Ideas for the Party Human

Posts Tagged ‘treasure hunt

THEME: Treasure hunt for gifts

INVITATIONS: Cut invitations in the shape of a treasure chest, with a lid that opens up to reveal the message. Let the guests know that they need to arrive earlier than the bride-to-be, so the gifts may be well hidden by the time she arrives.

MATERIALS FOR ACTIVITIES: Large trunk or box; clues (see below for suggestions); large trash bag; pad of paper and pencil.

FOOD: One idea is to make a large sheet cake and decorate the top to look like a treasure map of the journey through life. Various points on the map could be labelled with short phrases like “Wedding Day,” “First Child Born,” “First Home Bought,” etc. Small plastic figures appropriate to these phrases could be placed at those particular points (such as a bride and groom, baby, house, etc.). Instead of mints or nuts, you could fill a dish with gold foil-covered chocolate coins for the guests to sample.

DECORATIONS: Try to create a tropical island atmosphere. Use decorating ideas from the Hawaiian Luau and perhaps the Pirate Party.

BLOW-BY-BLOW:     As directed, the guests arrive early, and you (the hostess) hide the gifts in a large trunk or box in a pre-chosen place. You then set up a trail of clues (usually little notes written in rhyme) hidden as in the usual method for a treasure hunt. Some sample clues might read:

Straight up the stairs

In the bedroom ahead

You’ll find information

(Look under the bed!).”

The card found under the bed might read:

Pinned on a tree

In the yard down below

You’ll see some directions

About where to go.”

The card on the tree will hold another message leading to another clue, and so forth and so on. The last clue, sitting atop the trunk holding the presents, might read something like this:

“Just like this hunt

Your marriage will be,

Some ups and downs

And uncertainty.

Hold on to the end,

And you’ll see it’s true

That success comes only

By following through.”

You may elect to invite the groom-to-be to help his fianceé find her way to the treasure. When the guest(s) of honor arrive(s), make sure everyone is acquainted, then give the bride-to-be the first clue and explain that she’s going to have to work a little for her presents. The guests then follow the bride-to-be from place to place as she reads the clues aloud, but they give her no help! When she reaches the “treasure,” they gather round to watch her open the gifts. Be sure to have a recorder and let everyone admire each gift, then finish with refreshments.

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THEME: St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), Ireland and Irish traditions

INVITATIONS: A simple invitation would be a shamrock cut out of green paper. Write the message using plenty of Irish phrases, perhaps in a limerick such as:

     “Top o’ the mornin’ we wish to ye;

     On St. Patty’s Day a party be,

     So come for the e’en,

                                                        A-wearin’ the green;

                                                       Shure, and it’s you there we’ll see!”

You may also ask them to bring a dish of green food, if you wish.

This party will work well for teenagers or adults.

MATERIALS FOR ACTIVITIES: Several papers with first lines of limericks written on them; pencils; 6 plastic or paper straws; team prizes for the relays, if desired (such as green ribbons); 2 large potatoes; 2 soup spoons; table(s) and chairs (if serving supper); Irish music (for background), if desired; large, partly wooded area for treasure hunt; clues on shamrock-shaped pieces of paper, perhaps 7 in all (one for every color of the rainbow); “leprechaun” helpers, such as your children or younger brothers and sisters; small paper rainbow; large pot filled with small net or cloth bags of chocolate candy coins or butterscotch drops (one bag for each guest).

FOOD: For supper, make a large pot of Irish Stew and some biscuits, then supplement with lots of green side dishes: a green salad, cottage cheese colored green, canned pears colored green, green beans, green jello cut in shamrock shapes with a cookie cutter, etc. Serve ale (of the “ginger” variety) for a beverage. Dessert could be lime sherbet with gingersnap cookies.

If you prefer not to serve supper, ask guests to bring their favorite green snack or dessert.

DECORATIONS: Of course, your main decorating theme will be the color green. Many ready-made decorations for St. Patrick’s Day are available in stores, but you might also consider using other items like green houseplants; Irish artifacts such as old Irish literature, and sheet music like “My Wild, Irish Rose” and “Irish Eyes Are Smiling”; travel posters of the “Emerald Isle”; a small pot full of shamrocks (often available at a florist’s shop), a large rock labeled “Blarney Stone,” samples of Irish lace, and green candles. For candle holders–you could scoop out holes in raw potatoes for long tapers, and votive candles could be placed inside clear glass mugs or on the bottom of inverted mugs.

Drape a long “feast table” with a white sheet, and set places with green paper placemats (available at party stores). Use white plates (china, stoneware,Corellee, plastic or paper) and clear goblets or clear plastic tumblers. Fold green napkins (cloth or paper) into fans and place them loosely in the glasses. Those shamrocks in a brass pot might make a good centerpiece, set between two green tapers in brass (or potato) candlesticks.

BLOW-BY-BLOW:     When guests arrive, pinch them if they’re not wearing green, then divide them into groups of three to five persons. Give each group a piece of paper and a pencil. On each piece of paper is written the first line of a different limerick. Briefly explain the format for limericks, then let each group go to work to finish its poem. Allow about five minutes or so, and at the end of the time have each group reads its limerick aloud.

Next, everyone goes outdoors for some relays. (These games can be played indoors as well.) Group them into two teams and explain the first relay. Legend has it that St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland, so this relay will simulate that story (sort of). The two teams line up at a starting line, and the first person in each team is given three straws (to symbolize snakes). They must get down on their hands and knees and lay the three straws in front of them. By blowing at them, they must “drive” the three straws to the finish line, about ten or twelve feet away. They cannot touch the straws with any part of their bodies. When they reach the finish line, they may pick up the straws and run back to the start, giving them to the first person in line, who repeats the process until the whole team has done it. The first team through wins and may be given a prize.

The second relay involves the Irish staple, potatoes, and covers a longer distance than the “snake” relay. The line-up formation is the same, but this time the person must transport a large potato on an ordinary soup spoon to the finish line. If he drops it, he must start over at the beginning again! When he reaches the finish line, he may hold the potato securely in his hand and run back to give the potato and spoon to the next teammate. The first team to complete the relay wins.

Now it’s time for the Irish feast, and the guests eat while Irish music plays in the background.

After dinner, you (the host) will “forcefully” bring in a small helper dressed as a leprechaun, who is kicking and complaining and struggling to get away. “Look what I found!” you call, and you relate a fanciful tale of how you caught the leprechaun. Now you demand that the leprechaun turn over his pot of gold, to which request the wee one replies by grudgingly handing you a small, shamrock-shaped piece of paper. As soon as you stop to read what is written on the paper, the leprechaun disappears to join his “kinsmen” in the woods! On the paper is the first clue to the treasure hunt, written in limerick form. You hand it over to the guests, who take over from there. If you know the whereabouts of the treasure, you do not give any hints.

The guests follow the clues from place to place until they reach the last one. During this time, several small helpers hidden in the woods make noises, play tricks and generally try to distract the guests from their quest. Now, the last clue might read something like this, if the “pot of gold” were hidden in, say, a child’s treehouse:

     “Our treasure ye’ve sought high and low,

     But to find it ye must now go

     Where a child plays high

     Under sparrow’s eye;

     Look at the end of the rainbow.”

A small paper rainbow sits above the door of the treehouse or is placed to mark the spot wherever the pot is hidden. The moment the guests find the treasure, a wailing howl is heard in the woods, coming from the disappointed leprechauns! Each guest gets a bag of golden candy to take home.

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