26 Most Popular Scavenger Hunt Ideas

Running a scavenger hunt company, I’ve seen a lot of scavenger hunt mission ideas. Some great, some poor, and most somewhere in between.

After several years of data, there’s several missions from our mission bank that have separated themselves from the crowd. These get used a disproportional amount and are guaranteed to take your event to the next level.

Check them out below or via an excel spreadsheet.

  1. Brilliant! [400 pts]

    Snap a shot of a teammate standing under a lightbulb as if coming up with a brilliant idea.

  2. Photoshoot [400 pts]


    Take a picture of a stranger taking a picture of you.

  3. Hang Em’ High [400 pts]


    Take a photo with all team members high-fiving strangers simultaneously.

  4. Back in Black [400 pts]


    Find two black cars side by side.

  5. What a Year [400 pts]


    Obtain a coin of any denomination from 1999.

  6. Piggy Back? [400 pts]


    Have a stranger give a teammate a piggy back ride.

  7. 40 Years Strong [400 pts]


    Find a couple that has been married for 40+ years.  Snap a pic of them kissing.

  8. Copper Column [400 pts]


    Make a tower of pennies at least 30 high. Team member must be in picture.

  9. Yarrr Pirates [400 pts]


    Construct and wear a pirate hat made of newspaper.

  10. Safety First [400 pts]


    Snap a picture of a team member wearing at least 3 items of personal protective equipment.

  11. Doppleganger [500 pts]


    Find a stranger who looks just like a team member. 500 bonus points to the greatest likeness

  12. Personification [500 pts]


    Find a street sign that personifies a team member. Photograph. 

  13. Parkour [400 pts]


    Show off your parkour skills by jumping over an object in style.

  14. History 101 [400 pts]


    Locate a historical monument.  Take a photo re-enacting a moment in history with this monument.

  15. Jugglin’ [500 pts]


    Find a stranger who can juggle 3+ objects.  Snap them in action.

  16. Murder Mystery [500 pts]


    Create a human chalk outline on the sidewalk of a public place.

  17. Definition Please? [400 pts]


    Find the definition of scavenger hunt in a dictionary.

  18. Beautiful Mind [400 pts]


    Prove a well-known mathematical theorem on a chalkboard or window.

  19. Please Mom? [400 pts]


    Take a turn on a coin operated children’s ride.

  20. Well Connected [400 pts]


    Collect at least 10 unique business cards. Photo with at least one team member.

  21. Twice is Nice [1000 pts]


    Find and photograph twins. Twins must not be or be related to team members.

  22. You’ve Got Balls [400 pts]


    Find at least 5 different types of sports balls. Photograph them all in one picture.

  23. Thumb War [600 pts]


    Have a thumb war with a cop.

  24. Sold! [400 pts]


    Find a sold sign on a property.  Must be a legitimate sign.

  25. Small World [400 pts]


    Ideas and news comes from around the world. Find a newspaper from another country.

  26. Egypt Here We Come [600 pts]


    Construct the largest human pyramid you possibly can. Must be at least 3 levels.

Happy scavenger hunting!

I’ve caved. After being harassed about Pinterest by just about everyone I know, it’s time for GooseChase to get in on the action. Since our scavenger hunts produce some of the most entertaining pictures around, it’s a perfect fit. But I’ve got a secret. I don’t really understand it yet. I get the premise and all that, but the part where I’m supposed to get hooked, I’m not there.

So here’s what we’ll do. I’ve created 2 boards for GooseChase - one with great scavenger hunt pictures and another with great pictures I’d love to see on a scavenger hunt. But I need some help.

All you Pinteresting (sorry) folks out there, if you have some great scavenger hunt pictures, let me know! I want to post them on the GooseChase board and give you credit. We’ll be keeping it mostly PG-13, but other than that, anything goes. 

Let’s see what you’ve got!

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Peer photo review in scavenger hunts

Talk to any scavenger hunt organizer and they’ll tell you that the worst part, by far, is evaluating and scoring the photos at the end. Technology has helped a lot, but the photo review process is still very tedious.

When we ran through our platform a few months ago to figure out what was working and what wasn’t, we knew we could make this process a lot better. After testing out a few different ideas, we realized that peer photo review was the perfect solution.

