Coming up with gift ideas for your significant other can be a challenge—especially when you’ve been together for a while. When you feel like flowers or jewelry don't encapsulate all the love and appreciation you have for your partner, why not put together a romantic scavenger hunt?
Whether it’s their birthday, your anniversary, or it’s just been a while since you’ve had a date night, a scavenger hunt is a creative and thoughtful way to show your partner just how much they mean to you. So how exactly do you plan a scavenger hunt that’s unique to you and your S.O.? Read on for expert advice from wedding planners Erica Moran and Lea Stafford.
Meet the Expert
When to Create a Scavenger Hunt
There are plenty of occasions that warrant a celebration with a romantic scavenger hunt. Whether it’s your partner’s birthday, your anniversary (wedding, engagement, or dating), or simply just because, there’s no wrong time to put this creative date together. "It will allow the two of you to share precious moments with those that matter to you, which allows them to learn more about you as a couple, says Stafford. Moran adds, "This is a great way for couples to relive important moments in their relationship, and reflect on where they are now."
How to Create a Scavenger Hunt
Once you’ve settled on the romantic scavenger hunt idea, where should you start? "Begin gathering ideas of places or experiences you shared together that are meaningful to your relationship," recommends Moran. "From there, you can begin to formulate the clues that would help your partner navigate the hunt in a logistical route." Where did you first say "I love you?" Where was your first date?
Ideas for location stops don’t just have to be milestone relationship moments either. Did you go on a hike early in your relationship? Is there a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that you both love? Do you have a favorite photo of the two of you somewhere that you love looking at? Answers to these questions might also inspire some creative stops in your scavenger hunt.
Stafford also recommends thinking beyond places that are important to you as a couple. "You definitely want to visit the places where they grew up, or are very meaningful and have contributed to their life's story," she advises. Do you live near the high school or college where your partner went? Think about including that as a stop in your adventure.
Scavenger Hunt Ideas
Now that you’ve got the locations figured out, it’s time to think about what you should do at the various stops. "Have your partner accomplish something before receiving the next clue," says Moran. "For instance, if you send them to the restaurant you went to on your first date the staff could know that they need to order your favorite drink from the bar before receiving the next clue. Depending on the locations chosen, each stop could have a different activity affiliated with it!"
Another idea is to include an activity that is important to both of you. "If cocktails have a special place in your heart, setting up an interactive cocktail station makes sense," advises Stafford. "If art and culture are meaningful, set up an activity that allows you to learn while creating a beautiful art piece."
Scavenger Hunt Tips
Set Aside Enough Time to Hit All the Locations
If your scavenger hunt is spread out all around town, you’ll want to leave enough time between each stop for travel. If you have a picnic planned at the park where you had one of your first dates, and then you’re supposed to be at the bar where you discovered your favorite cocktail an hour later across town, you might feel rushed to get there. You want to make sure you take the time to enjoy and reflect on each spot, not feel like you’re in a scavenger hunt competition.
Don’t Overdo It
Don’t feel like you need to pack in as many activities or locations as possible. Setting up three or four stops or activities can be even more memorable and special than trying to cram every aspect of your relationship into one day. Focusing on quality over quantity allows you to truly enjoy and reflect on your relationship. "If you are meaningful about the process and the experience, the two of you should draw even closer," says Stafford.
Take Time to Brainstorm
If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, don’t stress over them. It can be hard to come up with different locations or activities, especially if you’re new to the city you live in or if your relationship didn’t start where you live now. "We would recommend carving out some time to create a list of things you appreciate about your partner," offers Stafford. "Think of the most memorable moments the two of you have shared. Watch old videos and pull out the photos to spark memories and ideas for activities and milestones that you can draw from."
If you need help coming up with ideas or need an extra set of hands to get the scavenger hunt going, enlist friends and family to assist. Maybe you could even include some of your partner’s best friends to be a part of the scavenger hunt stops themselves! Do they always get together at their favorite bar? Invite them to join for that portion of the hunt. If planning really isn’t your thing, hire a professional event planner like LSE or A Charming Fête to help you plan an amazing day!
There is no right or wrong way to create a scavenger hunt. Stops can be as casual as going to your favorite ice cream shop or as major as where you had your first kiss. As long as you put time and energy into creating a romantic scavenger hunt, your partner is sure to love it. "The beautiful thing about a scavenger hunt is that it is going to be unique to each relationship," says Moran.