Sunday, January 17, 2016

My Family Escaped The "Escape Room"

Imagine living in a small town of 1,192 people in South Central Wisconsin in the winter.  The temperature this morning was minus 8.  It was the coldest day we have had so far this winter.

It is a Sunday, and there is not much to do.  I don't look at living in Wisconsin's cold clmate as much different from living in the Southern climates in the summer.  In both places it is difficult to do any outside activities.  It is dangerous to be outside in extreme heat, just as it is dangerous to be outside in minus zero temperatures.  In both situations a person needs to do something fun and safe.  Today we did just that.  A while ago my daughter participated in an activity for her job.  It was called the Escape Room of Wisconsin.  It was meant to build trust and team building among co-workers.  She loved it so much, she signed up for six people to do a family oriented escape room on January 17, 2016.  Little did we know today would be so cold and that it would be a perfect day for such an activity.  The six who participated were my husband, my daughters and three of our oldest grandchildren.  I came along for the ride.  The thought of being locked in a room caused me a little panic so I stayed out in the waiting room.  I was able to watch the whole process on a TV screen and hear how they were solving the puzzles.  I couldn't understand why they found a flashlight and needed to use it because it looked so bright on the TV screen. Afterward they told me it wasn't bright in the room and was very dark and hard to see.

What I viewed on the TV screen.  They weren't aware I was watching.

The general idea of the Escape room is that you choose a room you would like to escape from.  The room my family picked was called Escape Snape.  It was geared for families and based on the Harry Potter character.  It was kind of ironic because the actor Alan Rickman, who played Snape, died this past week.  I'm not sure if you need to know about the Harry Potter stories to escape this room, but I think it helped. 

Next you are put into the room and the door is locked.  You have to search for clues by solving puzzles and using logic to find the final way out of the room.  You have 45 minutes to complete and escape.  The better you work together and communicate, the faster you can escape.  The owner sits and watches on the TV monitor to make sure you are on the right track, and to make sure everyone is safe.

Some groups make it out, others get out with help and some need to be let out at the end of the 45 minutes.  It is fun no matter the outcome.  There are other rooms which are a little harder and require even more logic and puzzle solving skills. 


New rooms are added regularly so you can come back at another time.  When you are finally out of the room, they take fun photos to post on Facebook.  It was a great day for everyone, including me.

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