Mall Scavenger HuntMy friend wants to have a mall scavenger hunt for her daughter’s 13th birthday next month, so I’m wondering if you have any great ideas. So far our thoughts are to give them a certain amount of money to acquire the things on their lists, give them riddles or clues rather than straightforward items, and make them bring each item back to us (we’ll be at Starbucks … a central location with coffee) before they get the next clue. We have talked about having the items on the list be the “goody bag” or prizes and possibly awarding points for what they bring … like if they all bring the same thing they get no points but different stores used or something could earn them more points or maybe another winner could have the most change left over. We’re still trying to figure it out. We are also thinking about making them do something but we’re not sure what they could have to do in the mall (and not get in trouble or be really obnoxious). I thought maybe bargain for a better price but I’m not sure the girls could do it, they are still pretty shy. Any great ideas come to mind? We’ve got a month ….

Please note: Make sure to call up your local mall that you plan on holding your Mall Scavenger Hunt and see if this type of event is allowed.  If so, also ask if there are any parameters that you should keep in mind and establish with your group during the Hunt.  You may also want to let the Mall Manager know the time/date of the event as well.

This is such a great idea for a 13-year-old’s party. Dividing the guests into two teams to complete the scavenger hunt would be fun, as the kids can work together to find the stuff.

I love the idea of not giving out the next clue until the kids have brought back the previous item. That will be so fun! The clues can be anything you want, like “find a farm animal,” “find an item that says ‘whatever’ on it,” etc. One caveat: tell the kids to not get “junky” items since they will serve as the “goodies” that are taken home at the end of the party. The object is to get the nicest thing for the least amount of money. As a further incentive, you could also let the team with the most amount of money left over at the end keep its change.

For an added challenge, you could give the kids a list of things that are free in the shops. For example, a business card, job application, plastic bag from the store, etc. For this portion of the hunt, you have the first team back to the table with the free stuff win something special, like lip balms or something that you can hand out to every team member.

If you want to have the guests do something kooky, have them ask an employee where the bathroom is in the mall or where the food court is. Even funnier, have them ask these questions to employees in stores that are obviously close to the bathroom or food court. You could also have them sing a song in the mall together (since they may be shy as individuals) or skip down the center with arms entwined. Silly stuff like that would be fun and could be done as a group.

A mall scavenger hunt will be loads of fun, and, best of all, you can enjoy your coffee at Starbucks throughout the entire party!

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  1. For my daughters 11th Birthday we went to the historic district of our town with all the little eclectic shops. I had prearranged some surprises with a bunch of the stores. She started with one clue and it gave her the first store. She went in and asked if they had something for her and she got the item and the next clue. We used small things like a charm bracelet and charms from 2 stores, bubble bath, hair clips, a scarf and the final clue led her to the place we had arranged for lunch. Lunch was a tea party which was fantastic with the feather boas from the costume store and the tiaras from the party store. She had two of her friends with her and everyone (including the shop keepers) had a blast!

    Tabitha said on February 14, 2008
  2. heyy guys i had a great idea 4 a fun filled scavenger hunt! its themed and fun for all ages! so u do a them such as princess them 4 younger girls (or older, you how they are!) midd aged (like between 6-10) a rock star or diva them! when they get older u can stick with diva or princess! you can start of with either an at home nice dinner where u decorate the house all nice and just make it fun! or you can do a nice dinner at the mall or around that area! what i have found to be fun is if u dont tell the b day girl anything about party only that its a mall scav hunt! after the dinn explain the rules and guidlines! what i hav found to work better is if u do a sm group of girls! then no one fights sbout teams! teams do make it fun but can somtimes get out of hand! assing each team a team color! for older girls give each girl and bandana with theri team color! they can wear it whoever they want! around leg in hair or hainging out of pocket! ( older girls will be more creative) go to a place like sophora or aveda or bath and body works! there they can get make overs! in diffrent places they can have x amout of money to spend! head to jc pennys or kols or norstroms and try on a copel of dresses! go 2 jr department for midd aged girls they will love 2 try on big girl dresses! head 2 a shoe shop and make teams navigate there way through and find cheeapest pair of shoes and most expaesive pair! they will really hav fun with this!so now the divas princess and rock stars hav had make overs hav had a bite 2 eat picked out a dress and grabbed some shoes! now whats left u can go 2 coach a pick out a purse or buy each girl a key chain! lik with shoe shop find whats most exoensive! now head 2 club libby lus or a wig store hav each girl try on a wig and hav fun with it!in libby lus u can hav each girl pick out somthing in a price rang! go 2 a open area and hav them rock out sging the itsy bitsy spider or star spngled banner! anything to embarass themselfs! hav them go up 2 shoppers and dance lik a maniact 4 them! somthing extra to do is go 2 the pet shop and hold an animal! always a huge hit! when there all done stop for ice cream or cake!

