Hosting A Holiday Puzzle Hunt?

If you’re looking to spruce up Christmas morning with a puzzly challenge, or maybe prevent the kids from tearing through that wrapping paper in record time, you could create a mini holiday puzzle hunt for them to extend the holiday fun a little longer.

There are several ways to do this. You could have Santa leave them a treasure map to follow. You could create a scavenger hunt with different places to check. Or you could create a puzzle hunt where each clue or puzzle leads to the next and has to be solved in order.

But how do you flesh it out and keep it seasonal? We’ve got a host of suggestions awaiting you. Sprinkle a few of these across the house on Christmas morning and you’ll be sure to delight the puzzly denizens of your home after Santa has come and gone.


Maybe they have to look for gifts wrapped in a particular type of wrapping paper. Perhaps there are clues written on them or hidden inside, or maybe the wrapping paper itself sends them on to their next clue.

If it’s more of a scavenger hunt-style of game, the wrapping paper approach is perfect. They could be stashed around the house, waiting to be found, and there’s no threat of them being mixed up with the actual gifts.

Perhaps there are puzzle pieces at the bottom of their stockings, and they have to work together to assemble them and figure out where to go next. (Craft stores have plain white mini jigsaw puzzles, you could write out or draw out clues, mix up the pieces, and distribute them in several spots with ease.)

Did Santa leave a clue when he sampled the milk and cookies left out of him? Maybe a gingerbread man points the kids in a certain direction, or Santa urges the children to have breakfast before the festivities start (pushing them toward another clue in the kitchen AND toward a healthy Christmas breakfast in the morning).

Your Christmas tree is also perfect for concealing clues and puzzly elements. With lights and ornaments galore, it’s the ideal spot to hide things, whether it’s letters that spell things out, or numbered clues to be solved in order. You could even hang different numbers of various objects (6 candy canes, 3 silver stars, 4 photo ornaments) that are used as a code later to unlock something.

Does the Elf on a Shelf have a clue? Did it see something, or can it point them in the right direction? Is there a paper chain of snowflakes where the different branches of the snowflake are highlighted like clock hands?

Once you start looking at the trappings of the holiday in a puzzly way, you’ll find more and more methods for stashing hints and elements of your puzzle hunt anywhere and everywhere.

Hopefully these suggestions got you off to a good start! Have you hosted a holiday puzzle hunt or celebrated the holidays in a puzzly way, fellow PuzzleNationers? Let us know in the comments section below! We’d love to hear from you.


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