Santa’s Christmas Puzzle Mystery Game

Supplies: Camera / phone, printer, planning and craft supplies

This is a Christmas scavenger hunt type game where you challenge teams (tables) or individuals to find out where Santa’s elves have hidden the toys / Christmas gifts.

Santa’s Christmas Puzzle Mystery Game Prep
1. Plan where to hide the gifts first and then take photos of the hiding place. Helps to have 1 or 2 gifts in the photograph place have a green glove on so it looks like the elf is in the photo.

2. Crop the photos, copy over to a word document, one picture per page, so it fills up the page and print out the picture.

3. Cut up the each photo one at a time into square blocks, about 15 or 20 squares works best. (1, 1.5 or 2 inch blocks) Once you cut a photo up, mix the squares, place in an envelope and number the envelope 1, 2, 3, and so on. Keep a master list of the envelope number and the photo inside. This helps if an envelope is lost, damaged and you forget where you put something.  place into an envelope.

4. Now just decide whether you are solving one puzzle or if you are creating a photo scavenger hunt.

5. Make sure you place presents at the hiding place prior to the party. If you want have toys in a sack and have whoever finds it to bring it to Santa to get a reward and then Santa can give a special gift to those that find the gifts and then hand out the rest. You can also just have candy and gifts those that find the gifts. Whatever you decide it is best to have a card on the toys telling guests what they should do.

6. If you a doing a progressive Christmas Puzzle Mystery. There should be a puzzle at each location that leads to the next location until you get the gifts. We recommend a minimum of 5 puzzles and if you want to make things more interesting set up to paths and have teams compete against each other.

Tip: Make sure that people on each team would know what the item and place in the photo is or they won’t be able to find the gifts.

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How to Play Santa’s Christmas Puzzle Mystery
1. First you set the stage by sharing that Santa doesn’t know where the gifts are and needs help, else there may not be a Christmas!

2. The good news is the elves had left clues so they would remember where the toys are, but one of our favorite elves Patty Puzzle thought they were toys and cut them all up! Now we need your help to put these puzzles together and find out where the toys are.

3. Now you give out envelopes with a puzzle to each team or individual. Once they finish the puzzle, they will have a visual clue as to where the toys / gifts are. Once completed the team can go and find the gifts. Note: Each team can be sent to a different location if everyone gets a gift, this is a fun way to play.

4. You can play this as the first team to find the gifts wins or maybe someone from that team has a shot to win a bigger prize. (Vary as needed.)

5. Progressive Puzzle Mystery Game – For the progressive Puzzle Mystery only the last photo with have a picture of where the gifts are, they rest of the puzzle contain pictures of where the next clues is. So you can have photos of the fireplace, front door, a specific item in the house and so on.

And if you do it as a team competition, each clue should be equally challenging and the last clue for both teams would be the presents, so it becomes a competition.

Sarah – The Party Game Ideas Lady

Visitor Feedback on Santa’s Christmas Puzzle Mystery

We enjoyed setting up and playing this game and wanted to offer some tips and thoughts on the game.
– Fun for small groups of 2 – 3 people per team.
– Best for family, relatives or friends that know your house or party location. The team that had not been to our house before, didn’t know where the laundry room was and sat there until they asked us, so not as much fun.
– We also played the progressive puzzle game, but just for our kids as a Saturday morning scavenger hunt. The kids took turns doing the puzzles and had fun finding the clues.

Thanks for sharing the game.
Lori S. – Hanover, PA

You may also enjoy our printable Christmas party games.