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30th birthday scavenger hunt


As you might have guessed from all my wedding talk and my rather sporadic posting schedule, it’s been a very busy summer. However, my husband figured that graduating, securing a good job and getting married just weren’t enough milestones for a three-month span. So last week he decided to go and turn 30 as well. Just for good measure. Although it’s been super busy around here and I didn’t have much time to spare for party planning, I couldn’t let his 30th go by without some kind of special celebration. So we gathered a number of our friends together last weekend for a scavenger hunt. Everyone seemed to have a lot of fun with it, and some of the folks who saw pictures of the shenanigans on Twitter have asked to see the full hunt. So I will oblige! I decided this should be a combination of a grown-up style party (where there’s booze and you can run all around town scavenger hunting because you are, of course, an adult) and a kid style party (involving party favors, playgrounds, and freaking dinosaurs, man), so in addition to the hunt, I did some special party crafting. I made treat bags for everyone, featuring awesome dinosaur stencils. Easy to do – use my recent stencilling tutorial and flat-bottomed drawstring bags tutorial and voila: dinosaur party bags! I also realized at the last minute that the birthday boy had to have a special birthday hat. It’s always nice to have a theme to work with:

But most of all, there was the scavenger hunt. I combined two strategies to come up with the list of items and challenges: first, I spent the last few hours of a long car trip staring out the window thinking of ideas and making notes on my phone. I find that car trips are a great time for sitting and thinking, especially brainstorming. And second, I did some googling to seek further inspiration. I also tried to have a number of clues that related to Jeremy’s background and interests. So for example, I got challenges related to D&D, Magic the Gathering, ducks, penguins, Batman, and generally being awesomely goofy. And of course, I created a list of 30 challenges.

In order to not spend an hour after the hunt counting everyone’s points, I made each team choose a designated tweeter. All challenge photos and videos had to be tweeted from that person’s account, along with the title of the challenge and a special hashtag. The effects of this were:

  • As the scavenger hunt was happening, I sat and monitored each tweeter’s feed, marking their points as they posted each completed challenge. (I was in a public square, sitting on a bench looking at my phone and giggling madly for over an hour. It was great.)
  • Twitter followers of the designated tweeters could mute the hashtag, thus avoiding a bunch of Twitter spam of all the scavenger hunt photos. OR, if they were enjoying the tweets, they could search the hashtag to see all the other teams’ photos as well. Basically, wanted to prevent our friends from losing Twitter followers because of what I was asking them to use their Twitter feed for.
  • After the hunt, the teams could go look at each others’ pictures, which was a lot of fun. They got quite creative and there were some great photos.

All in all, it turned out very well! Definitely in part to having awesome friends who ran with it and totally made it fun.

If you’re looking for some goofy birthday fun, I recommend trying something like this out. And scavenger hunts are, overall, fairly time efficient to create. You don’t have to run around hiding or setting things up ahead of time – just write and print out copies of your hunt list, and let the teams go! So, here’s a PDF of the full scavenger hunt, if you want to check it out, borrow from it, etc. And below, just for fun, I’ve posted each of the challenges along with each team’s photo/video for that challenge. I don’t have all of the pictures and videos available, but here are the majority of them, at least. (I refer to the teams as: Team Birthday Boy, Team Horse Mask and Team Puppies.)

Jeremy’s 30th birthday scavenger hunt

Have any sweet party ideas or games to share? I always like hearing what cool stuff other people have come up with!


Batman Is For The Birds – 1 point
Take a picture of a seagull.

batman for the birds


Batman and Robin – 3 points
Photograph two seagulls in the same picture.

batman and robin


Chalk It Up To Bad Luck – 4 points
Make a chalk outline around one team member’s body (like in a crime scene), then take a picture of just the outline, with at least 2 team members looking sadly down at it.

Team Horse Mask’s video

chalk it up chalk it up


Stairway To Heaven – 3 points
Take a picture of at least 3 team members dancing on a staircase (a full, actual staircase, not just a couple of steps up to a doorway or something).

stairway  stairway to heaven


Duck And Cover – 3 points
Photograph 3 team members standing with their hands on the ground and their bums stuck up in the air, imitating a diving duck. There must be at least one actual duck visible somewhere in the picture as well (though it doesn’t have to be diving).

duck and cover duck and cover


Meter Maid – 1 point
VandalEyes a parking meter and photograph one team member having a staring contest with it.

Team Horse Mask’s video

meter maid meter maid


The Play’s the Thing – 4 points
Take a Vine of a “puppet” show you have created that uses at least 2 non-human characters (dolls, toys, talking pieces of twine, etc.). Something dramatic must occur.

