Mall Scavenger Hunt Ideas

Mall Scavenger Hunt Ideas

"This Mall Scavenger Hunt Ideas page is packed with fun-tastic mall scavenger hunt list ideas, clues and free mall scavenger hunt printables for you and the kids to use and have fun with during your own scavenger hunt parties..."

Mall scavenger hunt parties are great fun, especially for tween and teenagers who usually love to check out what's in the stores and to hang out in the mall with their friends.

This doesn't mean that a mall scavenger hunt is only for teenagers or that it's just for the kids to run around spending lots of money buying stuff from a 'shopping' list...not at all!

The idea with a mall scavenger hunt is to divide the kids into competing teams, then challenge the teams with a list of mall scavenger hunt items and tasks to find, collect and complete.

Like most kids scavenger hunts, the team to complete all the tasks on the list first or gain the most points before the time is up, wins the scavenger hunt. 

As you'll see from the mall scavenger hunt ideas and sample hunt lists below, the items and tasks on the list don't need to cost anything :-)

Mall Scavenger Hunt Ideas & Free Printables

Mall Scavenger Hunt Ideas & Printables

Mall Scavenger Hunt Party Invitations

First off, here are some free printable mall scavenger hunt party invitations you can send out to your scavenger hunt party guests - you'll find free "DIVA" Credit Card invites for the girls and "RICH" Credit Card invites for the boys.

Once you've printed and written your invitation details on them, you can laminate them (if you like) to make them plastic and even more rigid like a real store card - the kids will love them and they'll look fantastic! 

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Mall Scavenger Hunt Planning Ideas

You can make your mall scavenger hunt clues and tasks as simple or difficult as you want them to be, just remember to consider carefully the age of the kids taking part and the time you have available as you plan.

If you want to make it a little more challenging for the older kids, you can replace simple items on your list with riddles or clues for those items - you can take a look at our scavenger hunt riddles page and scavenger hunt clues page to give you some mall scavenger hunt ideas to help start your list off.

Here's an outline of things you may want to consider when planning your kids scavenger hunt...

  • The kids - Design your mall scavenger hunt with the kids ages in mind. If your birthday party has kids of various ages, it's better to mix the ages within the teams so the younger kids can work with older kids. Younger kids on their own may get frustrated if the tasks or clues on the list are too hard to do or solve, while older kids will probably relish the extra challenge.
  • The time available - Have a manageable list of scavenger hunt items for the amount of time you have available. If you only have an hour, make a simple 'list' of items each team needs to hunt for or use simpler clues, together with a shorter list of items. For a longer mall scavenger hunt parties you'll have time to include more challenging clues and tasks for the kids to solve and do.
  • The location - Just do a walk-through to familiarize yourself with it and to check it is safe and suitable. Also, check it has the facilities that you need like a map, toilets and a restaurant or food court if you plan for the kids to eat there. Book any facilities ahead of time to avoid disappointment. Check too that it's open during your party time and try to avoid the busiest times (usually between 12pm and 3pm in most malls!).

Here's a draft sequence of steps to help put your plan into action ahead of the party...

  • Create your 'guest list' and send out your Mall Scavenger Hunt party invitations.
  • Arrange your party guest list into teams of 2-5 depending on the ages and number of guests coming (aim for between 3 - 5 teams).
  • If each team needs a chaperone to accompany them around the mall, ask the help of some of the other parents, friends or family.
  • Create your scavenger hunt list by walking around the mall choosing suitable tasks and items that are available.
  • Print a copy of your scavenger list for each team, but vary the order of tasks so that the teams aren't following each other around or crammed into the same store's at the same time.
  • Ensure you have pads, pens, pencils, camera's etc. for the teams to record their findings, make notes and tick off the tasks when completed. 
  • If you plan to eat at the mall after the hunt, will you be bringing the birthday cake or will the restaurant supply it? -  make arrangements and if you plan to bring your own birthday cake, make sure you have a helper on hand to fetch the birthday cake (and candles etc.) from your car when it's time for the birthday song.

If you need a little more help with your scavenger hunt party planning then check out this amazing Scavenger Hunt software.. It's really simple to use and will help you to plan and create a fantastic scavenger hunt for your child's party... Scavenger Hunts

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Mall Scavenger Hunt Ideas - Sample Rules

Here are a few sample Mall Scavenger Hunt rules we've put together to help get you started creating your own rules. Once you've finished your list of rules make sure each of the teams has a copy with them so they know what they can and can't!...

