ParentClick Santa Barbara

Teen Birthday Photo Scavenger Hunt


My youngest who has never been interested in birthday parties or large group activities decided this year that she wanted a birthday party for her 13th with 10 friends. I was challenged to plan something that the “teenagers” didn’t think was lame and would keep them entertained for more than 5 minutes which is not an easy task at this age.

So after a little research, I decided on a Photo Scavenger Hunt and to make it a little more exciting… we reserved the “hot rod limo” to drive them to each location. And they were chaperoned by their older sisters. The challenge was coming up with a list of activities that were fun, appropriate and doable. We gave them about 90 minutes for the scavenger hunt and each team split off at each location.

At the end of the hunt, we had them meet us at a restaurant for dinner on the patio which was a blast. They had to arrive on time in order for their photos to count. We took each phone and judged all of the photos for each team and gave out prizes. I picked up some girly spa-type prizes at Michael’s for all of them.

Afterwards, we headed home for dessert, gifts and a sleepover. My daughter had asked for an “OREO STACKED CAKE”. I had no idea there were so many flavors of Oreos but this was fun and easy to make. I bought about 10 packages of Oreos and layered them on a platter and tied a ribbon around the edge and we served it with ice cream sundaes.

It was a fun night and the feedback from the girls was great and definitely an activity I would do again! The scavenger hunt was also a nice way for the girls to get to know each other better.


  • Create your teams – we had 2 teams of 5
  • Give each team a list of instructions and where they need to go…
    • Take a picture of each task
    • Your team will lose points if your group splits up.
    • You only receive points if you photograph your “completed task”
    • Only 1 team member has to do the task unless it says “whole team”
    • You do not have to do every task… because you must be back on time at the car… the more tasks you complete, the more points
    • Every team member has to be in at least 3 photos (so take turns)
    • Use 1 phone for the pictures
    • Use 1 phone as a TIMER so you make the deadlines.
    • Meet back at the car on time so that set of photos counts for points!
    • And remember to be polite when you are in the stores… the staff will want to help you as long as you are polite and friendly

1ST STOP – LA CUMBRE PLAZA – 4:10-4:30pm

  • Pose with a store mannequin
  • Pose shaking hands with a store employee
  • Try on a “belly” at Motherhood Maternity (hint: they are in the dressing rooms)
  • Try on a special piece of jewelry at Tiffany’s
  • Team posing at Solstice Sunglasses with your coolest look
  • Team doing an exercise pose wearing Lucy headbands
  • Team posing in GameStop each holding their favorite game or toy

2ND STOP – LA MESA PARK  – 4:45-4:50pm

  • Each team needs to do a creative pose at the playground! Quick… you only have 5 minutes… use the slide, the swings… its up to you but the whole team needs to be in it.

3rd STOP – THE WHARF  – 5:00-5:25pm

  • Find something that begins with the letter S & pose
  • Pose photo bombing a romantic moment between a couple
  • Posing as a statues with the ocean background
  • Pose as a team looking like tourists (there are lots of touristy stores)
  • 2 team members pose sampling ice cream
  • Give a flower to 1 person & wish them a good day
  • Photo of a business card from any store
  • Pose playing leap frog in front of a flag
  • Get creative & do a photo with your team… points for creativity!

4th STOP – PASEO NUEVO – 5:35–6:05pm

  • Find a stranger with a tattoo
  • Find a couple holding hands or kissing
  • Pose with an employee at Abercrombie & Fitch
  • Pose in front of a poster of an upcoming movie
  • Pose with your team wearing hats (any store)
  • Pose holding a Pizza Box at CPK
  • Pose eating a Sees candy
  • Pose with your team trying on high heels (any store)
  • Pose in Sephora or Nordstrom or Macys while you test out a new lipstick color
  • Pose with your team sampling tea at Teavana

*Be at the restaurant by 6:10PM in order for your photos to count!

  • We could have easily added about 10 more activities. I expected them to be more cautious and take more time but they were all so into it, that they moved through each task quickly.
  • The limo was a fun extra but they would have had just as much fun starting at one end of State St and finishing down at the harbor.
  • This would be great for any age from 10-18 since you can tailor it to each age group.
  • I learned from another parent recently that you can also give each team $20 if you want to add tasks that potentially cost money.


May 13, 2015

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
[You can use a screen name if you prefer.]