Bike Ride Scavenger Hunt

Friday check out already? Time for me to pack up my little shindigs here on design*sponge and say goodbye. What fun it has been hosting you all here at the guest blog hotel. Thanks again Grace for the chocolate on my pillow, the newspaper under my door, and the farm fresh fried eggs for breakfast. You’re one hospitable gal and I hope to return for another stay during my blogger travels.

I have a lot of daydreams about future parties. I can’t wait to do a murder mystery á la Clue event. A decadent masquerade ball. Roller skating in wigs. Jane Austen tea party complete with matchmaking games. Ode to Sarah Jessica Parker circa 1985 dance party. Oh, to dream. Today my last event post is a (wacky) idea for a party I have not yet thrown. It has no budget. No limitations. No decor. Nothing holding it down. It is inspired from an actual nutty, surreal dream I had about two weeks ago and I’ve been obsessing about the composition ever since. There aren’t rules, or suggestions today. Mostly visual inspirations to let you plan your own adaptation. No need for a lot of cutesy text. I say “goodbye to language” and reside in the images of amusement. The promises of fun times. The thrill of the unexpected. The imagination of curiosity. Okay, okay, I’ll stop. But in all wing-ding seriousness, this event is an ode to my dream. No reality in check.

What is it? An against the clock, polaroid snapping, after-dark, bike ride scavenger hunt.

Yes, it is a race. Yes, only bikes. Yes, after dark. Yes, scavenger hunt. Yes, digital cameras can be subbed. Yes, there are teams (safety in numbers, my mom always said). A scavenger hunt makes me giddy as a schoolgirl. I love the chase, the clues, the strangers you meet, the bonding with teammates. (Evel Knievel was on my dream team.) A few rules: (I lied about no rules). Rule #1: Your team needs to photograph each clue destination as proof of fair prize, no cheating. (ie, one clue leads to the Santa Monica pier and before claiming the next clue you have to take a photo at the top of the ferris wheel). Whichever team ends up at the final destination with all the correct photos the quickest wins a private strip show from Will Ferrell and Tina Fey via private jet to Brazil. Rule #2: the invitation has to be sent in clue form. The clues are up to you based on your locale, but of course wit and brevity are in order. This event will take a lot of preparation in scouting locations and pleading with establishments to participate in doling out the clues. Your neighbor’s mailbox probably isn’t gonna cut it as a hiding spot. (I recommend donut shops. They stay open late, the workers are bored, your friends will re-fuel on glaze and dough.)

The final destination: A bonfire on the beach? A roller rink disco? A graveyard movie? An abandoned high school gym prom? A field tent camp-out? A nightclub with a private concert by The Kings of Leon? Whatever your fancy, dream big. Just be sure it’s worth all the leg cramps your friends will be complaining about when they arrive, cause they will want to par-tay.

Summon your daring friends, grab (rent) your bikes, hide the clues, and wait for the sun to go down. I’m off to sleep and dream, good night.


  1. Genius, beautiful, fun, brilliant idea. I hope to hear of after dark, biking scavenger hunts all over the world! It’s right up my alley! Thank you!

  2. Mary B says:

    This sounds like such a great idea— I need to be more creative and come up with clues. Good thing my husband is imaginative enough!

  3. Marlène says:

    Bike messengers have been doing these kinds of races for a while now…

  4. erin says:

    this IS a brilliant idea. I have been dreaming of a bike pub crawl for a while but this is waaaay better. Thanks!

  5. Juliet says:

    Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. My friend Claire is the perfect host for this party and I’ve forwarded the link to her. I hope I get invited. Thanks for your limitless creativity!

  6. Julia says:

    I really love this idea! brilliant

  7. Renai says:

    Marlène said it first. This is called an alley cat and is hugely popular- at least in my city. We do them several times a month.

  8. thanks Marlene and Renai, I had no idea! Alley Cat, great name. Thanks everyone for the wonderful comments all week, i call them vitrual high-fives and I’m a sucker for high-fives. Much love!

  9. Celeste says:

    Fixed gear alleycats are popular in Phoenix too. We love our bikes :)

  10. Carrie says:

    Very fun. My friends in Florida do a version of this. Some of them put wacky stuff all over their beach cruisers and everyone rides with a drink in hand (that is probably illegal). Beach bar-b-que is the finale. It gets pretty competitive and funny.

  11. Chloe says:

    Yay for scavenger hunts! Paige, you’ve been so fun this week on design sponge, I wanna be your new best friend! Can I get on your permanent guest list?

  12. Bryan says:

    trackstar, a bike shop in the city, has an annual scavenger hunt. This year’s was a couple of months ago, 3 days long, and involved things in Philly, and AC.

  13. merry says:

    time to buy a bike… this sounds fantastic! great posts all week paige!

  14. Lisa Peri says:

    Loved following your posts all week Paige! So much fun :)

  15. megan says:

    Great ideas, all week long Paige! i want to throw a party for every single one of them. or maybe one of my friends will, and invite me. thanks for all the inspiration. i’m sad you want be here next week.

  16. Hi there, I would love to know the recipes for those little cucumber appetizers. I couldn’t find the link to recipe? Help!

    1. grace says:


      that was the recipe for friday- if you load the main page of d*s they’ll be right there, about 3 posts down :)


  17. kate says:

    Hi Paige, I wanted to let you know that this post inspired a really fun birthday party we had this weekend – although we couldn’t do the bike part due to the weather, the scavenger hunt part turned out great and was a lot of fun! you can read about it here

    Thanks for the inspiration!


  18. What a cute idea! I am already planning one for my friends and I!

  19. Ryan Kopp says:

    If you’re looking for some ideas for your Scavenger Hunt list, I’ve uploaded my recent list. You’ll have to modify it for your town though.


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