5 Summer Murder Mystery Party Games

What’s the first thing you think of on a sunny summer day? A mellow, mysterious MURDER, of course! This summer, treat your friends and family to a long warm afternoon of good food, good fun, and gripping clues while hosting a summer murder mystery party.

But what if it’s winter right now? No worries! Try our article on hosting a Christmas or holiday themed murder mystery.

In this article, we’ll take you through everything you need:

  • 16 superb decoration and venue ideas
  • 9 mouthwatering menu ideas for a summer murder mystery party
  • A curated list of the 5 great summer murder mystery party games. Save yourself some daylight—simply browse the end of this article and pick one of our preselected summer themed games!

Keep reading to see where and how to create the right atmosphere for a summer murder mystery party.

16 Superb Summer Venue and Decoration Ideas

When your guests arrive at your murder mystery party, you want them to be stopped DEAD in their tracks by the amazing atmosphere you’ve created. To do this, you need to pick a good venue and decorate it till it oozes ambience.

The good news is this isn’t difficult, and it doesn’t have to be expensive either! Try some of these simple summer suggestions.

Venue Ideas

  1. Park. Pack your picnic basket and head off to a nearby park for a beautiful outdoors environment complete with green grass and birdsong!
  2. Garden. Nice and easy—host the game in your garden, or one of your guest’s gardens. That way you have access to a kitchen and fridge to make catering more convenient.
  3. Patio. If it’s too hot under the baking sun, host the game from a shaded patio or veranda.
  4. Beach. Pack your sunscreen, umbrella, and beach towel—then head off for the soft sands and soothing sounds of the nearest shore.
  5. Weekend away. If you’re planning a summer vacation or weekend trip, why not combine it with a summer murder mystery party?
  6. Camping. Add a summer scare to any camping trip with a lazy afternoon of puzzling out clues and accusing your friends of murder most foul!
  7. Inside. If the weather turns on you (or it’s simply too hot), you can always move the party indoors. This is a good backup plan, especially in areas where the weather is fickle. It takes weeks to plan and organize a murder mystery, so having a backup venue is a smart move.

Decoration Ideas

  1. Balloons! Bright, bouncing balloons put a smile in everyone’s heart…even the most dastardly murderer will be moved by strings of balloons dangling from garden shrubs.
  2. Paper Fans. Cheap, colorful paper fans not only look good, they’re also a very practical way of keeping cool in the absence of a summer breeze!
  3. Pinwheels/Party Windmills. Stick ‘em in the ground around your foldout camping table or picnic blankets. The bright, spinning blades will add a touch of whimsy that will remind your guests of good times. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials for making these yourself—you could even have a “welcome station” for your guests where they each make their own pinwheel with craft goods you supplied.
  4. Fairy Lights. If your venue has a power source, string fairy lights through overhanging tree branches for a magical evening effect!
  5. Paper Lanterns. Big or small, lit or unlit, paper lanterns always look good and add an exotic feeling to a venue.
  6. Streamers. Drape streamers over bushes and trees—try red streamers and white paper lanterns for a spooky atmosphere, especially when the wind ripples through…
  7. Picnic Blanket and Scatter Cushions. Make everyone comfy by spreading several large blankets over the grass, then scattering plush cushions for extra comfort. You could also bring out a low table for the sit-down meal, or as a buffet area.
  8. Flower Bouquets or Wreaths. Whether fresh or dried, flowers bring a welcome burst of life and color.
  9. Blanket Fort. For a small group, make a blanket fort! Besides the welcome nostalgia of crawling under its shelter, a blanket fort can keep the sun off food and drinks, or provide a welcome patch of shade. If you can squeeze all your guests inside, your fort could even be a very atmospheric spot to play the game in!

With the venue and decorations taken care of, it’s time to turn your attention to planning a fabulous feast of fine foods. Keep reading to see our mouthwatering menu ideas.

9 Mouthwatering Menu Ideas for a Summer Murder Mystery Party

Hungry? You’re about to be! And your guests will be too, while they’re baking their noodles trying to solve the murder!

Chances are, you’ll be hosting outside, so you’ll want to keep your guests cool and hydrated in addition to satisfying any grumbling tummies.

Below, we’ve got a list of food and drink combinations to inspire your summer murder mystery party menu.

