Ideas wanted - Live Christmas Quest game

Christmas this year will be something different for many children since Covid-19 restrictions prevent many of us from meeting our families. So to make this year something special, I’ve been thinking of creating a live Christmas Quest game in my home. The video by DrZZs youtube gave me the inspiration to embark upon this project.


  • Santa is trapped in the TV (showing video clip in the TV) and the children needs to solve a puzzle to get him out
  • They walk around and solve different quests in different rooms, and in the end Santa is released, and a secret box can be opened that contains some Christmas candy or similar.
    < I’m basically looking for ideas to build out the storyline :slight_smile: >

Sensors that can be used

  • Motion sensors in different rooms
  • Door sensors
  • Push buttons
  • motion cameras
    < other ideas? >

Actuators and other feedback

  • play sounds and other instructions on Sonos devices in different rooms
  • WLED controlled light strips, both indoors and outdoors
  • Other lights controllable by Home Assistant
  • play video segments on TVs
  • play tunes on a hacked singing Christmas Tree
  • locked secret box where candy is stored
    < other ideas? >

All of the above is still in the idea state, and I think I will have to do quite some thinkering but that is just fun. I’m reaching out to the community to see if there are any good ideas out there. Please let the ideas flow, add your thoughts below.


A video clip suddenly starts to play on the TV with Santa giving a message on the quest. Thinking of pulling a clip from youtube and then overlay text instructions into the clip.

TV showing movie clip
Sonos speaker to play. some Christmas tune
Push button to start quest sequence

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Outside Christmas tree with WS2112B pixels showing a countdown, lights turned off from top to down, and when entire tree is turned off, the quest is lost. The timer gets reset each time a room/quest is solved.

WLED enabled Christmas light
Sonos speaker for additional sound

Room 1
Story: a secret gate has to be opened by pushing a button, but be aware, the evil Elfs are watching you…

Children have to reach other end of room and push a button without the room motion sensor detecting them,

Hue motion sensor (needs to be placed so that there is a path thru the room that the kids can take
Sonos speaker to give instructions
Ikea zigbee push button


Im gonna follow this post, I like this idea.

What about a variety on your motion sensor. Multiple ultrasone distance sensors and (normal) lasers. So they need to reach the other end of the room without breaking the beams. And the next step can be found in a teasure at the end of this room.

Cheap RFID tags stuck to objects that can be read by Phone. They can send curl commands or open pages.

Great idea with RFID tags, need to look into that.
I had some old reed switches in my toolbox, so I set them up for Quest #2:

Room 2
Story: need to create a narrative for this room…

The kids go outside to the storage room next to my garage. When they open the door, a door sensor triggers the movement and starts the quest. A LED on the wall shows what appears to be a random pattern (more on this later), and on the table are four small Christmas gift packages that needs to be put in the right sequence on top of the table.
The LED on the wall starts a countdown, and if they haven’t put the packages on the place before countdown, the quest has failed they will have to exit the room and re-enter to restart the quest.

The trick here is to observe the LED pattern when they enter the room. It will show a pattern that corresponds to the correct position of where to place the packages on the table. It may take a couple of tries before they sort out which pattern correspond to which placement of the packages.

In this setup, only one of the four Christmas gift packages holds the magnet for a reed switch. Each place on the table has a reed switch installed under it, and that switch is hooked up ESP8266 with In this way, HomeAssistant can get informed on where the package with the magnet has been placed (here one could use RFID tags instead).

In HA, the quest is triggered by the opening of the door. An input_select is randomly set to one out of four patterns (corresponding to one of the four locations on the table), and the pattern is activated on WLED. After a few seconds, the WLED is turned into showning a countdown pattern.

When the package with the magnetic item is placed on any of the location, an automation in HA picks it up and checks if the location match the randomly set value in the input_select mentioned above. When the WLED has reached it’s countdown, the final verdict feedback is provided. If the package is in the right location, a secret code will be pushed to the kids iOS devices followed with instructions on the next quest. If the package is in the wrong location, the LEDs will flicker in an error pattern (need to test which one is best) and then the kids have to retry by leaving and re-entering the room.


  • Door sensor - using an Aqara zigbee door sensor
  • LED - WS2812B led strip controlled by an ESP8266 with WLED integrated to HA
  • 4x Reed switches hooked up to an ESP8266 flashed with
  • 1x magnet placed in one of the Christmas gift packages
  • iOS HA app that receives notification of success