My big sister wanted to come up with a fun and innovative way to encourage my nieces to do more reading over the summer. After looking over some of the suggestions on Pinterest, we wound up using the idea to create a Book Bingo game for the girls. No need for me to explain the concept to you. A picture (or two) is worth a thousand words:
Me: If you need a custom design project done, who should you contact?
Audience: A & A!
One of the staples of A & A would have to be our murder mystery packages. They've been something of a fan favorite since we began our little venture a couple of years ago. Truth be told, they're also one of our favorite projects to create!
If you've never participated in a murder mystery party, the concept may seem a bit complicated and intimidating. But be assured, a successful murder mystery party is actually quite easy to pull off. And, in the end, you'll wind up having a boatload of fun and will be left with an experience you won't forget! A murder mystery party (at least the type we design) is nothing more than an unscripted play. Each guest is assigned a character involved in a story where the outcome involves a murder. Throughout the evening, each of the characters will be presented with all the clues needed to uncover the murderer.
The following are the steps we take to create a murder mystery package:
(1) First, we meet with the client to determine how many guests will be involved in their party, which theme they want go with, and to collect contact information for each guest. In some instances, we may need to contact individuals for various reasons.
(2) We create the storyline. As previously mentioned, each story involves a death that needs to be solved. Typically, the death occurs "off-screen", but we've designed at least one package where one of the characters was killed during the dinner. The choice is yours!
(3) We design the characters. For each character, we create a description that outlines their backstories, traits and attributes, and specific instructions for what they should say and how they should act during the murder mystery dinner. Each character has a motive for being the killer, but will also have an alibi to account for his/her whereabouts during the murder and various pieces of evidence to corroborate those stories. At least one character's story however, won't check out fully. It's the participants' jobs to use all the materials presented to uncover the killer!
(4) We create the props central to the story. One of the most unique features in our murder mystery packages are the customized props we create. We go into painstaking detail to design an assortment of props that are key to the flow of the storyline. Whether it's an ID badge from a top secret government lab, a Sports Illustrated magazine cover, or spy cam surveillance photos, we pull out all the stops to create the items used in our murder mystery packages.
(5) We do not provide food services, though we do recommend that you conduct your murder mystery party with dinner (or, at the very least, with some kind of appetizers).
(6) We offer parting gifts for the participants. In addition to Certificates of Participation for each participating guest (included in a standard package), we also give clients the option to have a police lineup backdrop and mugshot boards for a small additional fee. These are perfect for capturing photo memories of your event!
If this post has piqued your interest in having your own murder mystery party, contact us to get started! Also, feel free to visit our murder mystery information site for additional details. Whether it's for a birthday, a holiday, or just something to do with family and friends, we believe our murder mystery parties will create a "killer" good time for you!
Last year, we posted about how we created a superhero-themed birthday party for our son. So our daughter wouldn't feel left out (you know how kids can get!) we hosted a sleepover party for her and some of her friends. By the time the night (and next day) were over, they were treated to one doozy of a party!
The girls' night started as typical girls parties do: playing with Barbies. But later on, we interrupted their night of hair braiding and accessorizing to get the activities started. First, we had them participate in a scavenger hunt, where a special "prize" awaited them. We came up with riddles and strategically placed them in various parts of the house:
Once they successfully completed the scavenger hunt, their "prizes" were tickets to our movie night!
Andrea got a great idea from Pinterest to put together some really fun movie snack trays for the kids as they watched their movies. Included in the trays were bagged popcorn (we got the bags at a dollar store for dirt cheap!), assorted candies (served in paper muffin containers), and juice. We used our projector and over-sized screen to really give the girls the full movie-going experience!
In the morning, we offered the kids a variety of breakfast options, restaurant-style. We gave them customized A & A "Kid Menus" of our own design which included a series of games and activities to keep them busy while their food was being prepared. Of course, crayons were also provided. :-)
Once they finished eating, they were allowed to "pay" for their meals with the Disney credit cards we created for each of them. It made them feel like adults!
Needless to say, the girls had a wonderful time. They couldn't wait to tell their parents about all the fun they had. Rumor has it, our daughter was the envy of her classmates on Monday morning. ;-)
Most of the work we do here at A & A is for business purposes. But undoubtedly, the most fulfilling part of our job is when we're able to give our kids memorable experiences like this. It makes all the work worthwhile! If you'd like to take advantage of some of our services, we're sure your kids will love it as much as ours do!
