A few years ago, I found this Frozen Castle Advent Calendar and knew that my girls had to have it. This year, I turned it into one big Christmas scavenger hunt!
They are obsessed with advent calendars and to them, this castle was the ultimate version! Even though the castle seems huge (for an advent calendar), the little doors can only hold so much.
So, instead of filling it completely with candy or trying to find tiny surprises, some of the compartments held the first clue to a scavenger hunt. The clues ultimately lead them to a surprise hiding somewhere in our house.
Lainey and Lyvi LOVED it! They literally set their alarm to wake up before me so that they would have time to find their prize before school!
It has been such a huge hit, that I decided to share the clues and surprises here on the blog in case you want to do it with your kids too.
The hardest part was coming up with indoor Christmas scavenger hunt clues. Luckily, I found another awesome blog with plenty of ideas. I won’t completely share the clues that I borrowed from her (no one likes a thief), but I will definitely be sharing links to her page so you can see them yourself.
Christmas Indoor Scavenger Hunt Clues
Prize 1: Squishy Balls
Clue 1: ‘Jingle Bells’ and “Frosty the Snowman’ are great holiday tunes. The next clue is hiding… (see Between Us Parents)
The next clue was in a kitchen drawer under the silverware tray.
Clue 2: Finding clues is fun and great, to find the next clue look in a book about your state!
I hid the next clue in a book we have called “Weird Texas”. The girls knew exactly where to look!
Clue 3: Winter break means no homework or long division, but you may be watching some movies or shows, so check under the ____________________.
Their squishy balls were hidden in the top drawer of our buffet which is what we are using as a tv stand, so the drawer was ‘under the television’.
Prize 2: Fidget Cubes
Clue 1: Here is the first of 3 clever clues. Work together and you can’t lose – start your search where our guests snooze.
I hid the next clue under a pillow on the bed in our guest room.
Clue 2: You found it because you’re so smart – it’s true! Now go look where you can find some glue.
The next clue was in our art supplies in the drawer with my hot glue gun.
Clue 3: I hope this clue doesn’t get you stuck, look around for a little truck.
The fidget cubes were in their tiny wrapped little boxes hiding underneath a remote control monster truck in a corner of the play room.
Prize 3: Blanket & Slippers
Clue 1: Last year, Santa brought some toys and a scooter, perhaps you should look where I keep the _______________.
The last word to the riddle is ‘computer’. So, the next clue was in the drawer of our buffet where I store my laptop when I’m not using it.
Clue 2: Rudolph was sad when the other reindeer called him names. The next clue you’ll find where we keep the board _______________.
The last word to this riddle is ‘games’. They had to go look on the shelf in the play room where we keep all of our board games.
Clue 3: A runny nose? Some dust on your shoes? Maybe you should look in the box of _______________.
Of course the next clue was hiding in the box of tissues on the coffee table in the living room.
Clue 4: In the desert it’s hot, you’ll see a mirage. But you’re prize is hiding out in the _________________.
It took them a second to properly pronounce ‘mirage’, but once they did, they rushed out to the garage to find gift bags with a new blanket for Lainey and new slippers for Lyvi.
Prize 4: Box of Candy Canes
Clue 1: Rudolph is Santa’s number 1 flyer. To find the next clue, look… (see Between Us Parents).
I thought this one was a little hard, because I taped the clue on the side of the dryer, which is up against a wall. But the kids had no trouble finding it.
Clue 2: You’re going through these clues at a pretty good pace. The next one (see Between Us Parents).
The last word to this riddle is ‘fireplace’. I wasn’t sure the kids would get it because we don’t have a ‘real fireplace’ in this house, but there is a cast iron wood heater downstairs. They didn’t hesitate at all before bolting downstairs to find the next clue.
Clue 3: Mistletoe is green and roses are red. You’ll find a surprise waiting under your BED!
I wasn’t afraid to hide this prize in it’s place days ahead of time since my kids have so much junk shoved up under their bed! They were shocked when I told them that this wrapped box of candy canes had been under there for a while and they never even knew it.
Prize 5: LOL & Barbie Doll
Clue 1: Go to my closet – both of you – to find the clue hidden in a shoe.
