My Valentine: A Secret Message Scavenger Hunt

Two Valentine’s ago, I was states away from my other half and wanted to do something memorable and sweet, without spending a lot. Here’s what I did: a non-traditional word search (think scavenger hunt) that spelled out a message leading him to his V-day present. If you are stuck on what to do for Valentine’s, whether he or she is near or far, I hope this gives you some inspiration!

Valetine, Word Search, Answer Key, DIY

Answer Sheet: Where he wrote the secret message he solved.

How to pull off a Secret Message Scavenger Hunt for your Valentine:

1) You’ll need to come up with a message. He’ll solve it word by word, so keep it short and sweet (think a sentence or two). My message led to a gift, but the message could just be a sweet love note, too.

2) Create an Answer Sheet for him to write on as he solves your message on. Number and underline where each word of your message will be written.

3) Now, you’ll create a Clue Page with numbered clues that correspond to the numbers on the Answer Sheet. Clues will direct him to things that hold meaning for you and him, and within each of those he’ll discover a word for your secret message. My ideas and examples below will make this easy! Here are some clues you can use:

  • Have him find a word from Facebook. My clue: “What does my Facebook status say? This is your first word!” Another example:  “On February 2nd, I wrote on your wall, “… and that you have a ______ ____ tomorrow!” Fill in the blanks for your number 2!”
  • Have his closest friends and family (or yours) help out. Give them a word ahead of time and have them share it with your beau when he asks for it on Valentine’s Day. My clue: “Your mom has word #3!”
  • Plan out a Valentine’s text to him that includes a word that will be part of your secret message. My clue: I text him Happy Valentine’s that morning. On his Clue Page I ask, “What is the first word I text you this morning?”
  • Use a word from a title of a movie that he’ll remember. My clue: “Remember that movie we almost finished about the lady who marries an Irish guy who dies at the beginning, then sends her letters while he’s dead? What is the first word (which is an abbreviation) in that title?”
  • Use lyrics or the title of a song he knows and loves. My clue: “Your next word is one of my favorites! If you listen to the Death Cab song, Unobstructed Views, you’ll hear it at these times during the song: 3:13, 3:26, 3:28.”
  • Hide a secret word in the packaging (be it an envelope, bag or box) containing the word search. My clue: “Look underneath the tissue paper in the little box this came in. What phrase is written there? This is your number 7!”
  • Do you speak another language together? As a clue, include a foreign word he has to translate (be it by memory or Google). My clue: “You’ll need to use your Spanish skills to get these next couple word. What is “dar” in English? This is your 9.”
  • Give him specific instructions to find a word in something he reads (could be from a book in your house or an online blog). My clue: “Go to biblegateway.com. Type 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 in the search box up top. Choose “New International Version” from the drop down menu. Click search. What is the second word in verse 4? This will be your number 10.”
  • Give him a picture of you two and ask him a question resulting in a one-word answer. Or, give him multiple pictures with questions that help him make a short word. My Example: “I attached images of fun dates we had in two different cities. The first photo is at ZooLights, which is in a city called _______. The second photo, was taken at the theater in a city called ________. The first letter of city one and the first letter of city two spell word number 11.”
  • Use a word from another digital communication you share (Skype, Email, etc.). My clue: “Check the subject line of the email I sent you yesterday, this is your number 12.”

Get creative with it! Reuse the same theme of clue ideas, or fill in a couple “freebie” words for him here and there if you get stuck. Check out my other blog post, “Picture Perfect Valentine’s Gift” for some inspiration for a Valentine gift.


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