Anyone Ever Host a Mystery Party for Kids?

Updated on August 19, 2009
S.S. asks from Minneapolis, MN
8 answers

My son will turn 6 next month, and for the past few years, we've been doing parties out of the house at places like Adventure Park and Foss. However, this year, he said he wants a Scooby-Doo themed party. The thought of doing a party at home practically gives me hives (the last one we did was really stressful), however, now that the kids are old enough to be dropped off I think it would be OK to try. I was thinking that it might be fun to have a Scooby mystery party, where the kids could be "the gang" and solve some sort of mystery, maybe even with some sort of "villain." Problem is, I have no idea how to go about something like this. I've been to adult mystery parties, but they've been pretty scripted with assigned parts--something I think is way too complicated for 5-6 year-olds. Any ideas how I might be able to pull this off? Thanks!

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answers from Duluth on

I personally would keep it as simple as possible! Scooby theme could just be through plates, napkins, balloons...things like that. And this could even be at another place. I just had my 5 year old's bday party on Sunday at a hotel pool and rented out the meeting room...for 5 kids and parents. I brought all my own stuff to decorate in hello kitty, the kids swam, ate, and ran around the meeting room and had a blast! No worries about weather, my house, or was great!

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answers from Philadelphia on

All you have to do is let me outside. and have them go Hunt for stuff and tell them what they are looking for or take pictures of thing you want them to find and put it on paper.. have them hunt of it and make a story to go along with it!!



answers from Rapid City on

I love the scavenger hunt idea. It could be the case of the missing crate or treasure chest (which holds the treat bag). Make up a story of how the sharkman or ghost or goblin took the treasure chest and it is up to the mystery team to find it. You could even get someone to dress the part of the villian and have him show up here and there to scare them a little (not scare as in horror but as they do in scooby doo shows) They have to find the villian and find where he hid the treasure. You could even "catch" the villian and show that he isn't a real ghost.. like they do on scooby doo. You really wouldn't need anymore entertainment, this will keep them busy.



answers from Cedar Rapids on

A friend of mine just had a scooby party for her son and they did a scavenger hunt. The kids had to figure out the riddle/clues to tell them where to go next. She used both words and pictures so that all the kids would be able to participate; ages ranged from 3 1/2 to 6. Their treat bags were at the end of the hunt. Before they began she gave them each a little flip top notebook (for writing clues) and a mini magnify glass. The kids had a blast and as an added bonus they learned how productive teamwork could be :)



answers from Milwaukee on

I'm planning on doing a party kinda along the same line as you are for my daughter's 6th birthday this fall. I just plan on going on Oriental and getting some things that are mystery based like magnifying glasses and flashlights. Then in a two hour party all you need is a craft or something kids can do on their own while you wait for everyone to come. Then an activity. I have seen I Spy bingo in target recently that might work. You could by coins from a party store that they can win. Then maybe some free time to play around. At least 30-45 minutes for cake and presents and then let them run off the sugar while the parents come to get them.

I would get at least 2-3 other adults that are fully capable to help.

Good luck. I love doing home parties. They are a lot of work but I love to think that I'm pulling back alittle from the big bouncy parties that I have done before. Start small and then you have something to work up to as they get older.




answers from Grand Forks on

Depending on the maturity of the kids, they may be able to stick to the mystery hunt. For my son's 7th birthday, we hosted a Super Hero/Villains party at home. It all had to be done inside since there was several feet of snow outside.

Here's a tip: Keep it simple and scour the internet for activity ideas! I debated over whether to purchase all the supplies to have them create their own hero/villain as part of the party-too complicated to keep the kids on task and too expensive. In the end everyone was encouraged to come dressed as a hero or villain. You could do the same with the Scooby gang and ask for them to RSVP with who they'll be attending as (ex: Little Joey Smith coming as Shaggy). This left me to focus on setting up activity stations-Pin the Spider on the spider web, Batman's Locator Hunt,Light Saber Battles, Pinata, Death Star Balloon Pop, etc. Here's a few tips to help keep the party madness to a minimum so you can enjoy the party you worked so hard to put together.

*A few weeks before the party-map out the activities including what, when, and where. This will help you get the maximum use of your space. You don't want to spend your time rushing to clean up after one activity to set up for the next.
*Set up your stations (or mystery hunt) before the guests arrive so you don't end up missing most of the party by constantly moving in too many directions.
*Have a pre-party activity set up to keep kids busy as all the guests arrive. We made hero/villain masks-you could have your bunch watch a Scooby Movie, color, or something like that.
*Have plenty of activities planned but set it up so if the flow of the party doesn't allow for them to complete all the activities they still solve the mystery. Kids get bored quickly so it's important to keep the party moving. BUT they also don't like moving on from an activity they're REALLY enjoying.

Good luck on your party! Hope it all goes well!



answers from Waterloo on

When I was in Girl Scouts we used to have a mystery dinner. There was a story and every so often 1 word was underlined. Those were then the items you ordered off the menu. It was a 4 or 5 course meal with each course ordering 5 things. This included getting your chair, utensils, napkin as well as food. Once you got your chair, you could keep it but everything else was sent back to the kitchen at the end of each course. It was so much fun to work together to try to figure out what each item was named. It was also extremely funny to see what you got...maybe your dessert, green beans, noodles (but no sauce because it was a separate item) and a spoon.

To set it up, figure out 20-25 items that would be easy to have on hand/make. Create a story & order forms for each course. Have everything labeled with it's mystery name. When the kids order, collect those items and serve.



answers from Iowa City on

I've done the same king of thing. Very simple idea. The kids got a clue that took them somewhere in the house or yard. Once there, they had to play a game before they got the next clue. We had a queen theme...I think they had to find a stolen goblet. At one stop they shot sling shots at a target, at another they had sword fights, maybe a tic-tac-toe tossing game?? They had to put paper puzzles together for some's been long ago but I remember it went over very well and I think we only had them doing 5 or so stations so I didn't have to come up with much of a story at all. When we sat down to eat afterwards (we had dinner) they all had their own version of the goblet that was stolen to drink from (yeah, dollar store). My girls helped plan a bit in telling their friends to dress like queens and saying they could be from different countries, but they didn't know what the story line or games would be so they were also surprised.

The sword fighting (foam bats and full martial arts sparring protective gear) over the queenly dresses made for great pictures. Oh yes! We made them fight my husband who was a big monster...lots of fun for everyone

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