How to Create a Christmas Scavenger Hunt – 35 Riddles Included.

What is a Christmas Scavenger Hunt?

A Christmas Scavenger hunt (also known as a treasure hunt) is a fun game that can be played with your family, at a Christmas party, or as a new tradition on Christmas eve.

One clue will lead to another and another until there is a winning person or team (whoever finds all the clues first). There are over 30 riddles to choose from. The setup is minimal, and it’s always a lot of fun.

Who can play?

While anyone can play, some clues may be difficult for younger children. You can decide if children can play based on the clues chosen and their ability level.

There have been some clues that children solve before adults and vice versa. If you are playing in teams, ensure there are adults and children on each team to make play fair.

How to Play the Christmas Scavenger Hunt Game

The rules of the Christmas Scavenger hunt are simple:

  • Choose any number of riddles and hide them throughout your home.
  • The first riddle is handed to the player or players.
  • Each riddle will lead to the next until the last riddle or prize is found.
  • The scavenger hunt could lead to a prize, to the elf on the shelf that day, to the advent calendar gift, to the Christmas Eve pajamas, or the game could simply be to see what team is fastest at solving the clues.

While many of the riddles are considered easy to solve, each riddle has two parts; solving the riddle and finding the next clue.

For Example, the riddle ” His location is never the same – Mischief should be his middle name.

Most people with experience with this tradition know this riddle refers to the Elf on the Shelf, but where is he? You now need to track him down for the next clue.

Another example is the riddle for Garland (It may be real, or it may be fake, but it’s usually green and twists like a snake).

The riddle isn’t too difficult, but if you live in a home where many garlands are used to decorate, you have a search on your hands. And while some riddles are very easy, some are considered difficult.

Teams or Individual Players?

You can play either with individual players or with teams. The primary decision you need to make is how the players or teams will complete the scavenger hunt.

  • If no one is playing against one another, for example, your three children are working together to solve the riddles, then simply play as normal.

  • If you are playing against each other as individuals or as teams, you can either:
    • Have one team complete the scavenger hunt while the other team is anywhere else so that they cannot see where clues are hidden
    • Have the teams play all at once but stagger the clues. For example, if you are playing with two teams and 12 clues, then one team will start with clue number one, and the other team will start with clue number 6. Be sure to tell the teams to be sneaky when they are looking for or have found a clue so as not to give away the location.

What Christmas Scavenger Hunt Riddles to Choose?

When choosing riddles, first look through the list of the riddles provided.

You may see some that you want to use instantly, others that you simply don’t like, and some may reference items you don’t have in your home.

For example, you may not have a fireplace – skip that one!

Do not feel obligated to use them all; you can pick between 10-20 for a quick fun game or pick some for Christmas eve and others for Christmas Day!

Elf on the Shelf

His location is never the same 

Mischief should be his middle name 


Used most nights for warmth and heat, 

On the 24th, they make doors obsolete 


Watch out where you stand; it may be overhead.

The outcome may be welcome or leave you with dread. 


Careful if you’re on the roof

They made need parking for many a hoof


It may be real, or it may be fake 

But its usually green and twists like a snake


Not to be paired with your favorite shoe

Peek inside for something new


A church, a school, and sometimes a sleigh 

Its how you will know if he’s on his way


Round and sweet, you will need a few

To leave out for you know who.


A source of light from years gone by. 

Be extra careful if the tree is dry. 


Evergreen and a bright red bow

Soon it may be dusted with snow


1,2,3 Roll Roll Roll

Now add a hat and a bit of coal 

Gingerbread House

Glue made of icing

Its time to start splicing 


Made of wood or plastic, the goal is the same

Go as fast as possible – achieve childhood fame

Mini Christmas Village

Time Frozen in miniature – Where it’s Christmas every day  

Where tiny people stroll the streets and children always play 


Frozen Fractals from the sky or on the ground

May decorate your home; they are not quite round


On Christmas Eve, he may not battle or dance. 

But he will always stand guard in a military stance. 


Around and around, no destination in sight. 

But the goal isn’t to travel; it’s to bring delight.


From 8 to 9, the leader is here 

To save the day, Now the path is clear


A useful item during the months of summer

But on the 25th – finding it is a bummer


That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of _____ 

The Grinch

Normally residing in Mt Crumpit all year

He has a bad habit of ruining Christmas cheer.


Gabriel, Clarence, and Bartleby, to name three

I wouldn’t expect to find them atop your tree

Santa Claus

If you were 1700 years old, you might need a rest

But he’s ready to go, dressed in his holiday best

Magic Key

If he can’t stop by in the traditional way

This will work for just one day


If it can lead the way for Wiseman at night

You can find it here, though it may not be bright

Mailbox (Letters to Santa)

Pen to paper is the only way

to let him know what you have to say

Santa’s Sleigh

Add Christmas spirit, and away you go

Expectations should be high, well above the snow.


While sugar plums may not be your dream of choice

It’s time to snuggle here, and on the 25th, rejoice. 

Candy Cane

If you need help walking, this shape is all the rage

But in a smaller size, it’s enjoyed by any age. 

Twas the night before Christmas (Book)

A famous poem was written in 1823

Without it, where would Christmas be?

Nativity Display

A display to remember day number one

Some animals, an angel, and a new baby son

Hot chocolate

A drink reserved for when the air gets cold

Best after sledding, you’re never too old

Additional Christmas Scavenger Hunt Riddles


If you have a large family or a Christmas party, these riddle challenges are a great addition, especially if you have people who don’t want to participate in the scavenger hunt itself but would like to be involved.

Sing a Carol Challenge

When the players find this clue, they must go to the person mentioned in the riddle and sing *part of* a carol to receive the next clue.

To receive your next clue, there is a task you must do

With goodwill and great cheer, choose a carol without fear

As a group, to ______ you must sing it.

Make sure, of course, to show great Christmas spirit.

Act Out a Scene Challenge

When the players find this clue, they must go to the person mentioned in the riddle and acts out a scene from a Christmas movie.

To _____ the Elf, you now must go 

It is your time to put on a show 

Guess the Christmas Quotes Challenge

When the players find this clue, they must go to the person mentioned in the riddle, and the person will read quotes from various Christmas movies, shows, or books. Players will get the next clue when they correctly identify the quote.

Time to find ____ the Elf, to test what you know

It may be from a Christmas movie or even a show.

If you want a printable containing all 35 riddles, click here! Simply print it on computer paper and cut the clues out for your next event.

With so much to do during the holiday season, I hope this helps check one more thing off your to-do list. Christmas Scavenger hunt – Check!

If you’re looking for another new tradition to add to your holiday season, check out Make Gifts Last All Day – A New Christmas Tradition. If you have any Christmas riddles you would like to share, comment below!