Planning A Mystery Party

For our daughters 16th birthday, she chose to have a joint party with one of her best friends who also turns 16 this year.  They chose to do a Murder Mystery party.  Cool!  Dan and I have been wanting to do one of these for years, we figured trying it out on teenagers first would be a great idea.  

We looked at several options, and the girls ended up choosing Murder At Doom Mansion, from  I loved that it was an instant download, no need to pay shipping, or wait for anything to be mailed to us.  I simply downloaded the files, then uploaded them to so that both of us moms could access them for this party.  We stored all the files for this party - invites, charactar lists, etc, in - party planning from the cloud.  :-)  This particular party is themed for teenagers specifically.

Setting Up For The Party:
I thought the party was lacking in a real time line.  There is not one included in our download, but I did find a generic one on the site.  I ended up creating my own, which I posted around the house in key locations.  The two in the kitchen (one on the prep table, one on the fridge) had notes to the left for food prep.

Murder At Doom Mansion

Schedule of Events

5pm Guest arrive, have their pictures made, find folder, put on name tag, have appetizers and drinks.  Guests read the clue in envelope 1, located inside their folders, implement their ice breakers and reveal the clues on their clue cards.

5:45pm How Did I Die Game

Split into 3 teams of 3, play mystery scramble game

6:15 (or so)  Go to the Dining Room. Dinner is served.  Read Round 2 clues. 

7:00 Return to the living room.  Fill out the mystery investigation sheets in your packet.  Hand to an adult host when the sheet is completed.

Play Catch Me If You Can

Cake & Ice Cream Served

Play Eye Witness Game

Round 3 Envelopes Handed out, The Murderer Is Revealed!

I printed the graphic at Sam's club, and printed enough copies to put on folders for each player as well.  Each folder had a copy of the instructions, a character list, blank paper for the game, and the sheet they filled out with their guess at the solution, as well as the envelope with their first clue, and their name tags.

I printed the Catch Me If You Can game and instructions, put the pieces in the crystal dish, and backed the instructions with card stock and placed them together.

 Clue #2 was waiting as the place cards at the dinner table.

Real china, and pretty fresh flowers, for a real dinner party feel.

 We served the appetizers on a table in the living room (you can see one of the folders each guest received on the left) and then while the kids ate dinner, we switched this to the ice cream sundae bar.  

The Butler for the evening.  Not part of the script, just a helping hand for the party!  In the script, Princess Fuschia (our daughter, one of the birthday girls) was dating Dr Doom.  Her brothers immediately announced that they knew who killed Dr Doom - THE BUTLER (Meg's Daddy) DID IT!  LOL!

The kids seemed to have a great time with this, and got pretty dramatic in their characters.  :-)

The How Did I Die Game
Each person has a method of death taped to their head (this was tricky - they didn't stick well!) and they can only ask each person one yes or no question to determine how they died.

There were a lot of extra, optional, games included in our download, we played a few of them.

We did not use the menu included in the party, we let the girls choose.  They chose Chicken Cordon Bleu, Baked potatoes, and salad.  It was WAY too much food.  We sent home plates wrapped in foil with most of the kids.  We were not clear in the invitations that this would be a dinner party, and a lot of the kids ate before arriving, then we had all those appetizers...

The Birthday Girls

 I deviated from the script by putting the 2nd clues at the dinner table, but that worked well for us.

Another optional game- Eye Witness.  
Announce that a robber is on the loose.  Yell "THERE HE IS" and have someone dressed in as many accessories as possible run into the room, circle it, and run out.  Then have the guests list as many of the items the thief was wearing as possible.

 Opening the 3rd envelope, the kids enjoyed reading the big reveal.  This is the one time I was REALLY disappointed in the company we got this from.  We didn't read the clues ahead, we wanted to be surprised with the kids, so when the first girl balked at reading the clue, we thought she was suddenly shy.  No, that was not the case.  She got us to read it quietly - and we found that the first part of the "reveal" was another optional game, a Name that Tune of sorts, guess the song from the lyrics.  Some of the lyrics were not appropriate.  We had all the kids skip that part completely.

A Group Photo

Singing Happy Birthday Before cutting the cake.

All in all it was a HUGE sucess, and something we will do again.  I'm already considering a Christmas themed one for adults in December. I'm not sure we will go with this same company, but we might...