When the weather outside is frightful, taking a drive to look at Christmas lights can be so delightful. Why not have some fun, while you’re at it? Download our free Christmas scavenger hunt printable before your drive, and see who can find the most items on the list.
Christmas car-ride scavenger hunt: Holiday lights and neighborhood sights
There’s no right way to scavenger hunt — so stay flexible, and do what feels good for your family. You can also use these tips to get your hunt organized:
1. Pick and print a checklist.
We’re, of course, partial to our Ultimate Holiday Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt Checklist, which you can download below. But if that doesn’t strike your fancy, there are plenty of other themes and variations to choose from — like these printable Christmas Bingo cards, the holiday alphabet game, or even Christmas Mad Libs.
2. Ask family and friends to join in.
Will you keep it simple, and limit the scavenger hunt to your immediate family? Or, will you extend the invite to relatives, friends, and neighbors? If you choose to include more people, consider killing two birds with one stone and using the scavenger hunt for your yearly Christmas party.
3. Split up into teams.
This, again, depends on the size of your party. If you’re hunting in your car with your immediate family, split the car right down the middle into two different teams. If you’re hosting a larger hunt, assign teams beforehand based on who RSVPs, and email the recipients the details.
4. Choose a prize (or bet).
Now the purpose of teams becomes clear: It gives you an incentive to win. If you’re hunting with your family, come up with a prize or wager that everyone will be motivated by, like not doing dishes for a week. For a larger group, procure a bigger, crowd-friendlier prize, like a cookie basket, movie theater gift card, or Amazon Echo.
5. Lay the ground rules.
Decide beforehand what is and isn’t acceptable hunting behavior. For example, no cheating off your neighbor’s list might be an obvious rule, as is not stealing or damaging items on the list. Depending on the size of your group, it might also be helpful to set neighborhood boundaries and a time limit.
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6. Crank up the Christmas tunes.
Don’t even think about starting your scavenger hunt drive without the help of the right holiday playlist. Christmas classics like Jingle Bells, Silent Night, and White Christmas may be a given. Newer favorites include “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey, “Candy Cane Lane” by Sia, and “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” by Bruce Springsteen.
7. Pack drinks and snacks.
For a small group, load up a lunch sack with all the holiday cookies you’ve been baking (or buying), and pour hot cocoa into individual thermoses. For a larger group, make it a potluck if you’d like to simplify. Ask participants to bring a holiday beverage or treat of their choice, and set up the goodies to serve in your kitchen, on your front porch, or in your driveway.
8. Dress for the weather.
If there’s snow on the ground, you may prefer to drive through your neighborhood, either with your family or as a larger group split into teams. If it’s warmer out, bundle up, grab something hot to drink, and head out on foot. Make sure everyone’s dressed in weather-appropriate attire, whether it’s coats, gloves, scarves, or even umbrellas if rain is in the forecast.
9. Make a night of it.
If you decide to double your scavenger hunt as your holiday party, don’t stop when the hunt is done. Invite friends and neighbors in afterward to enjoy more food, music, and activities, like a White Elephant gift or ornament exchange, Name That (Christmas) Tune, or the hilarious Lump of Coal Saran Wrap Game.
10. Turn it into a tradition.
Had so much fun you don’t want the night to end? That’s to be expected. Comfort your kiddos, neighbors, and friends by letting them know that this holiday hunt is the first of many. Tell them to show up at the same time, same place, next year, where you’ll be hosting your annual Christmas scavenger hunt again.
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Can refinancing lower my monthly mortgage payment? The answer is: Most likely. If you’re like millions of other homeowners, you could be eligible to save around $300 a month.* Reach out to crunch the numbers.
*“Even as Rates Rise, Nearly 17M High-Quality Refi Candidates in the Market.” Black Knight, 2021.
While refinancing could make a significant difference in the amount you pay each month, there are other costs you should consider. Plus, your finance charges may be higher over the life of the loan.
For educational purposes only. Please contact your qualified professional for specific guidance.
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