Mall Scavenger Hunt

Mall Madness Party (13-16) Follow the Guide




Wendy in San Diego, California, USA


Sept. 2000



Here's my "Mall Madness" party for girls age 13-16 (the girls must be old enough to shop at a mall in teams, unsupervised - and must have their parent's permission to participate). This has been a BIG hit with my daughter's friends:  I visit the local shopping mall and choose 12-15 stores - some I know the girls love shopping in and others they may not be as familiar with. I choose interesting items in 4-5 of the stores that each team member must purchase (i.e. chocolate covered Oreo cookie from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, glitter gel pen from the Hallmark store, 3-for-$1.00 mini hair clips from Claire's Boutique, glitter gel or polish from Charlotte Russe, etc.). These items become their party favors. 

I choose one store that is my daughter's favorite and each team must purchase a $10 gift certificate from that store (this ends up being one of my presents for my daughter!).  I then choose specific points of interest in the rest of the stores (i.e. a sign in the dressing room, the price for a particular item like a certain puppy at the pet store or a particular poster, the store's credit card application, the manager's name, the #3 song on the top 10 hit list in a music store, the year a certain video or movie was released, etc.). 

I write rhyming riddles (fairly crafty and tough ones!) for each store that the teams must solve to figure out which stores to visit and what information or item they must obtain at each store. One of the riddle tasks is usually to pick up an envelope from the store's sales clerk which contains the next riddle the day prior to your party, chat with the manager in a store that is popular with teens and they will generally agree to let their staff hold the envelopes until each team picks theirs up - after all, they like to look cool to teens so they will shop more often!  I then print each riddle (one per page) and staple together to create a Mall Madness guide. I mix up the order of the riddles for each guide to prevent the teams from following each other around!

The cover page of the guide lists the rules, which are as follows: 

1. Each team must stay together - never separate!

2. Each team must have one cell phone in order to contact me if anyone gets lost.

3. I pick a location near the center of the mall (generally the food court) as my "headquarters" in case anyone gets lost and to answer questions.

4. The entire team must return to "headquarters" immediately if they lose a team member.

5. Any team member who gets separated from their team must return to "headquarters" immediately.

6. If they get stuck on a riddle, the teams may ask me for hints by asking questions that can be answered with a "yes" or "no" answer only.

7. The teams are to be calm and respectful at ALL times.  Absolutely NO running or screaming!

8. The teams must solve each riddle in the order they are given in the guide. 

I place each guide into a "loot" sack which also contains enough cash to make the purchases and a marker to write down all the information they must obtain. When the teams return to "headquarters" I check their information and purchases and the winning team receives an additional treat -- usually a king-size candy bar or giant pack of gum.  Afterwards we go back to my home a open gifts, have a cookout, and swim. Sometimes we end up in a slumber party with everyone and a pancake or donut breakfast the next morning!!

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