Mama on a Mission
As any parent of an adolescent knows, connecting with teenagers becomes increasingly difficult as they naturally crave more independence. The desire to hold on to my kid while simultaneously letting the leash out is something I’m sure most parents go through. These complex feelings are inciting my mission to find activities for our family to do that interest all of us. Because we have always enjoyed playing games together, I want to continue to use play as a means of connection. Cue Vancouver Mysteries.
When Ryder was younger, we dragged him along to things he wasn’t particularly interested in doing. Like a lot of you, we wanted to expose our child to a variety of food, arts, sports and culture. (How do you know you don’t like something unless you tryyyyyyyyyy it, Buddy?!) Sometimes he was impressed and at other times, not so much.
Now that he is older, more opinionated, and more outspoken, he’s pretty quick to tell me when my suggestions sound “lame”. (Have you tried connecting with teenagers? It’s special.) On my quest to find us something that met the “not lame” criteria, Vancouver Mysteries sounded like a favourable option. Think TV’s The Amazing Race meets the board game Clue. Ryder and I are fans of both, and we relish a good “Who Done It?” so this seemed right up our alley.
Tourists in Our Own Town
The game we chose, Crime in Downtown, entailed walking through and around Gastown looking for clues to solve a murder case. We were forced us to pay attention to architectural, artistic, geographical and historical details. I enjoyed that part immensely. I always get a kick out of being a tourist in my own town. Strangely, we failed to notice any of these details during the hundreds of other times we had visited Gastown previously.
The plotline and the particulars of the game impressed us. Investigating and uncovering details about each suspect as well as the crime scene was gripping. I KNEW watching all those Law and Order marathons would pay off one day!
The Best Parts
The puzzle was the right amount of challenge. It was relatively easy sometimes and head-scratchingly frustrating at other times, which made the satisfaction of cracking the case taste even sweeter. My hubby enjoyed the cerebral aspect of the experience the most.
Because some members of our family are competitive, racing against the clock made the experience exhilarating. Ryder joking added knowing he only had to hang with his folks for 2 hours made our time together more bearable. What a brat!
My favourite part of the adventure was working as a team. Collaboration and cooperation made us appreciate one another’s unique strengths. A few times while two of us were agonizing over a clue we couldn’t get, the third seemingly solved it with ease. Each family member had to use their creative, and sometimes questionable, powers of reasoning. There was a lot of groaning as well as laughter and plenty of high-fives all around.
Connecting with Teenagers, Friends, and Coworkers
Vancouver Mysteries has three games to choose from. Crime in Downtown (a murder mystery) and Secret Mission (a spy thriller) are suitable for the 14+ crowd. Their Heroes and Villians game is perfect for groups with younger kids.
Any group wanting to create community and nurture team spirit should consider Vancouver Mysteries for their next event. Vancouver Mysteries’ games are ideal for families as well as friends and coworkers or even a stag/stagette.
Afterwards, we celebrated our victory at nearby Pizzeria Ludica. This tucked away restaurant close to International Village has a huge bookcase full of all kinds of board games ranging from super kid-friendly Pokemon to don’t-play-in-mixed-company Cards Against Humanity and everything in between. Connecting with teenagers is a whole lot easier when pizza is involved.
- Comfortable footwear is a must. You cover a reasonably large area on foot. You will likely be speed walking between some of the clues to make up for lost time.
- Dress in layers. You know what they say about the weather in Vancouver. If you don’t like it, wait 15 minutes. Don’t let Mother Nature spoil your fun.
- Arrive at the secret location comfortably fueled and hydrated.
- If you wear reading glasses, bring them along.
Families that play together stay together…at least that’s what I’m hoping. Thanks for following my family and fashion adventures. Stick around. In the coming months, I plan on sharing other activities in and around Vancouver that were a hit with my crew. Hopefully, you’ll be inspired to try some of them with yours.
Our Vancouver Mysteries experience was complimentary in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.