“Everybody in the car,” I shouted. “It’s time for our first annual Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt!”
My heart was giddy with excitement for what was to come. The kids had been neatly tucked into bed for about 10 minutes and I was poised to announce the thrill of the season.
I stood in the middle of the living room and shook the jingle bells as loud as I could.
They burst out of their rooms with excited bewilderment smeared all over their tiny faces. I’m fairly certain the older ones thought mom had gone crazy. I mean what kind of mother “wakes” up her kids after putting them to bed and throws them in the car for a night of fun?
I can answer that. She’s the kind of mom who wants to make a memory.
We piled in the van, which was freshly stocked with styrofoam coffee cups filled with hot chocolate. The radio blared our favorite Christmas carols and the sweet squeals of my precious children could be heard even outside of the van.
The plan was simple. We would drive around town and look at Christmas lights.
I made up this little Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt on scrap paper where my kids could check off popular Christmas decorations as they spotted them. We laughed, sang, and celebrated as we searched to check off the items on the list. I probably don’t have to tell you that it was a night we will never forget.
In fact, the kids talked about it for an entire year until the next Christmas came. And then they began wondering: Would Mom do it again? What night might she ring those bells?
I have to admit that my heart is full of joy just thinking about doing it again this year. It’s really a simple tradition. It’s even free. Which reminds me of the whole point of Christmas. It’s not about fancy packages, elaborate dinners, or perfect families. It’s about time together. It’s about giving each other the gift of love.
So are you in? I’d love for you to join us in the Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt tradition. In fact, I’ve even upgraded my little piece of scratch paper to a beautiful printable that I’d love to share with you!
Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt
Putting together your own Christmas lights scavenger hunt is simple. Of course, you’ll need to pick a night. I also recommend scoping out the best neighborhoods for Christmas lights. I often do this by asking my friends on Facebook. You can count on Facebook for a wide array of opinions. (Haha)
Next, download the free printable (links below) and print. I use cardstock for things like this because it will hold up better with little ones in the car. I also like to give them each a clipboard and something fun to write with.
As mentioned above, I stocked the car with hot chocolate in to-go cups, as well as some special treats. This isn’t required, but it sure made the atmosphere all the more exciting.
If you have older kids, have them help you get everything set before you “wake” up the younger kids. This is a great way for them to serve and it builds their excitement, too.
Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt Games
If you have all younger kids, just the scavenger hunt is plenty of fun for the evening. However, as my kids have gotten older, I’ve raised the bar for competition. I do offer a prize for the person with the most items checked off at the end of the night. I’ve also done these variations with teens:
- Have kids take pictures with their cell phones instead of marking them off.
- Have them take SELFIES with as many items on the list as possible.
- Have them play in teams (boys vs. girls) to see who can get them marked off first.
- Have them write the street address number down next to each item they find. The winner has to add up the address numbers to win.
- Pick a color for the night and don’t allow them to mark off items unless they include that color.
I’m so excited just thinking about all the fun your family will have this year with the Christmas lights scavenger hunt! I pray that you will cherish each moment because long after the newest toy is shoved broken under the bed, these memories will be treasured in their hearts!
Download your Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt Printables today:
Love Christmas printables? You can have ALL of our most popular holiday favorites, including the Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt in one simple download collection. We’ve made it easy-peasy to keep your hearts focused on the real meaning of EVERY season through Scripture-rich printables encouraging time in the Word, family enjoyment, and the service of others. Click the image below to learn more.