So you’re planning a family trip to Hot Springs. The teens want to visit Magic Springs. The younger kids want lake time. Dad wants to golf, and mom is looking forward to a spa day. While you can fit all of that in – you may be wondering if there’s a family activity that will make everyone happy. The answer is YES! Try an escape room!
Escape rooms are a new live-action games where your group can discover clues, solve puzzles and try to beat the clock. These adventure games bring excitement and challenge without being too strenuous. While you play, your family will work together, sneaking in some bonding time without even noticing! If you have a competitive spirit, you’ll be fueled by the leaderboard and trying to beat the fastest team out of the room.
No worries about being locked inside – you are closed in a room, but the doors aren’t locked so you can come and go as you please. You’ll make reservations, show up and get directions, and then work your way through the rooms. While these are ideal for families visiting Hot Springs, natives, coworkers, or a group of friends can try to escape the rooms as well.
Hot Springs has three different escape room experiences. Try one or try them all!
Escape Hot Springs is a Hot Springs-themed experience located on the corner of Spring Street and Malvern Avenue. Their tagline is “You can’t escape Hot Springs without a bath and a bet!” so this room takes you on a journey with The Bathhouse and Gambler. They also have an X-files inspired room called the Office of Paranormal Investigator, which was created by the Central Arkansas Escape Rooms). Other rooms are coming soon. Josh Drake, one of the owners, was inspired to create an escape room after visiting one in Washington, D.C. with his family. "In and 8-day vacation, the escape room was our favorite activity. I knew that Hot Springs needed this." Along with the two rooms that are currently open, they are working on additional rooms including a phobia room. Josh says, "Everyone in the family will enjoy an escape room. Group after group come out saying that the whole family loves it."
GR8 Escapes sets out to send you back in time to the 1930s with dancer Lilly Rose. You learn that Lilly has been murdered in crossfire between her gangster boyfriend and a dance student – and your job is to set her spirit free by locating the “haunted” items in the room. This immersive experience, located on Central Avenue next to Rolando’s, will completely surround you – from themed music to beautiful décor that puts you right in Miss Lilly’s parlor. Owners Debra Davis and Ernie Godsey created this escape room after Debra visited an escape room in Tulsa last holiday season with family. "It was fun, but it was so cheesy," she said. "I knew we could do this better. With my background in design and Ernie's background in engineering, we created the rooms and the puzzles together." While this escape room has a spookier feel, they can accommodate both adult groups and families. To add to the spookiness, you might spot their mobile billboard, a hearse, driving around town!
A Narrow Escape is a unique escape room experience. Owners Shane and Kirstie used their backgrounds in physics and engineering and set out to showcase their kinetic art creations and handcrafted puzzles through the escape room experience. Using all self-engineered puzzles and games, players work to either deactivate a machine in A Clinical Trial or work with robots in The Bionic Dilemma. No matter which room you choose, you'll be impressed with their originality and ingenuity. Kirstie explains, "Our rooms are very puzzle-oriented. We want others to experience our creations and love that they can interact and play a game together. Everyone has a great time. They leave happy." Located on Central Avenue in Spencer’s Corner, you can enjoy this escape room and then hit up the restaurants nearby.
No matter which escape room you try, you’re sure to have a one-of-a-kind experience attempting to solve the puzzles and break free. It's best to make a reservation to ensure a spot, but most will accommodate walk-ins if they have openings. Take your family, your coworkers, your group of friends, or your date and check out one of the Hot Springs escape rooms. These three businesses really add to the unique, fun opportunities in the Spa City! Check them out and see if you can beat the clock and escape.