Two girls taking notes about fossils during Mystery Dinner Theater class.


Mystery Dinner Theater

April 16, 2018

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Children put their sleuthing skills to the test

Mystery Dinner Theater seems like it’s all fun, but children pick up a lot of skills along the way.

For the past few years, the Children’s Museum of South Dakota has been hosting a new type of educational programming: Mystery Dinner Theaters. Dinner theater programs continue to be popular for the adult demographic – but here at the Children’s Museum, we are always about making experiences accessible to the child! In our most recent Mystery Dinner Theater, guests had to find clues around the museum to determine who broke a dinosaur fossil.

Two characters giving clues to two boys at the Children's Museum Mystery Dinner Theater event.

Joining us for a mystery dinner theater includes a meal from our amazing Café Coteau while a mystery unravels throughout the museum. Children get to put their sleuthing skills to the test as they gather clues and question suspects portrayed by museum staff. Each dinner theater contains a new mystery that will challenge your child’s problem solving and critical thinking skills.

While being museum detectives, your children will…

Hone Investigative Skills

Using inquiry-based learning, children ask questions and develop theories as they go. By listening, observing, asking questions and using their own reasoning skills learners progressively develop ideas about the world and the mystery they are solving using investigative skills.

Create and Test Theories

As children investigate, they will develop theories and predictions that can be tested within the Mystery Dinner Theater. Children are involved in assessing the quality of their work because they can ask questions of suspects and receive immediate feedback. This feedback allows children to understand what is needed for their next steps in the learning (investigative) process, making it easy for children to decide how to improve their theories.

Use Social Interaction to Develop Understanding

Though interacting with the actors and other attending guests, children develop their understanding of others and show empathy toward others. Through collecting and using evidence from first and Characters and players solving the Mystery Dinner Theater crime at the Children's Museum.secondary sources, children learn to think critically and independently about the information. Through disagreeing with other children’s theories, kids will gain an understanding that everyone sees the world differently and sometimes there is more than one right way to solve a problem.

Who thought you could learn so much while doing something so fun!?


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