    meredith said on August 18, 2008
  3. NEVER make your kids link arms during an entire scavenger hunt. It leads to fighting, frustration, and an unfun scavenger hunt.

    Me said on November 25, 2008
  4. You can give each girl/team a disposable camera and have them take specific pictures like have a picture of mary on i a pet stote, or emily in a shoe store. The kids have such fun with this, although it may be a little late…

    Hailey said on January 10, 2009
  5. you may have thought that the mall scavenger hunts are a great idea, but imagine if every twenty minutes a flood of loud people come into your place of work, asking you for paper clips, or to take pictures of them by a display, or just kept bothering you while you were trying to do work. running around your office, knocking over things, yelling across the halls, and running back and forth. Thats what a mall scavenger hunt is. Whats worse, is you sit in starbucks, or at the food court while all this goes on, and than get mad when a store kicks out all of the kids in your scavenger hunt, and calls security on them. Of course you never called ahead to see if you can do a scavenger hunt, when the mall doesn’t want you to. Now I know someone is about to respond that you bring business to the stores… but you don’t. You bring disruption, and you do it on weekends, when the mall has the most traffic, and people in the mall need to sell things to customers. Your cup of starbucks coffee doesn’t help us store owners when your children come running in, knocking over displays, and distracting all of my employees while my customers leave because the store just became chuck-e-cheeses.

    If nothing else, at least call the mall to make sure it’s allowed, number one, and two to the stores these kids will be visiting, you’ll be suprised how many stores won’t help your children because their too disruptive.

    Steve said on March 9, 2009
  6. A few examples:
    Entire group:
    1. Get a picture of everyone in a single bathroom store
    2. Ask someone to take a picture of you and if they agree, simply get in a line side by side with your hands at your sides and show NO emotion (no smiling, making weird faces, ect.)
    3. Try to get all of you into a single photo booth
    Individual smaller groups:
    1. Collect empty bags from as many stores as possible, the group with the most gets a small prize
    2. Get in line at a restaurant at the food court, but when its you turn to order, leave.

    That’s just a few quick ideas- even though the party is long gone

    aly k said on March 12, 2009
  7. I read Steve’s (the frustrated mall worker) comment above, I would like to add that I have been part of MANY mall scavenger hunts as a father and as a group leader and MY groups have had tons of fun and NEVER ONCE been inappropriate. The leaders need to TEACH their children proper behavior. Dos and don’ts. It is NOT “OK” to disturb anyone. In any way. It is OK to do things that people witness for the “dare” factor, but nothing unethical, immoral or illegal. It is NOT time for the kids to run wild. Restraint. Responsibility. Accountability. As a school teacher, I find that I have had to teach FAR too many students these lessons because they simply don’t get them at home. Sure, come to MY mall, but understand that your choices ALL bring consequences. And maybe BUY a drink at the Food Court so you are at least giving them SOMETHING!

    Mister T said on March 31, 2009
  8. I think scavenger hunts are a blast!!!!!!They are so fun for the kids and most store managers are not pickywhen the children come in

    lauren said on May 12, 2009
  9. For the treasure hunt I had the girls each have a bag for the team filled with stuff like a throway digital camera map of mall 25 dollar american express gift card and markers. For example a clue for gap kids would be
    Even though there is hole in it’s name it’s still a very popular childrens store.
    Then once they got a store they would a mini challenge for gap kids ask the clerk if they sold a tutu and leotard if they did one person would try on the smallest pair and take their pic.
    After one clue they would move on to the next clue one more was for Godiva
    This store sell bunnys to berrys
    Ask a clerk for a free sample with a English accent for half the girls and southern for the other half if the clerk says no then the two halfs throw a ridicolous fight
    The girls would meet back for lunch then back to the hunt then meet back for lunch continue then back for dinner the team that had the most points won then they went out for dinner

    Allison said on May 17, 2009
  10. Here’s a list i created for my party! A great mall scavenger hunt!

