From the glamor and excitement of the Roaring Twenties to the allure and mystery of Arthur Conan Doyles’ Sherlock Holmes series set in gloomy Victorian England, themed treasure hunts are a fun way to bring history and fiction to life. The Roaring Twenties, in particular, lends itself perfectly to a themed hunt filled with fascinating historic 1920s locations and clues referencing the prosperous and fast-moving culture of the time. A Sherlock Holmes’ themed hunt, on the other hand, involves Victorian-style locations and clues based on the endless fun facts and trivia surrounding the popular series. So, whichever themed hunt you put together, your team is bound to have an unforgettable time, all the while strengthening their teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills in the process.

Roaring Twenties

An iconic time in history filled with flappers, jazz, and speakeasies, the Roaring Twenties is a fun historical treasure hunt theme that lets your team experience the opulence and glamor associated with this bygone era. Ideally, for this hunt, choose locations in your local area with a 1920s vibe, for example, a historic speakeasy or vintage bar with a speakeasy theme. You can also try scouting out any 1920s landmarks that remain standing today (think: vintage theaters, hotels, or even art deco skyscrapers). Other on-theme public locations may include historic signs, murals, plaques, sculptures, and statues. It really depends on where you live and what’s available in your area.

As for hints and clues, try devising some around references to 1920s pop culture, testing your team on their knowledge of the exciting cultural changes going on at the time. So, for example, jazz music really took off during the 20s (hence its nickname as the Jazz Age). Famous musicians like Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Bessie Smith created much of the music that defined this time period, and they could be a great topic for clues. The 1920s also saw the rise of flappers: a subculture of young women who went against the status quo, embracing a free and hedonistic lifestyle considered scandalous by many at the time. Zelda Fitzgerald (wife of novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald) is one of the most famous flappers of the 1920s, and the inspiration for each one of her husband’s female characters. So, let your creative juices flow and devise questions, riddles, and puzzles with the correct answers earning your team points and leading your team onto the next location.

Sherlock Holmes

A Sherlock Holmes-themed treasure hunt lets your team experience the adventures of Sherlock Holmes first-hand: Arthur Conan Doyle’s beloved detective with an unmatched intellect and eye for detail. This historic theme can add an extra touch of excitement and mystery to your event, ensuring everyone truly has an unforgettable time. Since the series is set in late Victorian England through to the early Edwardian period, on-theme locations for your hunt could include a Victorian pub or bar reminiscent of the Northumberland Arms (Sherlock Holmes’ favorite watering hole in the books). A historic mansion can also easily evoke the mood of Baskerville Hall, which is featured heavily in the Hound of the Baskervilles. You could also look for Victorian (or early Edwardian) architecture, statues, or sculptures in your local area that evoke the eerie gothic mood of the story.

When it comes to devising clues, the Sherlock Holmes’ series is packed with trivia ranging from difficulty levels easy to hard. So, quiz your team on Sherlock Holmes’ favorite catchphrases (“excellent!” and “you know my methods, Watson”, for instance). Although “elementary, my dear Watson” is one of the most famous quotes surrounding the series, not many people realize that it doesn’t actually originate from the books at all. You can also ask questions like “where is Conan Doyle buried?”. Answer: under a huge oak tree in the New Forest, Hampshire, England. Or, “who killed Moriaty?”. Answer: he falls off a ledge during a fight with Sherlock Holmes.

Themed treasure hunts offer an exciting blend of history and fiction, giving your team the chance to solve clues, earn points, and have a whole load of fun in the process. So, whichever theme you go for, your treasure hunt is bound to be an unforgettable time for all involved.