Here are the most creative birthday ideas to help you throw the most mysterious Mystery Party! Shhh... Start sneaking down this page and the mystery party will unfold!
First of all, let's get things straight... what is a Mystery party?
A Mystery party is a party that is completely based on one story that needs to be figured out by all of the guests. This story needs to be intricate enough to challenge the kids, but not too complicated so that the kids can still solve the mystery in the designated time of the party.
There are many different ways to throw a Mystery party. You can have the guests be the actual characters of the mystery story or the guests are all detectives that need to find out what the mystery is all about (you can have a group of adults play the characters of the mystery story).
The party should be at least 2 hours long so that the kids will get into the mystery story and at the end solve the mystery. It could also be loads of fun if it was a sleepover Mystery party, and then you don't have to worry the kids won't solve the mystery on time.
Usually mystery parties deal with some kind of 'murder' (someone was murdered and people need to figure out who did it). But murder can be quite a daunting subject if the kids are too young. It's best to keep the mystery story more fit for kids, maybe something expensive was stolen, or a challenge the kids need to go through, or a 1000 year secret the kids need to discover, a treasure map that is lost and needs to be found, finding out who put poison in everyone's drink, or anything else that can be similar and still keep the feeling of a mystery.
Creating Your Own Mystery
Creating your own mystery can be quite challenging but sure to be a lot of fun at the party! One good idea is to create the mystery story around something your child loves or anything that is from their world. For example if your child has been dancing ballet many years, you can create the whole mystery around something that deals with ballet. The story can circle around 'The Stolen Ballet Shoes' or anything of the sort. And all of the characters can be either real characters from your child's life (the ballet teacher, the ballet girls, the sister who wished she was a ballet dancer, the best-friend who hates ballet, etc.) or made up characters that can all or most be suspects for 'stealing the ballet shoes'.
You can also decide on a specific theme your child may really love, like Pirates, Luau, Sports, Wild West, Wizard, etc. If your child was born during a holiday, you can also use the holiday as a theme 'Christmas Mystery Party' or 'Halloween Mystery Party', etc.
When choosing which guest will be what character, try choosing a character that you know will suite the guest or that the guest will be at ease playing.
Also remember: the more you and others are in character, the more the kids will get in character themselves. Try to encourage people to get more into character and persuade people to develop an accent, a certain talk or walk, etc.
If you're not the type to write your own mystery, and would rather use a ready-made kids mystery kit, check out these ready-made Mystery party kits that can be personalized to fit your mystery party.
You can also check out our Mystery story sample to help you out with writing your own mystery story and coming up with even more creative birthday ideas.
The writing you use in the invitations really depends on your mystery story. If all the guests are suspects, you can start by writing "Everyone is a suspect... even YOU!".
Other than all of the usual info you'll be needing on the invites (date, time, location, RSVP, etc.) you can add a little note giving a summary of the mystery and/or of the character that guest is going to be (if you want the guest to get ready ahead of time playing the role of their character). Try to persuade them to come dressed as their character.
You can also just leave it a mystery and not add any additional information, although it does get people more into the story when they know what the mystery is, and who their character is before the party.
We've created these mysterious Mystery invitations you can print out and use for this party.
In general, the invitations can suite the theme of the mystery story. If you choose a pirate, princess, wizard, or any other theme, you can use an invitation that suites the particular theme you choose.
You can also print out these question mark invitations that keep in line with the creative birthday ideas of a Mystery theme.
For the invitations, you can also write something like "Whodunit?" on the front and on the inside it can say "Your character is summoned for questioning and interrogation regarding the recent crime committed at the Haunted Mansion". Then give out the date, time and place of interrogation.
You'll want to decorate the party area to fit your mystery story. Think of it as a set for a movie or theater play, the more you make it look like a real scene, the more the kids will get into the mystery story.
First think about the party area in whole. What colors fit your mystery story? What most describes the mystery scene? Try your best to make the party area suite the mystery story.
If you want the more 'birthday' look, add balloons and streamers that fit the theme colors you choose. Although it is best to leave the regular 'birthday' items (like balloons and streamers) aside. It's a lot better to make the party area look like a real scene.
For example, if the mystery story takes place in a scary mansion, put cobwebs all around the party area, tablecovers that look old and scary, long candlesticks (with half-melted candles) on tables, dim the lights, hang spiders from the ceiling, etc. It's best to imagine that you are creating a real movie set, something that can be convincing and can get people more into the mysterious atmosphere.
You can also use these question mark napkin-holders and placecards for extra mystery on the table.
For tableware you can use black dinner plates or any other color that suites your mystery story (other options that are suitable are red, gold, silver, dark green, etc.). You can hang up posters that have to do with your mystery story and/or print out these printable Mystery decorations:
You can also hang up question marks on doors, walls, or hang them from the ceiling. Here are a selection of different kinds of question marks you can print out:
If each arriving guest becomes a character of the mystery story, he/she should get dressed as that character. You can have a box full of dress-up clothes and accessories so that each kid can pick and choose what their character should look like.
You can also create these costumes before the party and each guest that comes can be given his or her costume (each guest gets their character's dress-up clothes).
You can give out the whole costume, from shirt and pants to shoes and wigs. You can also decide just to give out clothing accessories, like funny glasses, vests, a bow tie, an apron, all kinds of hats, a shawl, and all kinds of items that describe the character (for example: a pocket watch, compass, pipe, a tennis racket, etc.). It really all depends on the mystery story itself and the type of characters there are in the story.
