A local mom shares her family’s experience at Portland Escape Rooms, plus check out our roundup of other family-friendly escape experiences at the end of the post.

Each year, my kids get tickets for new experiences or adventures in their stockings from Santa.  This year, he gifted tickets for my 11-year-old daughter and a friend to go to Portland Escape Rooms with me.  We had never been to an escape room before and were excited to try!

For those of you not familiar, escape rooms are immersive team adventure games.  Each room has a theme — anything from fun and silly to dark and scary.  You have one hour to solve clues and escape the room.

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Santa selected the Genie’s Lamp room for our adventure.  Before entering the room, the staff member quickly and energetically reviewed the rules. My favorite was “don’t swing from the drapes.” Apparently people do. After she set the stage for our mission to save the genie’s lamp, we were given a walkie talkie that allowed us to communicate with the staff member during the game, which included the ability to ask for hints.

Image courtesy Erica Vo

We entered a small room decorated like a cave, complete with visual and sound effects, and began attempting to solve the interactive clues through trial and error.  Most clues involved some sort of logic or reasoning: solving a riddle, finding a pattern, or determining the logical next step based on the information provided.  When a clue was correctly solved, it would trigger a response, such as a compartment popping open or a previously hidden component moving.  Cue excited shrieking.  After about 40 minutes we had recovered the lamp and thought we had won!  We were so excited!  We cheered for ourselves, only to discover there was an entirely new room with brand new clues to solve.  The second room made me think of a sultan’s living room, and the new clues were completely different in nature, but even more challenging and fun.  We tried our best, but were ultimately unsuccessful.

Even though we didn’t escape, we had so much fun!  We all remained engaged and excited for the entire hour, and we each got to experience the excitement of solving a clue.

We were told that our room had the highest success rate at just over 50%, and it was considered their easiest room.  The other popular room for families is the 1980’s arcade room, although it was noted that kids often spent a good portion of the time playing the games, which really work!

Prices are per person and vary based on the room selected.  Check for mid-week specials!

Pro Tips

  • Even the easy rooms are a bit of a challenge.  Bigger groups mean more brains at work and a better chance of escaping!
  • Read the room descriptions and age ranges carefully.  Rooms can vary from beginner level to quite challenging, as well as from funny to scary.  Selecting the right room for your family will give you the best experience.
  • Most escape rooms require an adult to be present with children under a certain age.  Make sure to plan accordingly.
  • Younger children will likely still enjoy the non-scary rooms, but tweens and teens will have more success solving the challenging clues.
  • Most companies offer gift cards, allowing you to gift the experience while still allowing the recipient to select their favorite room.
  • Many escape rooms offer discounts on second attempts. Be sure to ask about deals for returning customers.

Portland-Area Escape Rooms

Wizard School Escape Room, Mindtrix Escape

Mindtrix Escape
Located inside Clackamas Town Center.  The Wizard School room sounds like so much fun!  $35 per person.

Portland Escape Rooms
Located in Beaverton, they have rooms for ages 8 and up.  In addition to Genie’s Lamp, the Arcade and Sundown Saloon rooms sound fun for families.

Escapism Portland
With rooms about wizards, magic, a zoo for humans run by aliens, and jungles, there is something for everyone.  Ages 10 and up, various locations.  Prices are by group size, starting at $90 for two people, with the per person price going down as group size increases.

NW Escape Experience
Located in Vancouver, this company’s Jurassic Tours room is perfect for dinosaur lovers! $35 per person.

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