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Birthday Party for Teens - Clue/Mystery Theme

Updated on July 4, 2015

Teens/Tween Birthday Party Idea

I have two daughters that are 2 years apart in age and only a month separates their birthday (both around the major holiday of the year!). They are now in the teen and "tween" age and it gets harder to find a birthday party theme that isn't too lame. My "teen" loves to read mystery books and watch the CSI shows. So it was an easy leap to go to a Mystery theme birthday party. To round it out, we made it a "Clue" Mystery theme party.

It was a great success with the 13 year old. I am going to recreate this same party for the 11 year next week - hope they like it as well!

I'm going to give you some tips, tricks, and websites to check out how to create your own Clue/Mystery Theme Party.

Birthday Party Idea Website

Every time my daughter's come up with an idea for a birthday party - I visit my favorite birthday party idea website on the Internet. This site (listed below) gets it's ideas from readers of the site. They post their ideas which include birthday invitations, decorations, games, and food for their party. What I like about this site is that it isn't just for young kids birthday parties - there is also something for the tween and teen birthday parties. Check out this website for some great ideas!


To get the party guests into the theme of the party it all starts with the invitation. My oldest created the invitation for her party (we're going to use it for the younger one too!). We found clip art online (Google Images is great for clip art!). We put all the relevant information onto the invitation (who, what, where, when) and then for an added bonus, my daughter assigned each attendee a "personality" from the game of Clue. She wrote each guest a "private" note that told them who they were when they attended the party. The party guest was to dress like their person (colors were ok). We changed Col. Mustard, Prof. Plum and Mr. Green to spouses or granddaughters. The guests all came "dressed" as their character.

There are a lot of ways to decorate for this party. We bought some Caution tape from the local hardware store and wrapped it around the house like "Police Line" tape. You could also put the tape in the house. You could take white tape and outline a "body" on the floor (for the "crime" that the guests will solve later). Place magnifying glasses around (or microscopes if you have them) anything that you might find in a CSI lab. Let your imagination go!

Some Decorations for the Party

As the Guests Arrive...

As the guests arrive it's fun to do a little fingerprinting. Teach the birthday girl/boy before the party how to take fingerprints. They can then find out what kind of print they have. The fingerprints can be put onto a poster (let everyone guess who's print is who's), frame (for a take away present) or just a fingerprint card. Take a photo of each guest (suspects) and put it on the fingerprint card. Another cool takeaway from the party.

Also as guests arrive you can have one of the other siblings (or your spouse) take pictures of the guests and the birthday girl/boy. You could have them pose like a "dead" person, a wanted poster or just as friends.

Clue - In Your House

After all the guests arrived, we played Clue in our house. I designated different rooms (or parts of rooms) in the house to reflect the rooms from the game of Clue. We don't have a Ballroom, so we "designated" the bathroom as the "Ballroom". You could add some balls to the room to give it the feeling of a "ball" room. I just got creative with different parts of rooms to come up with all the rooms from Clue. (At the end of my hall is a small bookcase - this was the library!)

Each guest was given a small clip board (clipboards from the dollar store) with a Clue sheet (make your own or copy from the game). The party goers check off the clues as they find them in each room.

Each party goer started in a different "room". Each room held an envelope with a note to direct the party goer to the next room. Also in the envelope were 2 Clue cards.

When they have finished going to all the rooms, the guests gathered in the dining room table and made their guesses as to who committed the "crime".

Mystery Dinner

To add more mystery to this party, we created a mystery dinner. Following the house version of the game of Clue, the guests were seated at the dining room table. They were given a menu and asked to select what they wanted to eat from the menu.

However, the menu did not have the usual names for items. All the regular items were given "new" names. For example a fork was called a spear, chocolate pudding was called brown goop and Goldfish crackers were called swimmers. Our menu included: pizza (pepperoni and cheese), macaroni and cheese, carrot sticks, and salad to name a few.

I divided the meal into 3 courses: appetizer, main and dessert. It was fun to watch as the girls received their "choices" for their course. My other daughter was the "server". She would announce what they had "selected" - the mystery name. When all the courses were served, I put out all the food so that if a girl choose something she didn't like, she could select something else or eat more.

Mystery Birthday Cake

My daughters and I enjoy watching the TV show "Cake Boss". He makes some awesome cakes. Unfortunately, we don't live near Cake Boss and I can't make a cake like him. But my daughter designed her own cake and I decorated it (with her help) and she loved it - so I think that is all that matters.

At the right is my interpretation of her design. It is suppose to be a magnifying glass with foot steps and question marks on the cake.

My other daughter is designing her cake also - she wants an outline of a body on her cake. I can't wait to try that one!

Clue - The Game

Following dinner, it is time to play the game - Clue. Make sure that all the guests are on the same page when it comes to understanding the rules for the game (there is nothing worse than arguing during a game over the rules). There is even a Harry Potter version of the game if your group enjoys Potter!

Get Your Own Copy of the Game!

Movies to Watch During Birthday Party

Since we had a sleepover, we had more time for movies. The girls selected 3 (with a little help from Mom) the following movies. This helps to get the girls settled for the night. We started with the Clue movie (of course!) and then let the group decide how to proceed from there. One of the movies was not watched over night so it was the movie playing while we waited for parents to pick their girls up.

If this is a party for boys - they may not like the Nancy Drew movie, but the Haunted Mansion movie might still interest them.

Party Favors

Party favors for a mystery party can be a lot of fun. Try magnifying glasses, a frame with the photo that was taken at the beginning of the party. Check the dollar store for more ideas.

Are You Planning A Birthday Party?

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Oh wow!! This sounds daughter is turning 11 on Halloween and this ia very similar to what we are planning !!

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      MusicalKay28 7 years ago

      very nice ideas! I love mysteries, so this would be a theme that I would enjoy. But I would personalize it somewhat too!