    1. Your team must find a store with a mannequin, and have a player dress up in the exact same outfit as that mannequin. Gets a picture of your player standing next to the mannequin in the same pose that the mannequin is in. If you pose in the window, there will be a bonus at the end.

    2.Collect 10 different perfume sample papers; none can be identical, and no more than two from each store.

    3.How many stores names have the letter Y? This excludes food places.

    4.Go to Scooters and make a Snipes Smoothie. It can’t be anything on the menu; you have to create it on your own.

    5.Have any 4 random shoppers spell out YMCA with their arms and get their picture.

    6.Put together an outfit Payton might like and have a player try it on. Take a picture of them in it.

    7.Find something with the number 16 on it.

    8.Find a free sample of something cinnamon flavored.

    9.Convince a shoe salesman to put on every sock in the bag, but only on one foot. Then have them try on any random shoe in that store. They must wear EVERY sock.

    10.How much is the seniors’ admission price at The Rave Movie Theater?

    11.Find a take out menu.

    12.Have a random shopper at Dick’s sporting goods dress up as a football player, and get their picture. The more items, the better!

    13.Have an employee at Dairy Queen make a small ice cream cone, but not just any small ice cream cone, a vanilla cone piled has high as that ice cream will get. Make sure to get a picture. Tallest cone wins. You’ll get a point for each layer of ice cream.

    14.Go to Auntie Anne’s and have them make a pretzel in the shape of a P or an S.

    15.Find a really cute guy in the mall and have all the girls get a picture with him.

    16.How many dessert items on the TGI Friday’s restaurant’s menu?

    17.Convince Radio Shack to let you have a remote control car race and get a picture.

    Payton said on September 21, 2009
  11. My daughter is having her 11th birthday in a coouple weeks. We are having a mall scavenger hunt. How long should the party be?

    Sarah said on October 27, 2009
  12. I just had my daughters 12th birthday Mall Scavenger Hunt and it was a blast. I had two teams and they had two lists each. One list was to find the items on it and the second was to take pictures of items that were on that list. Because they were working from the same lists I changed it up a little so they were not in the same place at the same time. I had the boys go into Claires and take a picture of themselves in a pink boa, and they had to buy a cherry flavored lip gloss. I had the girls go into a boys store and take a picture in a boys blue coat. The girls had to find and take a picture on a jersey from a sports team, that really, only the boys would have known. But they did it! The most important thing to remember is that the teams should be respectful of other shoppers and not run around the mall crazy and they will not have a problem. Alot of the stores really helped them out. They got napkins from different food places, picture of a menu, perfume sample, bags from stores, particular colored straws. The only thing that was bought was the cherry lip gloss. It is the most inexpensive birthday party ever! But remember, if you want it to be a success, remind the kids they should go around with an adult and be on their best behavior. And to Steve above, I see your point, but really, you can gather the kids in a group and let them know the rules, and then you can let them have a great experience, and let them have their fun. Weren’t you a kid once?!? Google Mall Scavenger Hunt and kit will give you lists of great ideas. Enjoy!!!!!!!

    Debbie said on October 28, 2009
  13. Sarah most are an hour or two depending on how many tasks you have!

    AyTa said on October 29, 2009
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  15. I think this is a wonderful idea! If you have a daughter who is 12 or older they should have at least one group member carry a cell phone.

    alayna said on November 28, 2010
  16. I agree with you alayna, but if a parent does not feel comfortable leaving their kid to roam then there must be chaperones

    gayla said on November 28, 2010
  17. Use credit card shaped invitations! There are a lot of templates online!

    Sarah said on December 2, 2010
  18. im having a scavenger hunt as a 12th bday party in a week. i need a cake!! help!!!
    but as for the list, my mom came up with one that is JUST PICTURES, but each kid on each team gets to pick out one item 5 bucks or under as a favor. we’ll be in 2 teams.

    ALF said on February 19, 2011
  19. you can do a nice dinner at the mall or around that area! what i have found to be fun is if u dont tell the b day girl anything about party only that its a mall scav hunt! after the dinn explain the rules and guidlines! what i hav found to work better is if u do a sm group of girls! then no one fights sbout teams! teams do make it fun but can somtimes get out of hand! assing each team a team color!

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