Looking for a clever party idea for your teen? One woman shares the story of her daughter's Alice in Wonderland murder mystery.
I've been throwing theme birthday parties for my daughter, Lauren, since she turned 5. Last year, for her 14th birthday, Lauren took on the planning and came up with an "Alice in Wonderland" bash that went way beyond an ordinary tea party.
Lauren started planning about two months before the big day. Her idea was to create a murder mystery using the characters from the Lewis Carroll classic. The victim would be Alice, and any one of the 16 guests could be the killer.
Lauren's invitations asked each guest to dress as their favorite character from the story (this would not necessarily be the character they would take on at the party). Guests did not know that they would be participating in a solving a murder mystery; they simply thought they were coming to an Alice in Wonderland themed tea party.
The Decor and Food
The table was set with teapots, cups and saucers from random sets, topped with scattered playing cards and surrounded by mismatched chairs, to recreate the Mad Hatter's tea party. Lauren baked sugar cookies and wrote, "EAT ME" in purple icing on each one. Paper tags that read "DRINK ME" were stapled around the handles of the cups.
The Mystery Unfolds
After some munching and mingling, Lauren left the room momentarily. When she came back she told her friends, "Alice is dead," thus revealing that this was no ordinary dress-up party. Guests were told that anyone in the room could have been the murderer, and they were each given an envelope with the name of their character and his or her background information.
Finally, the alibis of each character were handed out to the guests. These contained not only their whereabouts during the murder, but their guilt or innocence. It was made clear that only the murderer was to lie about his or her innocence.
The details of Alice's murder were revealed, causing further suspicion and heated debate about the cruel being who killed her. When everyone was given a chance to figure out who they thought was guilty of this terrible crime, a vote was taken. Once that was through, the real murderer was revealed.
Lauren's friends had a wonderful time solving the mystery she had created, and the party was a huge success. It will be hard for her to top next year.
Meryl Feiner contributed this post to Holidash via Seed. To learn more about becoming a Holidash contributor, visit Seed.com.