How to Leave Clues for a Scavenger Hunt at Public Places

What’s not to love about a scavenger hunt? Running around like crazy people out in public in frantic search for special items on your list can be an entertaining game. As you organize and plan a scavenger hunt for a group of people, one challenge will be hiding clues in public places so that other people don’t disturb or even take your objects before the participants find them.

Plan the area of the scavenger hunt to enable you to scout out spots for hiding items, advises Bob Grgic, author of “Resources for Outdoor Retreats.” Make a map of the entire area with geographic locations represented on the map to make it correspond to the area 1. For example, if your scavenger hunt is at a zoo, include specific exhibits on the map.

Walk the area using the map to find suitable spots for hiding items. Use locations that are easily recognizable, yet afford you the ability to hide items away from interference from other people. For example, tape an item under a picnic table in a park pavilion or on an out-of-sight corner of a building at the zoo. Plan the hiding spot of each item, then mark them on your map.

Gather the items you intend to hide. Proceed through the mapped area to hide them prior to the scavenger hunt. For optimal success, hide the items about two hours before the scavenger hunt begins.

Position incognito attendants at various spots of the scavenger hunt to ensure that no one disturbs or interferes with the hidden items. The attendants’ job will involve preserving the hiding places if someone threatens to disturb the placement.


An alternative type of scavenger hunt that works well for public places is a photography scavenger hunt, advises the Snapfish website. With this scavenger hunt, you create a list of items for participants to photograph. Each participant or team has a digital camera and the object is to proceed through the hunt area, using the map and clues, taking pictures of the items upon finding them.