Rainy Day Scavenger Hunt at the mall

Rainy Day Kid Activity – Photo Scavenger Hunt at the Mall


Rainy days can often leave kids feeling restless and cooped up indoors. To combat this boredom, why not plan a thrilling photo scavenger hunt at the mall? It’s an engaging and interactive activity that allows teenagers and younger kids to have fun while exploring their creativity. However, it’s crucial to ensure the safety of all participants and maintain respect for the mall environment and other shoppers. In this blog post, we will provide tips for dads on how to create a memorable and respectful photo scavenger hunt at the mall.

Age-Appropriate Considerations

When organizing a photo scavenger hunt at the mall, it’s important to consider the appropriate age group. Teenagers are usually more independent and capable of navigating the mall freely. For younger kids, it’s advisable to pair them up with older kids who can act as their buddies. This way, everyone can participate safely and have a fantastic time.

Planning the Scavenger Hunt

To ensure a successful scavenger hunt, proper planning is essential. Here are some tips to consider:

a. Define the objectives: Clearly outline the goals and objectives of the scavenger hunt. Provide participants with a list of items, themes, or specific photos they need to capture during the activity.

b. Set boundaries: Establish the designated area within the mall where the scavenger hunt will take place. Clearly communicate these boundaries to the participants to ensure they remain within the permitted areas.

c. Consider time limits: Determine the duration of the scavenger hunt based on the age group and the number of tasks. Make sure to allocate sufficient time for participants to complete the challenges without feeling rushed.

d. Obtain necessary permissions: Contact the mall management in advance to inform them about your activity. Seek their approval, guidance, and any specific rules or regulations you need to follow. Note that this step may not be necessary if it is just your family playing, but if you plan to organize a larger group this is definitely a good idea.

Designing the Photo Scavenger Hunt

Designing an engaging and unique list of items is crucial to the success of your photo scavenger hunt. Customizing the list based on the interests of the kids or the specific location can make the experience more enjoyable. Here’s how you can create a memorable list and incorporate a points system:

a. Tailor the list to the kids’ interests: Consider the hobbies, favorite movies, TV shows, or sports teams of the participants. Incorporate items that align with their interests, making the scavenger hunt more personalized and exciting.

b. Utilize the mall environment: Take advantage of the mall’s features and stores to make the scavenger hunt more location-specific. Include items that can be found in specific stores, statues or landmarks within the mall, or unique architectural elements. This will add a special touch to the experience and make it more memorable.

c. Vary the difficulty levels: Create a mix of easy, moderate, and challenging items on the list to cater to the different abilities of the participants. This ensures that everyone can contribute and feel accomplished during the scavenger hunt.

d. Incorporate interactive tasks: Alongside capturing specific items, include interactive tasks that require participants to engage with store employees, perform small acts of kindness, or solve puzzles. These tasks add an extra layer of excitement and creativity to the scavenger hunt.

e. Points system: Assign points to each item or task on the list to add a competitive element. Point levels can vary with the more challenging or difficult tasks being worth more points. Participants can accumulate points based on the successful completion of each challenge. This adds excitement and motivation throughout the scavenger hunt.

f. Determining the winner and prize: At the end of the scavenger hunt, calculate the points earned by each participant or team. Consider offering a prize to the winners to make the experience even more rewarding. The prize can be something simple and relevant to the mall, such as a gift card to a popular store, a voucher for an ice cream treat, or a small souvenir from the mall.

g. Encouraging teamwork and sportsmanship: Emphasize the importance of working together as a team rather than solely focusing on individual competition. Acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of all participants, encouraging sportsmanship and camaraderie throughout the activity.

Remember, the goal is to create a fun and memorable experience for everyone involved. By customizing the scavenger hunt list to the kids’ interests, incorporating a points system, and offering a thoughtful prize, you can ensure an enjoyable and rewarding adventure at the mall.


Here is an actual example that I created for my kids and their cousins when we were visiting family in Western New York. One of the bonus items was to find something that said Los Angeles in order to tie in a task related to where my kids were from.

Encouraging Respectful Behavior

A scavenger hunt should always promote respect for the mall environment and fellow shoppers. Here’s how you can ensure everyone behaves respectfully:

a. Emphasize good manners: Teach participants to be polite and courteous to store employees, security personnel, and other shoppers. Remind them to use “please” and “thank you” when interacting with mall staff.

b. Stay mindful of store policies: Instruct participants to adhere to store policies, such as refraining from touching merchandise unless given permission, not entering restricted areas, and being mindful of noise levels.

c. Promote cleanliness: Remind participants to dispose of any trash properly and avoid littering. Encourage them to keep the mall clean and tidy during their scavenger hunt.

d. Be aware of personal space: Remind participants to be mindful of other shoppers’ personal space and avoid causing disturbances. Encourage them to wait patiently in line and avoid blocking pathways.

Safety First

Ensure the safety of all participants by following these guidelines:

a. Establish a meeting point: Choose a central location within the mall where participants can gather at the beginning and end of the scavenger hunt. This ensures easy communication and accountability.

b. Buddy system: For younger kids, pair them up with older kids to create a buddy system. The older kids can provide guidance, support, and supervision, ensuring everyone stays together and remains safe.

c. Emergency contact information: Collect emergency contact information from each participant and ensure the designated adults have access to this information during the scavenger hunt.


A photo scavenger hunt at the mall is an exciting activity that can keep teenagers and younger kids entertained on a rainy day. By following these tips, dads can create a fun and respectful experience for all participants. Remember, age-appropriate planning, emphasis on respectful behavior, and ensuring the safety of the kids are key to making this activity a success. So, grab your cameras and embark on an adventure that will leave everyone with wonderful memories to cherish!

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