I've wanted to do a Mystery Dinner for a few years, but it hasn't happened. This year I decided I was going to do my best to make something similar happen, as a new, fun family tradition. After much searching the web I came across 'just Sweet and Simple' blog and loved all of the ideas, printouts, and mystery dinner story. After reading through it however, I knew my kids were still too young, so ... I decided to make a Harry Potter Mystery for kids (kind of like a play, they act out impromptu as they uncover the mystery). With some help from my creative husband, I wrote a children's script that can easily be adapted to any household and any number of people (their are a few, short, adult parts as well). That story and print outs are at he bottom of this post. Then I set to work turning our home into the world of Harry Potter. Most of my print outs and lots of my décor ideas (and tutorials) came from 'just Sweet and Simple' blog Mystery Dinner party. Otherwise I tried to use what I had to make it fun. My son folded these origami owls from newspaper.to deliver the invitations. Then we painted them black and added some googly eyes.
I like to use plastic table cloths to cover the walls and furniture (like entertainment centers, shelves, cubbies, etc.) for the evening. You don't even need tape often, because they are so staticy, they just stick.
I used a brown hand towel and some raffia to make Mandrakes ... lol!
Random spooky things from the Halloween section at thte local stores http://sharinashack.com/wp-content/uploads/DigitalProducts/MysteryoftheStolenCandy.zipfit the Harry Potter theme well.
Tutorial for this fun wall is on 'just Sweet and Simple' blog
I love to use large cardboard boxes to create (I guess I never grew out of it as a kid). Add a bit of paint here and there for a fun look. Then hang some lights and some spooky cloth.
We transformed out garage into the Great Hall, with a bit of paint and some card board boxes. We had a pot luck taco salad bar with treats and butter bear (root beer).
Tutorial for the sorting hat is on the 'just Sweet and Simple' blog.
My family was awesome and enjoyed playing along, including wearing costumes to fit their characters (can you guess who is who?) After the feast we played Halloween games in the Great Hall and enjoyed each others company. We videoed much of the event and have enjoyed watching it many times (the best of home videos, nothing fancy).
We had so much fun doing this, we'd like to share it with you. Here is the pdf script to "The Mystery of the Stolen Candy." Also included are the memos/script, and evidence you need to complete the mystery. Replace the 'character' names on the pdf script with the characters you've chosen to read each part (example: Harry, Hermoine, Luna, etc.) Print the 4 script sheets, and evidence sheets on cardstock. Put the 4 script sheets back in your printer and print the MEMO sheet on the back of each one. Cut out the cards and laminate them. Then you can write on the line above the MEMO the characters name. I taped the memo cards in the corresponding room they would be read in, so they would be easy for the characters to find each part. Have fun!