How to Host a Murder Mystery Party Just in Time for Halloween

Are you ready to learn how to host a murder mystery party? Everyone loves to dig into a fun whodunnit type of story. There’s something incredibly exciting about seeing a problem, digging up clues, and putting the pieces together to solve the case. Whether we indulge in these sorts of mysteries by watching movies, reading books, listening to podcasts, or even hearing about the adventures in other people’s lives, there’s one place everyone can take a crack at it:

A murder mystery party.

These get-togethers can be an excellent party for any group of people, be it coworkers, family, a club, or even people who enjoy roleplaying. After all, what’s not to love about getting to put on your acting hat, pretending to be someone else for an evening, and getting to star in your detective role? Similarly, what could be a better choice for the Halloween season?

If that sounds like an excellent idea to you, there’s no better time to get started on the planning than now. But where do you learn how to host a murder mystery party? By reading our guide below!

Decide on Your Guests

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While we’re talking about how to host a murder mystery party, we can’t forget about the guests. You can’t have a murder mystery party without any guests! Ideally, your invitation pool will include people who like to roleplay a little or don’t mind putting themselves out there to interact with others.

The guests you invite will decide several things, such as the tone of the party (friends vs. coworkers vs. family), the space you need, and how many players your game can accommodate. Like other parties, your guest list can also determine when you should schedule it for, so you can optimize your players.

Pick a Theme!

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While the idea of a murder mystery party may bring to mind specific images (dinner theater anyone?), you can actually enjoy a variety of different themes. From classic murder mysteries to fantasy settings to sci-fi to the Old West, you have no shortage of choices. Your guest list will come in handy here, as you can pick a theme that your guests will enjoy playing.

At this stage, it’s also helpful to determine if you want your party to be dinner based or just a free for all in the evening. This decision will determine your layout later on, and it’s an essential part of how to host a murder mystery party.

If you’re uncertain about what themes you can go with, never fear! You can find numerous companies that sell murder mystery kits across different genres—which brings us into our next step!

Choose Your Story

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We’ve mentioned murder mystery kits just above, so let’s talk a little bit more about them here. These kits essentially have everything you need to tell your story. They include the premise, character information, the identity of the murderer, possible scenes to help pace the party, and the clues your guests will need to solve the case.

Alternatively, you can take a crack at writing the story yourself! Building a concept from scratch can be a bit of a challenge. You’ll need to ensure there are enough clues to figure out who the culprit is without making it glaringly obvious and ending the game early.

There’s no one right way to choose your story. Kits are perfect for people who want time to plan the other aspects while writing the game on your own can be a fun and creative outlet. Plus it lets you customize the story for your guests!

Assigning Characters

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Once you have your story and your guest list settled, you’ll want to think about casting the “roles” of the mystery. There are plenty of ways you can go about this, such as:

  • Picking out characters that match the personalities of your guests, so it’s easy for them to play their role
  • Giving your guests characters with opposing personalities to challenge them
  • Letting your guests pick out the characters they’re interested in playing

While you can finalize the cast list close to the party date, stay aware that this is a task you’ll need to do to make your party successful!

Choosing a Location

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You can’t have a party without a venue. When selecting your location, think about how many players you’ll have, if you need extra space for food, and what your party budget can afford to rent out if necessary.

Even with small guest counts, people should have enough room to confer in private discussions without revealing their hand to everyone in the room. Locations that match the theme of the party can also add to the atmosphere!

So long as you plan it right, any location can host a murder mystery. It could be your home, outdoors, or a recreation hall—though you might earn bonus points if you can rent a haunted mansion for the evening.

Planning Decorations

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Even if your location doesn’t match up entirely with your theme, there’s no reason to fret! Some decorations and a bit of imagination can go a long way when the game is afoot. Some considerations to make when planning your decorations are:

  • Your budget
  • The theme of your party
  • What you’re allowed to do if you’re renting a place
  • How much time you’ll need to set up/tear down before and after the party
  • Any props or clues needed for the mystery

If you plan to have tables, several smaller ones are better than one large one to provide your guests with some places to have private conversations while in character.

Planning the Menu

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Are you planning on serving dinner at your party? How about snacks or drinks? Murder mysteries can take several hours depending on the players, so some refreshments are usually excellent to have around. Having designated areas for food will give your guests a chance to encounter each other while in character as well!

If you have a kit which has a story focused around different phases where new clues enter the game, you can split up your food in courses, such as cocktail hour, dinner, dessert, etc. Keeping track of your guest list and RSVPs will ensure you have enough food prepared for everyone.

Sending Invitations

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No murder mystery party would be complete without invitations! As with any other party invite, you’ll need to have the essentials on it: the date, time, and location, as well as a way to RSVP and other essential details.

