When it came time to talk about Simone’s 16th birthday party, she wanted to invite about 150 people. I don’t even know 150 people! Besides, we needed to keep things within reason, not to mention within a budget.
While some of her friends have had Sweet Sixteen parties that resembled wedding receptions – complete with rented dining halls, catered meals, and disc jockeys – we knew that wasn’t the route we wanted to go. Again, we’re thinking “within reason” and “within a budget.”
So we came up with another idea.
Since Simone loves the performing arts, we decided to do a kind of mystery dinner theatre.
Just like the board game “CLUE,” I designed an interactive game where the kids needed to solve a mystery. All the kids were part of a team, and each team needed to go around to the different rooms in our house to find a clue.
Each room had a clue card that I had typed up earlier, and on it, there were instructions that the team needed to follow in order to obtain the next clue.
- In the kitchen, they needed to follow a recipe, make a smoothie, and drink it.
- In Simone’s room, they needed to come up with a secret team handshake and then perform it.
- In the game room (garage), they needed to play ping pong and volley the ball back and forth twenty times without stopping.
- In the living room, they needed to challenge Simone’s little brother at a Wii duel. It was hilarious. Nobody except Simone could beat a six-year-old.
On and on, from room to room, the kids worked together at crazy stuff. Building a human pyramid in the bounce house. Solving riddles in the dining room. Playing badminton on the lawn. Writing notes for Simone on the patio.
Of course, not all clues could be earned by completing a task. Some clues were hidden around the house. To find them, the teams had to solve additional riddles. This added another dimension of variables in order to create more challenge and suspense.
I had it all worked out in my head, but I wasn’t sure if it would come together the way I had envisioned it. Thankfully, it worked. And it was loads of fun.
Simone had a little over 50 friends here. Some from school. Some from Young Life. Some from youth group. And it looked like they all had a great time.
As a mom, it was one of those days that make you smile.