I love puzzles, but most puzzle games are designed to be played quietly indoors. What I like most about scavenger hunts is that they combine two of my favorite activities: puzzle games and getting outside in the fresh air!

A backyard scavenger hunt gets the family up and moving without having to leave the comfort of home. You get to use your minds and bodies while making fun lasting memories together. Here’s how you can set up your very own backyard treasure hunt, including a list of my favorite printable clues for all the seasons.

The words "Scavenger Hunt Printables" with 3 photos of clues.

That’s right, you don’t have to wait for sunny days to have an outdoor hunt! Some of these ideas are designed for snowy weather and the holidays. This list is great for birthdays, pool parties, Christmas Day, or just any time you want to have some fun in your backyard!

Outdoor Clues for Kids

Tired of the same old outdoor games? A backyard scavenger hunt is a great cure for boredom that gets kids outside.

These treasure hunts only take minutes to set up, and you’ve GOT to see these cute clue ideas. Whether your kids love camping, fairies, or kitty cats, there’s a themed hunt just waiting to be printed!

The words "Backyard Scavenger Hunt Printable Clues for Kids" with three photos of hunt clues.

1. Treasure hunt

This treasure hunt would be perfect for any party, especially a pirate-themed one! The 40 printable clues are designed to look like old parchment scrolls, and they have clear directions on where to hide them.

2. Backyard hunt with printable certificate

This cute and easy hunt has everything you need and works in most backyards. A printable sheet tells you where to hide the clues, and the kit even includes a certificate of completion to give the kids when they’re done! No special occasion is needed – this kit works for any theme.

3. Picture clues

This scavenger hunt’s clues include pictures to make the search a little easier, so it’s great for younger kids or those who get easily frustrated. 

4. Fairy garden hunt

The graphics on this fairy-themed backyard scavenger hunt are too adorable! Each printable clue has a little puzzle to make the game even more engaging.

5. Spooky Halloween hunt

A backyard scavenger hunt is a great addition to your kids’ Halloween festivities! Whether you’re hosting a costume party or getting your family excited for trick-or-treating, these holiday-themed clues are perfect.

Pro Tip: Hide a little piece of candy with each clue.

6. Camping hunt

This scavenger hunt is designed for a camping trip, but it can also work at home in your backyard. It would be awesome to use this one for a camping-themed slumber party and set up a tent in the yard.

7. Pink indoor and outdoor hunt

Everyone knows I love the color pink, so this pink-themed hunt is right up my alley! It has both indoor and outdoor clues so you can expand the hunt. Most of the clues are for outside, though, so you can just exclude the indoor ones if you want to keep the game in the yard.

8. Cat-themed hunt

This kitty-themed hunt comes with 13 editable clues and a starting letter. If your family has a cat, your kids will go wild for this one. It would also be a really cool way to tell the kids they’re getting a new pet!

Backyard Birthday Hunt

If you’re throwing a birthday party, you need ideas to entertain the kids coming over.

A backyard scavenger hunt is the perfect way to connect everyone and make beautiful birthday memories. Even if you’re not having a party, a hunt is a great plan to surprise your birthday kid and lead them to their presents!

From superheroes to princesses, I found some awesome birthday-themed scavenger hunt printables.

The words "Backyard Scavenger Hunt for a Birthday" and 4 photos of birthday treasure hunt clues.

9. Simple birthday backyard hunt

This scavenger hunt with 19 outdoor clues works with any birthday theme, so you can add it to any party.

10. Princess birthday scavenger hunt

How CUTE are these clues for a princess-themed birthday hunt? Your kid is sure to find her favorite princess among these 15 clues!

11. Birthday piñata hunt

This fun hunt comes with 18 clues, a letter from the Birthday Piñata, and a clue guide so you know exactly where to place each clue.

Pro Tip: I definitely recommend having a piñata at this party for when the hunt is over!

12. 4-hunt birthday bundle

A 4-hunt bundle of outdoor treasure hunts for older kids guarantees hours of birthday entertainment.

13. Mermaid’s tail

This magical mermaid outdoor hunt would be perfect for a mermaid-themed party!

14. Superhero hunt

I love this awesome superhero-themed backyard hunt for the little superhero in your life. In case you want to bring the party inside, the company makes a separate indoor version of this hunt, too.

15. Puzzle clues

This hunt is designed for older kids who need a bit more of a challenge. Each clue includes a mini-puzzle they have to solve to get to the next hiding spot.

16. Camping birthday hunt

These clues are designed for a birthday camping trip, but they could easily be used in your backyard at home, too.

