I reckon you’re at this post for one of two reasons:
- You don’t have a gift yet and desperately need ideas, OR
- You have a gift but want to figure out interesting ways to surprise someone with a gift
This post is more about #2, but if you ARE looking for cute gifts you can either try finding something on Etsy, or our own little handmade gift subscription (shameless plug).
But! Let’s talk about reason #2.
Unique Ways to Surprise Someone with a Gift: The Homemade Treasure Hunt
I basically have one absolute favorite way of giving a gift, that you can easily add your own flavor to.
In four words: A homemade treasure hunt.
Regardless of whether your gift recipient is a child, sibling, friend, or romantic partner, a treasure hunt never fails to delight.
A treasure hunt basically starts with you giving your gift recipient their first “clue” (usually a little paper clue), and has them traveling from spot to spot, finding additional clues. The final location will be where you hide the gift.
I list a couple ways to do it below.
Make a homemade treasure hunt through your own home
This can be especially fun if the gift recipient is someone you live with. You can have the clues be references to things that happened in your house, or items that you own together.
Clue says: “You think I don’t know where you hide the chocolate….but I know.”
Clue says: “The mouse’s hiding spot.”
This could refer to that one time there was a mouse in your house, and it was hiding behind the curtain while your partner was shrieking on a chair.
Clue says: “Fido’s favorite sunbathing corner.”
Use a treasure hunting kit to make it easier
If you’re too traumatized by the idea of creating a treasure hunt from scratch, Tiny Treasure Hunts actually makes a little kit that basically has a built-in treasure hunt. Works great for both kids and adults.
Make a treasure hunt through your shared memories
This is probably better as a treasure hunt for a romantic partner. This journey can be either on foot, bike or via car. Have the clues refer to places you have shared memories together. Since it’s a bit harder to hide paper clues in public places, it’s sometimes easier if you initially give them a sheet with all the “unfinished” clues on it. There will be gaps in the clues that you can have them fill in with answers from the locations you send them to.
Clue says: “Our first date spot. What number is the spaghetti marinara on the menu? Use that to dial this number: 424-312-5??3”
Theoretically the missing numbers should fit into the phone number, which should be the business phone number for the next location.
Next Clue says: “Go to this location (from Clue 1). Order our favorite drink.”
If you’re familiar with the staff, give them a clue beforehand to slip underneath your hunter’s drink.
Overall, this type of treasure hunt is a lot more complex and work intensive to pull off. But it can really be a fun and romantic stroll through memory lane.
The Final Gift
When your treasure hunt is wrapping up, it should point to the final location of the gift. If the gift is a physical object, we suggest you wrap it up in a really cute way (we have a tutorial on it here). Or if it’s a sillier treasure hunt, you could do the whole “box within a box within a box” gag. This works better if you’re not worried about your recipient being disappointed when the gift is smaller in size than originally expecting (might not be good for kids).