Sunday, December 19, 2021

Epic Family Game - How to Host Your Own Christmas Escape Room

It’s Christmas - the ultimate family holiday!

The kids burst with anticipation. Grandma smiles as she tells them to calm down. Uncle Joe sits out back, fortifying himself for the madness ahead.

Before long, the kids will be engaged with their presents, forgetting you exist. The adults will soon give in to the inevitable result of wine and turkey (but not before the pecan pie).

Why can’t you pull everyone together for close family time before dinner and presents? Even an hour will do. But what can pull all of these different people together?

Maybe you can go Christmas caroling! If only your family could carry a tune! And you doubt that your teenage son wants to sing “Deck the Halls” at the house of his cute classmate.

You could have the entire family watch “Its A Wonderful Life!” Except that, by the end, your house would probably feel more like “Bad Elf.” Real angels might be needed. And don’t you watch enough television already?

You need a new secret weapon. One they won’t see coming. One that draws them in and makes them actually spend time together! Something that truly captures the spirit of Christmas.

You need a Christmas escape room! Create an adventure in your own home. For 60 minutes, you will have your family completely wrapped up in each other. The thrills will continue over dinner as each person breathlessly recounts the game!

Okay, we realize that escape rooms didn’t make the Better Homes and Gardens Christmas activity list (but they should have!). You don’t have escape games stashed in with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singing guitar ornament that plays “Blue Christmas” for hours. But hear us out.

Nothing bonds parents and siblings like a family escape room. If the reindeer games included an escape room, no one would have made fun of Rudolph. No matter how many generations you have at your house on Christmas day, everyone will have a blast! Let’s face it, everyone loves to win. Winning a Christmas escape room requires team members to rely on each other, help each other, and pull for each other. After they escape, the team will spend hours recounting the brave decisions that lead to their escape! The harmony lasts long after the game ends.

Fortunately, we did the work for you. Download one of our printable DIY escape games, clues and hints included! Christmas escape games make your Christmas truly merry!

Can we play escape games at other times of the year?

Of course! While there’s a special magic to a Christmas escape room, you can play them any time of the year. Like apple pie and apple cider, escape games work any time of the year.

Want to distract the kids for an hour?

Set up an escape room. If they know how to use a computer — and they all know how to use computers — there is no need for an adult gamemaster! We make it that easy to run an escape room. Lock them in a room (figuratively) for an hour and see how they do!

While they eagerly tackle clues, combinations, and codes, the adults can relax in the living room with a refreshing beverage. An hour-long break from the kids might be the best present you can give your spouse on Christmas Day!

But why should the kids have all of the fun? Adults love escape games! Nothing is more fun at an adults-only party!

Your guests will come together to solve clues and will chest bump when they succeed. It will be a pathetic chest bump, and someone might get injured, but it will still be a chest bump!

If you’re having a party with kids and adults, let the kids play in one room while the adults play in another. Or, pit family against family to see who can escape the fastest!

Setting up an escape game is simple. Download and print. That’s it. Quick and easy and oh so much fun.

Make the escape game your pre-dinner Christmas activity. Escape games work best with groups of 4-6. Fortunately, you can print as many copies of the game as you like!

Once you have the groups, give each group the game pieces, brief instructions, and start the timer. The dreaded do-we-have-to-be-here looks you saw when guests arrived will completely disappear.

After the game is done, you Brinwill have the liveliest Christmas dinner ever! Stories of clues solved, red herrings followed, and brilliant deductions will flood across the table. People will tell stories, and everyone will die laughing! Just make sure your story for when Grandma has a mouth full of yams!

If you really want to take the party to the next level, offer prizes for the team that escapes the fastest. We recommend a seat on the next SpaceX flight, but if that seems a bit out of budget, huge bags of M&Ms always work!

If you really want to wow your guests — and guarantee that you will host the next party — go all out and turn your house into a traditional escape room! Decorate your house to fit the game.

Get mood music (we have Spotify playlists). Buy locks and other props. Print the provided posters and hang them on the walls.

