Here’s a fun and easy DIY date night idea: Create a romantic scavenger hunt.
All it takes is a little time and thought, plus some paper or something for clues. You’ll also want to have something special at the end – we’ll get to that.
You know how scavenger hunts work, so we won’t bore you with detailed explanations of every point.
Let’s dive in with our simple do-it-yourself date night scavenger hunt ideas!
3 Ways to Inspire Romance with a Scavenger Hunt
I think there are three main ways to make your scavenger hunt romantic.
- Romantic clues
- A romantic “journey” along the way
- A romantic prize at the end
Romantic clues. Use the clues themselves to inject romance into the hunt. Describe normal household objects and locations in sexy ways. Or have the clues lead you on a journey through meaningful items and memories in your home that are significant in your relationship.
(We have a list of romantic clue ideas to get you started below)
A romantic journey. Have the clues lead to places that are already special (where you proposed; where you first met) or are naturally romantic (a beautiful place to watch the sunset; a restaurant with a candelit table for two).
A romantic prize. Give a gift that is personal. It could be an item your spouse has been wanting for a long time; but probably much more romantic is something that you create, such as a baby cradle you make by hand, a scrapbook of your love notes and photos, or a long handwritten love letter.
(We have several more thoughtful prizes and gift ideas below as well)
Easy DIY Romantic Scavenger Hunt
All right, so here’s how you create your special scavenger hunt:
- Start with your prize: What does the final clue lead to? Where is the final clue going to be?
- Get some fancy paper or colorful card stock on which to write your clues; or, at a minimum, cut the paper into cute heart shapes
- Decide on the length of the scavenger hunt:
- 15-20 minutes as a prelude to your date night or a special surprise – aim for 4-8 clues, set up around the house or walking distance
- 1-2 hours, where the scavenger hunt is the date – aim for 5-20 clues, starting with a handful around the house and then leading on from there. To avoid having to drive all around town to set up, keep the clues on you and hand them out when they get to the correct location
- Think through and set up the clues in reverse order (see below for scavenger hunt clue ideas)
- Reference meaningful and romantic aspects of your relationship
The title of this post has to do with “Easy” DIY romantic scavenger hunt ideas, so we’re mostly trying to keep it simple.
You can, of course, go as wild as you want with this.
Extra credit: Use rhyming phrases.
Double extra credit: Write it so that when the clues are assembled, it makes a complete poem. Or use the first letter in each clue to create an acrostic that says his/her name, “I love you,” or your choice romantic sentiment.
Triple extra credit: Set it up so that the clues lead across town. Do a ton of clues, so that the hunt leads you along on your date – to a food truck for appetizers, a favorite bar for drinks, a walk through the park, a restaurant with a candlelit table for two, and so on.
Romantic Scavenger Hunt Prizes
- Handwritten love letter
- One of these “best gifts for couples“
- A gift card, printout, or picture of what you’re doing for your date night
- Favorite or fancy restaurant
- Theater, sports, or concert tickets
- Activities like rock climbing, wine tasting, etc
- All or part of what you’re doing for date night
- Bottle of wine and a movie for a night in
- Picnic basket packed and ready to go
- Accessories for a favorite activity you enjoy together
- Scrapbook or photo album you put together as a surprise
- A crafty gift you made
- One of these romantic but totally last-minute gift ideas
- Gift ideas for him:
- Gift ideas for her:
- Yourself, in a spicy & creative way (you know what I mean, wink wink)
- Ring & proposal
Free Romantic Scavenger Hunt Clues
Here are some starter clues for a couples scavenger hunt.
By “starter clues” I mean we’re not doing all the work for you (sorry!); rather, these are phrases you can easily modify and work into your clues as you’re crafting your hunt.
|You light me up
|Lighting fixture, lamp, candle
|You’re the light of my life
|Lighting fixture, lamp, candle
|I love it when you wear…
|Your scent intoxicates me
|Your love intoxicates me
|Near wine or wet bar
|Our most special day
|Behind a framed wedding photo
|Relax in your favorite spot
|Their favorite chair
|Relax and enjoy the breeze
|My heart bubbles over
|Near bubble bath or champagne
|What we share together every morning
|Coffee, coffee maker, tea
|Where you can see the most beautiful woman/handsome man
|Turn up the heat
|Our special song
|Music player, records, CDs
|You’re my sugar
|Kitchen cabinet (sugar)
|Let’s spice things up
|Feeling a little flirty and dirty
|Laundry room, laundry basket
|The key to my heart
|The moments we share
|My heart blossoms when I think of you
|You make me feel butterflies
|Near butterfly decor
|You put fire in my heart
Start at the end. Choose the gift or prize before you start, and also the location for the final clue. From there, work backwards to create each clue.
Use colorful paper or card stock. You can, of course, use anything in a pinch. Plain old white paper works just fine, but it does kinda convey a “just wingin’ it” vibe. If you ise, say, red paper cut into the shape of a heart – that is easily identifiable and shows that you’ve put effort into it.
Include items, locations, and references that are special to your relationship. For example, a clue referring to where you were when you found out you were having a baby, or that beloved book of Emily Dickinson poems you gave on your 3rd anniversary – those are better places to hide the next clue than “Where we keep the dog food.”
Aim for balance. Keep the clues simple, so as not to be frustratingly difficult riddles, but also not-too-obvious. Do enough clues to make it a memorable adventure, but not so many that it gets boring. Four to eight clues seems to be about the right amount. If you’re going around town, do a handful at home and then 3-4 throughout the city.
Scavenger Hunt for Date Night
If you’re cooking up a romantic scavenger hunt for a date night, tie it together with a theme.
For example, let’s say you’re taking her out to her favorite Italian restaurant. Clues can refer to the pantry where you keep a stash of noodles, the globe you have in the den (stick the clue onto the general vicinity of Italy/Europe), and your old DVD copy of The Godfather (ok, fine, Under the Tuscan Sun would also suffice).
Have the final clue either lead to someplace in your home with a description of the date (photos, printed reservations, tickets, or a note describing your date plans) or have the last clue(s) lead you out of the house towards your destination.
If your scavenger hunt is your date night, have fun with it! Lead the two of you to your favorite spots, and discover new ones. Include places for refreshment (stop for drinks, coffee, appetizers, dessert) and also places to enjoy just being together (the beach, boardwalk, hiking trails, walking paths, parks).
Scavenger Hunt for Anniversary
For an anniversary, you can simply do the “Date Night” ideas listed above to create a special – and easy – night of fun.
But to make it more specific to your anniversary, there are three considerations for creating a meaningfully romantic scavenger hunt.
Look back. Have your clues review the wonderful times you’ve shared together in the past. Refer to your wedding day, or past anniversary gifts, or other milestones in your time together. Remembering your past is important for every relationship.
Look forward. Include things that point to your hopes and dreams for the future. Are you thinking about buying a house or starting a family? Have you been planning that special trip overseas, or trying to make more regular time to simply spend together? Incorporate those ideas into your treasure hunt.
Be here now. The wonderful thing about great relationships is that you can always say or do something special to strengthen and build it up. Be present, and focus on creating a delightful, memorable experience right now.
Related: The Couple’s Gift Guide
Tips to Spice Up the Romance
Personalize it. Use our tips, of course, but modify and tweak and make it your own. Nothing is more romantic that you investing time, thought, and effort into sparking your relationship.
Clothing optional. You know your relationship, so go with what you think best. But I’ll say this much: Guys, if you’re thinking of scavenger hunt date ideas for her, don’t spring your half-clothed self onto her. Instead, write her a romantic note or give her a romantic gift and let things flow naturally. Ladies, if you’re the one planning this for him, it’s a pretty safe bet if you just give yourself he’ll be thrilled.
Use the go-to goodies. Chocolate, wine, candles, rose petals, and romantic music always help turn up the heat. Yours might vary slightly – perhaps he prefers beer instead of wine; maybe she likes cupcakes rather than chocolate – but you get the idea.
Read next: How to Give Thoughtful Gifts