The Great Adventure Birthday Party

Devise an action-themed scavenger hunt complete with treasure at the end.

CI-Laura-Fenton_advenure-kids-party-juice-drink_s3x4

By: Laura Fenton

Channel your inner Indiana Jones for an adventure-themed party. An adventure-focused party works for both boys and girls and can be adapted for a range of ages. Plus, the party’s main event – a scavenger hunt with clues – will keep kids occupied for the duration of the fete.

CI-Laura-Fenton_advenure-kids-party-invitation_s4x3

Photo by: Laura Fenton

Laura Fenton

Send the First Clue

Set the stage for an exciting escapade by printing invitations on parchment-like paper. Use an online map like Google Maps to print out a map of the streets surrounding your house and mark its location with an X. Print or color copy a map for each child and include it with his or her invite, indicating that X marks the start of the adventure. You can even instruct kids to bring a backpack to carry their exploring gear. Mail the invitations in a classic red, white and blue air-mail envelope and have your child write the words “top secret” on each one.

CI-Laura-Fenton_advenure-kids-party-plant-decor_s3x4

Create a Jungle Room

Decorate for the adventure party with items you already have around the house, plus a few extra details. A globe and houseplants take on an exotic air when surrounded by inexpensive rubber snakes. Maps from your car’s glove box can paper a wall where party supplies are set up; don’t worry, it doesn’t matter that they’re maps of New Jersey and not the Amazon. Leaf-green and woodsy-brown paper products continue the jungle-like theme. Take the party to the next level by investing in a CD of jungle sounds to play during the event.

CI-Laura-Fenton_advenure-kids-party-trail-mix-box_s4x3

Provide Fuel for the Adventure

When the children arrive, set out boxes of trail mix and “adventure juice” to fuel their hunt. For a healthy trail mix, create a blend of dried fruits, nuts and cereals; pack the mix into small cardboard favor boxes. “Adventure juice” can be any flavor of your choosing; simply decant it into a glass bottle and label it with a manila tag to continue the theme. Bunches of bananas can do double duty as both a decoration and snacks for hungry explorers. If you’re serving lunch, wrap up sandwiches and granola bars for the kids to eat along the “trail.”

CI-Laura-Fenton_advenure-kids-trail-mix_s4x3

Create a Course

For the scavenger hunt itself you’ll need to tailor the clues to your own home. Use the same parchment-style paper you used for the invitation to print out the clues of the scavenger hunt. Each clue will lead the children to the next location, where they will find another clue; try to be as creative as you can when writing the hints. To add interest, you can place pieces of equipment the adventurers might need at each locale, say a length of rope, a flashlight or a compass, or you can create an obstacle they must ford. Choose a location that is removed from the rest of the house, like the basement or a shed in the backyard, for the location of the final clue and the “treasure.”

CI-Laura-Fenton_advenure-kids-party-clues_s4x3

Hide the Treasure

The party favors will be the “treasure” for your scavenger hunt. Opt for treats to match the quest like inexpensive flashlights and keychain carabiners. Flashlights (or treat bags) can be filled with small candies wrapped in gold foil to look like real treasure. If you have an old trunk or box, stash the favors inside for extra impact.

Laura Fenton is a Brooklyn-based writer and stylist whose work has appeared in many publications, including Country Living, Family Circle and Good Housekeeping. She is also a regular contributor to Shelterpop.com.

Next Up

3 Simple Ways to Fold a Napkin

Impress your guests with these fancy folded dinner napkins.

3 Totally Unique Ways to Make (and Wear) a Corsage

Whether you're headed to prom or dressing up for your best friend's wedding, ditch the basic wrist corsage and pretty-up your ensemble with a gorgeous, DIY flower-decked necklace, ring or trendy arm cuff.

The Two Best Homemade Soap Bubble Recipes

Soap bubble solutions, are generally little more than dish soap and water, but we’re taking it to the next level with our "mile-high" and "dura-bubble" solutions.

What Is the Ideal Height to Cut Grass?

Learn the factors that determine ideal grass height and at what height you should be cutting your lawn.

Easy Party Food Ideas That Won't Break the Bank

You don't have to tap into your savings to throw a great party. Try our tasty recommendations for easy (and cheap!) party recipes.

How to Hem Pants the Easy Way

Learn how to hem pants without sewing. All you need is an iron, fusible tape and a couple of pins. The whole process takes about 10 minutes and costs less than $5.

Here's How to Clean an Aquarium the Right Way

Are you a new fish parent? Then, you’re probably wondering how to clean an aquarium. Like most things, there’s a right way and a wrong way. We’ll share both (and the wrong way might surprise you).

How to Freeze Corn on the Cob

Whether you're freezing your garden crop or just want to preserve the bounty from the farmers' market, this easy step-by-step guide will give you the tips you need to freeze corn on the cob.

Mother's Day Kids' Craft: Fingerprint Table Runner

Get the kids involved in crafting and decorating for Mother's Day brunch by personalizing a plain white table runner with colorful fingerprints.

What's the Difference Between Polyurethane, Varnish, Shellac and Lacquer?

These terms for a finish or top coat are often used interchangeably, but there is a big difference. Learn when and where to use the correct one.

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.