The tricky thing about finding fun activities the whole family can enjoy is that the difference in ages, life experiences, and definitions of what’s “cool” make for very different tastes!
What a 10 year old enjoys will usually be pretty different to what a 17 year old likes, and that will be different from what a 21 year old enjoys… Talk about a tall order.
But there is one activity that is good, challenging fun for all ages: Puzzles! (And, as such, puzzle rooms).
Playing an escape room offers families a chance to be present with one another, communicate constructively, and work together. Depending on the age range of the players, there are a few factors that should be considered when you’re deciding on the right escape room adventure for your family.
Puzzle Rooms with Kids
Being immersed in the story is one of the best ways for your kids to enjoy the experience, have fun, and get into character! Are you detectives, wizards, or thieves?
Play up the theme of the room, create your own stories and uncover mysteries together. We’ve had families show up in full costume with their kids and everyone loved it – especially the adults!
There are many different types of puzzles for children to play and enjoy, each with their own unique design. There are some escape puzzles that rely on the sense of touch, others that require players to find missing pieces or investigate and search the room. (We recently wrote a blog post on the types of escape room puzzles and designs, so feel free to check it out to learn more.)
The key is to allow your kids to try things first. Let them take the lead in searching for clues, holding the flashlight, or opening key locks. If they’re fairly young then you’ll probably be assisting them with most of the puzzles, so give them every opportunity to be involved!
Escape Rooms with Teens
Ah yes, teenagers… Undoubtedly some of the quirkiest and most out-of-the-box thinking players out there!
What makes a great escape room for teenagers? Here’s a clue: It’s an escape room that allows them to play alongside their family while at the same time providing them with opportunities to challenge themselves and showcase their smarts.
Most escape adventures do not involve phones or outside interference; players are asked to lock away their phones for the duration of the game. For teens in particular, this helps everyone to be present and engaged with the room and the entire family.
When first entering the room, give your teens and tweens the time and space to discover the room and its puzzles. Most escape rooms have hidden puzzle elements that are fun and exciting to find, so have them try some puzzles on their own. Doing this encourages them to use their imagination and creativity to find their own solutions, which will help them have the best experience possible.
Parenting in an Escape Rooms
To make your experience truly enjoyable, it’s important to think about what you want to get out of this room.
When booking your next family escape room experience, think whether you’re picking the right theme for your child… Things to consider include:
• Are they jittery or easily distracted?
• Are they scared of the dark?
• Are they able to read and write yet?
Also check if there are any age restrictions for the room you’re looking to book. Why? Because the fact is that not all rooms are designed to be played by everyone.
Generally, there are tough puzzles, horror/scary elements, and adult themes that may not be advertised for younger players.
If you’re unsure, call the escape facility ahead of time and double check with them. It’s fun to choose a room together, so try to get the whole family’s input when picking a theme and difficulty level.
You can also think about asking to make the room private or just buying out the room. We often recommend this because, when it comes to playing with families, it can be difficult for strangers to have the same level of enjoyment when tackling a puzzle room with a family that’s also playing it at the same time. By booking a private room, you can ensure your family will be playing in a more controlled environment where you don’t need to worry about frustrated strangers.
Some Final Notes on Escaping the Room as a Family
The family that plays together stays together! This is especially true with escape rooms because communication is key.
Remember to talk through the room, work together to stay organized, and switch up puzzles if you’re stuck…
Speaking of stuck, if your group is having trouble getting through a puzzle or two then most escape rooms are happy to provide hints and direction to help you get back on track.
Escape rooms are meant to be immersive and entertaining. The most important thing to remember is to enjoy the experience and not take it too seriously. At the end of the day, the memories and time you spent together are incredibly valuable – so make the most out of your escape!
We Want You & Your Family to Have Fun
Here at Arcadia Adventures, we want your family to have the best possible experience.
Remember to listen to guidelines and instructions to ensure a safe and fun time. When in the room, it’s best to keep an eye on your kids and be respectful. Believe us when we say that it’s easy to be distracted once inside, so make sure your kids know to not play too rough or damage any props or items.
While small accidents will inevitably happen, keep in mind there are cameras and if the gamemaster sees disrespectful or destructive behavior you may be asked to leave.
Playing with your family – especially when there are younger family members playing – means you may not be as fast and efficient as you would like. Keep in mind this is a bonding experience for everyone, try and stay calm and guide them through the room. Another great thing about playing an escape room with family is that it’s an excellent time to teach your kids good, analytical problem solving skills. Escape rooms are a great way to teach new skills and ways of thinking, so take this time to impart your wisdom!
Ready to jump into your next escape room adventure? Then contact us or just go ahead and book one of our awesome escape rooms online!