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One of our favorite holiday traditions is going to see Christmas lights. We’ve been doing this for years – way before even thinking about having kids. We would bundle in the car after a romantic dinner and drive around neighborhoods in Northern Virginia searching for lights.
Sometimes we got lucky and found gems like this one. Other times, not so much.
Since we’ve moved away from the city, the Christmas light shows have improved. It turns out people living in the country like to celebrate Christmas even more than I do. And showcase their enthusiasm via their Christmas light displays.
On a crisp winter night, we bundle the kids up and go out for a Christmas lights drive. Sometimes we even take hot cocoa with us. Then, we search local neighborhoods and farmsteads for beautiful light displays.
Although this can be fun on it’s own, as they’ve gotten older, I’ve made it more our Christmas lights search more of a game with this Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt.
If you’ve been following us for awhile, scavenger hunts are a big thing around here. We take color hunts to the playground. And search our town for different types of jack o’lanterns on a pumpkin scavenger hunt in the fall. Or create an amazing treasure hunt around the neighborhood for a little pirate’s birthday. I even plan them for different experiences on our vacations – museums, the zoo, hikes or even the beach.
It turns out that our family loves scavenger hunts. This fun game lets us all enjoy an experience together. Any experience. Including taking a tour of our community’s Christmas light displays.
For our Christmas lights evening, I created this Free Printable Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt. You can download the design here.
I included lots of different things that we usually see at the Christmas light shows that we visit. Things like a snowman, lights around a window, reindeer, Santa on the roof and a Christmas train. The goal is to see how many different items each person can check off the list.
To set up your own Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt, download our Free Printable Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt here. It prints as a full letter size sheet, so basic copy paper will work.
Once printed, attach to a clipboard. We use these clipboards for events (affiliate) and they are lots of fun to keep around if your family loves scavenger hunts.
Then, grab the Free Printable Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt and head out to find Christmas lights.
Now, I will admit a little more planning goes into our Christmas lights search than the days we just randomly drove through neighborhoods after a romantic dinner. I usually research a couple of well decorated houses in advance and add those addresses to my GPS. Then, we take a tour of each house looking for items on our scavenger hunt.
Not sure how to find good Christmas light displays? Start searching with your local paper. Many times they will create a list of the best light displays in your area. Or ask on a community Facebook group. Some of the best light displays that I’ve found have been from intel of other neighbors.
As you discover different displays, jot down the addresses. Once you have a few addresses to choose from, group them together based on location. This way if you head to a specific area, you can visit all of the houses in the same vicinity.
After you have a plan in mind, set a date for the tour. Wait until it’s dark – not hard to do with early winter nights – and head out to check out the lights. As you find different items on the Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt, check them off. If your family is more competitive, then offer a prize for the most items found. For us, as long as you participate you get a treat. Usually a Christmas cookie or we stop for hot cocoa.
One of the accessories we always wear on our Christmas Lights tour are these Christmas light necklaces (affiliate). It’s fun to light up the night along with Christmas lights. They make everything even more festive.
And like most things that I design, this Free Printable Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt was inspired by this locally decorated house. It is one of my favorite light displays in our area. This neighbor gets such joy creating this beautiful set up and it’s always one of our top annual destinations. He even makes a few additions and tweaks each year based on the current interests of the kids. (The last couple of years he has had a special Frozen sing along and Olaf joins the show.) My favorite part is watching the lights dance to the music. Such a fun way to get into the holiday spirit!
Ready to go on your own Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt? You can download your Free Printable Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt here.
Your Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt still a few weeks away? Pin this free printable for later.
And if you are looking for another fun game to play together as a family this holiday season, check out this kids Christmas charades game.
Time to enjoy some festive lights!