Have you ever played the game Clue? We played it all the time as a family growing up and I loved it!
Colonel Mustard, in the Ballroom with the lead pipe!
I’ve always had a fascination with mysteries – books, movies, TV shows, games, you name it. As a kid I read all the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. As an adult I’ve loved anything by John Grisham, Alex Kava, James Patterson, and the like. CJ and I spend many nights watching Bones, Castle and Rizzoli and Isles too.
At one point I even wanted to be a detective when I grew up. Not sure when or why that changed. Heck, part of me STILL to be one.
So it should come as no surprise that when an opportunity to partake in the Fremont Dinner Train Murder Mystery with a group of co-workers came up, I was all over it.
In a nutshell, the Murder Mystery dinner train is a dining experience that gets the audience involved in solving a murder that took place on the train. Actors in full costume walk amongst you and provide clues while you enjoy a 5 course meal.
We boarded the train at 7:15pm on Saturday night.
We ate crudités and crackers while waiting for all to board and the train to start up. Once we got going, a funny little old man gave us a history of the train, along with rules (no smoking) and details about the evening’s agenda.
As the train moved along, we were treated to beautiful scenery.
I was glad we were able to do an evening in the summer, when it’s light out later in the day, so that we could see the landscape outside our windows. Had it been in the winter we would have missed it all.
The actors were walking around, in character, engaging in conversation with the tables. One of the gals started referring to CJ as “Dairy Queen”* because she said his hair looked like the swoosh on top of the cones.
What do you think?
Then this actress asked the 2 ladies sitting at the table with us if they would like to be part of the show! They would be playing the part of sisters who were models. One of the ‘sisters’ jumped right in (*cough* Kelly *cough*) while the other grudgingly agreed.
Don’t they look smashing?
Pretty soon the first course came out, which was a beef and barley soup.
I am a picky eater and was immediately suspicious of the soup – I mean beef and BARLEY?!? Really??? Plus, it looks kinda gross….but I gave it a go – and surprisingly liked it! I inhaled it as a matter of fact!
As we were eating, the actors got up and started the show. They had each table of 4 appoint a secretary (me, naturally) who would take notes and write down clues. Then they introduced the characters and started in on the story (which I won’t give the details of so as not to spoil it for anyone). Our job was to figure out who the killer was, how they did it and their motive.
We chomped on some salad (very good but I forgot to get a picture of it) while putting our heads together to decipher all the clues we got.
We continued our detective work over the main course.
I had the Pasta Primavera, which came with peas and fruit. CJ and the rest of our table ordered the Prime Rib. My pasta was decent and the peas and fruit were good. CJ said the Prime Rib was good too, though not anything to write home about.
At one point it was starting to get overwhelming with all the information from the actors. We had a lot of clues but none of them seemed to help narrow down the list of suspects.
Finally they served dessert, which was carrot cake.
As we pulled back in to the station, we were asked to write down our guess for the murderer, their means and motive and turn it in. Our table was split 50/50 as to who we thought it was. One of the actors came over and gave us a final clue, which was the last piece of the puzzle we needed. We turned in our answers and crossed our fingers.
They then announced that of all the tables (maybe 30 in total), only 5 got it right. And guess who was one of the 5?
That’s right – us!
And we got certificates to prove it!
All in all it was a really fun experience. It’s kind of pricey ($86 per person) but worth it for a date night splurge. We got dinner and a unique entertainment experience all in one! I would definitely recommend trying it at least once. They also do other kinds of shows besides mysteries, so those would be neat to check out too.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I feel like having some ice cream.
*Update: in no way am I trying to endorse or malign a certain ice cream restaurant chain’s image.
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