I was surprised to learn Madison has escape rooms, and I recently found myself inside one. If you’ve never heard, you can pay a business to lock you inside a room for 60 minutes. They give you a way to break out, but you will need to follow clues and likely break padlocks. You win when you break out or solve “the mission”. They aren’t meant to scare you as much as they are meant to get you using a part of your brain you don’t usually use, and get you working together with whoever you are with.
Luke and I did the Bank Heist room at My Escape Mission on South Stoughton Road as a date. The object of the Bank Heist room is to break into a vault and defuse a bomb. I picked it because it was a fun challenge for Luke and me. We are both pretty competitive and work together very well. It was very easy to get immersed into the environment. It’s fun! If you want to win, you want to work quick! Up until your first major roadblock, you’ll feel like things are moving OK. Unless you’re looking at a watch (which I don’t suggest), you won’t know how long something has held you up, which means you’ll have to move that much faster to finish. Time was the toughest part of the room for this reason. It took focus and teamwork, but it was fun. We were on our knees, cracking padlocks, breaking into computers, and scratching our heads. (The picture you see here shows a couple of the challenges we faced.)
An escape room would be great for a bonding experience for small families or a small group of friends. Kids 10 and older would be fine with parents, maybe 12 alone. Bringing kids any younger may potentially slow you all down, which will frustrate the older kids. (I’m 24 and got annoyed when things weren’t working fast enough.) As for taking friends, too many people in your group will feel like a crowd.
Escape rooms are being used as business outings and teamwork exercises. The ones in Madison are listed at the bottom of our Fall Fun Page. We paid $55 for the two of us, but prices vary. You’ll want to pick a room theme that suits your interests as a group. Hope that your group members don’t start bickering!
Experience rating: 7.5 out of 10. Would do again.