Hobo Heist Kids Mystery Party

Mystery Factory Kids Party Games
Easy for You
FUN for Kids !

A Kids Mystery Party In a PDF

Our Hobo Heist Kids Mystery Party will have your youngsters hot on the trail of Kaboom Cassidy, notorious train robber, who has stolen the dynamite from Henrietta Junction.

Dynamite that is needed to save a group of kids trapped in an old gold mine.

It’s an adventure party in a PDF, with all the instructions and printable clues you’ll need and plenty of ways to dress it up.

The Story


Railway Guard Jack Gandy

A hot wind whistled through the tree tops and stirred up dust devils over the dry ground near Henrietta Junction. All the children from the hobo camp had set out for a picnic, but the dust was getting in their eyes. They headed for shelter inside an abandoned mine shaft.

The Spitball Express, the fastest train in the country, was hurtling towards Henrietta Junction today with a load of gold. All the adults had stayed at the hobo jungle by the train station to watch. They kept clear of the railroad guards who were on the lookout for the notorious bank robber, KaBoom Cassidy. He was rumoured to be in the area looking for trouble, and the guards needed to protect the gold on the Spitball Express.

All that changed when Guard Jack Gandy saw a young boy running towards Henrietta Junction, tears streaming down his face and yelling for help. The roof of the mine had collapsed, and all the kids were trapped inside!

They had to save the kids before their air ran out. Gandy dashed to the dynamite shed to get some explosives to clear the mine entrance. He flung open the door and saw … EMPTINESS! KaBoom Cassidy had already stolen the dynamite to rob the Spitball Express!

Kaboom Cassidy must be in disguise as one of the new faces in town that day. Is the robber Boxcar Bertha? Sweet Tooth Sadie? Freighthop Freddie? Or is he the new Station Master, Bert Bully? Will Jack Gandy be able to catch the robber and find the dynamite before the kids run out of air? Only with the help of your Gumshoes. Time is ticking!

HuntClue Hunt Mystery

Hobo Heist is two fun Gumshoe Detective Agency party games in one:

  • a Whodunnit, where your Gumshoes examine the Crime Scene for evidence and record it in their Casebooks. The evidence could be fingerprints, or candy wrappers, or anything else that does not belong at the scene of the crime. The thief is the only person who has left all four clues at the Crime Scene.
  • a Clue Hunt to find where the missing plunder has been hidden. Your Gumshoes get to chase down a series of puzzles to find the treasure.

Read your Gumshoes the Scenario, give them their Detective Handbooks, and stand back! Once it is set up the game runs itself. Don’t be surprised if things get quiet – that’s the sound of active, engaged minds at work.

Print And Play – A Party In A PDF

Your instant download gives you all the tools and evidence you’ll need, plus detailed instructions on how it all goes together. Add some easily-found items and the party is ready.
Like any good party, it takes a bit of preparation. Give yourself a day to set it all up. Follow our Dress It Up suggestions to add even more to the decor. Or build your Gumshoes a Hobo Jungle! There’s no limit to the fun you can have.

  • Turn Hobo Heist into a sleep over by having your guests bring their overnight items in a hobo bindle and their sleeping bags to camp-out in a hobo jungle.
  • Begin the party by making hobo bread in a can and cook it in your oven while the kids track down clues! It will be butter-melting hot and yummy by the time they find the stolen dynamite. Make the snack complete with Hobo Apples – an apple with the core removed and filled with peanut butter.
  • Use bindles for loot bags. Give the kids sticks to decorate and to tie the bindles too.
  • Check this out for lots of great hobo lore, and to find out about Cyberhobos!  http://cyberhobo.com/

Questions? All our parties come with free email support.
Check out the Gumshoe Detective Agency FAQ for more information.

Instant Download – Party On!

Your secure Paypal payment will bring you right to your Download page where the Hobo Heist PDF will be waiting for you. We’ll send you an email with the download link, too.

Tell Us – Tell A Friend

If you and your kids had fun, drop us a comment. Help other party planners out and tell your network!