Your guests will be amazed at how well the house turns out. All you have to do is a little decorating. We designed the game for you. And our games are spoiler-free — you can set up the game and still participate!

Create The Perfect Christmas Escape Room

Our kits are super simple. Download and print. That’s it. No extra screws lying around. Instructions using actual words and not symbols (the words are download and print). You can decorate as simply or as elaborately as you like. In other words, you have options.

The best part, the game is yours. You can print one kit or six kits. You can use it for one party or have twelve parties, one for each of The Twelve Days of Christmas. All for one price.

Option #1: The Minimalist Approach

This option takes all of the work out of the game. Download. Print. Play. It’s that easy.

Place the printed out game pieces on the table, start the timer and music, and try to escape. Other items you might want are scrap paper and a tablet to connect to our site for hints and solutions.

If you have more than 6 people, set up spaces for each team. Make sure each team has a smartphone or tablet to access hints. Race to see who finishes the fastest. Or, if you think Christmas is not the appropriate time for competition and squashing your neighbors (sorry, but you’re in the minority), simply play the games and reassemble for war stories after.

Option #2 Set The Mood

Without too much effort, you can create the feel of the escape room setting. Rather than just focusing on solving puzzles, your players will find themselves thrust into the game itself.

Make a room your “Christmas Escape Room Area.” Hide puzzles in drawers, lock them in safes, or tuck them in cabinets. Just make a note of where you hid them. Trust us, that comes in handy.

We include posters and photos in the kit. Place them strategically around the room. Grab some extra props from your attic or the dollar store. Read the short intro to the game, turn on the Spotify playlist and start the timer. If you have a smart tv, you can put the timer on the screen so that it is always visible to all players.

You’ll know that the decorations work when you see the players’ sense of urgency as if they really were trapped in the game. After the game, soak in their compliments as they retell stories of bravery and glory.

Option #3 The Professional Christmas Escape Room

You can set up an escape room to rival the professional escape rooms in your area. You will drop jaws, but it will take hours of work.

You can convert the games' puzzles into life-sized pieces using cardboard, wood, or foam board.

You can also leave them as is, making them easier to hide or lock away.

Turning a room into a full professional escape room for your Christmas activity will involve loads of paint, cardboard, and patience (yours and your spouse’s).

For example, suppose you decide that Christmas is the perfect time to escape the Zombie Apocalypse. In that case, you can turn your living room into a post-apocalyptic room or landscape. Broken windows, dead cars, and other debris litter the floor. Blackout the windows and install colored lights. Close off any halls with curtains or sheets. Add whatever other touches you can think of to make people believe the zombies are on their heels.

You can even stick zombie cutouts outside your windows! You may need weeks for the total transformation, but it will be worth it to hear your guests singing “here comes Zombie Claus” after they escape!

No matter which option you choose, we are here to help. Email us or message us on Facebook. Our elves will answer your questions promptly, usually between assembling Xboxes. We can answer any question you have about the game. Just don’t ask us how to make a fruitcake. We don’t eat fruitcake.

We provide a hints page during the game to assist with challenging clues. If you get stuck, click on over, and we will unstick you. We know that you want to do it by yourselves, but sometimes even the best of us need a little push.

The Victory (Christmas) Celebration

After the escape, you can sit down to Christmas dinner. Be prepared for a few differences from last year’s meal. Grandpa’s discussions of how Christmas was done in the “good ol’ days” will be replaced with breathtaking tales of barely solving a puzzle in time. Expect several “I told you we did not need a hint” claims.

Someone will claim that they don’t understand how they never heard of an escape room before now (quite frankly, we can’t understand it either). They will ask when you will put on the next one. You do understand that there is always a next one, right? Don’t worry, we have several games to choose from. 

Inevitably, someone made a boneheaded mistake trying to solve a puzzle. This story will be retold more than once to the laughter of all.

Before you know it, dinner will be over, and presents will be unwrapped. Kids will rush off to play with their new toys while the adults sit back and relax, talking about the Christmas escape room. As you listen, you begin planning next year’s Christmas escape.
   
Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. I have used direct text from the website of the company/product I am promoting to facilitate in my review.

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