Practical Tips for Hosting a New Year’s Eve Murder Mystery Party

True story: One time I missed the New Year’s countdown altogether because I was stuck in a queue for the bathroom at a club which had clearly oversold tickets. That was the last time I went to a commercial event on New Year’s Eve, and I have never looked back!

If you’re looking to spend quality time with friends and family, but still want to get dressed up and close out the year in sumptuous style, a murder mystery party in your very own home might just be the ticket!

Here are our top tips for throwing a New Year’s Eve Murder Mystery Party -

Pick a Glitzy Theme

Not all murder mystery themes are created equal when it comes to New Year’s Eve. Everyone wants to get dressed up, so themes such as ‘The Roaring 20’s’ or 1960’s Monte Carlo Casino fit the bill. A clear-cut theme will also make it easier to decorate…

Transform Your Home With a Few Decorations

Chances are you already have decorations, such as fairy lights, up for Christmas, so it doesn’t take a lot of effort to completely transform the space in which you live out your daily life. For example, you could buy or make decorations such as a casino backdrop or a champagne tower, and top these up with things you may have in the house, such as a poker set, or liquor bottles with printed prohibition labels stuck on. Crafting these could even be a fun family activity for those quiet days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve! A little effort can go a long way to making guests feel like they’ve been transported somewhere completely different for the evening.

Plan Your Event Timeline

It’s a good idea to aim to finish the murder mystery game half an hour before the countdown to midnight, otherwise the game may lose pace, and your guests might be too drunk to guess the murderer! By the end of the game, everyone will be loosened up and mingling well, and still have a little time to anticipate the count down.

Set Up a Photo Area

Photo areas don’t have to be complex to be an effective way of nudging your guests to take lots of photos. By simply providing a few themed props and a backdrop, you will ensure everyone is captured in the costumes they have prepared, and that great memories are made!

Prepare Food Beforehand

When hosting a murder mystery party, you want to focus on hosting rather than food preparation. Finger food can therefore be a good option and can also lean into your theme. For example, if you’re throwing a 1960’s themed party, you could serve food which was popular in that era such as fondue, devilled eggs and prawn cocktail.

Playing the murder mystery game around a sit-down dinner can also work very well, especially for parties with fewer guests. In this case, it’s a good idea to serve food that can be mostly prepared beforehand. For example, a chilled starter, a slow cooker dish, and a pre-baked tart or cake.

Elevate Your Drinks

Whilst hosting a murder mystery event, you won’t want to spend all of your time preparing drinks. And yet the drinks should feel special, to match the occasion. Setting up a drinks station with a couple of cocktail recipe cards is a good way to ensure your guests can self-serve.

Another idea is to whizz up a batch cocktail in a blender with ice, which is faster than making individual cocktails using a cocktail shaker. Make a batch, pour it inside a drink dispenser and fill an ice bucket beside it. Add some garnishes for a bit of extra flair!

Lastly, don’t forget the non-alcoholic drinks!

Make Another Playlist for After the Murder Mystery

You will probably use a themed playlist during the murder mystery party, but don’t forget to also make another playlist, so the party continues once the murder mystery is finished!


So, there you have it! A New Year’s Eve party which your friends and family will talk about for years to come, which you can enjoy without even having to step out of your new fluffy slippers!

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