Festive Christmas Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Kids

Looking for a festive Christmas activity for kids? These Christmas scavenger hunt ideas make a perfect holiday activity!

The Best Ever Christmas Scavenger Hunt Ideas for KidsWe love scavenger hunts! They are such an easy way to keep kids occupied. They are also easily adaptable for older and younger children.

In fact, we already have an entire post with ideas for indoor scavenger hunts. You can conveniently find it here for more ideas.

Since, I’m also a bit of a Christmas fanatic, so I love a good holiday themed scavenger hunt. 

One of the best things about scavenger hunts is how many different ways you can do them. There are so many options, you are sure to find at least one that will work for your kids.

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Search The Christmas Tree

A tree filled with ornaments can be a perfect place for a scavenger hunt.

We started doing this because of the Christmas pickle. This supposed “tradition” has you hide the pickle ornament on the tree and the first child to find it gets a gift or possibly good fortune. The tradition part is a bit murky, but finding ornaments on the tree is tons of fun. 

My kids loved finding the pickle so much that we started asking them to find other ornaments.

We find all of the family favorites or we ask them to find certain color ornaments. Just keep in mind that ornaments should be low enough for them to find and preferably kid safe since mine have been known to grab them instead of point.

This is great activity around the Christmas tree that keeps them engaged for a surprisingly long time.

Related  Are Christmas Decorations Worth It When You Have A Toddler?

Look for candy canes

Candy Cane Scavenger Hunt

This is such an easy way to make a fun scavenger hunt for little kids. Think Easter egg hunt, but with candy canes.

Hide candy canes and have them find them. It’s that easy. 

Toddlers LOVE this. Like they will want to do it again and again and again… you get the idea.

What I love about this idea is that it be done either in the house or outside and it takes only a couple minutes to prepare. 

Candy canes are perfect for this because they’re cheap, fairly easy to spot, and you won’t care if your toddler breaks them. By the end of the season they’ll all be broken or eaten. 

We’ve also done this with plastic snowflake ornaments (like these!), which was just as fun.

Activity advent calendar

Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt

Go on a scavenger hunt as you enjoy looking at the holiday lights in your neighborhood or other local light displays.

Our whole family loves to see the Christmas lights. The scavenger hunt adds an extra element of fun and even a bit of friendly competition. The kids love to be the first to spot different things.

Use the free printable list for Christmas scavenger hunt ideas to find along the way.

40 Magical Advent Calendar Activities for Kids

Book Scavenger Hunt

If you’ve read our indoor scavenger hunt ideas then you know we love book scavenger hunts. While I didn’t want to repeat too much, I had to include this idea here as well!

This is actually my absolute favorite way to have a scavenger hunt because it keeps the kids occupied and sitting still. 

We pick out our favorite Christmas books and they search the pictures. Simple as that.

You just need some holiday books to get started. If you’re looking for some new books, check out our list of the best Christmas books for toddlers.

This is also really fun to do with Christmas coloring books!

One of the best things about this idea is that it is portable. You can do this anywhere like on the car trip to Grandma’s for the holidays.

The Best Ever Christmas Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Kids

Christmas Gift Scavenger Hunt

You can make gifts even more fun with a scavenger hunt.

There are some different ways you can do this. Don’t worry, there is no “right” way, so do whatever works for your family.

Christmas Morning Scavenger Hunt Ideas

Setting up a Christmas morning scavenger hunt is a great way to make the gifts last longer. 

As Kids get older, they often get fewer, but more expensive gifts. To keep the gift opening from being over too quickly, you can make a scavenger hunt with the gifts. You can make clues to guide them on their hunt for their gifts.

Here are a few variations on the idea:

  • Open gifts under the tree as normal, but the last gift contains a clue to send them on a scavenger hunt to find their “big” gift.
  • No gifts are under the tree, just a clue that leads to the location of the first gift and another clue which leads to the next gift and so on.
  • Use hot and cold for younger kids instead of clues to find gifts.

Christmas Party Scavenger Hunt

A gift scavenger hunt can also be a fun party holiday activity for kids. Hide the gifts (make sure you have enough for each child to have one) and let the kids go on a scavenger hunt for them. 

Every child only gets to find one gift, then they can help others find theirs.

This is a fun way to give out gift or goodie bags or even do instead of a white elephant gift exchange.

Christmas scavenger hunt ideas for a fun holiday

List of Christmas Scavenger Hunt Ideas

You can use this list of things to find around your home decorations, when you look at Christmas lights, on your Christmas tree, or in holiday books.

Be sure to grab your free printable Christmas scavenger hunt lists! We’ve included the full list as well as a shorter list with pictures for pre-readers.

  • Santa
  • Snowman
  • Reindeer
  • Stocking
  • Snowflake
  • Christmas tree
  • Star
  • Gift
  • Train
  • Wreath
  • Sleigh
  • Bell
  • Candy Cane
  • Angel
  • Elf
  • Gingerbread man
  • Mistletoe
  • Snow globe
  • Nativity
  • Mittens
  • Christmas sweater
  • Nutcracker
  • Candle


Hope you found some holiday inspiration in these ideas for Christmas scavenger hunts! Don’t forget to download your free printables!

Does your family have a Christmas scavenger hunt? Share your holiday scavenger hunt ideas in the comments!

The Best Ever Christmas Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Kids


About Author


Hey, I’m Rachel.

I have three awesome sons and an amazing husband. I left my professional career to be a stay-at-home-mom and love it. Since then I spend most of my time chasing my wild boys and trying to keep the house from looking like a complete disaster.

Occasionally, I get to read a cheesy romance novel, attempt crafty things, or binge Netflix. But when I’m not doing that, you can find me here trying to help you figure out the easiest ways to feed your family, live on one income, or make some of the millions of decisions moms tackle every day.

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