Check out our coolest homemade costumes site where you'll find really cool homemade character costumes that can fit the Mystery theme party. You can create one of these character costumes and have each guest wear it for a picture or have each guest wear their own character costume. Of course, you can also go all out like these homemade CLUE Character costumes.
Then you can photograph each guest in their character wardrobe and give out wonderful pictures with each thank-you note.
You can also print out this foldable mystery hat. All you have to do with the above printable hat, is print it out, cut around the half circle, roll it up and staple!
How To Get the Mystery Started
Once each guest comes and gets a character to act out for the mystery story, you can give them a written page of the character's traits and characteristics.
They can then get dressed as the character and start talking the way the character would talk, walking the way the character would walk, in short - work on the physical and mental attributes of their specific character. You can have a few adults helping the kids get into their character or help them work on a certain walk, talk, accent, etc. Once everyone is in character, they are all suspects -the police can take their fingerprints and mug shots to get into that mysterious atmosphere. This can also be done when the mystery is solved, a policeman can come in and take mug-shots of the suspect who has committed the crime.
The host (you or any other adult who chooses to be the host) can start off by introducing everyone to the characters of the mystery (even if all the kids know each other, they will most likely not know each other's character). You can also introduce everyone to the mystery itself (what needs to be solved). It's always important for the host to be in character as well, they can be a neutral character - like an FBI agent, a lawyer, or any character that would be in control of such a mystery story.
Music and sound effects can really get everyone into the mood, it's one of the best ways to create a certain atmosphere. You can introduce everyone while there is a specific music playing in the background. This could be a scary or mysterious tune or song, possibly something that could be played throughout the party as a theme song for the mystery.
After introducing everyone to everyone, something startling can happen that will start the mystery party. For example, everyone hears a scream from the other room (could be a tape-recorded scream), or something breaks, or a certain startled character opens the door suddenly and yells "Oh my gosh! The golden egg has been stolen!" (This is just an example, this person could yell anything that has to do with the mystery story you choose and your own creative birthday ideas).
Maybe all of the presents were stolen, or the cake was stolen and this is what starts the mystery. Try choosing something that will startle and excite the kids enough to really get into the whole mystery-solving mood.
Usually the mystery party and accompanying creative birthday ideas become a scavenger hunt that slowly reveals clues and information about the mystery itself. To get the next clue the guests might need to play a certain game or do a certain craft or activity. You can have the kids play games that are related to mystery and the detective theme. You can check out this whole page full of creative birthday ideas for Mystery-detective games.
A Mystery Story Sample
We've created a sample mystery story and party with cool creative birthday ideas for you to see how such a mystery story can take place. You can use the basis of this story and its creative birthday ideas and change details, add or delete characters, change the setting, etc.
Click here to check out our Mystery story sample for a whole bunch of creative birthday ideas.
Homemade Mystery Cakes
Check out these cool creative birthday ideas for cakes on coolest-birthday-cakes.com, the Web's largest gallery of homemade birthday cakes. You'll find thousands of cakes submitted by visitors like yourself with photos and how-to tips.
Here are a few cakes that could be relevant to this theme.
Aside from all of the above creative birthday ideas, you can create a simple question mark cake. Make a rectangular cake and cut the top of the question mark out of it. Then with the big piece of scrap that’s left over, cut out a circle to put on the bottom of the first shape you cut out. You can then frost the cake and decorate with candies.
Mystery Party Food and Drink
Creative birthday ideas for food depend on your mystery theme and story. If the scene takes place in a ballroom, you might want to have a fancier setting for food. You can have mini-sandwiches, fruit plates, cheese and cracker plates, etc.
You can start the party by having snacks out and "cocktail" drinks (non-alcoholic drinks that look like cocktails and are served in plastic wine glasses). This way the kids can 'mingle' while playing the role of their character.
Fit the food you choose to your mystery story. You can also choose your child's favorite food or anything that can be simply integrated within your theme. If all of the guests need to 'mingle' to find out clues and/or information crucial for the mystery party, they can do the mingling while they are taking food from a buffet you've made.
Additional creative birthday ideas include preparing the food as dishes that give out clues that advance the mystery story. Each dish can have a special name that hides a clue under its meaning.
The clues of the mystery party can lead everyone to the food table where they have the time to eat. Once they finish eating they will get the next clue. After a few more clues, the kids can be led to have dessert and eat cake, and after that continue solving the mystery.
Mystery Party Favors and Thank You's
We've created these printable and foldable favor bags and favor boxes. They are blank and so the kids can decorate and fold them themselves. You can also create them before the party. You'll find large favor-bags, medium favor-bags, and favor-boxes for you to print out.
For the favorbox and medium Mystery favorbag - print out, color if needed (or print on colored paper) and cut out. Before you start gluing the favorbox and favorbag, fold along the dotted lines and assemble so that all the sides connect. Only then add glue and secure the folded flaps.
To create the large Mystery favorbag you'll need to print out TWO designs. First, cut along the lines and fold along the dotted lines. Then, connect the two so that the left side of one is glued to the right side of the other.
More creative birthday ideas include giving out favors that have to do with your mystery story or with each person's character.
This can be all kinds of costume accessories, wigs and headgear (that fit the different characters of the mystery story), masks and sunglasses, glow and light-ups, all kinds of boas, personalized candy-bars (personalized for your party), etc.
Even more creative birthday ideas include sending out thank you notes after the party by printing out these printable thank-you's and attaching a nice photograph from the Mystery party.
Check out all of our other relevant themes that can help you out with more Mystery-related creative birthday ideas and ways to decorate: