Cincinnati Family Magazine

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February 5, 2023

Mom Report: Mysterious Mystery Dinner with Great Parks

Mom Reporter, Susie Dyson, recently discovered how to add some thrill to date night and meet new people!

Looking for a fun, unique date night or girls night out? Look no further than the Great Parks Mystery Dinner series! The recent show I attended was called American Icon – a spinoff of the popular TV show, American Idol.

This price is a great value as you get dinner and a show. The performances are always held in the Mill Race Banquet Center at Winton Woods (1515 W Sharon Road, Cincinnati), which is a great place to host all of your events including wedding receptions and corporate parties. The environment is casual, but some people choose to dress up a little more. You can even dress to the theme of the performance!

The dinner offers something for different palettes; vegetables, ravioli, rolls, chicken and prime rib. Prior to dinner, a salad is served between 6:30 – 7 p.m. as people are seated to their assigned seats. The show starts at 7 p.m., and doors open at 6:30 p.m. If you do not have a party large enough to fill a table, they assign you with other people; this is a great way to meet others who share your mystery enthusiasm as the table works together to solve the mystery!

In this show, the cast consists of five characters. The two judges, Taylor Hicks, former Idol winner from Alabama;and Cher as in Sonny and Cher, determine if Ace Stone or beauty pageant Crystal Cox will win the season finale. Phil McCracken stage tech weasels his way into the plot, too. When Crystal’s performance goes bad and she sings way off key, questions rise as to who messed with her microphone and for what reason. Does Taylor want to keep his stardom in Alabama, is Cher just jealous, does Ace want to win and feels he must cheat, or does Phil feel if he solves the mystery, he can get back to his old line of detective work?

As I previously mentioned, tables get to talk and work together to solve the mystery. The characters then come to the tables and entertain with questions as the audience enjoys a wonderful dessert. Then individuals write their hypothesis down for the chance to win, and at the end the show, the guilty party is revealed. Throughout the show there is audience participation. For example, I was thrown into a game where I had to dress another person up as a rockstar. My team won! Finally, it was revealed that Ace messed with Crystal’s auto tuner, and he was the won who “dunnit”!

Don’t miss out on a fun evening! Sign up soon and take advantage of all that Great Parks has to offer. Great Parks never fails to amaze me with their programming. Yes, they have great nature programs and amazing trails and playgrounds, but they offer more exciting programs I would never expect such as The Mystery Dinner series. This series runs in the spring with one more performance coming up May 18, and guests can wear their old leather jacket for the last show – the theme is a High School reunion mystery!

Tickets need to be purchased in advance and cost $39.95. Purchase your tickets online at

For more details about what Great Parks offers, go to

About the Author

Susie Dyson

Susie lives in the northern suburbs of Cincinnati with her husband and four kids. She has a 7-Year-old, 6-year-old, 3-year-old and a new baby! Together, they like to explore new things in Cincinnati as well as favorite places like Summit Park and the Cincinnati Nature Center. Susie is a former high school teacher and now a stay-at-home mom. She also enjoys running, being outside, spending time with family and friends, road tripping, participating in her church's activities and drinking coffee.