Epic Fun for Birthday Parties or Group Outings


Sherlocked and Puzzle Break escape rooms, both in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood


We first experienced this super fun, unique activity when our friend Chayna planned an interactive Birthday party for her husband / our friend Matt. I then took my 22 year-old cousin Kyle when he was visiting from Ohio (they don't have any puzzle rooms where he is from, my hometown). We had such a blast and were raving about it so much that my 11 year-old daughter Bella started begging for a puzzle / escape room experience for her birthday party. After much research, I finally found Sherlocked, which allows kids to participate alongside adults. Our most recent adventure was with a group of friends when we booked an entire room for Matt and Tim's combined birthday party.  Participating in a puzzle / escape room is a full-sensory experience that allows for a 60-minute respite from electronics and cerebral, fun interaction among friends. 


Groups of friends, families, and kids at Sherlocked (I think that most kids can engage in the finding of clues starting in 5th grade). 



Exactly what is an escape / puzzle room, you ask? The locations are usually in hard-to-find industrial-type locations to keep with clandestine-like mystery themes. The way it works is that a room's host presents a themed mystery (such as a Haunted House or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea) to the group trying to solve the puzzle and then the players go inside a room (usually about the size of a living room) to find clues to solve the mystery / puzzle and ultimately "escape."  Escape/puzzle rooms have varying degrees of production quality, but in my experience, most have well-thought-out puzzles that keep your brains turning the entire time.  The clues often include word puzzles, hidden visual clues and logic problems involving algebra and science. What you quickly find out is that each person has unique strengths and skills that contribute to escape attempt. It often works out that some people are especially skilled at FINDING clues, and others are especially skilled at PUTTING TOGETHER the clues, and others are especially skilled at SOLVING the clues. Most rooms allow you to ask for hints from the host inside the room with you to keep everyone on track. Of the four that I experienced, the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Puzzle Break was the trickiest because the puzzles are simply difficult, and the Midnight Carnival Puzzle Break has the highest production props and seems more balanced in its left-brain / right-brain puzzles. Over at Sherlocked, the Haunted House puzzles revolve heavily around algebra and are great for math-minded people. The Office escape at Sherlocked seemed more balanced with left-brain / right-brain puzzles that were fun to solve.   


Definitely check out World Of Escapes, a website that specifically reviews Escape / Puzzle Rooms and has a great list on all of the Seattle Rooms, as well as a tool for booking. They even have a room listed that is good for kids, which we will be testing out soon. 

You usually cannot drink or eat inside the puzzle room. It's super fun! 


  • ABILITY TO UNPLUG: High, because you cannot have devices inside the rooms. 
  • Make reservations online in advance and consider whether or not you want to get an entire group of friends together to book the room. If you have a small group, chances are good that you will be paired with others to fill out the team.  
  • You cannot take photos or use your cell phones inside the rooms. 
  • If you need to use the restroom, or leave the room, there is a host outside the door who will open the door. 


If you venture out to any of the above recommended destinations, please come back to this post and share your impressions because it will help me build site traffic, which I need to keep this dream project alive.