Planning a surprise scavenger hunt for your special somebody

If you are looking for something sweet, cheap, thoughtful and romantic keep reading! Or, if you want to hear how our surprise anniversary went, then carry on 🙂

As you saw in my last post about living out your marriage vows, it was my anniversary last weekend and I wanted to plan something special for my husband. He is always the sweet romantic one. I mean, I am sweet too, but being romantic is not my forte. We are also on a tight budget so I knew that us getting nice gifts for each other was out of the question (which is totally fine). Buying a cheap gift just for the sake of buying a gift is kind of lame. SO, I decided to try to come up with something sweet, cheap, thoughtful, and… romantic (as much as I could muster up) and I came up with doing a date night scavenger hunt! I have to add I LOVE games, and I love planning, so this was great! While my husband was doing the scavenger hunt people kept asking him if I got the idea from Park’s & Rec. I did watch all the seasons but completely forgot about that episode, and it’s details… maybe my  subconscious remembered!?

Okay. It started off with me making a list of the places that had some significance in our life, my hope was to bring him to each of these places in order to get the next clue in the game. The ultimate destination was going to be at a park for a picnic, and of course I would be there. I had enlisted his BFF to drive and hang out with him while he followed the clues. He happily said yes, even though he didn’t get to watch the LSU game. (What a good friend!).

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Choose a final destination: I was not very familiar with parks in the area so I asked a facebook mom’s group that I am on for suggestions – Yay for social media being useful! Their response was unanimous. I then went to check out the park around the time I knew we would be having our dinner to see if the sun was okay, where the best spot to set up would be, and if the bugs were out of control, or if it was sketchy at all. I would definitely suggest doing the same. What a bummer it would be to eat in the dark, with the bugs, and the hooligans.

What he would be scavenging for: Next, I decided that I wanted Josh (my hubby) to be the one to bring the picnic items to the park. I then realized packing a basket would make it extremely obvious, so I elected to only have him bring some things. I decided which items he would bring and made it work with the locations I wanted to send him to.
Here’s my list, remember these are personal to us, so your list would look different depending on what y’all like:

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  1. Cougar Stop – the liquor store near our house. It is also an inside joke because I am a few years older than him. There he would pick up something for us to drink.
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  2. Ball Foods – the grocery store that he is a manager at. Here I got him to pick up some candy so we could have a treat for the movie that we would be going to after our picnic (or for at the picnic, which ever we decided).

    IMG_6196  358

  3. Walmart – we make Walmart runs a lot, which is why I chose this spot. We also love snugly blankets and have coined the name ‘comfy deluxe’. It would have been better to get him to bring a picnic blanket… but again… I didn’t want to make it obvious, so comfy blanket it was. We can never have to many, it was like a gift for him, and we could snuggle up in it while at the picnic or the movie.

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  4. Merle Norman beauty shop- His aunt owns this shop, and his sister was there getting her hair and make up done for her homecoming. There wasn’t anything to pick up here, but it was nice for him to see his family.

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    He chose Buffalo Wild Wings
    #3-Buffalo Wild Wings

    ** while he was there I had him pick 1 of 3 numbers, he didn’t know what the number was for, but he was actually deciding where we would be ordering food from for our picnic. We have a couple standard date night spots, and I am notoriously indecisive so it was fun getting him to blindly pick what we would eat. On the back of each number I put the geographical location of the restaurant, he would need that info later. I then had his friend text me a picture of him with the number so I could call ahead and order the food.

  5. The E-Spot – It is a vape store, and my husband loves to vape. I had him go there and chose out a flavour of e-liquid, and I also told the guy working to let his friend pick one out since he was such a huge help in making my plans come together.

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  6. Albertsons – Josh used to work at this grocery store. I had him go here just to say “hi” to the people he worked with. I was thinking originally about him getting chicken for dinner, but I liked my idea of having him choose a number better. While he was here he had to turn over the number he had chosen, and go to the geographical location.

    IMG_6106  IMG_6107

  7. Once he got to the location, he paid for the order. He then got another clue that said the next step was to come find me. Again, I put the geographical location of the park I was at so the place would be a surprise until he got there.

