How to Plan a Murder Mystery Dinner for Teenagers

Dressing up at a murder mystery dinner will help get teens into character.
Dressing up at a murder mystery dinner will help get teens into character. (Image: hello, i'm a killer image by Vasiliy Koval from Fotolia.com)

Introduce teens to a world of mystery and intrigue at a murder mystery dinner. It is an exciting way to bring teens together, allow them to role-play without feeling silly and give them something to talk about for days. Teens will feel comfortable interacting as a large group instead of breaking off into small cliques. Set aside a month to plan and prepare for a murder mystery dinner for teenagers to avoid becoming stressed.

Things You'll Need

  • Murder mystery kit
  • Invitations
  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Camera
  • Photo paper

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Purchase a murder mystery kit and read the instructions. Create a guest list; many mystery parties require at least six people.

Send invitations to the people on your guest list. Include on the invitation the guest's character and request for her to dress in character. Notify the victim he will be dying during dinner and provide a red-stained shirt labeled "victim" for him to wear. Two weeks before the dinner, call and verify guests are attending. Ask adults to be backup characters in case of any cancellations.

Make a menu of teens' favorite foods. It can match the mystery but does not have to. If you are solving a murder in Hawaii, serve barbecue chicken skewers, sweet potato fries and banana coconut upside-down cake. Or order foods most teens love like pizza, salad and soda.

Choose decorations to add authenticity to the dinner. A table decorated for a pirate mystery may have a stack of old books topped with a skull, a small bottle labeled "poison" and an hourglass sand timer. Use goblets instead of cups for an added touch. Decorate for a 1950s murder mystery party by hanging records from the ceiling. Use a red-and-white checkered tablecloth on the table and soda glasses. Pull everything together by placing a jukebox cutout in a corner of the room.

Take pictures of each guest as they arrive and hand them a script. Take a group photo. Plan to download and print copies of the photos for guests to take home at the end of the evening. Talk with your guests and encourage them to ask questions for 45 minutes to an hour. Set up motives and use clue cards to begin solving the mystery.

Gather the guests for dinner. Continue to discuss the murder while eating. Prearrange for a guest to excuse himself from dinner, put on the "bloody victim" T-shirt and return to the dinner table. This should raise the level of excitement in the room.

Give the teens paper and pens after they eat. One at a time, teens should accuse others of the murder along with the motive for murder. After everyone has had a turn, pass out the solution cards. Each guest should read his card. The killer will announce she killed the victim and explain how she committed the murder.

Tips & Warnings

  • Give the best actor or actress a prize.

References

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