Team Birthday Boy’s video

Team Horse Mask’s video


Strange Words – 5 points
Write a poem of at least 5 lines and serenade a (willing) stranger with it. Photograph or Vine (yours and the stranger’s choice) the touching moment. You must turn the poem in at the end of the hunt for full points on this challenge.

Team Birthday Boy’s video

Team Horse Mask’s video


Too Old for This Shit – 3 points
Photograph at least 3 team members lying on a bed, pretending to be asleep.

too old  too old


Busquing – 3 points
Somewhere in the downtown area, Dale Friesen is busquing as part of a barbershop quartet. Get a picture of 2 or more team members with Dale and his fellow performers.

busqing  busquing


When Ducks Attack – 1+ points
Take a picture of one or more team members being swarmed by ducks. One bonus point for every 10 ducks visible in the photo.

when ducks attach  when ducks attack


Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting – 4 points
Take a picture of at least 3 team members staging a Kung Fu battle in front of the Empress Hotel.

everybody was kung fu fighting  kung fu fighting


Got Your Goat  – 1 point
Take a picture with at least two team members and a goat visible in the photo.

got your goat  got your goat


Shakespeare in the Park – 2 points
Take a picture of 2 or more team members doing a dramatic reenactment of a death scene from a Shakespeare play. Include the name of the play in your tweet of the picture.

shakespeare in the park  shakespeare in the park


Fountain Fishing – 1 point
Photograph a team member going fishing in a public fountain.

 fountain fishing


Save vs Box Text – 5 points
Take a picture of at least 3 team members in an elevator (which is, of course, a box), looking terrified. One of them must be holding up a sign that says “BOX TEXT.”

save vs box text


It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s… – 5 points
Take a picture of at least 3 team members crammed inside a phone booth (or huddled around a payphone, if it doesn’t have a booth).

it's a bird 


But Daddy, I Love Him/Her!  – 2 points
Take a picture of a team member kissing a statue.

Team Horse Head’s video

but daddy but daddy I love him


From the Horse’s Mouth – 2 points
Take a picture with at least 2 team members and 1 horse visible in the photo.

from the horse's mouth  from the horse's mouth


Peter Pan – 2+ points
Take a picture of 2 or more team members playing on a playground. Plus 2 bonus points if one team member is hanging upside down from something.

peter pan  peter pan


Antarctic Birds of a Feather – 2 points
Take a picture in front of the Royal BC Museum of at least 3 team members doing their best penguin walk/waddle.

antarctic birds  antarctic birds


Work it! – 2 points
Photograph a team member working at a service job they’re not actually employed at.

work it  work it

Blushing Bride  – 2 points
Take a picture of 1 or more of the men on your team standing outside a bridal salon, doing his best “pretty pretty princess” pose.

blushing bride


Live Long And Prosper – 5+ points
Get at least 3 strangers to be in a picture with all team members except the photographer, and with everyone making the Vulcan greeting sign with their hand. 1 bonus point for each extra stranger beyond 3 that you can get in the photo.

live long and prosper  live long and prosper


To Market, To Market – 3 points
Take a picture with two team members and a pig visible in the photo.

to market   BRbeXgDCUAANtv3


It’s All So Magical  – 2+ points
Take a picture of at least 3 team members standing in front of Yellow Jacket. Plus 2 bonus points if you can get a YJ staff member to photobomb you.

it's all so magical  BRbbRBKCcAAxfAO-1


Never Gonna Give You Up! – 4 points
Take a Vine of 2 or more team members rickrolling a group of strangers (can be done busquing style, serenading random passersby). At least 2 full lines of the song must be audible in the video.

Team Birthday Boy’s video

Team Horse Head’s video


Put a Ring on it – 2 points
Take a picture of at least 2 team members standing outside a jewelry store (the store must be visible in the background), doing Beyoncé’s “put a ring on it” pose.

put a ring on it  put a ring on it


Piggy Back Please? – 3 points
Photograph a stranger giving a team member a piggy back ride.

piggy back


Bear Hug  – 1 point
Photograph a team member hugging a bear.

bear hug  bear hug

Leave a comment


  1. Dale

     /  August 24, 2013

    I was honoured to be included as one of the quest goals. Nice job, Tally!

  2. That’s an amazing idea for a party. Looks like a lot of fun!

  3. Kelly

     /  April 29, 2014

    Wow love the scavenger hunt ideas! Looks so fun!

  4. Peggy

     /  October 21, 2014

    I have flat out “stolen” most of your ideas!! My daughter is turning 30 next month and this looks like a RIOT!!
    Since she is such a fan, I am incorporating an “Outlander” theme.
    How much time did you allow for this challenge?


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