasure Hunt - Advanced Scavenger Play!

A final option is the only one I can't really help you with.  But it really ups the ante and makes the whole hunt more challenging.  At the same time as scavenging, teams are also treasure hunting, following clues from one to the other.

Because the clues would be specific to your area, you'll have to create your own clues.  These can be in the form of a written rhyme, a photo, video, QR reader, Internet, and/or audio. 

Some examples would be taking a picture of a just part of a place (ei: part of landmark), they would then go there once they figure out where it is.
Once I did an audio tape of my dryer at home.  That was hard, and actually was the final clue, which led them back to my home.

So many creative ways of leading your teams on a chase, all the way, trying to gather up items from the scavenger list.  Typically, you'll assign some of your team members to focus on just he scavenger part while you travel from clue to clue.

The only thing to remember is that you, as the host, won't be able to participate as you already know the clues.  You may want to create these with another person, so you don't have to sit at home alone.


A few rules can help avoid some problems...like:
No speeding!
No buying!
Asking to borrow or go on someone's property

I also recommend giving teams a certain amount of time.  I would recommend 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours at the most. 
You'll need 30-45 minutes for the pre-hunt, for food, instructions etc...
You'll need 30 - 60  minutes post-hunt, for food, calculating points, looking a pictures and socializing.
You can take points away if they are late.

Prizes & Post-hunt

This is when you realize just how successful your party has been.  It will loud.  People will debate  on whether your rabid dog really is a rabid dog, they will tell stories from their adventures, they will be happily tired, ready to eat and find out who won!

The more organized you are about this, the better.  Have someone calculate the points as soon as cards are submitted, then go through their box/bag to make sure it's all there.

You don't have to spend a lot of money on prizes.  Boxes of Count Chocula would be funny and inexpensive.

Take pictures of the winners!

If you use my printables or just decide to do you own scavenger hunt, I would truly LOVE to see pictures of your party...Please join me on my Facebook page, Q's Creative Cards to share!


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Favorite Quote

"The art of being
HAPPY lies in the
POWER of extracting
happiness from
COMMON things."
~Henry Ward Beecher



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