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Neighbors of Kane County

Go back in time and behind the scenes at Hickory Knolls Murder Mystery Night

Jan 05, 2017 08:42AM ● By Neighbors Magazines

Murder, mayhem and … musk oxen? 

When a new Ice Age exhibit is installed at the nature center, things take a chilling turn for the worse.  Join “Inspector Pluteau” and a host of other wily characters as Hickory Knolls Discovery Center offers its third “Murder Mystery Night” party on Friday, January 13 from 7 to 9pm.

“The star of our newest exhibit really may be a mystery to most people who have never heard of, much less seen, a musk ox,” said Pam Otto, Manager of Nature Programs and Interpretive Services.  “There’s also a lot of curiosity about how these big exhibits come about, so our party will give people a behind-the-scenes glimpse into that process as well.”

Without giving too many clues away, suffice it to say that the evening’s sleuthing revolves around how the musk ox came to be here in St. Charles at Hickory Knolls and the events that occurred along the way.

“Think of this as a combination of the movie “Night at the Museum” and “Murder on the Orient Express,” said Otto.  “It’s a great interactive theater experience that lets participants be part of the story as it happens.”

Geared for adults ages 21 and older, each participant will play some role in the unfolding drama.  Advanced registration is required and partygoers will gather clues to discover the perpetrator’s identity as they enjoy wine, beer, sodas and snacks.

“It’s a perfect outing for someone who loves theater and wants to indulge their acting skills in a unique environment,” said Otto.

Solving the Musk Ox Mystery can also be a collaborative effort, making it an exciting adventure for families, friends, neighbors and even co-workers. 

“Gathering clues and deducing the crime is an exercise in team-building,” said Otto.  “Each participant is assigned a role but also must work within the overall cast of characters.”

The Musk Ox Mystery night also gives partygoers a VIP, behind-the-scenes look at the center’s state-of-the-art Ice Age exhibit.  Created by Geneva-based AngryPop Exhibits and Designs and Acme Design from Elgin, the exhibit’s star is a musk ox donated by St. Charles residents, Dennis and Mary Mueller.   

And while the modern day musk ox lives in the Arctic Circle, they once roamed freely in Illinois at the end of the last Ice Age, according to Otto.

Interpretive panels will also educate murder mystery partygoers about the Ice Age, the animals and humans present in Illinois at the time, and how the musk ox continues to be valuable today.

“The musk ox is known for having the best wool in the world,” said Otto.

For more information about the Musk Ox-n-Murder night at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, contact Pam Otto or Lisa O’Brien at 630-513-4399.