How to Plan a Mall Scavenger Hunt

By Lacy Nichols
Mall scavenger hunts, a great activity, groups, all ages
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A scavenger hunt can be a memorable experience for participants of all ages and may also serve as excellent additions to birthday parties or gatherings. In lieu of the traditional scavenger hunt, a mall-themed hunt may be planned. During a mall scavenger hunt, participants roam the local shopping mall and take pictures of found items based on prepared clues and riddles.

Before the Hunt

Step 1

Contact the mall manager or office to inform the shopping center of your plans and ask for permission. Detail exactly what your plans are for the hunt, when it will take place and how many adults will be present for supervision if the participants are young. Ask management if there are any stores off limits and if photos within the mall are permissible.

Step 2

Invite an appropriate number of people to participate in the scavenger hunt. To decide how many people should be invited, decide how many teams you will need and how many people should be on each team. Ideally, teams should have at least two people, but no more than five or six.

Step 3

Develop the clues or items the teams will be searching for. This can be as simple as creating a list of items or coming up with actual clues and riddles. Items can be tailored to the ages of the participants. For example, a younger participant may need a simple list with items, such as "blue shirt" or "shoes." For older kids or young teenagers, items can be more difficult to find, or can be provided in riddle format. Whatever format you choose, the lists should be prepared in advance and you should confirm the items are actually present within the mall.

Step 4

Secure enough cameras for each team to have one. Each team will need a camera to document results of the hunt.

During the Hunt

Step 1

Divide participants into teams. Rely on common sense to know whether to let participants choose their own (equal) teams or whether you should designate team members.

Step 2

Explain the rules of the scavenger hunt to all participants and answer any questions. If the participants are younger children, make sure to emphasize the fact that the mall is still a place of business for many people and rambunctious behavior will not be tolerated.

Step 3

Designate a checkpoint and ask participants to check in every 20 minutes. The checkpoint should be centrally located and easy to find.

Step 4

Distribute the lists or clues to each team and tell them how many points each item found is worth. If different things are worth different point values, make sure the values are designated on the list.

About the Author

Lacy Nichols is a graduate of Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., where she earned a Bachelor of Science in communication and English. She has written and produced several radio advertisements and commercials, with publications in several literary magazines as well.