At its core, since photos are already being reviewed on the photo feed throughout the game, why should the organizer have to review them all again at the end? Why not harness the peer review that’s already happening and use it to highlight the pics that might not be good enough?

With GooseChase 2.0, each photo now has an up and down arrow next to it on the photo feed. If there’s a great picture, participants can give it a congratulatory upvote. But if a photo clearly doesn’t cut it, participants can give it a downvote and flag it for review. Not only does it make the game more interactive for the participants, but the tedious photo review work is substantially reduced!

As an administrator, you’ll still need to make sure that the photos flagged are actually weak (there’s an area in our web interface that shows flagged photos), but instead of having to go through hundreds of photos, now you’ll only have to go through a handful. That’s a huge time-saver for you and is one of the features I’m most excited about in GooseChase 2.0.

We are still tweaking the algorithms on upvotes/downvotes to get it just right, but it’s there for you to play around with. We think that this is a big step forward on our path of making scavenger hunts easier to run and hope you like it!

If you have any feedback on the peer-review system, we’d love to hear it! Just drop us a line at hi@goosechase.com.

You can sign up for a free GooseChase account here or on our iPhone or Android apps.

Mini-scavenger hunts in your daily life.

A few days ago a couple friends from Canada arrived in Chile. To show them Santiago, I’ve been acting as a tour guide, albeit a very unknowledgable one. And while showing off the sights, we started to notice a few trends that happen quite frequently. In Chile in particular, public displays of affection and almost car accidents seem to happen all the time.

To make a game out of it, we started making guesses on how many of X we would see before we got to Y. Turns out, that’s a really fun game. After thinking about it later, it’s essentially a mini-scavenger hunt. Other than the fact that I clearly have a style of game that I like, I realized it can be played in other situations as well (e.g. commuting to work, walking to the store, etc). Sure it’s a little childish, but it adds a little excitement to your life - and who doesn’t like that?

So if you are feeling bored tomorrow on your way into work, try predicting how many people will get off at the next stop or how many people will cough before your connection. Maybe loop in someone else on the game and compete head to head. Either way, it spices up your life in a fun way and helps you be more aware of your surroundings. In my book, those are two pretty awesome improvements.

The 20 best scavenger hunt missions

When I give someone the elevator pitch for GooseChase, I always make sure to weave in a couple of my favourite missions as examples. Not only does it get the point across, but this is usually the moment when they get what we are trying to do. Just like you put a face to a name, this puts an experience to the technology.

Since fun missions are the key to a great scavenger hunt, and we’ve got countless awesome scavenger hunt missions, I thought it would be fun to highlight my top 20. Feel free to use them for your own scavenger hunts or modify them as you please. If you want to see more, the full list is available in our game creation interface!

  1. Rickroll in Real Life: Knock on someones door and sing never gonna give you up caroling style.
  2. Hardcore Parkour: Show off your newfangled parkour skills by jumping over an object in style.
  3. Piggy Back Please?: Have a stranger give a teammate a piggy back ride. Hang on!
  4. Please Mom?: Take a turn on a coin operated children’s ride and get a little too excited about how much fun it is.
  5. Ribbit: Recruit a few strangers to play a leisurely game of leapfrog in the park with you.
  6. Safety First: Snap a picture of a team member wearing at least 3 items of personal protective equipment. Must be worn for the next mission as well.
  7. Wheel Barrow: Find a real wheel barrow and give a teammate a lift. Act nonchalant.
  8. Need for Speed: Engage in a footrace with a stranger for at least 100m (110y). Photo mid-race.
  9. Comfy?: Photo all team members less one sleeping on a department store mattress. Get cozy.
  10. Oxymoron: Balance is key for a healthy lifestyle. Go do yoga in a fast food joint with a stranger.
  11. Energy Boost: Photo all team members simultaneously chugging an energy drink of any type.
  12. Jugglin’: Find a stranger who can juggle 3+ objects. Snap them in action and give it a go yourself.
  13. Murder Mystery: Create a human chalk outline on the sidewalk of a public place with someone lying in it.
  14. Slam Dunk: You’re an NBA superstar. Throw down a thunderous slam dunk on something other than a basketball net.
  15. Stowaway: Airfare is expensive these days. Save a bit of money and hide in a suitcase.
  16. Breakdance Masta’: Teach a stranger how to do a breakdance move that you just invented.
  17. Employed?: Photo a team member working at a service job they’re not actually employed at.
  18. Fountain Fishing: Take a picture of a teammate fishing in a public fountain. Get creative.
  19. Mista’ Twista’: Engage in a spontaneous game of Twister in an elevator. Preferably with strangers in the elevator with you.
  20. Here for the Show: Photo your team eating popcorn and enjoying a movie at a local electronics store.
  21. BONUS! Quick Trim: Get a teammate to undergo a body hair waxing session.

