There are lots of escape rooms for kids in London, where the puzzles are age-appropriate and geared to youngsters, either playing with other children or as part of a team with adults. Here are a few recommendations.
What is an escape room?
An escape room is a place where you’re locked in, with no obvious way to get out. You’ll be in a team of people working to solve clues and puzzles inside the escape room. Once you solve the puzzles, you can leave. Sometimes there’s a time limit put on the puzzle-solving, and sometimes the escape room has many rooms inside, with lots of different clues.
Escape rooms for kids tend to be less complex than escape rooms geared just towards adults. Some escape rooms for adults can be a bit spooky, with a creepy atmosphere adding to the excitement. Escape rooms for kids tend to be less scary.
Cluequest was the escape room for children that came most highly recommended to me by parents. The six different ‘missions’ are aimed at adults as well as children, but when you book, you can tick a box to say that there will be under-16s in your party. Most missions are suitable for children over the age of nine, and they last 60 minutes. On the mission list at the time of writing, mysteries themed on Ancient Egypt and Greek myths are for over-16s only, but all the others were suitable for younger children.
ClueQuest Address: 169-171 Caledonian Road, N1 0SL
Breakin’ Escape Rooms offer a heavily immersive experience, with seven different themes to choose from. All under-16s need to be accompanied, and at the time of writing a couple of the escape rooms looked a little scary for younger children – like the serial killer-themed ‘Butcher’s lair’. But there is also a room with a Harry Potter-esque theme, and each game is rated according to difficulty, so parents can judge whether or not it might be suitable for their youngster.
Breakin’ Escape Rooms address: 89 Holloway Road, N7 8LT
We tried out Si5 Spy Missions Croydon, and you can read about it here. If you have children who are too young for some of the more adult-themed escape rooms, Si5 is ideal as they run tailored quests for children as young as six, all the way up to adulthood. On our visit, we had to foil Agent Malice in his plan to blow up London. We sneaked aboard the hijacked warship Steadfast, then our guide led us through a series of rooms, with tunnels and trapdoors, solving clues and performing challenges as we went. My son and his friend loved our trip to Si5 so much, that we decided to book his birthday party there. Si5 have two bases in the London area, and they both offer birthday parties as well as regular visits.
Si5 Spy Missions address: 65 Fulbourne Road, Walthamstow E17 4EZ and 7 Exchange Square, Croydon CR0 1TR
As well as rooms with karaoke, virtual reality, and arts and crafts, Kidz Escape features two escape rooms for kids. They are both suitable for adults and children over the age of eight. The School of Wizardry and the Magic Lamp were the themes at the time of writing, and games last for 60 minutes. Kidz Escape offers escape room birthday parties, which can be combined with other activities, like building a bear, or slime making.
Kidz Escape address: 713 High Road, North Finchley, London N12 0BP
The London West End Crystal Maze experience is based on the 90s TV classic. Children can join in with the fun so long as they’re over 13. In teams of eight or less, families battle it out for 75 minutes in the maze’s four themed zones: Aztec, Medieval, Industrial and Futuristic. A charismatic and eccentric Maze Master leads the teams through as many as 32 puzzles. It looks an awful lot of fun.
Crystal Maze address: 22-32 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 7EU
A veteran on the scene, Lock’d has been designing high-quality, critically acclaimed escape rooms since 2014. Grandpa’s Last Will is a child-friendly escape room game, perfect for beginners or smaller groups of players. There’s also Perpetuum Mobile, a science-themed room, and the magical, mysterious House of Alastair Moon.
Lock’d address: B108, The Biscuit Factory, 100 Drummond Road, Bermondsey, SE16 4DG
AIM Escape includes some definitively no-kids-allowed escape rooms, like the Psychopath’s Den, and the Hangover Déjà Brew, set the morning after a stag do. But Spy Heroes welcomes children as young as six to go on a quest to find James, a missing friend. And Patient Zero 2150, for over-12s, lets families with older children battle against armageddon.
Aim Escape address: Goodman’s Fields, 8 Canter Way, Whitechapel, E1 8PS
Suitable for detectives aged ten and over, Sherlock: the Game is Now was devised by the creators of the Sherlock Holmes series, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, in collaboration with Time Run, renowned escape room pioneers. The game is an 100-minute immersive experience for teams of 4-6 people. It features original content from the stars of the show including Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrew Scott and Martin Freeman.
Sherlock: the Game is Now address: W12 Shopping Centre, W12 8PP
In the two sites of Escape London, players need to find clues, solve logic puzzles, break codes and use their powers of observation. Some of the 60-minute games are for over-12s or over-14s only, but Witchcraft and Wizardry, the Da Vinci Room, Escape the Seven Seas and the new Mayan Temple all welcome accompanied children over the age of 10.
Escape London Shadwell address: 6 Devonport Street, E1 0DQ
Escape London Shepherd’s Bush address: 117 Uxbridge Road, W12 8NL
Enigma Quests is advertised as being suitable for people of all ages, but “players aged 9 and under usually find most of the puzzles too challenging”. Under-16s need to be supervised by at least one adult per team. The quests don’t feature any physical challenges, so they are suitable for pregnant women. Enigma Quests has three themes: School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, The Million Pound Heist and Submarine: Mission Breakwave.
Enigma Quests address: 2-12 Wilson Street, EC2M 7LS
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