The invitation is the prime place to note if you’ll have a dress code for the party. People can have a lot of fun if they dress in character, but, for other groups, it can be a lot of pressure. Pick what’s best for your guests, and dressing up can be a lot of fun if you host your murder mystery around Halloween!

Make Name Tags

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Acting in character is some of the enjoyment of murder mysteries, but it’s not always easy to remember all the character names—especially if you have a lot of guests. Name tags are essential for your guests to have. So you should prepare them in advance. The style you decide to go with can complement your party, or it can just be convenient to make.

Plan Your Timetable

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Having a structure for the evening will help the game move forward. If your party is going to be in a rented area or paired along with mealtimes, having a schedule is essential. For murder mystery kits that have mealtimes in mind, there is usually a recommendation of when to introduce new clues, break for eating, and bring in new elements of the game.

At the end of the evening, it’s always fun to have a time where everyone explains what happened during the game from their perspective. Plenty of events can occur while guests are busy doing other things, so this “wrap up” at the end is a recommended part of your timetable!

Laying Out the Rules

As the party approaches, you’ll also want to lay out the rules so all your guests can learn them. Your guides can include many different aspects. But some important ones to consider are:

  • How players can win
  • If there is any dress code
  • “Combat” systems (for games that have them)
  • Who are hosts that can help with game questions
  • What areas are off limits (especially if you are renting a location)

To ensure you can run the game properly, you should also use the time when planning the rules to review the game scenario, understand everyone’s characters, and know who the murder is.

Prepare to Host

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Once you have all the preparation work done, you should get yourself ready to be a host. (If you find yourself interested in playing, you might want to see if someone will feel interested in hosting for you!) When guests arrive, you should be there to pass out nametags, acquaint guests with each other, and explain the rules once everyone comes.

As the game goes on, your role as the host will be to check on players, serve food if you have it, and introduce the new phases of the game as they happen. Don’t be afraid to review your timetable and bring everyone together as you need to move the game along. From there, your job is to have fun with everyone else!

Wrapping Up

Now that you’ve made it to the end of our guide, you now know how to host a murder mystery party! The earlier you start planning, the better, so don’t be afraid to get started!

List Of Fun Scavenger Hunt Ideas To Try

There are 2 types of party games that every party needs to keep the excitement levels up – scavenger hunts and treasure hunts. Though both involve finding hidden things, there is a big difference between the two.

A scavenger hunt starts with a list of things to find and a set time for finding them. There are no clues given to help the players find the items. They have to scavenge for them.

A treasure hunt has no time limit and the players are given clues to help them find the hidden treasure.

I have a feeling you are more interested in the scavenger hunt, so I’ll give you the ultimate list of scavenger hunt ideas for your next party (or just a great family afternoon).

Backyard Scavenger Hunt

Hide some items all around your backyard and give the players a list of the things to find. This can be played as an individual or team game. To spice things up, make a different list for each player or team but include one item common to both. Make the common item especially difficult to find.

Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt

This is a variation of the backyard scavenger hunt. The only twist is that the hunting ground is now extended to part of the neighborhood or the entire neighborhood. It is especially good if all the kids in the neighborhood participate. Be sure to inform all the stakeholders in your neighborhood about your planned game.

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Make a list of nature-related things for the players to find or see. Extra points for finding particular colors, e.g. a red flower. This is a great way to get children to explore nature and learn about the natural things around them while having a great time.

Five Senses Scavenger Hunt

Have the players find things associated with the five senses. Be sure to be specific so as to avoid the kids touching or tasting what they shouldn’t. For example, they can look for a sour lemon, a soft teddy, or a loud drum. Make sure there is ample supervision for this game.

Family Reunion Scavenger Hunt

This is especially fun at family gatherings. Hide old photos of family members and have the players find the photos and match them to the current face. This should be a lot of fun for the whole family.

Wild Animal Scavenger Hunt

Have the players find wild animals. No, not in the jungle. Get a packet of miniature plastic wild animals and hide them for the players to find. You can also use pictures in place of the plastic toys.

Outdoor Motor Sensory Scavenger Hunt

Players can look for something that is related to their motor senses. For example, they can find something to climb over or under, something to swing on, or something to balance on their heads. Though most of these can be found naturally, you might have to improvise or create some for yourself – like a rope tied to a branch in the case of something to swing on.

St. Patrick’s Scavenger Hunt

In this variation of a scavenger hunt, players have to scavenge for a list of green things. Make a list of green socks, green cup, green hat, green leaf, or anything you have on hand that is green. You can adapt this one to suit whatever holiday is approaching or being celebrated.

Solve the Riddle Scavenger Hunt

This is an interesting variation of the scavenger hunt that is suitable for all ages but can be more interesting for older kids or adults. Instead of the ordinary list of things to find or do, players have to solve a riddle whose answer is the object they are to hunt for.

The Bakery Scavenger Hunt

Create a list of baking ingredients and have the players find them. Once they’ve found everything on the list, go ahead and bake a cake (or something else simple).