They had to search through the shoes in my closet to find their next clue.
Clue 2: What did Lainey hide in her pack? It’s a clue this time and not a snack!
The next clue was hiding in the front pocket of Lainey’s backpack.
Clue 3: The polar bear went over the mountain to see what he could see. Perhaps you could start with a quick look under the tree!
The LOL and Barbie dolls were hidden behind the tree collar.
Prize 6: Pop Tubes
Clue 1: The Abominable Snowman lives in a cave. He cooks over the fire, since he has no microwave.
This one was a little tricky for them, but it was only a few minutes before they found the next clue taped to the side of the microwave.
Clue 2: Mrs. Claus is a gem. She’s smart and able, you’ll find a cool prize underneath a small table!
The pop tubes (fidget toys) were wrapped up and hidden under the side table in the living room.
Prize 7: Gingerbread House
Clue 1: Christmas isn’t only about gifts, but about the moments we share. You can find your next clue by looking under a ________________.
The next clue was taped up under one of the dining room chairs.
Clue 2: Taking care of you is hard – girls are a lot to handle. Light the way to the next clue when you look under a ____________.
The next clue was on the bookshelf under one of my candles.
Clue 3: Daddy is cool and bell-bottoms are groovy. Go look in the place where you can find a _________________.
The next clue was hidden in our cabinet where we store our movies (DVDs).
Clue 4: Elves work hard and vampires sleep in caskets. You’ll find your next prize in the bottom of one of our baskets.
Their prize, a gingerbread house kit, was hidden in a basket that we use to store our blankets.
Prize 8: Pajamas
Clue 1: To mail a letter to Santa, you must use a stamp. Check for the next clue up under a ___________________.
The missing word was ‘lamp’, so the next clue was hidden under the lamp on my nightstand.
Clue 2: Buddy is getting hungry – it’s time to eat! Breakfast goodies are such a treat!
This one was a little harder, since it wasn’t a fill-in-the-blank/rhyming clue. But the next clue was hidden on the shelf where we store the cereal.
Clue 3: The Christmas tree is pretty and quite statuesque. You can find the next clue on mommy’s desk.
The next clue was hidden on my desk behind my book ends.
Clue 4: Mommy’s the queen! She has the power. She left you a gift where you take a ______________.
Their pajamas were wrapped up and hidden in the shower downstairs.
Prize 9: Ring Pops
Clue 1: Santa is kind – he’s good and he’s fair. You’ll find the next clue behind the rocking ____________.
Obviously, the next clue was taped to the back of the rocking chair.
Clue 2: Christmas memories are the best….better than April Fool’s! You can find your prize where your mom keeps her jewels.
The girls’ Ring Pops were hidden in my jewelry box.
Prize 10: A ‘Ticket’ to Get Hot Chocolate & See Christmas Lights
Clue 1: Some kids are whiny and full of “I can’ts”. You’ll find the next clue where mommy moved her plants.
The next clue was on the windowsill in the guestroom, where I moved my plants to get more sunlight.
Clue 2: Daddy’s at work wearing a camo suit. Look for a new clue where we keep the fruit!
The next clue was taped under the top tier of our fruit stand in the kitchen.
Clue 3: Searching for clues can be such a hassle. Perhaps you can try looking up under the castle!
Their prize was a homemade “ticket” that was underneath their castle advent calendar. The ticket could be redeemed for a night of getting hot chocolate and going to see the BLORA Christmas lights
This Christmas scavenger hunt was a HUGE hit with my kids. They loved having to ‘work for their prizes’ by searching for them. And I loved watching them.
It was pretty time-consuming to go out and buy the prizes, come up with and write all of the clues, and then hide everything. I probably spent 5-6 hours doing all of this, but I can honestly say that it was worth it.
The joy on their faces when they finally found it, was like Christmas morning, but all throughout December!
I normally don’t do something this extravagant every year, but since their dad deployed right after Thanksgiving, I figured we could use all the joy we could get. (You can check out our deployment wall here!)
If you’re looking for something fun for your kids during the month of December I highly recommend an indoor scavenger hunt!