17. Soccer treasure hunt

Got a sports star in the family? This soccer-themed outdoor hunt is the perfect birthday party activity. This would also make a great game for a team celebration!

Summer Scavenger Printables

I always want to take advantage of the warm summer weather by getting as much outdoor time as possible. A summer scavenger hunt is a super affordable family activity that you can do in your backyard.

When you’re done, enjoy some ice cream or popsicles to beat the heat!

Here are some of my favorite printable clue ideas I found for summer hunts, including ones for pool parties or to play on the beach.

The words "Summer Scavenger Hunt Printables" with 4 photos of summer treasure hunts.

18. Beach hunt

This beach scavenger hunt is fun in the sun for the whole family. Mini-puzzles direct you to find beachy items like seashells, sunglasses, beach towels, and more. 

19. Tropical treasure hunt

A tropical-themed outdoor hunt would be great for a backyard summer party.

20. 4th of July hunt

Make this 4th of July the most memorable ever by playing this stars and stripes hunt.

21. Pool party hunt

These scavenger hunt clues were designed for an outdoor pool party, and the graphics are so cute.

Pro Tip: Get enough prizes for all the kids playing, and make them something they can use at the pool party. I like a pack of silly sunglasses, bubble wands, or rubber duckies.

22. Summer hunt

This hunt is designed for summer festivities. Use it to celebrate the end of the school year, a backyard BBQ, a sleepover, or just for fun!

Snow Scavenger Hunt Ideas

You don’t have to wait for warm weather to throw an awesome backyard scavenger hunt!

One of my favorite Christmas memories from childhood was when my parents made a scavenger hunt from Santa for my siblings and me to find our presents.

These winter hunts are designed to be played in the snow or cold weather, and a few of them are holiday or Christmas-themed.

The words "Snow Scavenger Hunt Ideas" with 3 photos of printable clues.

23. Winter treasure hunt

What better way to celebrate the winter season than with an outdoor treasure hunt? This set includes a printable treasure map and puzzle clues. 

24. Winter puzzle clues

Get your kids off the couch and into the fresh air with this outdoor winter hunt! Each clue is a puzzle, so they’ll engage their minds and bodies as they search your snowy yard for the next hint.

25. Christmas hunt

This adorable Christmas-themed backyard hunt comes with 30 clues, so it will keep your little elves busy for a while!

26. Holiday hunt

Here’s another Christmas-themed hunt with 20 rhyming clues

Pro Tip: For a Christmas hunt, hide each clue with a holiday-themed item, such as a candy cane, a sleigh bell, or a small wrapped gift.

27. Holiday treats

Get in the holiday spirit with these 15 printable clues – each one features a delicious-looking winter treat. For extra fun, enjoy hot cocoa together when the hunt is over, or bake some cookies to use as prizes!

How to Set Up a Backyard Scavenger Hunt

All it takes to set up an outdoor scavenger hunt are clues, hiding places, and some fun prizes. If you’re feeling extra creative and motivated, you could come up with your own clues. But if you’re short on time and just want to start the hunt already, there are tons of pre-made printable kits online.

They are super cute and affordable, and your kids will love them!

These digital kits are downloadable as soon as you purchase them, so if you have a printer at home, you can start playing the same day you buy them.

Here are the steps to using backyard scavenger hunt printables:

  1. Select and purchase your kit online (I’ve listed tons of links to great options for any weather/occasion below!)
  2. Download and print the kit 
  3. Cut out the clues
  4. Hide the clues in your yard (most kits come with easy instructions for where to hide each clue)
  5. Have a prize ready for your players at the end! 

All you need is computer access to buy the kit, a printer for the clues (preferably color ink), scissors, and prizes. Prizes can be anything from wrapped gifts, a fun movie and pizza night set up, a delicious treat like cookies and cocoa, or a box of candy. It can be as simple or elaborate as you want. 

Here’s my list of the best backyard scavenger hunt printables with clues, including ideas for birthdays, snow days, and more!

I’ve found that there’s a treasure hunt for almost any theme you can think of. From mermaid birthday parties to pirate treasure maps, there’s a cute set of clues just waiting to be printed and hidden. Did any of these cute backyard scavenger hunt ideas catch your eye? I love how easy these printable kits make this activity. They’re so affordable and, with the clues already figured out for you, it only takes minutes to set up! 

Backyard scavenger hunts are so much fun for parties or just a way to spend time with your kids on the weekend. I know I’ll never forget the Christmas hunt my parents set up when I was young, and I’m excited to do one like that with my family. So, what do you think? Let me know in the comments which of these scavenger hunt printables you like best, or if you have any memories of doing treasure hunts as a kid!