Christmas is a time for family, right?
Then why does setting aside this family time feel more like herding a mob of sarcastic toddlers?!
Before the kids are enthralled by their new presents, and the adults fade into their respective food comas, is it too much to ask for a moment of quality family fun?
Even if you get everyone's attention, the reaction is always the same. Blank stares, and a single question, "Well, what should we do?"
Christmas carols? Nope. What teenager doesn't love a rousing rendition of "Deck the Halls?" Or maybe a solo of "Holly Jolly Christmas?" Before long they'll be singing, "you're a mean one, Mrs. Grinch."
You could have a great snowball fight! Unless, of course, you live in South Florida... in which case... maybe a water balloon fight?
Obviously, you need a new Christmas family activity. One that engages your family's imagination, draws them together, and focuses their attention for 60 short minutes. And preferably, one that doesn't include wearing ugly sweaters for pictures with Grandma.
I know, it's not part of your standard Christmas party checklist:
Just grab one of our kids escape room games (we've got several).
All you'll need to do is print the game, set up a room (in the back of the house), and gather the little elves for an hour of mystery and intrigue. Task a teenager with the gamemaster's job, making sure he understands that gamemaster does not mean gametyrant.
The adults can relax in the main room with a hot toddy and enjoy some low-volume, stimulating conversation... before the kids crash back in, flooding the room with stories of their epic victory. With energy dialled back up to 11, everybody will be ready for dinner and presents!
If you have an adults-only party (smart!), our escape room games make for a perfect icebreaker. Plus, setting up our games is easier than wrapping a present! (And cheaper than most presents too!)
Just gather your guests in a room, hand out the game sheets and begin. Those polite half-smiles that everyone wore through the door? They'll be gone in minutes!
Friends, acquaintances, strangers and ancient rivals alike will suddenly find themselves working together to overcome the deadly challenge you've set before them. While everyone may not be old friends at the end of the game, they will be sharing fist-bumps, back-slaps, and hugs when they escape with only five minutes left on the clock!
Mix-up your Christmas this year by hosting a post-dinner escape room contest.
Each kit has puzzles of varying difficulty, so there's always a way for younger (or less sober) players to get involved in the game. This makes for a perfect family experience that everyone will actually enjoy!
Just break the family into groups of 4-6 and send them all to different rooms to see who can escape the fastest. Of course, it's way more fun if you up the stakes a little... have prizes for the winners, such as hot chocolate packs, candy, or last pick in the Dirty Santa contest!
Our DIY escape kits make creating your own, genuine escape room easy!
You'll need to go all-out, but the end result is super rewarding. Visit the local dollar store for props and locks. Redecorate the room to fit the theme of your chosen escape room. Print the posters we provide and hang them on the wall. Flip the mood from lighthearted Christmas to 1920's flophouses or the zombie apocalypse.
The puzzles are all done for you (not to mention, they're entirely customizable), so all you need to worry about are the decorations!
Our kits are simple and easy. No assembly required. No batteries included or needed. No diagrams drawn by engineers with serious anti-social streaks to decipher. Download, print, and party. It's that simple. You decide on the design, whether very simple or elaborate.
Our games are designed to be played in teams of 2-6. This means that you will need to split your crew into smaller groups, and print out one copy of the game for each team. Have 24 players? Print 6 copies of the game. Have 48 players? Print 12 copies of the game. Have 96 players? Wow! You have a huge house! Print 24 copies and hope no one gets lost!
This first option is super easy to set up, takes zero effort to run, and instantly levels-up your party!
Just download, print, and party. Done.
Literally all you need to do is print a copy of the game for each team of 2-6 players, hand them the game sheets (as well as some pens, scissors, and maybe a little scrap paper), and begin your escape adventure!
Let each team scatter to their own corner of the house, and race to see who can complete the escape room challenge first. Or, as Christmas isn't a competition (regardless of what it may seem like in social media), skip declaring a winner, and just have fun playing the game!
Make sure that each team has access to a smart phone, so they can access each game's hints page. Or alternatively, you can bestow the responsibility of 'clue-giver' to one, particularly conniving individual.
Afterwards, let the group come back together again over drinks and light snacks to gush about the puzzles they totally crushed, and those that felt more like riding a reindeer on rollerskates.
If you're willing to go to a little extra effort, you can turn your escape game into a breathtaking experience that they'll never forget!
Instead of setting cards on a table, designate an area as the 'escape room', and hide the puzzle cards inside locked boxes, desk drawers, or kitchen cabinets.
Enchant your players by crafting an engaging atmosphere that really sells the theme. Decorate with the posters and photobooth props included in the kit, grab some extra props and decorations from the dollar store, flick on each game's custom spotify playlist, and make sure to dramatically set the scene by reading your players the short game intro.
You can also upgrade the game with physical props. Grab a number/letter combination lock and set it to the answer of one of the puzzle sheets. Or alternatively, edit the game sheet itself and just change the answer!
The little bit of extra effort required to put this game together will pay off when your guests go nuts trying to find the combination to a letter coded lock (hint: don't use XMAS). They may tease you for making the hint too hard to crack or making it so easy a fifth-grader could crack it, but they will always enjoy the spirit of the challenge.
If you're looking to recreate an extravagant escape room experience, we've got you covered. We provide the puzzles, you just need to set up the room. (Warning: this is seriously time-consuming, but oh so worth it!)
Start by looking at the puzzles - you can leave them as-is, or convert them into 3d puzzles using cardboard and/or foamboard.
Next, you have the Herculean task of transforming your simple livingroom into an escape room labyrinth! This is an epic DIY project that will differ for each person, but will most certainly involve ridiculous amounts of cardboard and poster paint.
For example, why not try turning your dining room into an Egyptian mummy's tomb? Blackout the windows. Print out hieroglyphics. Place plastic beetles all over the room. Start the game with the Bangles singing "Walk Like An Egyptian." Do not put sand in the room. You will be feeling it under your feet for months.
Yes, this will take days, maybe even weeks of diligent prep time. But the atmosphere is unparalleled! Your friends will feel as if they are in a real tomb, peeking cautiously over their shoulder for the creeping spirit of King Tut....
...of course, you'll know that really it's the spirit of Christmas creeping up on them
Prepare yourself, because everyone and we mean everyone, will be gushing about their heroic victories, narrow defeats, and embarassing oversights for hours!
Clues will be rehashed over barbecue meatballs. Lock combinations will be discussed over meat and cheese. You may even receive advice on your next game (you're a hero now, so there is always the next game) from your uncle while his face is full of fruitcake.
And despite the number of times that astonished family will ask "how did you put this all together?", you can sit comfortably (maybe even smugly) and tell them it was easy... because it is! We work tirelessly to make sure that setting up our escape room games is simpler than helping your kids with their legos. (In both cases, you're a legend!)
Did we mention that we include help? You can email us with any questions you have when you are setting up the game. We have elves here to help. Reindeer also chip in. Snowmen provide help as well, but only in colder weather. Do not ask the snowmen about growing plants in greenhouses. They only know how to escape, not grow plants.
We stay with you every step of the way. During the game, we provide you with a hints page to get you past harder to solve problems. Each game has a website that keeps you on course by giving you the hints you need to solve the most challenging puzzles. Think of it as Geek Squad for escape games.