  1. The Scavenger Hunt will last for a period of ........... (e.g. 1 hour). It will start from .......(location of start) at ..........(start time) and finish back at ...........(location of finish line) at ...........(finish time).
  2. Each team is given a Mall Scavenger Hunt List and the objective is to complete as many of the tasks on the list as possible before the finish time at ........ (finish time).
  3. Points will be awarded for each completed task and for finishing early. Points will be lost for finishing after the finish time and for running, shouting, or being disruptive or inconsiderate during the hunt. Teams caught cheating or breaking the rules will lose points and may be disqualified!
  4. Once your team has completed a task on the list, tick-off the task and move on to the next task.1
  5. Teams must take a photo of each item that they find on the list. 
  6. A team member must appear in each photo taken and cannot be the same team member each time.
  7. Make sure you place items back where you found them before you leave the store. Points will be deducted for leaving a mess.
  8. Team members must stick together at all times. If a team member needs a bathroom break they must ask the team chaperone for permission.  

You'll find lots of 'general' scavenger hunt rules on our scavenger hunt rules page too, so make sure you take a look.

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Mall Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Your List

Here are some sample lists for each to help get you started designing and planning your own children's scavenger hunt list...

Things to Find & Collect

Here are some fun Mall Scavenger Hunt ideas for things the teams can collect, photograph or take video of on their way around the mall...

  • An item that costs 99 cents.
  • Green lipstick.
  • A map of the mall.
  • A mother pushing a baby stroller.
  • A sign for a '2 for 1' sale.
  • Monogrammed socks.
  • A packet of ketsup.
  • A restaurant menu or a napkin with a logo.
  • Bouquet of yellow flowers.
  • A glossy store catalog.
  • A sample of women's perfume.
  • Yellow high heel shoes.
  • A child with an ice cream.
  • Luggage on wheels.
  • A coat with a belt.
  • A tennis ball.
  • A frog.
  • A video surveillance camera.
  • A clothes hanger
  • Perfume in a green bottle.
  • A saxophone.
  • A fish tank.
  • An animal print handbag.

If you want to mix things up a bit, get the kids hunting for items with certain characteristics - texture, smell, color, sound or any other characteristic.  For example, get the kids to hunt for a 'fluffy pink sock' or 'a spiky black belt' or a '99 cent' price tag or 'something green and frozen' (like a bag of peas!).

Things to 'Do'

If you're scavenger hunt teams are made up of teenagers or 'tweens' and you're looking to make your hunt scavenger hunt tasks a little more challenging, why not create clues and riddles for some of the items on the list.

For example, you could set them the task to solve the riddle then photograph this item..."I am a king or queen but also a common device to measure. What am I?". The kids would need to solve the riddle...and once they've worked out the answer is "a ruler", they would need to hunt for one and take a photo of it.

You could also get the children to perform certain fun tasks and get them to take photos and videos of them 'in action'. Here are some fun mall scavenger hunt ideas you could try out...

  • A team member trying on the ugliest prom dress.
  • A team member wearing one red high heel shoe and one white high heel shoe at the same time.
  • A team member getting a makeover.
  • A team member dressed as a clown.
  • A team member giving a mall cop a high five.
  • A team member kissing a mannequin on the cheek.
  • A team member wearing a crown or tiara around the mall and the rest of the team bowing/curtseying and saying "yes your majesty" as you enter each store (video the team entering 3 different stores).
  • The team pretending to be mannequins in a store window.
  • The team wearing masks.
  • The team standing in order of their height.
  • The team standing in a circle or back-to-back reading books at a book store.
  • The team riding an escalator with their hands on their heads.
  • Half the team giving the other half a piggyback.
  • The team squashed into an elevator and singing a song (video).
  • The team wearing cowboy hats.
  • The team sharing a soda (each teammate has a different colored straw).
  • The team jumping in the air (everyone must be off the ground for the photo to count!).
  • Getting a couple that you don't know to wave at the team.
  • Everyone on the team wearing ties that match their shirts.
  • The team 'running in slow motion' or walking backwards past a mall cop (video).
  • The team singing a hit song in front of a music store.

Here are a few list ideas to really 'turn up the heat' on the competition - get the teams to compete against each other to find/collect/photo...

  • The store with the longest name. 
  • The store with the shortest name.
  • The most hideous dress.
  • The worst pair of shoes.
  • The most 'uncool' item of clothing
  • The biggest store discount (on a poster, sign or price tag)
  • The silliest hat.
  • The funniest sign.
  • The store receipt with the highest total amount on it.
  • The store receipt with the lowest total amount on it.

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FREE Mall Scavenger Hunt Thank You Cards

Here are some free mall scavenger hunt ideas for thank you cards that you can use to send a big 'Thanks' to your party guests, for coming and making your scavenger hunt party such a special and memorable occasion - just click on the images below to take a look at all the free thank you cards available...

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