In a city like Chicago, where Al Capone and John Dillinger are still household words and the ghosts of Resurrection Mary and the vanishing hitchhiker are still sighted, the mystery party theme has been popular for years. Some mystery party services in Chicago cater to children.
Murder Mystery Maniacs
Murder Mystery Maniacs' (host-a-murder.com) most popular package is a live version of the game Clue. This party for teenagers turns each party guest into a suspect. The package is available online -- you pick the theme and characters and the company sends you a box of materials. Available party themes include mystery packages that do not include a "murder." The package includes character name tags, character cards, interview pads and pencils, voting ballots for the guests and award cards for best actor and super sleuth. At the time of publication, this package cost $6 to $10 per person, depending on the scenario selected. The Murder Mystery Maniacs will host an event on-site, for an additional fee.
The Murder Mystery Company
The Murder Mystery Company (grimprov.com) provides live actors who travel to your party site with costumes, props and other materials needed for the show. Mystery themes other than murder are available. This party can be customized to include activities for younger children. The cost is determined by the number of guests and the number of actors. At the time of publication, a small party package with one actor and up to 20 guests costs $349. The small party package with two actors and up to 20 guests cost $499. The small party package with two actors and 21 to 50 guests costs $599. Additional actors can be added for $149 per actor.
The Museum of Science and Industry
A scavenger hunt at the Museum of Science and Industry (msichicago.org) can be a great mystery game. The museum offers free visitor days in the months of January, February, June, September and October. On those free days, no general admission is charged and you and your guests can travel through the museum seeking different exhibits and display items. The museum is normally open from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. In the summer, hours are extended to 5:30 p.m. The museum's WOW Tour Package is a one-hour tour designed primarily for children ages 3 through 11. At the time of publication, the tour cost $6 per child and $8 for adults and seniors. The tour is scheduled daily.
Chicago Haunting Tours
A Chicago Haunting Tour (chicagohauntings.com) could be an interesting mystery party filled with ghost stories and sites of alleged hauntings. This is an expensive party option, suitable for teens and older children. At the time of publication, for $28 per adult and $20 per children 8 to 12 years old, you can arrange for a private tour. The Creeped-Out Kids Tour, which can accommodate up to 35 children, has toned down stories.
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