Scavenger Hunt for the Car


We spend a lot of time on the road, this weekend traveling to Birmingham, Alabama for a three day weekend with our son in college. To pass the time, we play car games, lots and lots of car games. This trip, we came up with a great new scavenger hunt for the car!

This easy game starts by making a list of items to find. We included 12 items on our list, with each of us contributing three. Some we knew would be easy to find, while others required a patient search. The list can be customized for any trip (especially if parents know some cool landmarks to watch for). Here’s ours for a trip from Atlanta to Birmingham:

  • construction sign
  • American flag
  • McDonald’s golden arches
  • water tower
  • Alabama state flag
  • Pepsi sign
  • helicopter
  • Blue “H” hospital sign
  • miles to Birmingham sign
  • church steeple
  • water tower
  • motorcycle

Here’s how we played Car Scavenger Hunt, though the rules can be modified to make it more competitive. Once we made our list, we all looked for the items, working cooperatively. Whenever someone found an item, they pointed it out so we could take a picture. (YAY for smartphone technology!) To make it easier for our youngest, she was assigned some of the easier items to search for one at a time: the McDonald’s arches and American flag.

The goal was to find and photograph each item before reaching our destination. We didn’t complete the list, but we found most of them. Even nicer, when I told the kids to pack up their car stuff, they were shocked to learn we were only five miles from our hotel. I truly think it was our easiest and “quickest” car trip ever! Car Scavenger Hunt will definitely stay on the travel activities list!

Have you ever played this game?




  1. 1

    We have played variations of the game. I like the time in the car during traveling…and I think these kinds of games are fun. :)

    • 2

      Thanks, Rosie. :) I think this version was a little more fun because the kids helped make the list and we had the added challenge of needing to photograph the object. We saw LOTS of American flags, but it took a while to find one close enough to capture with the phone. The kids liked it so much, they made another list for the drive home. :)

  2. 3

    That is such a cool idea.
    I would have loved to know of that when I was traveling the 18 hours from NYC to Florida with a 10 year old with no electronic devices and a toddler.

    • 4

      I’ve made that trip (Ohio to Florida). Not easy without electronics! Kids today have no idea how easy they have it. :)

  3. 5

    Our favorite car game is the license plate game, and we get rather competitive! We each guess how many license plates we’ll have by lunch, and the person that’s the closest chooses our lunch place. Then we repeat the process for dinner!

    • 6

      LOVE that idea. A prize that has meaning! I am adding this to my arsenal.

      We used to think finding Alaska plates was hard… now that we live near Fort Bragg, we see them all the time.

  4. 7

    Great idea! My four year old HATES long car rides, this is perfect for him!

    • 8

      My daughter was quite diligent in searching for those familiar golden arches! She was shocked when we announced the Alabama state line on our trip. Time flew!

  5. 9

    What a cool idea! Noted for future family car trips :)

  6. 11

    Haven’t tried this game but will certainly take note of it and play with the kids on our next car trip upstate.

  7. 13

    I remember my mom doing something similar for us when we’d travel beck to her home town 3 days away. One of the funniest on her list was to find a woman in curlers…I don’t think we could do that now…lol


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