  1. Is this still available

    • Sorry for taking so long to respond! Yes Hobo Heist is definitely still available. Something was going on behind the scenes on my website which may have made the process painfully slow and also prevented me from getting the message that you had left a comment. Everything is working now. Thanks for your query and please let me know if you have any questions.

  2. Could this activity be done with a classroom? I’m a school counselor for elementary students and I love disguising critical thinking, problem solving etc. as games/activities like these!

  3. How can I call in to order the Hobo Heist?

  4. Michelle Reynolds

    Hi I am interested in using one of your mystery packs for a listening and talking event at my school. It will be for children in p3-p7. which one would you say is suitable? I was thinking Hobo Heist but that would only be if the pictures with the cigar had been replaced.
    Also, How long will both activities take as I have approx. 35 min sessions?
    Thank you.

    • Hi Michelle – Thanks for your interest in our Gumshoe mysteries!
      I’m not sure what p3-p7 means but the mysteries are good for ages 6 through 9 approximately. I would say that solving the mystery would take approximately 30 minutes and then if you hide the missing item – in the case of Hobo Heist the dynamite to save the children trapped in the mine – another 30 minutes. The length of time it takes to play the game depends in part on the age of the group and how well you hide the clues.

      I am reluctant to remove the picture of the hobo smoking the cigar as it is historically and culturally accurate for the time. You might notice too, that the hobo in question is a less than healthy individual, so it could be a chance to reiterate that ‘smoking is bad for you’.

      Of the other two mysteries I would recommend Fossil Furor http://mysteryfactory.com/fossil-furor-at-the-mudstone-museum/ as the ‘crime’ is available as an audio clip which may fit in well with the ‘listening’ component of your event. http://mysteryfactory.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Fossil-Kids-Mystery-Party-Audio.mp3

      Please let me know if you have any further questions.

  5. Good Morning,

    I recently purchased the Hobo Heist set for use with my after school club in the coming weeks. I noticed as I was reviewing the materials to prepare, that one of the characters is smoking a cigar. I can not use photos like that for my after school club. Is it possible to get a set without a cigar smoking character, or is it possible to get another set instead? I would appreciate any help you can give me. I love the mystery set up and know it will be perfect for my group. Thanks so much!


    • No problem at all Jennifer. Let me know which of the other two Gumshoe mysteries you would like to replace it with and I’ll get that right out to you!

  6. Hi Juanita,
    I’ve ordered your “Hobo Heist” mystery party for my son’s upcoming 8th birthday party. All the children, including the birthday boy, are VERY excited about the chance to be detectives and to solve a mystery. No one has ever been to a party like this and I am really looking forward to seeing how much fun they will have!!
    Many thanks,

  7. Hi, I was hoping to try this or a birthday party in the middle of September. Do you think you will have it ready by then? Btw, great site.

  8. Hi Kelly
    When is your son’s birthday? I am just re-doing and polishing the mysteries now, which is why you can’t find them. Let me know when you need it by and I will let you know if I can have it ready. ‘Castaway Critters’ will be the first up and should be available by March 1st. Fingers crossed.

    • Thanks for your reply. We plan to have my Son’s party on March 9 and so have a bit of time. Can you tell me a bit more about the Castaway Criters?Are they good for 8 to 9 yr olds? Thanks so much!

  9. Hi there,
    My son really wants a spy/mystery party party for his 9th birthday. I cannot find the page where the PDFs can be downloaded–are the kids mystery party packages available and if so, how much do they cost? Thanks so much!

  10. Thanks Julie. I believe you can use your credit card through PayPal. Enjoy your party! Nothing (well, almost nothing) is more fun than watching kids have fun.

  11. I don’t have PayPal. Do you accept VISA?

  12. Juanita,
    Was such a pleasure speaking with you today. I felt a real sense of care, interest and enthusiasm from you. Your mystery package is so detailed and imaginative, the instructions are simple and make me feel confident our whodunnit will be a success. I am very much looking forward to putting together, and presenting the Hobo Hullabaloo mystery to my group! Thank you so very much, will let you know how much fun everyone has.

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