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Best Murder Mystery Events In The Bay Area

Looking for a way to spice up your usual Saturday night out? Why not add a murder? Murder mystery dinner theater is one way to add some excitement to a get-together, whether it's for two or for a group. Most murder mystery shows encourage audience participation and improvisation, and include a dinner in the evening's ticket price. Several groups across the Bay Area run these events. Here are a few coming up in the next few months.
Dinner Detective
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Dinner Detective
Hyatt at Fisherman's Wharf
555 North Point St
San Francisco, CA 94133
(877) 252-9307

Price: $69.95 per person
Dates: 6:15 p.m. on May 26, June 16 and June 30

The Dinner Detective, which calls itself the largest interactive murder-mystery show in the United States, hosts shows in both San Francisco and San Jose. A four-course dinner is included in the price of your ticket so eat up while being entertained. Audience members are encouraged to take part in this improvisational and interactive murder mystery with a comedic slant. The group was voted the Best Dinner Show for several years running in Los Angeles and Denver. The San Francisco shows are currently held at the Hyatt at Fisherman's Wharf, and tickets are available through June. If you'd like to make a night of it, special hotel rates are also available. Attire is dressy casual with no t-shirts, shorts or baseball caps allowed.

Related: San Francisco's Best Comedy Clubs

Angelica's Bistro

Angelica's Bistro
863 Main St
Redwood City, CA 94063
(650) 365-3226

Price: $65 per person
Dates: July 22, Dinner seatings available at 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 6:30 pm; mystery performance begins at 7 p.m.

Experience "Murder Among the Stars!" with astrologer Madame Zodiak and the rest of the Gibson House Murder Mystery entertainers. They travel the Bay Area with their entertaining dinner theater. In July, they will host a show in Redwood City for all mystery lovers. An all-you-can eat buffet is included in the ticket price, so stuff your face while racking your brain to solve the mystery. Themed dressing is encouraged for the event.

Napa Valley Wine Train

Napa Valley Wine Train
1275 McKinstry St
Napa, CA 94599
(800) 427-4124

Price: $155 per person
Dates: 5:30 p.m. on May 18, June 15, July 20, August 17, September 14, October 19, November 16, December 7 and December 21

For an indulgent murder-mystery experience, board the Napa Valley Wine Train for a dinner theatre focused around "The Detective's Club." As you view the landscape of the Napa Valley and enjoy a dinner, the mystery unfolds around you. The Benicia Herald reviewed the Murder Mystery Dinner on the Wine Train, calling it challenging and fun, with great food. The trip takes three hours, winding through Napa Valley from the town of Napa to St. Helena before returning back to Napa.

Murder by Pinot

Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards
4401 Slusser Road
Windsor, CA 95492
(707) 237-3466

Price: $95 per person ($80 per person for Wine Club members)
Dates: 5:30 pm on June 2

In the Sonoma Valley, Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards hosts "Murder. Intrigue. Pinot!" This dinner is truly to die for. Join the group for wine tasting, a gourmet dinner and a mystery to solve with Sonoma-Cutrer's resident winemaker, Mick Schroeter. The Gibson House Murder Mystery players will be performing this wine-themed mystery and themed attire is encouraged. Call to make reservations immediately because this unique show will fill up quickly.

Madison Street Inn

Madison Street Inn
1390 Madison St
Santa Clara, CA 95050
(408) 249-5541

Price: $99-125 per night per room
Dates: Flexible; contact venue for reservations and available dates.

For the true mystery lovers, why not spend the whole weekend detecting? If you're looking for a getaway close to home, you can spend the weekend at the Madison Street Inn in Santa Clara with a group of friends or family. Participants can dress up as one of the characters in the whodunit, and gather evidence and investigate the dastardly crime. The event always ends happily, with the murderer revealed and a champagne toast and steak dinner to enjoy afterwards.

Related: 3 Unique Tours Of The San Francisco Bay

Laura Tarwater-Scharp is a freelance writer, editor and historian. Originally from the Midwest, she has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for over a decade. Her work can be found at


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