  1. Grilled Chicken Kebabs with sweet tea or Arnold Palmers. Besides being a delicious, refreshing summer drink, southern sweet tea makes a great marinade for kebabs!
  2. Summer Salad Crouton Cups served with lemonade. Make bread bowls by arranging slices of toasted bread like flower petals. The salad itself could be anything light and fresh, but try this one: dried cranberries or fresh strawberries mixed with bacon, onion, pecan nuts, and goat’s cheese. Sprinkle this over a bed of mixed greens and drizzle with vinaigrette. The fruity flavors in the salad match the crisp lemonade.
  3.  Thai Noodle Salad and ginger beer. Dress the Thai noodle salad with a peanut and lime sauce and serve with cool glasses of ginger beer. Surprisingly, a creamy dish like Indian butter paneer with cashews works really well with ginger beer too!
  4. Roast Chicken, Blackberry, and Basil Sandwiches served with iced tea. Add mustard, red onion, and cheese to the sandwich toppings – even a dash of honey and vinegar for a burst of sparkling summer sensations! Complement the sandwiches with a refreshing iced tea.
  5. Cheese and Bread Platter paired with a chilled white wine. If you’re serving alcohol, it’s a good idea to serve finger foods along with it! A cheese and bread platter is an excellent combination. Expand the platter with jams, butter, fig preserve, olives, and crackers.
  6. Muesli and smoothie station combo! If your murder mystery is taking place on a summer morning, how about a power breakfast of muesli and smoothies? Let your guests make their own smoothies—you supply a blender, glasses, and ingredients. For the ingredients, imagination is the limit, or stick to the classics: banana and peanut butter; strawberries and blueberries; apple, spinach, and ginger.
  7. Selection of Sweet and Savory Muffins with iced coffee. Guests can pick and choose from a range of muffins: blueberry, lemon poppy seed, choc-chip, bran, nut, or wheat-and-rye. Serve with butter, grated cheese, fruity jams—and flasks of coffee and iced coffee!
  8. Crispy Potato Pancakes with mimosas. The bubbly citrus drink pairs really, really well with fried potato pancakes garnished with spring onions.
  9. Pizza Slices served with a watermelon slushie. Fun, light, and easy! Simply offer a mix of pizza slices on plates as a finger food, and serve with the refreshing, gentle flavor of an ice-cold watermelon slushie.

With a well-decorated venue and a KILLER menu, all that’s left to do is choose the perfect game for your group. Keep reading for our top choices.

5 Summer Murder Mystery Party Game Recommendations

No time to plan, decorate, cook, AND trawl the internet for a great game? No sweat—not even on a scorching summer’s day—because we’ve got you covered.

Please note: We love Murder Mystery Parties. Besides giving advice we also write and sell games. In this article we feature our own games from our company Mysterando. Please check out our game. This is how we help fund this site.

Simply choose one of the following summer murder mystery party games (in no particular order).

Garden Party Murder Mystery (by Shot in the Dark Mysteries)

The Belladonna Manor House is a mystery to the residents of the quaint town of Christie’s Leigh. It’s been abandoned for as long as anyone can remember, and the overgrown garden walls keep curious eyes from seeing inside. Then, certain townsfolk receive mysterious invitations to a garden party in the manor grounds—and nobody can resist! But when the town vicar dies during the party, the other guests must solve this twisted game of murder and uncover the identity of their strange host.

Players: 6-18

Price: From $41.99



Murder in Maui (by My Mystery Party)

At an oceanside hotel in Hawaii, all is not well at the nightly beach party. Certain guests hide dangerous secrets and cast dark glances across the otherwise festive scene. And then somebody is found dead. It’s up to the guests to take a break from the party games and solve the murder!

Players: 6-10 (can expand to 50+)

Price: From $40.95



The Dark Sin (by Mysterando)

The owner of Petit Péché, a small town chocolaterie, is celebrating her book launch—and you’re invited! But the sweet smell of melting nougat can’t cover up the fact that murderous thoughts bubble below the surface of each and every guest. Before the celebrations can even begin, the owner is found dead—poisoned by one of those present…

Players: 4-9

Price: From $18.90



Simply Murder at the Garden Party (by Murder Mystery Flexi Party)

An invite-only garden party hosted by Sir Richard Flyson—it’s the BBQ to be at! The eccentric inventor will be showing off his new invention: a vacuum powered grass cutter. But when the inventor demonstrates his daring device, something goes horribly wrong. All the witnesses are agreed on one thing—this death is no accident!

Players: 8-16

Price: From $14.00



Trailer Park Tragedy (by Night of Mystery)

It’s the night of the W.T. Trailer Park’s BBQ party, and this is gonna be a special one! The trailer park is notorious for regular drunken brawls, bad behavior, and illegal wheeling and dealing. The promise of free food and alcohol means every undereducated, intoxicated loudmouth is bound to be there—and the chance of something going horribly, horribly wrong is all but guaranteed!

Players: 6-20 (or upgrade for more than 20 players)

Price: From $55.00



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Disclaimer: We haven’t played every single one of the games discussed. However, after being murder mystery party fans, players, and hosts for many years, we’ve gathered heaps of helpful advice and tips on how to play. In writing this article, we’ve conducted internet research to put together our top choices. We use affiliate links to Amazon, etc. This is how we help fund the site.