Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Our Experience with Mail Order Mystery: Treasure Hunt!

At the end of every school year, we have an end of school celebration. This year we were pulling out of the driveway headed for a 2,200 mile round trip on our last day of school. That is a lot of miles for anyone, but with four kids? Whew! I'm happy to say we survived with the help of lots of activities, movies, snacks, and stops. One of the very best choices we made for travel time was bringing along our end of school celebration activity.

A couple of months before school let out, I happened across this website called Mail Order Mystery and thought it would be a wonderful end of school celebration idea. I wasted no time ordering the available mystery: Treasure Hunt!

It works like this...You order your mail order mystery specifying who it is intended for and when you would like it to begin. An order confirmation is provided with a note for the recipient and an email announces the mystery will be coming to the parents of the recipient. Then a series of letters, documents, and curious objects show up in the mail. After several items arrive, the mystery is concluded with a mailing that contains keepsake items related to the mystery.

Shortly after ordering our mystery, I received an email to confirm the information provided. When I explained that I was going to hang on to all of the things sent and that we were going to be using them over the course of many hours on the road, Suzanne kindly offered to send everything at once. I was so impressed with this amazing customer service that I knew I had to share our experience with you.

Very quickly we received a package with all of the mysteries numbered and a box (there were 7 parcels that typically come with the mystery, one of which we received ahead of the others). Additionally, there was this personalized note:

Card from Suzanne of mail order mystery to Bethany

I packed them all away until the last day of school without unsealing them and as we drove off down our driveway, I read the first installment to the kids and then handed it over to them to look at and discover all of the bits in the first mailing of the series. Every few hours I handed over a new parcel and with each new thing the mystery grew deeper with more and more suspense. Being stuck in the car for so long, we quickly discovered that EVERYTHING was a clue. Jo-Jo, Ceesa, and I spent a long time on each item to see what was imperative to the mystery, what was a piece of helpful information, and what items could be used to help with other pieces in different installments. Poppa was rather jealous that he was doing all of the driving and made us promise not to tell him anything, so he could figure it all out later.

***The rest of the pictures contain some spoilers about what you will get, but not everything. The mystery is not revealed; however, nor will you be able to see what the final bit contains. Be forewarned! ***

We received so many interesting things: letters, newsletters, business cards with a number that you can actually call to get more information about the mystery, newspaper articles, and of course, pirate maps.
Sharks and Pirates monthly magazine cover

Royal Museum Archives letter with key and envelope

Pirates in the news with letter from police department

typed letters

antiqued papers with codes and secret notes

Our final package was a box that contained...a locked box...with some surprises inside.
treasure box with lock

You can see a detailed list on the Mail Order Mystery website. I didn't peak at it ahead of time though because I love a good mystery. So much excitement! This was by far so worth every penny and one of the most memorable things from our long hours in the car.

We just found out that there is a brand new mail order mystery called An Enchanted Slumber that will be ready again in August (the first set sold out)! I'm so excited. I can't decide when we should order it, we do have a couple more road trips coming up before the end of summer!!

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Cannon & Henry said...

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with Mail Order Mystery! I'm considering ordering it as a gift for my two boys. They have recommended ages listed on their website, but would you mind telling me what age YOU would recommend this for?

Bethany said...

I'd recommend them for ages 9 and up. We just finished Spies, lies and serious bad guys. The kids loved it as well!

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