aka The Frazzled Mom
We recently took a trip to the mountains. Call it a family reunion of sorts. It started last year with just the idea of our family and the grandparents and then grew to include the siblings and cousins. There are a lot of people involved and all sleeping under one room, so tensions can run high from time to time. In order to prevent that for the most part, I plan…and plan and plan and plan. I try to ensure that there are activities for everyone, from a large puzzle (1000 pieces this time!) for those that just want to sit and relax, to scavenger hunts for the kids to keep them from going stir crazy, to hikes in the area. The problem I’ve discovered is that I’m great and planning activities for the young and old, but the in between, aka the teens, I struggle with. It’s that stretch of years where everything is uncool or bothersome if it doesn’t involve screen time. So how can I do something special for those teens in our group, some separate and not including the younger kids? An escape room! I’d never done one before, so it was an adventure for my as well.
With our group of six, we headed off to Mountain Room Escapes in Big Bear. Why did I choose this one? Well, for one the description of the escape room I wanted to try and the other reason is that when I contacted them to ask if there was any discount they could offer me, they happy sent me a promo code. Sweet! Our group consisted of three adults, a 14 year old, 13 year old and 12 year old. I think anyone younger than 12 wouldn’t have had as good of a time. As it is, the 12 year old was scared that something was going to jump out at her (nothing did)….We had a bunch of flashlights in the room and she ended up keeping 5 of them, if that gives you any indication. The only jump scare, at least for me, was at the end when the “FBI” pounded on the door. Thanks a lot 😛
So…details. I didn’t take pictures because that would just ruin the surprise. But trust me when I say that the ambiance, the setup, was exactly what I’d hoped it would be. I was afraid we’d walk into an office building and that the escape room would be just some conference room with puzzles scattered about. Nope! It had eerie music and low lighting with various furniture and props to examine and explore. As soon as the clock started, we tore into everything. And we made sure our teens knew to look in and under everything. I think we all brought a little something to this escape room that helped us solve each puzzle. And we each gave others a turn at unlocking with a combo lock or key.
Two funny things happened to us in this room.
#1) We were instructed not to move the furniture. Wanting to have a fun time, while respecting this place of business, we took that to heart. One of the cousins pointing out a dressing screen in the back of the room, but we’d thought it was just blocking off storage, so we never went back there. Only, we ended up getting stuck and had to use our “free clue” in order to discover that yes, we could go back there and explore.
#2) We’d found a key, one that didn’t give the briefcase we currently had. So we left it on the dresser. When we found a lock that needed a key, we turned to grab that one only to find it was gone! At some point, it was picked up, or it fell, or it was shoved under another item we’d already looked at. Was this part of the escape room? LOL Did he somehow move the key to make it more challenging? Pfft. We obviously pushed it under something and just needed to search for it. We spent a good FIVE MINUTES looking for that dumb key when suddenly, the 12 year old said, “Oh, I have it on my wrist.” Apparently, she’d picked it up and was wearing the key. And no one seemed to notice, not even her, WHILE we were searching for the key!!
Honestly, I think those two things added even more to the suspense. Haha…that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.
Well, we got through the puzzles, unlocked the door. Yay! Only to find another room full of puzzles. Boo! 🙂 Nah, it was actually nice that we still had to do more…with 26 minutes left on the clock. Our ultimate goal was to find the FBI phone number and call for help. We did it, with 5 minutes to spare (some time was knocked off for asking for an additional clue)!! Of course, that’s when the jump scare came in. He nearly gave me a heart attack pounding on the door. LOL But I survived. Well…we all did. And we escaped the lonely miner from making us a permanent addition to his cabin.
If you’ve been debating trying this, I highly recommended it. Mountain Room Escapes was our first escape room and we had a blast. We had a lot of laughs and an adrenaline pumping good time. All in all, it’s definitely something we’ll remember and reminisce about the trip for sure. And it was nice to do something special with our teens.
FYI: if we would have brought the 8-9 year olds, it would have been a distraction for us and perhaps not as fun because we would have had to police them to ensure nothing was broke. So while I recommend escape rooms for the family, I really think you’d have a better time with older kids to adults. And be sure to include those kids in the searching, puzzle solving and unlocking. It isn’t fun unless everyone participates.
Ask questions! The staff is friendly and helpful, over the phone as well as in person. Our host that night was gracious and even gave us a sneak peek at another room. If we come back to Big Bear, we are definitely trying another of their rooms.
After a fun day of hiking in the woods you and your friends find that you have become lost. A search for shelter leads to an abandoned cabin and the much sought after warmth you were looking for. But the cabin might not be as deserted as you thought. Can you escape a lonely old miner before he makes you a permanent house guest?
This game is 1 hour and 13 seconds long and located at our Big Bear Lake, Village Mall location.