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Indiana Jones Themed Treasure Hunts

One could argue that treasure hunts were MADE for themes like Indiana Jones. I mean, weren't movies largely one big treasure hunt of some sort (with lots of action thrown in there, too)? Have a great time incorporating all of the fun and excitement of the movies into your treasure with these ideas.

Beginning by setting out to provide an adventure for your participants…not just a treasure hunt. Come up with a storyline to drive your hunt. Was the treasure or idol they are looking for stolen by another archeologist? Or has it never been recovered with only the myth of its existence circulating the world? Have fun coming up with some side-plots to help drive your hunt.

Provide a clue for the hunt in the invitations that you send out. The guests must bring the invitations with them to solve the adventure hunt. Different guests could have different clues on their invitations, inviting alliances to take place within the party in order to find the treasure or historical artifact.

Providing some other symbol or information on the invitations are also great ways to divide the guests into teams. (i.e. "Everyone who is a professor of the Chicago University of Antiquities are one team…Everyone with a…" etc.)


Get the story going before the party even starts. A few days before the party/event, email each guest a piece of information from a 'character' in your treasure hunt. You can obtain a free email account from - you can sign up under any name you want and it's simple - you can set it up in minutes!

Make it exciting! Perhaps they aren't looking for lost treasure, but rather a lost person/explorer. If the person was kidnapped, let the participants find the ransom note to start the adventure off.

Give the illusion that an enemy 'force' of some sort is also on the same quest (whatever you've chosen it to be.) Perhaps another government or dirty art dealer is looking for the same idol as the participants in your treasure hunt adventure. For an added touch, how about taking a picture of someone in costume and giving a warning to your guests in their invitations - "Beware of this man!" etc.

Work a curse into the story of your adventure. For example, if you are sending your participants in search of a lost or forgotten Egyptian idol, attach a curse to whomever 'disturbs' it. Then, once the idol is found and taken, have a volunteer dressed as a mummy come out to 'haunt' the guests until they donate the idol to a local museum.

Find every spare key you can find (you know, all those keys you save but you've forgotten what lock they go to…). Then ask friends and family to do the same. Finally, purchase a cheap lock with it's own key (make sure that it is NOT a combination lock.) Now you can send your guests out looking for different keys, each hidden in a different location. However, only one key will open the lock on the chest. That way skill AND luck are involved.
Do what you can to have at least ONE scary element in the treasure hunt experience for your participants. One great way to do this is to have the participants sneak up on a sleeping mummy to steal a clue or artifact from him - without waking him. You can make your own stuffed mummy, placing the treasure hunt clue somewhere in the wrappings…or…even better to have a volunteer to lay there dressed as a mummy. Right when your participants find the clue, your mummy could come alive, startling the treasure hunters!

For those looking to plan an Indiana Jones theme party, check out our sister site - The Theme Party Hub - Indiana Jones Theme Party