Yup. Some are a little crazy, but you’d be amazed at how often they actually get done. When the game is on the line, even Quick Trim doesn’t look that bad. Afterwards, not so much, but that’s all part of the fun of scavenger hunts. Letting loose and going for the win!

If you have any great scavenger hunt missions you’d like to share, we’d love to hear them! Just drop us a line at hi@goosechase.com. We might even post the best ones to our blog, so fire away.

If you liked these missions and want to create some of your own, check out Three formulas for coming up with great scavenger hunt missions

Coming up with great challenges for scavenger hunts

I find the variety of challenges you see in scavenger hunts to be highly entertaining. For university events, you’ll often see the boundaries get pushed a little bit. For other events like team building, pushing the boundaries isn’t as important as achieving company goals.

But despite the differences from hunt to hunt, there are certain formulas that a lot of the tasks follow. If you are struggling to come up with missions for your own scavenger hunt, play around with these 3 basic situations and see if you can come up with something interesting. My bet is you will.

Formula 1: Interactions with Strangers

Challenges where participants interact with strangers are one of the easiest but most effective options. You don’t want to make the interactions too crazy as these are random people, but something odd that only takes a few seconds makes a great challenge. When thinking of these quirky interactions, try mashing up activities that you would see in different locations (e.g. Yoga in a fast food restaurant with a stranger). The possibilities are truly endless, and you will often be amazed by a) how receptive random people are to help out and b) how good the participants are at approaching people during the game.

Some great examples:

  • Piggy Back: Take a picture of a stranger giving you a piggy back. You must hold on for at least 5 seconds!
  • RickRoll in Real Life: One of the weirdest internet trends to come along is the Rick Roll, where you play Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up when someone least expects it. Pull it off in real life by singing the song to some unsuspecting person karaoke style.
  • Heart-Felt Proposal: Get down on one knee and let the whole world know that you love that stranger who just walked by. Take a pic!
Formula 2: Mini-flash mobs

While this may appear to be similar to formula one above, not involving a stranger does make a big difference. The trick is to create tasks that are either a) very bold (e.g. a flash mob with your team in a public square) or b) subtle but odd enough that people will do a double-take (e.g. fishing in a public fountain). When I’m thinking up these types of missions, I first think of a busy public place for the target and then figure out odd things I’d want to see there.

Some great examples:

  • Here for the Show: Bring your own bag of popcorn into an electronics store and sit down to watch the movie!
  • Mister Twister: Who needs an actual playing board for Twister? Bust out a spontaneous game in the middle of a public place!
  • Hardcore Parkour: Think Parkour is just for an elite few? We beg to differ. Get out there and show off your best parkour skills.
Formula 3: Individual Challenges that Push You

Completing quirky challenges in public places is certainly fun, but it’s always important to mix in some more challenging tasks to take it to the next level. First, a quick disclaimer, don’t make people do something they will regret. Be smart. With that said, it’s amazing what people will do for a few points. Probably the biggest surprise we’ve had with GooseChase is the realization that people will do just about anything to win. When creating challenges, think of things you would have bet a friend to do for $20 when you were younger. It’s amazing how often these stupid ideas turn into great challenges.

Some great examples:

  • Take a Dip: Jump into a body of water fully clothed and fully submerge yourself. Nice little cool-down right?
  • Quick Trim: Shave something interesting into your’s or someone else’s chest hair. Outline your art in a marker.
  • Nasty Concoction: Combine at least 3 very different beverages together and drink your concoction. The grosser the better.

These are only three types of challenges that make great content for a scavenger hunt. There’s obviously many more. We find that most people intuitively have a couple favourites they want to include. However, at some point, you run out of ideas. When that happens, try using these formulas to mix things up. We’ve had a lot of success with them and they work for a lot of different situations.

Happy scavenger hunting!