Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt: Christmas Edition

If your kids enjoyed the Halloween neighborhood scavenger hunt, brace yourself… the Christmas version of the scavenger hunt is twice as epic! Christmas decorations have started popping up throughout our neighborhood, and our search for specific items is always a great way to entertain my kids, especially during the days they’re out of school and I need something to distract them from the unopened gifts at home.

This activity is free and super easy since so many people decorate their yards for Christmas. Here’s how you can create your own neighborhood scavenger hunt in two simple steps:

Step One: Set Up for Success

Drive around your neighborhood and see what decorations are out so that when you make the scavenger hunt list, you’re setting your kids up for success. It’s no fun to look for something that’s just not there!

Step Two: Make Your List

Then, write out the list. If your kids can’t read yet, include a simple picture next to each word to help them identify it. And you’re done! How easy is that? Head out on foot or pile into a wagon or stroller with your list and a pencil to get your scavenger hunt started.

To make this activity even easier, download this list to get you going!

Don’t hesitate to make the list work for you! Perhaps you know there is a giant inflatable polar bear on your street, but no penguins, so individualize your list to what’s around you. There’s a magical light-up Christmas unicorn at our neighbor’s house, but that might not make your own list if there aren’t any in your area.

Customize your hunt

Want to take it a step further? Check out these suggestions for making your Christmas scavenger hunts even more interactive:

  • Tally up: Pick one item (or more!) to tally instead of just finding one: how many candy canes did we see in total on our walk?
  • Level up: Drive to a different neighborhood where you aren’t familiar with the decorations and see what you can find on the list!
  • Play at the park: Perhaps this would be another fun tradition to layer on to Celebration in the Oaks– a Celebration Scavenger Hunt!
  • Bonus item: Think up a bonus item for super keen eyes to find. Anyone can find a poinsettia, but can you find a white poinsettia in your area? Or get extra specific: a regular angel might be on the list, but an angel holding a harp could be the bonus find.
  • Add to the list: As you were hunting, were there any cool decorations you saw that weren’t listed? You make the rules– no one says you can’t add as you go!
  • Raincheck: If you decorate inside your house like I do, play the game inside with your own decor!
  • Math skills: If your child is math-inclined, have them tally every type of decoration they find, then at home, create a bar graph out of your data. (8 Santas, 3 snowmen, 4 stars… then interpret what you found!)
  • Practice reading: Lots of garden flags have words on them. For reading-aged kids, include phrases on the list for your child to find, like Merry Christmas, Noel, or Santa Stop Here!
  • Character hunt: Are there characters in your neighborhood like Christmas Mickey, the Grinch, or Snoopy? (We’ve even seen Christmas Darth Vader!)

Download our scavenger hunt list to get started!

What else would you add or do to make a neighborhood scavenger hunt fun for your child?

 

Erica was born and raised in Metairie and now lives in Kenner with her husband Michael, and her three sons: Benjamin (5 years; paleontologist-artist-train engineer), Joshua (2 years; budding foodie), and the caboose, Elijah (super drooly). After graduating from UL Lafayette with a degree in advertising and landing her dream job, she left her chosen field and now works part time as an administrative assistant for a Catholic retreat movement. She spends the rest of her time at home with her boys, finding lost trucks and actively ignoring various messes. In 2019, she self-published her first book, The Sister. There's not a lot of free time between working, reading and writing, and chasing her kids, but in those moments she's usually sprawled on the sofa in casual denial pretending her house is cleaner than it is.

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