As you may know from my other How to Host a Murder posts, I like to purchase a boxed set on Amazon as the basis for the party. I’ve written murder mystery parties before, but I always feel a little sad that I can’t participate since I decided who the killer would be. That’s why these boxed sets are awesome – the murderer doesn’t actually even know he/she committed the murder, so all players can have an equal shot at winning the game! This party was Mystery #13: The Tragical Mystery Tour. I chose this theme because the time period (late 1969) fascinates me and I wanted to have a chill night with great music and some fun. As with my other posts in this series, here’s the low down for making a successful party:
- Choose your guest list. For this party, we went with the usual suspects – 2 friend couples and a single sibling and friend. Every one had previously met one another at my Circus Party, so the stage was set for a fun night.
- Plan your food. I decided that I wanted a super low key dinner and dessert- essentially, I wanted a meal where everything could be pre-made so I wouldn’t be rushing around cooking at the last minute. So, I went with a pot roast in a crockpot, which was actually typical of the late 1960’s (well, at least the pot roast part). I paired that with salad, which I tossed ahead of time, and cake and candied pecans, all ready ahead of the party. This made the night of much easier and lower stress. Since this was a hippie party, I wanted to feel mellow from the start. Also, it happened to fall near one of our guests’ birthdays, so the cake was decorated for him.
- Set the mood. Because these games require a seating area big enough for 8, I decided I needed to add some furniture to my small college house living room. I used some pallets and a memory foam pad to make a low sitting couch which I covered in a variety of blankets and pillows. I also pulled in a papasan chair from another room and found an awesome (and cheap!) hammock online which the hubs built a stand for. I used card tables in my dining room to create a long dinner table which I topped with some lace scraps and a funky vase. The playlist for the night consisted of all the greats (Zeppelin, Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Rush, etc.) and was mostly historically accurate. You can find the playlist on Spotify under n.neiger – it’s called Hippie Party.
- Prep for the game. As per usual, I found a good spot to set out the map, booklets, clues, and little notebook/pen sets for my guests to capture clues and facts. The tape (yes, cassette tape) for this game is actually pretty funny to listen to, so try to dig out an old tape deck. Check in your attic. I also went way overboard and created a time period specific “newspaper” to help my guests understand the current political, scientific and economic climates of the time. I don’t think it helped the game at all and my guests might have thought I was a little crazy.
- Get costumes. I was a Rastafarian chick and my hubs was an activist from “U.C. Burpley.” Actually, as you can see below, all of our guest decided to go for it, costume-wise.
As always, these parties are a great time. I would highly recommend hosting one – they are pretty easy to plan and set up for and once you get started, the game will flow. Have fun!