Dress Up Scavenger Hunt

You will need a lot of costumes for this one depending on the number of players. If not, have the children work in groups. Create a list of the components of an entire costume for each team and have them look for them. For example, one team can look for pieces of a pirate costume. To win the game, players must not only find the entire costume, but they should also dress one of their team members up in the costume.

At the Beach Scavenger Hunt

You don’t really have to go the beach for this one but a few props can make it more interesting. Create a list of things that can be found at the beach and have players find pictures of them. If you have some actual beach stuff like shells or a beach towel, you can throw them into the mix.

The Hunt is On

A scavenger hunt is one of the simplest, cheapest, and yet most exciting party game you can include in your repertoire of party game ideas. All you need is a bit of creativity. Use whatever you have on hand and let the hunt begin.

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The Ultimate List Of The Best Kids’ Party Games And Activities

If you’ve ever organized a kids birthday party before, you know how stressful it can be. No, I’m not talking about the food and the décor, that’s child’s play. The biggest (and scariest) part of organizing a kid’s birthday is the entertainment – party games in particular.Here’s a handy list to help you keep from pulling out your hair next time you’re caught at the helm of organizing a birthday party for kids.

1. Treasure Hunt

This party game is actually fun for both kids and adults. Hide a prize somewhere in the house or yard and place clues all over that will lead the participants to the “treasure”.

You can make a variation of the game where you hide multiple prizes in different places. Make maps leading to the prizes. On the day of the party, you then divide the children into teams and hand them a map. The first team to find their treasure wins.

2. Three-Legged Race

This is a simple game that is a favorite among younger kids. Find something soft to tie 2 children’s legs together and make them race with their “3 legs”. To make it more exciting, you can have a relay version provided there is enough room and enough participants.

3. Balloon Pop

Blow up lots of balloons and place tokens (simple paper with a number or picture) inside some of them. Each token represents a small prize. The kids can then blow up the balloons to find the tokens.

4. Sack Race

This is a classic game that never gets boring. All you need are a few sacks to get the action going. To make it more exciting, put participants into teams with a member representing an age group. For example, one toddler, one teen, and one adult (if you have some around). Points are awarded for each round and points tallied at the end.

5. Hot Potato

Kids sit in a circle and an item is placed in the first child’s hands. Music is then played and the kids start passing the object around. When the music stops, the child holding the object is eliminated. The last child remaining is the winner. To make it more interesting, make the object the prize of the game.

6. Obstacle Course

Set up an obstacle course in your backyard and let the kids race to get to the end where a simple prize will be waiting for them.

7. Marble Toss

Get a piece of foam board (a sturdy cardboard box can do) and glue plastic cups on it. Cover the entire board with colored Styrofoam cups. At least four colors to represent a player. The players are then given marbles matching in color with their cups. The aim of the game is to throw your marbles into your color cup. The number of marbles in the players’ cup equals their number of points.

8. Pin the Tail on the Donkey

This is another classic that will never lose its appeal. All you need do is print (or paint if you’re artistic) a picture on a cardboard, leaving out a piece of course. If your party has a theme, be creative and use a picture that corresponds to the theme. The kids then take turns to be blindfolded and try to pin the missing piece in its place. Be sure to turn them around a bit to make it more interesting.

9. Ring Toss

Bring the carnival into your home with this easy-to-make game. All you need are a few bottles to throw some homemade rings over.

10. Duck. Duck. Goose!

Have the children sit in a circle and pick out one child (the duck) to get the game started. The duck then goes behind the line and walks around touching the children’s heads saying “duck” each time. After a while, the duck should touch one of them at random and shout “goose”, and run to the spot she was picked from. The goose then runs after the duck to try and stop her from reaching their spot. Failure to do so and the goose turns into the duck and the process is repeated.

11. What’s the Time Mr. Wolf

Pick one child from among the kids (best start with the birthday boy/girl) to be the wolf. All the kids follow the wolf asking, “What’s the time Mr. Wolf?” The wolf responds by stating the time starting from one O’Clock and going up. At one point, at the wolf’s discretion, the wolf then shouts, “Dinner time!”, and turns around to chase the other kids. The captured victim then becomes the wolf.

12. Escape The Monster

Set up two points a distance apart. The first point is where the game starts, you can call it anything, granny’s house is a good one. The other point will be “home”. Chose 1 or 2 children (even an adult) to stand in the middle (the forest) as the monsters. The aim of the game is for each child to run across the forest and avoid being caught by a monster. Any child who gets caught turns into a monster too. The children will run to and fro between home and granny’s place until one child is left. The last child remaining is the winner.

Party On

There you are, a list of party ideas to keep the party lively for a very long time. No need to fret over games or, worry about hiring an expensive entertainer who will just make them play the same games.

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