Inside: Looking for an outside the norm Adult Easter Egg Hunt tradition? This is truly one of a kind, and has some serious winners and losers.
Forget what you think you know about Easter egg hunts. Frankly, you’ve been doing them wrong. This is the Easter Egg hunt you need to be doing.
I’ll start here: I know I run a “kids activities page,” but friends, this long-distance dedication is going out to the adults in my community. (And she writes…)
If your family celebrates Easter, I’m sure there’s some kind of egg hunt tradition.
You either have an inside or outside the house hunt.
Real eggs or plastic ones.
Money or candy.
Is there a golden egg involved?
I’m trying to remember when Easter took a turn for the interesting in our family, because we were raised very straight and narrow: Indoor hunt. Real eggs. Some light candy in baskets. It was a mundane holiday or rather, it was as it always had been.
It must have been late high school when everything went downhill and my Mom started to get a little lively with the Easter festivities.
Mom was a teacher so she has that natural teacher sparkle about her. It’s a way of making something simple (say a hunt for Easter eggs) into something you write (for example) blog posts about.
Let’s dive in to how my mom transitioned from mundane kid Easter egg hunting into an Adult Easter Egg Hunt worthy of making it into Google.
Please note: for my children, we do a tradition egg hunt much like the one I had as a child. At some point, they’ll join the adult egg hunt (my niece is 12 and I close to joining the ranks) but they get a “normal” one for now.
We start with adding numbers to the eggs
After spending time together as a family some days before Easter, dyeing eggs and making memories back dropped in vinegar smells and newspaper, my mom (in secret) puts a number on the bottom of each egg in permanent marker.
Exhibit A: An example of a carefully dyed egg with a number on the bottom.
She numbers each egg chronologically, starting at 1 and ending with whatever was the total amount of eggs dyed that year (usually around 36, sometimes 48, and yes, it’s a lot of egg salad to work through in the days after).
The numbered eggs get hidden randomly. We’ll get to those numbers and what they mean in a second.
My dad (simple guy, huh) hides the eggs inside the house. We are an inside the house egg family (pipe down you outside hunters: I’m in Seattle. Ask me how many sunny Easters I remember from my youth…).
Egg hunting is a varsity sport to me. I am the Monica Geller of egg hunting. It is a full-contact event between my sister and me – and to be honest, it’s because she’s really bad at finding eggs and #jealous of my skills.
Even when they’re hidden in her house, my Dad has to take extra steps to help her be successful.
Because of this, there is ONE rule for our adult Easter egg hunt: you can only find a per-determined amount of eggs.
Based on the number of eggs dyed divided by the amount of people playing (plus the wind speed on a Tuesday) and you get the number of eggs you are allowed to find. It’s usually 12. Once you find 12 you have to stop hunting.
Or go help your little sister (usually that one).
So, let’s recap this adult Easter egg hunt so far:
- Eggs are dyed per normal and numbers are added to the bottom.
- Eggs are randomly hidden.
- Eggs are collected (only the specific total amount).
Once “the hunt” is over, the real fun begins.
Step one: Line up your found eggs in a sequential order. Get familiar with random numbers on the bottom of the eggs because things are about to get REAL interesting with these one.
What I have here is a few of the eggs I found hidden at this hunt. I have no way of knowing what eggs have what number OR what each number means. You take what you find…
And you hope you don’t end up owing my mom money at the end of Easter.
Yup. You read that line right. Easter typically ends with someone PAYING my Mom.
Let’s talk about those egg numbers, and what they mean.
This is about to get INTERESTING.
After the eggs have been found, after the eggs have been lined up, after you’ve gotten familiar with what numbers you have: my Mom pulls out “The List.”
This is the pinnacle of Easter. The unveiling of the list. She does it with such flair and pride each year.
The list had every egg number (1 to whatever she felt like boiling) and each egg number corresponds to a money amount. Add 50 cents. Minus 10 cents. Double everything. Lose half. All you have is a prayer and a lucky Easter Bunny foot that you found all the doubles and none of the halfers and definitely a lot more pluses than minuses.
Is this starting to get clearer to you? In the random set of 12 eggs in front of you, a few bad eggs means you’re going to pay at the end of Easter. There have been several Easters where my sister and I have owed money at the end.
I paid her $1.12 in pennies to participate in an Easter egg hunt when I was 20.
My sister had a five year stretch of paying. She started bringing cash along with a casserole.
Mom begins with 1 and starts calling out what her pre-made list says. You have to keep track of your winnings and losings on your own – it’s an application of math that I’m pretty sure qualifies this as a hands-on activity.
Here are some of the amounts from the list pictured above:
Egg 1: +$1.25
Egg 2: +$1.50
Egg 3: -$1.40 (yes MINUS. NEGATIVE.)
Egg 8: All your money goes to the person on your left. You are back to zero.
Egg 20: Double everything.
Egg 43: Divide amount in half.
This is the brutal, real, honest life lessons that my Mom has been dolling out in her Easter madness for nearly two decades.
By the end, you may have won $20. You may also owe $3.20. This is the risk we take.
Ah but friends, there’s more.
The List and The Numbered Eggs are only step one or part one of my Mom’s magical adult Easter festivities. Let’s continue to the next step.
Some time back in the early 2000s, Mom started adding activities in with the egg numbers. If you wanted that $1, you had to skip around the deck holding the family cat (RIP Newman). My sister still has those scratch marks...
My Mom would never say she is an innately creative person, but Easter really makes her sing. It’s like she stores up for the year and releases a fury of creativity all over us.
At some point, she found these plastic animal eggs and genius struck. This is the closest set I could find to Mom’s on Amazon.
She hides the plastic animal eggs around in the original hunt. Typically she says that everyone needs to find 3 animal eggs during the normal hunt in addition to the hard-boiled eggs. We set these plastic animal eggs off to the side during the List reading, but we know they are coming…
And we are terrified.
There are two of each animal egg.
Whichever two people find the same egg are in a head-to-head competition-activity for something like $5. These activities are where Mom really shines.
Example: The pig egg.
When my sister and my husband each cracked their pig eggs open, they found a note inside with one line: “How does the little piggy eat?”
Do you know that movie The Christmas Story? My mom does.
In Easter 2011, we ate pudding with our hands behind our backs off of plates – winner takes the activity and the $5 prize.
Throughout the years, the plastic eggs have held really sophisticated activities like:
- Lollipop golfing
- Pigs in a blanket race (see photo)
- Egg spoon race
- Foot wresting
- Bobbing for peeps
- Chubby bunny
Look, the activities-apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.
The thing is: you never know what plastic egg you’ll find. You never know who will find its mate. You never know what activity will be inside. But it might be cash you can use to pay off your Easter egg hunt debt, just sayin’.
The recap of the greatest Adult Easter Egg Hunt and Activities
First, you have the numbered eggs and the list of “winnings or losings.”
Second, you have the plastic eggs with activities for more prizes.
Oh, I probably forgot to mention that OBVIOUSLY there’s an egg toss at the end to conclude each Easter’s festivities. Kind of like the Olympic closing ceremonies but for our bizarre Easter.
I will NEVER in my life understand how Easter took this kind of turn in our family, especially when I think back to how idyllic and normal it was when I was a child.
Between The Lists and The Activities, I’m telling you: my Mom is on to something. Like I said, this is the egg hunt you need to be doing.
I’m never one to tell people how to live their lives (I’m great with suggestions but at the end of the day, you do you), but when it comes to Easter with adults… well, there’s only one right way.