You may not be able to escape the constantly changing weather in the midwest, but you can band together as a family or with friends and attempt an escape room challenge any time of the year. Escape rooms have grown in popularity across the United States, and have migrated from corporate team building exercises to a growing source of family entertainment and even birthday party fun. Escape rooms challenge players to work together to solve clues and puzzles to unlock themselves from a situation room, and participants serve as live action characters in the experience. Experiences vary and include historical settings, detective work, espionage themes, science fiction thrillers and scientific problem solving. Use this handy list to find out more about escape room challenges in and around Lake County.
Escape Room Challenge Tips:
- Plan ahead and book online. Games book up fast and not all venues allow walk-ins.
- Be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled entry time. Some rooms do not allow latecomers to enter once the game has started!
- Dress comfortably and be prepared to move around.
- Be sure to check for minimum age requirements or adult supervision requirements.
- There are ways to leave the game if it becomes necessary.
Escape Rooms in Lake County
60 to Escape
Gurnee Mills (use entrance “J”), 6170 W. Grand Ave. #147, Gurnee | (844) 623-7227
Here your group will have exactly one hour to escape a themed challenge. Whether your group chooses to be a bomb squad or serve as a government “containment” team, or enjoys the thrill of capturing a museum artifact or solving the mystery of a disappearance, there’s an abundance of fun to be had here. These live, interactive puzzle rooms are designed for teens and adults. If your group includes youth under the age of 16, you must book a private game with a minimum of four players. Adults and youth age 16 and over may schedule a public game (two player minimum) and interact with players outside of their own group. Prices are charged per person. There is an eight player maximum per theme, but there are opportunities to arrange a large group or event.
No Escape Room
1501 W. Dundee Rd., #103, Buffalo Grove | (847) 722-2543
Choose from one of two rooms: The Police Station or The Law Breakers. Your team will have one hour to either solve the puzzle to escape with the money from the police station, or clear the only evidence against you needed to avoid prison. The key to escaping the room of your choice is to solve the prescribed sequence of puzzles and brain teasers for clues. This experience is designed for youth ages 10 to adults, but adult supervision is required for players under the age of 16. The rooms here are designed for groups of 2 to 10 people, and the cost depends upon the size of your group. Large group team-building experiences can be scheduled here, as well as birthday parties, celebrations and even pregnancy announcements. No food or beverages are allowed on site, so plan to celebrate with food and beverages at a nearby restaurant.
Key Quest Escape
(located inside of Laser Quest), 644 E. Rand Rd., Arlington Heights | (847) 222-9900
Escape room challenges here are designed for youth ages 12 to adults. Choose from three themed experiences: Vacation Vandals, a situation with a goal of finding airline tickets in a ransacked travel agency in time to make a flight; Detention, a classroom where a hidden hall pass will get you out early; and The Cellar, where trapped occupants must outwit a serial killer (recommended for youth ages 16 to adults). Prices here are per participant, with a three-person minimum charge. Larger groups are welcome to arrange experiences here.
254 N. Northwest Hwy., Palatine | (224) 801-2633
Spend an hour of quality time testing your problem-solving skills in The Time Machine or Defuse rooms, two action-packed, escape room experiences. These puzzles are designed for youth ages 13 to adults, but players under the age of 13 can play accompanied by an adult. Signed waivers are required for all participants under the age of 18. Parties and team-building experiences can be custom designed here, and there is a party room available for private events.
Mastermind Escape Games Schaumburg
1015 E. State Pkwy., #200, Schaumburg | (847) 453-4348
With themes like Sorcerer’s Secret, Outbreak: Find the Cure, Bank Heist or Lost in Time, your family’s fantasy fiction or historical drama dreams will come true here over the course of 60 minutes. There is no minimum age to play, but players under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. The rooms hold teams of 8, 10 or 12 people, and if you can’t book the minimum amount of players, other players will be scheduled in with your group. Games must be booked one hour in advance, and fees are charged on a per-person basis. Birthday parties and corporate events can also be scheduled here, but you must convene offsite for food and beverages. Please note this location is NOT handicap accessible.
Twisted Limits Escape Room
3735 W. Elm St., McHenry | (815) 331-8857
With captivating themes as Executive Disorder, Behind the Curtain or Omega Hour (note: must be age 15 or older and not recommended for a first-time escape room experience), thrill seekers will delight in the action, working in teams of 2 to 8 players. Price per game is per person for a one-hour experience. Be sure to check each room’s description on the website before selecting, as there are special caveats noted for each theme and an age requirement for the Omega Hour. Twisted Limits Escape Room also offers a fully outfitted party room that can be reserved by the hour that is perfect for parties and events.
757 McHenry Ave., Crystal Lake | (815) 893-6017
This mystery escape room puzzle adventure is designed for participants ages 12 to adult. Here you will find two themed rooms: Tiki Island and Speakeasy, available for groups of 2 – 8 players. Enjoy an action packed hour trying to stop the destruction of Tiki Island by preventing a volcano from erupting or find the evidence needed to arrest a mob boss in the speakeasy. Players under 10 years of age are not admitted unless the entire room is purchased. Cost to play here is per person. Birthday parties and special events can be arranged here, and a private room is available for use after you play for an additional charge.
Worth the Trip:
Lake Geneva Clue Room
772 W. Main St., Lake Geneva, WI | (262) 325-2375
History buffs and spy novel lovers will clamor over the themes of Cold War Clash, Gangsters’ Gamble and The Double Agent, all offering exciting, high-stakes action and problem-solving opportunities. While youth as young as age eight (with adult supervision) can play here, it is recommended that groups be composed of high-school age youth to adults. Check the descriptions on the website for escape rate statistics and maximum participant numbers. Prices are charged per person. Team-building programs and group rates are available, and this venue is close to many restaurants and attractions in Lake Geneva.
Where is your favorite escape room located? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below.