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What I brought to the picnic: So, while he was doing this I was running around a few steps ahead dropping off the clues (like 2 hours before he started I left to drop them off) trying to get ready, caring for the babe and trying to get her to nap (which was a fail). IMG_6123I dropped the baby off with her great grandparents and headed to the park. I went to the spot I had scoped out the night before and set up the picnic area. I brought with me, tiny twinkle lights that run on batteries. I told you, I was going for romantic! It wasn’t too dark though, so the effect wasn’t as good as I’d hoped it to be. Tealight candles in glass containers, a lighter, a cheap plastic table cloth from walmart for the picnic blanket (didn’t want any moisture to soak through onto us), plastic cups, plates, and cutlery (none of which we ended up needing, but better to be prepared!), strawberries, chocolate dip, and a sparkling lemon water bottle for each of us (usually we get water with lemon at restaurants, so this was my next best thing!).

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Romantic right?

He finally made it to the park with the food, etc. and was grinning ear to ear. I told him we had a movie to go to as well, after we ate. He was so honored, it was definitely a success!
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FullSizeRender
our spot at the look out point
Vaping in the sunset, with the comfy deluxe - one happy man
Vaping in the sunset, with the comfy deluxe – one happy man

The hardest part with this idea was the ‘time’ aspect. I wasn’t sure how long he would take to get to all the places, or how long he would spend at them. I wanted to make sure we weren’t in the dark at the park, or that we wouldn’t miss our movie. So, just be aware, if you are planning something after the picnic budget your time accordingly. I used google maps and put in all of the destinations to see how long the driving alone would be, I then budgeted 10 minutes at each location. (I over estimated time which, so maybe 5 minutes would have been more accurate).

Things you needed to prepare before hand: In terms of the physical preparation, I typed up the clues because my writing is awful. I thought that, ‘if I want to scrapbook this stuff I don’t want to forever be annoyed with my ‘nice writing attempt’ fail’. I stress to much about those sorts of things. I also typed up 2 letters. One that I gave him at the start of the scavenger hunt, and one for his friend. His friends list had the locations so that he at least had some idea where he was driving and he could help Josh along if the clues were too hard. I mounted the clues on some paper. I was going to get construction paper but this cloud package was smaller and only $1. Really, I wouldn’t have needed to mount them, as they were fine as they were. I then put them in envelopes which I had at home already. Oh, I also typed the questions and printed them when I did the other printing. I ended up short on time and frantically cutting and taping them onto the envelopes right before I went to go drop the clues off. For the questions I tried to chose things that would relate to us, the location of the clue, our wedding or our marriage. I taped the Question to the front, and the Answer on the back.

Here are a couple examples…

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It didn’t look the prettiest, but I was in such a rush. It did the trick!

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Here is a neat & easy to read list in case you are planning your own:

– chose your location & inspect it to make sure it’s suitable

– make a list of places you want your SO (significant other) to go

– enlist the help of someone your SO is friends with to ‘make plans’ with them (ensures they are going to be free to do the scavenger hunt) and help them with the clues.

– determine what you want your SO to look for or buy, if anything, at the locations that you are sending them to.

– put your locations into google maps to get an idea of how much time it will take, add time to your budget for the time your SO will spend at each location.

– determine what you need to bring to the picnic, get it, and pack it.

– write your clues (I tried to make mine rhyme), and questions (if you want to have questions), and letter to explain what is going on (essentially your 1st clue).

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– type (and print) or write your clues, questions, and letter and put them in the envelopes

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* be sure to take pictures of them in case the clue gets lost before your SO picks it up, then you can text a picture of it.

– drop your clues off at their respective locations.

** Remember to make it as personalized as you want for your relationship, or SO
** Also, I got his friend to take pictures with the clues, at the locations, with the objects. whatever he could so I had something to get crafty with later.. also so I could share in the hunt.

Have you done something similar? Or do you have a great date night idea? Tell me about it in the comments!

Have Fun!
– Emily

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