A Scavenger Hunt Birthday Party


Birthday parties have been done billions of times, and themes are becoming more and more unique as the classic balloons-and-cake gets a little stale. Today, it can be tough coming up with a cool party theme that’s all your own and peaks the interest of friends and family, and is still fun for your kid. Enter the scavenger hunt birthday party– fun, different, and unexpected- it’s the perfect answer to the question, “what are we going to do for your birthday?”


{Custom banners always available upon request}


{Grass table cloth available here; lanterns from Target}

To throw an awesome scavenger hunt themed party, you obviously need to have a scavenger hunt, but after that, what makes it a scavenger hunt party? What kind of food does one serve within such a unique theme? What desserts? How are you supposed to decorate?

Here are some fresh and exciting tips for throwing a fantastic scavenger hunt birthday party for any age.

Kick things off by reeling guests in with a great invite. Let friends and family know that this party is going to be awesome, and let them know what theme to expect with a matching invitation 3-4 weeks before the party date. Show a little more effort and make your envelope stand out from the junk mail with matching address labels. 


Branch out without abandoning your theme. While “scavenger hunt” is your theme, it’s unrealistic to come up with food, desserts, and decor for such a unique idea. Branch out a little bit by bringing in a second theme that goes with your first. For example, camping. Allowing for a second “minor” theme to go along with your “major” theme gives you freedom and more room for creativity as well as practicality.

Keep the food simple. Everyone loves a party that serves food, but so many times not everyone will eat, or someone will have an allergy to what you’re serving, and it can be frustrating to spend so much time on one aspect of a party that really didn’t matter as much as you thought. Keep the meal you serve simple and fuss-free, while staying within the theme. For our scavenger hunt/camping party we went with hot dogs and corn on the cob, all cooked on the grill outside while the party went on.


{Straws from Target}




We also chose snacks and finger foods that were within theme, easy, and kid-friendly.





{Custom centerpiece available here}


Add small details that enhance your theme. Party planning- it’s all about the details! Spend some time and a little money on some simple decor touches, and it will really bring your theme full circle. We added some plastic lizards, “firewood” for a snack, and pinecones were spread across the table as well as used as label holders. Custom labels make it personal and tie the theme into even the simplest things, like water bottles for guests to sip while the kids play.





{Custom water bottle labels available upon request}

Another way to bring the theme in is to add it to a part of the party that would otherwise be boring. For example, instead of having the birthday boy or girl sit in a chair while they open gifts, have them sit in a handmade tent!


This super easy DIY tutorial will help you get it done stress-free.

Have at least one fun activity. Games put the fun in a birthday party, especially for younger kids; however, coming up with games in-theme and prizes can get complicated. Why not simplify where you can? A scavenger hunt birthday party makes this part super easy on the party planner. Here are two scavenger hunt lists- one for older kids, and one for toddlers.

Scavenger Hunt List {list credit}

    • straw
    • clothespin
    • staple
    • paper cup
    • paper towel roll
    • nail
    • sock
    • napkin
    • ball
    • pencil
    • piece of candy
    • picture of a dog
    • paper sack
    • gift wrap bag
    • gumball
    • piece of jewelry
    • business card
    • empty water bottle
    • marble
    • yarn
    • sticker

Scavenger Hunt List for Toddlers

toddler scavenger hunt list

Serve a delicious dessert that really ties in the party theme. 
Everybody loves a sweet treat at a birthday party! Cake is delicious and a classic, but cupcakes and cake pops are quickly becoming new favorites for any event. Come up with a sweet dessert that’s totally on-theme and really wow your guests. Pinterest is an excellent source for creative desserts. For our party, we wanted our treats to be s’more flavored and adorable. When we saw these cupcakes, we knew they were it. They are delicious, cute, and perfect for this party theme.


{Custom cupcake wrappers available here}



Send them off with memorable favors. S’more kits were the perfect way to go when it came to favors for this party. Complete with a cute cardstock box and a custom label, a graham cracker, some chocolate squares, and a marshmallow fit perfectly. Adorable!




If you’re thinking about hosting your own scavenger hunt birthday party, Candles and Favors is here to help make it fun for the kids and easy on the planner! Happy partying!