Thursday, March 9, 2017

Balboa Park's Who Dun It Review!

If you live in San Diego, California or perhaps are visiting right now, you may have heard that the infamous Balboa Park Reuben H. Fleet Science Center has a Sherlock Holmes "Who Dun It" murder mystery "attraction" going on. If you haven't, well now you have. 

This mini "attraction"/exhibit is indeed included with the regular admission price to the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and it's around until June 4th, 2017, so you still have ample time to check it out. 

Yes to spoil the review, I do recommend you and the kiddos check it out, but there is much more to it than just that. Certain people may be disappointed, while others could become enthralled. This review is here to help "solve the mystery" on why you should - or shouldn't - make your way to RHFSC for a little fun (or not).

With our tickets in hand, we head upstairs to our ultimate destination: Sherlock Holmes and the Clocktower Mystery (yes thee Sherlock Holmes). 

There we learned that a "murder" had taken place and it was up to us to decide who was the real culprit in a fatal crime. The entire thing is played out in chapters, giving you just enough information to conclude the ending, but not too much information that you're nearly bored to death. 

You're not led by a leader, put together in a group, or given a speech before hand. This entire experience is a self-paced free guided walkthrough, regardless of it's "could take up to 45 mins" sign, which - in my opinion - is perfect when kids are involved. 

By the way, this isn't a murder mystery that you should hid the kids from, this is a very family friendly exhibit, making it an idle family outing event. 

After grabbing our "optional" paper and pencil to jot down our possible notes, my padawan and I strolled leisurely through the cleverly designed set up, to view each and every chapter/scene. The first being the murder itself. 

It's all set up in sections. You're given a mini chapter to read which is plastered on the wall, a couple clues on the other side of the door, and a room to investigate. 

Each room is about the size of small apartment kitchen, but can provide vital clues to your "investigation" of the murder. 

After you've heard testimonies (and read them), examined the clues gathered throughout all the chapters, and deducted your suspects list - from which you could've concluded on your own - you've reached the final chapter in this murder mystery who dun it. 

The final chapter gives you the final details of the murder scene, who was killed, why, and how. It shows you what you need to solve the mystery. 

At the end of it all, you're then met with a door and a clock. The door holds the answers - literally, you'll be told (or helped figure out) the answers - and the clock tells you when you'll get them - when the next "consultation" would be. 

Once inside you're met with the whole conclusion and if you haven't already figured anything out, don't worry. The guy inside will help with keeping the conclusion on track, guiding you to the correct answer. 

You're then sworn to secrecy about the finale and sent out a separate door. 

To be honest, it took a little longer than 45 minutes for us, because I was trying to guide my own little padawan into drawing appropriate conclusions of his own. Explaining and trying to help him made us take a little longer on this exhibition, but it was really fun seeing how he could use the power of deduction with his own little mind. 

I've always been a fan of mysteries - see my Murder She Wrote post and Nancy Drew post - so when I heard this was taking place on the radio, I jumped right over and made today a mommy and son day. 

My personal opinion is that, if you're into a semi cheesy murder mystery and you're already going to this museum, absolutely do it. Would I recommend this exhibit solely as the only purpose for going to the museum, no. This was a fun thing to do on a Thursday, but we have a Balboa Park membership (see that post HERE), so it was a freebie for us. 

However, if you're up for a really cool science museum ALONG with a murder mystery I say go for it!

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