The Holiday season is fast approaching, and for many people that means family gatherings. There’s always a lot of fuss during these next few months, dealing with travel schedules, cleaning, lodging, dining, and most importantly, entertaining. Though I cannot help you with everything, allow me to suggest some entertainment that can include the entire family and leave a lasting impression.
Last Christmas I got to visit my parents in San Antonio, Texas. My brother, my cousin, and his wife joined us for an early Christmas Eve dinner. After we finished eating, we were looking for something fun to do as a family. My brother suggested trying a local escape room, so we set off to solve a mystery aboard a pirate ship. We had a great time.
Escape rooms are a great idea for families getting together during the holidays. They provide an opportunity for groups of all ages to interact, to share, to laugh.
Unlike going out to see a movie, you are not confined to a seat in the dark, unable to talk with everyone else. In an escape room, you are free to move around. You can talk to each other, joke to each other, and sometimes even act silly together. For those who have trouble striking up conversations, the puzzles in the room provide an easy starting point.
To plan the perfect escape room outing with family, I have a few tips:
- Find a game with a medium difficulty rating. With a medium difficulty, first-timers and enthusiasts alike can contribute. The first-timers will be able to understand and solve puzzles, while at the same time the enthusiasts can still find the game challenging and engaging.
- Try finding a non-linear game. Non-linear games hold many puzzles that can be worked on simultaneously. This means that your group can split into smaller teams, giving everyone something to do.
- Find a theme that appeals to everyone. There are plenty of silly, kooky, fun games that you can play, just be sure to check the age limits for the rooms. Also pay attention to limits on group size. Find one that can hold your entire group, and see if you qualify for a private room.
- Include others. If you consider yourself an escape room master, sometimes it can be frustrating playing a room with those who have no idea what they’re doing. Just remember that you, too, were once a first-timer. Try guiding your family members in the right path. If an answer seems obvious to you, try helping your family come to the same conclusion as you instead of simply answering the puzzle. If you have a family member standing in the back not participating, even something as simple as “try this combination on this lock” could be enough to get them involved.
- Adjust your goal for fun. Working as a Game Master, I have had many groups whose only goal is to escape. We all love winning, but we can’t win 100% of the time. Approach your game with your number one goal being to have fun with your family. If you focus more on including everyone and having a great time, you’re going to come out on top. Escaping would just be a bonus. Especially if you are playing with a large group of first-timers, there’s the possibility of tensions running high. Take a step back, breathe, and look at the room as a bonding experience.
If you are in the Anaheim area during the holidays and need something fun to do with your family, The Fun House is the perfect game for you. Your group will enter a wacky carnival to prove yourself as worthy magicians before time runs out. As a non-linear game with a medium difficulty, there are plenty of puzzles for everyone with any sort of experience. If your group has kids 13 and under, we even have a special version of the game with puzzles designed for younger players.
This holiday season, you can relieve a bit of stress by planning an escape room outing for your family.
Game Master and Manager
Cross Roads Escape Games