There's nothing better than a good game night. In fact, it's been one of our staples since we started our small business project last year. We've had such a great time hosting them. We've organized game nights at our church, at office parties, at wedding receptions, baby showers, and in the comfort our own home. Regardless of the setting, though, we've always managed to have a wonderful time. They're a great source of entertainment...plus, you don't have the break the bank to enjoy yourself. That's always a plus.
Putting on a great game night is a lot easier than you'd think. In fact, here some very simple steps you can take to host a game night your family and friends won't ever forget!
1. Serve food and drinks. Refreshments always help set the atmosphere. I used to argue with my wife about whether we need to serve food at functions. But she's absolutely, 100% right on this one. If you're doing a game night (and, really, any function), serve food. Not only does food help to alleviate the competitive atmosphere you'll experience during a game night, sometimes your people are just hungry. :-)
You don't need to have an elaborate smorgasbord or fancy drinks to get a party going. But you certainly don't want to skimp out of providing at least some vittles; even if it's just something to snack on.
2. Provide ample space and seating. This sounds like a no-brainer. But you'd be surprised at how many people try to coordinate events and their space is the size of cardboard box. I realize not everyone is fortunate to have the kind of space we have to host events. But whatever you do, if you EVER plan to host events, make sure your space can accommodate your guests. Nothing can kill a buzz more than cramming up in a space like a can of sardines. It's important to make your guests feel comfortable, otherwise they'll check out as quickly as they arrive.
3. Make your place inviting by cleaning it. Another no-brainer, it would seem. But this yet another practice people don't always follow. Simply put, if you're expecting guests, clean up your spot! You don't have to be as thorough as you would for a spring cleaning (though we tend to devote the entire day of or prior to getting our entire house in ordere). But at the very least, clean your kitchen, living room, bathrooms, and any other common areas everyone will be using.
4. Lose those phones! As a social media junkie, I get how hard it is to part ways with your phone. But do it. Enjoy the festivities. Have fun with the games. Socialize with the people standing directly in front of you. Your other 1500 Facebook friends can find out about your experience later. If the host is OK with you using your devices to record parts of the event or take pics, by all means, do so. But do your best to avoid social media posting until later on.
5. Have a great variety of games. What's a game night without...well...the games? Whether you're going traditional with your standard board/card game or you want to do something a bit more on the interactive and creative side, your game selection is very important. A & A has several awesome games to consider; including home versions of Family Feud©, Jeopardy©, Wheel of Fortune©, or Hollywood Game Night©. We'd love to work with you on putting some great games together. Check out our pricing!
Most of all, it goes without saying to just enjoy yourselves! Have fun! The world has more than enough problems. What better way to temporarily get away from it all than by enjoying a great night a few games can give you? Oh, and of course, there are ALWAYS the bragging rights you can earn. :-)
Not in the least bit do we believe in using important causes to advance our business. But we were extremely honored to be contacted to design sponsor signage for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk last week. We were asked to produce a sign identifying the walkers from our church, the Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in Flint.
A & A proudly supports the fight against breast cancer!
Our son (bless his heart) told us he didn't want anything elaborate for his 13th birthday last year. So rather than spending a fortune taking him to an expensive party place, we decided to throw him a house party. Since he loves superheroes, we organized a superhero-themed party for him, asking his guests to either come in superhero costumes or wear superhero apparel. He had an absolute blast!
First, came the invitations. We designed our own invitations, much to his enjoyment.
As the guests arrived, we provided them with "Hero Badges", allowing them to come up with a superhero codename and power.
Both our son and his guests were greeted with a cool comic book birthday banner, a string of pennants based on assorted Marvel/DC superheros and a comic book-style city skyline!
When the kids got thirsty, bottled waters with superhero labels were available!
The biggest kicker for our son was when we gave him a homemade "Scratch Off" lottery ticket! Thank God there weren't two Batman logos on the card. ;-)
In addition to the Superhero theme, the kids played a home version of Family Feud we put together along with hours worth of video games. Needless to say, he enjoyed every single of minute of it!
And so did we!