It was my husband’s (Nick) birthday this weekend and I wanted to do something to celebrate that was somewhat out of the ordinary for us. The usual treats featured – cake and candles, breakfast of his choosing and a dinner date… but I hate that the whole process only lasts about 10 minutes! I am of the belief that gift-giving is an occasion all in itself!
Nick’s birthday was on Saturday but I didn’t plan to do anything or go anywhere, knowing that we would both welcome a fairly chilled out day following the holidays. We also know from experience that the middle of January can be a difficult time to motivate the masses too- everyone is skint, or saving, or on a diet, or ‘doing Dry January’….
With all this in mind, I thought a fun way to spend the day together was a treasure hunt.
This is precisely the kind of thing that excites me. Any chance to tap in to my neglected creative side makes me giddy. So it was easy to resolve to enjoy planning this. The way I saw it, the worst case scenario is that one of us would have enjoyed it!
I got to planning and started by thinking of which route he would take and where to hide the clues. I thought that planning it around the home would make it easy. It did not. This is because if you live with someone and know all the clever hiding places to put things, the other person probably knows about them too. And he’s taller than me. So can reach places I can’t…. You also cannot prepare too far in advance, just in case a clue is discovered while going about your usual life.
The clues were prepared any time he left the house, and a couple of evenings, I waited for him to dose off on the sofa before getting my crafting boxes out and getting on with it.
On the day, I got to making breakfast to order and delivered it along with birthday bubbly and a birthday card from me. I was a little misleading and told him he had only one gift from me and it was the other card on the tray.
On the table with his food, he got a card that said :
We’re going on an adventure
A tall one for the books
But before we leave
You need to set some roots.
And we were off!
If you ever plan to do something similar, let there be no illusion of logic to the number of clues you need. Make the hunt as long or as short as you need it to be. I had to stick to my number to make the hunt last a reasonable length of time.
Some of the clues were riddles like the first card. The answer to that was the roots of the tree at the end of the driveway. That might not be obvious to you but he immediately got it. Great start. It didn’t hurt that he was up for the treasure hunt. He probably thought he would have it done and dusted in 10 minutes. Cheeky such and such.
When we got to the tree, I had planted a quote from one of his favourite movies:
If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour… you‘re gonna see some serious shit.
This gem is one of Doc Brown’s own from the movie ‘Back to the Future’, leading him to the car. Then a word association puzzle, followed by a word search made for the occasion… There was a logo puzzle and QR codes, he had a clue to break out of ice and one that he had to read through a mirror. My Treasure Hunt Gallery has a few more pictures. There was a quiz with a code where he had to figure out the answer from the quiz answers and he had to translate a message which ended up being a riddle too. He even had to get help from The Herd which was just adorable.
After 3 hours of brain teasers and searching most corners of the house, he was done, retrieving 7 gifts and his stash of cards from family and birthday cake at the end.
Dare I say that he enjoyed it too. Photos here!
I looked at several websites for help with the clues but found that in order to make it special,you need to tweak everything to make personal. I don’t know how many people would have appropriated the DeLorean reference, or if Robinson’s Squash is a feature in your household, but getting those details to make the hunt unique for you and the hunter is what makes it fun (and frustrating) to put together, and based on the feedback I got, that’s what made it so enjoyable.
He had such a good time that he’s committed to preparing a treasure hunt for me to do too. I am very excited as out this.
I think this may become a ‘thing’ for us.
Look here for info on how I put the hunt together and details of the sites I used to make DHs Treasure Hunt (and some of the clues for those who are interested!)
Are you a fan of treasure hunts? What are your tips for preparing one? Do you have ideas for own to spruce up gift giving?
Use the comments box below to let me know!
Be good, or be good at it.