Escape rooms for children and adults have mushroomed in popularity, with at least six new venues opening on Long Island since last summer. Each themed experience challenges players to work together to solve puzzles in order to escape from a “locked” room in 60 minutes. Here is a roundup of 10 great escape-room experiences for kids.
Puzzle Break Long Island
WHEN | WHERE Hours are usually 2 to 9 p.m. weekdays and noon to midnight on weekends (check website for exact times) at 180 Michael Dr., Syosset
INFO $30; sign up for a time online or by phone, 516-307-0888; puzzlebreakli.com
Puzzle Break has three rooms; the brightly lit “Escape the Midnight Carnival” room is the easiest and therefore best for kids. It holds various carnival-themed games, such as a colorful spinning wheel, plenty of keys, boxes, blocks and puzzles. Puzzle Break, based in Seattle, opened here in July, is constructing a venue in Newton, Mass., and is on board three Royal Caribbean cruise ships. Puzzle Break offers birthday party packages.
Pictured: Caitlin Watters, 13, of Bethpage, works with friends to "escape the room" by solving a series of puzzles at Puzzle Break.
WHEN | WHERE 11 a.m. through midnight Thursdays through Sundays; 2402 Ocean Ave., Ronkonkoma
INFO $40; check website or call for coupons or specials; must reserve in advance; 631-676-5625, padlockedinc.com
Padlocked Inc., which opened in July, has four rooms, two of which are the better choices for children: the “Home Alone” room, based on the movie, and “Escape the Jungle,” with a jungle theme. If playing with children younger than 16, you must book the whole room, paying for a minimum of eight players. Padlocked offers birthday parties.
Escape of a Lifetime
WHEN | WHERE Open daily but by appointment only; 473 Old Country Rd., Westbury
INFO $30; check website or call for promotions; must book online; 516-780-4420, theescapeofalifetime.com
Escape of a Lifetime, which opened in October, recommends kids play in “The Vault,” a room based on a bank heist gone wrong, or in “Da Vinci’s Study,” which features a fictional priceless manuscript by Leonardo da Vinci. Rooms accommodate two to 10 people. Escape of a Lifetime doesn’t offer birthday party packages. Toward the end of March, Escape of a Lifetime plans to add an additional room specifically designed for ages 12 and older called “Secret Agent.”
Escape the Room Game Long Island
WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily; 718 Portion Rd., Lake Ronkonkoma; 70 Horseblock Rd., Yaphank
INFO $28; book in advance online or by phone; 631-974-6988, escapegameli.com
“For kids we always recommend our location in Ronkonkoma, where we have a game called ‘Legends of a Hidden Temple,’ ” says manager Zak Seghrouchni. The game is based on an old Nickelodeon TV show. Kids are trying to uncover lost treasure, going through the sand room, past the walls of despair, through a tunnel and into a treasure room. Escape the Room Game, which opened in February 2016, does birthday parties for kids ages 8 to 14. Rooms accommodate up to 10 people, and kids must be part of a group to participate.
Escape Zone Long Island
WHEN | WHERE Seven days a week by reservation; 872 Middle Country Rd., St. James
INFO $27; book online or by phone; 631-645-8906, escapezonelongisland.com
Escape Zone Long Island, which opened in December, has two family-friendly rooms: “Another Christmas Story” and “Casino Heist.” If kids want to do the Christmas room, they should act now — in April the room will be changing over to “Mad Hatter’s Wonderland,” says owner Tim Kennedy. Escape Zone Long Island can do birthday parties.
WHEN | WHERE Thursday and Friday evenings and all day Saturdays and Sundays; private bookings also available; 256 Main St., Northport
INFO $25; book online; 631-651-2622, cryptiqinc.com
Cryptiq Inc., which opened in 2015, has one room called “Grandma’s Basement,” in which players search for Grandma’s real will. Kids ages 10 to 15 must be accompanied by an adult; ages 16 and older can play as a group of teenagers. Cryptiq doesn’t have birthday party packages.
Long Island Escape Games Extreme
WHEN | WHERE 4 to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 4 to midnight Fridays, 10 a.m. to midnight Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays; 4949 Expressway Dr. North, Ronkonkoma
INFO $28; book online; 631-676-4733, teamextremeny.com
All four rooms of Long Island Escape Games Extreme, which opened in August, are part of Mr. Jenkins’ Mystery Mansion, with players solving a different Mr. Jenkins mystery in each room. The “Bomb Squad” room, in which a bomb has to be discovered and disarmed before it detonates at Mr. Jenkins’ party, and “The Great Escape” room, from which partygoers have to escape because Mr. Jenkins has locked them in to find a jewel thief, are $28 each. The other two rooms, “The Mystery of Red Room” and “The Time Machine,” must be booked by groups. Owner Tyrone Wilkins says he is running a promotion in which people who solve multiple rooms can possibly win a trip to Disney or Universal Studios. Birthday party packages are available.
Can You Escape?
WHEN | WHERE Noon to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, noon to 11:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, 44 Jericho Tpke., Mineola
INFO $28; book online; 516-246-9939, canyouescapeli.com
Can You Escape?, which opened in 2015, has six rooms, and owner Alissa Torres recommends kids play either “Escape the Subway,” which has players trapped in a subway car, or “Once Upon a Time,” in which players are trying to escape from a storybook. Can You Escape? has two identical “Escape the Subway” rooms, so larger groups can split up and race not only the clock but each other as well to see who gets out first, Torres says. Can You Escape? doesn’t have birthday packages.
WHEN | WHERE Noon to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; noon to midnight Fridays and Saturdays; noon to 8 p.m. Sundays at 529 Broadway, Massapequa
INFO $25 to $35 depending on number of people and chosen room; online or phone booking preferred; 516-809-8980, justescapeli.com
Just Escape opened in November and has five rooms. For kids, Just Escape recommends “Sweet Revenge,” which is a search in a candy store for the recipe for everlasting youth, or “Carnival Conundrum,” which features classic carnival games. Just Escape does birthday parties for kids 7 and older. Rooms hold eight to 15 people, and smaller parties can mix in with other patrons.
Pictured: Birthday girl Theresa Schmitt 11, pointing, and her fifth-grade friends celebrate her 11th birthday party at Just Escape.
Challenge Escape Rooms
WHEN | WHERE Open Mondays and then Thursdays through Sundays in Franklin Square; Fridays through Sundays in Rockville Centre and Patchogue; 922 Hempstead Tpke., Franklin Square; 203 Sunrise Hwy., Rockville Centre; 180 E. Main St., Suite 100, Patchogue
INFO $28; book online or by phone; 516-888-0202, challengeescaperooms.com
“The Sweet Shoppe” room in Franklin Square and Patchogue is popular with kids, as is “The Game Room” at the Rockville Centre location. In “The Sweet Shoppe,” players are trapped in their bakery and trying to get out in time to make it to a baking competition. “The Game Room” is board-game themed, incorporating Scrabble, Monopoly and more. Challenge Escape Rooms doesn’t have birthday party packages.
Pictured: Mike Incigeri, left, and Sam Dertinger in the "Psychic Room."