Community Events Family Local Vancouver

Connecting With Teenagers – How Solving Crimes as a Family Can Help. Thanks, Vancouver Mysteries!

Team Clarke

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.

connecting with teenagers

The famous steam clock in Gastown

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!

connecting with teenagers

Some clues stumped us for a bit. It was usually the ones hidden in plain sight.

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.


connecting with teens

We cracked the case with time to spare and may or may not be starting our own detective agency.


Victory Celebration

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.


connecting with teens

Pizza, beer, and board game lovers rejoice!


  • 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.

Dee Signature








Hey, why don’t we hang out? Find me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.


Our Vancouver Mysteries experience was complimentary in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

You Might Also Like

  • Megan
    March 26, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    Oh this just sounds fascinating! I’d love to give this a shot, and what a great bonding experience. Looks like too much fun.

  • Kristy Bullard
    March 26, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    Connecting with teenagers is hard. This sounds like a great activity for families with teens! My kids like mysteries so they would love this.

  • Gladys Parker
    March 26, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    Good one, mom (insert high five here)! I definitely agree, having raised four teenagers, fun family time isn’t all that easy. This Vancouver Mysteries sounds fun while challenging and educational. My children would probably still like something like this but, probably with their spouses.

  • Adriana
    March 26, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    Such a wonderful experience for you guys! I hope you all had a fun time.

  • Britney
    March 26, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    Awe this is so awesome! My parents did a mystery in CA on a vacation before, I would love to with my husband and kids someday.

  • Luci
    March 26, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    That looks like a lot of fun for the whole family. I know I would like to do it, we love a great mystery.

  • Lauren
    March 27, 2018 at 2:51 am

    Aw I would love to do something like this, I enjoy anything where I have to really think about something to work out the answer! A great way to bond with teens 🙂 x

  • Czjai Reyes-Ocampo
    March 27, 2018 at 4:00 am

    Wow, sounds like a fun place to visit with the family! Congratulations on cracking the case! 🙂

  • Kristi Ann
    March 27, 2018 at 4:52 am

    That game Crime in Downtown sounds so fun! It’s what I would probably choose also. We love all the escape rooms and puzzle type games!

  • Shoma Arora
    March 27, 2018 at 5:52 am

    It’s always hard but never impossible. Thankfully mine is only 6 months old!

  • Elizabeth O
    March 27, 2018 at 7:03 am

    This looks like a lot of fun, its something I’ve not heard of before. I can see how it can bring some spending time with your teen too. Great idea.

  • Ashley | Honey & Pine Co
    March 27, 2018 at 7:46 am

    That sounds like so much fun! We have done escape rooms together and always have such a blast.

  • Amy-Lynn Vautour
    March 27, 2018 at 8:10 am

    Ok that is ridiculously cool! I’m gonna have to see if there’s something like this in my city because I want to do this like right now (ok, it’s a little cold out right now, but still)

  • Rachel
    March 27, 2018 at 9:14 am

    This looks so fun and a great way to do an activity with older kids. I want to try to figure something out like this.

  • hey sharonoox
    March 27, 2018 at 10:35 am

    I really like this cool idea! Wish they have it where I lived. Agree that connecting with teenagers is hard but this looks like a fun activity for the whole family. Teamwork rocks!

  • Lisa Rios
    March 27, 2018 at 11:17 am

    This is fascinating! I speak for myself LOL but I love mysteries and being a detective. Piecing together clues is one of my specialties. I want to do this!

  • Preet
    March 27, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    That sounds like such great experience, I am glad you all had an amazing time together. What a great idea to spend time with your kids, especially teens. I would love to check this one out, so exciting!

  • Evelyn, PathofPresence
    March 27, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    What a fun way to connect with your growing kids. I have a pre-teen on my hands and totally enjoyed seeing a moms perspective when communicating with teenish children (I get you, Love!!). I’ll be seeking out opportunities like the sin my home town too as this activity is the perfect way to spend the day and enjoy some shared memories before they grow their wings and fly out of the nest! Thanks!! Xo, Evelyn, ?

  • Marielle Altenor
    March 27, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    Vancouver has so many fun things to do! Would be so cool to solve mysteries as a whole family lol

  • Amanda
    March 29, 2018 at 10:14 am

    What a cool concept! I absolutely love it! Perfect for all ages! Date nights as well! I bet your son enjoyed it more than he let on!

  • Contact Me