Escape if You Can

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Ever feel you just really need to escape? Think you can do it in 60 minutes?

escape roomFrom McKinney, Texas to Princeton, New Jersey — and Fitchburg and Leominster, Massachusetts, too — folks are willingly entering locked rooms, with the hope of finding their way out in an hour.

The escape room craze that is sweeping the nation has landed in the Twin Cities: Curious Escapes on Main Street in downtown Fitchburg and The Gate Escape on Lancaster Street in Leominster are attracting visitors who love to work out a puzzle, want to get some team-building experience, or are competing in a friendly rivalry for making their get-away in the shortest time.

Picture it: You’re back in the ‘90s — you remember, those days before Y2K when people actually went to stores to pick up video tapes of their favorite flicks. You and your friends are having a movie night and you have to pick the perfect VHS before it gets too late (Mom wants you home by 9 o’clock), when you realize the store is empty and the door is locked. The lights flicker. What’s going on? Discover the mystery. And get out before it’s too late.          You have 60 minutes.

You don’t need muscle to escape the room, and you can’t call the folks at home for a lifeline. Your little group has to use its collective brainpower to find a way out … and the clock is ticking.

Of course, there’s always a happy ending to an Escape Room adventure. Either you discover the secrets that will lead to a successful escape — or time will run out and the doors will unlock, setting you unsatisfyingly free.

These escape missions are generally meant for groups of four to eight, but if you don’t have a group, you can join other daring adventurers, making new friends in the process. Keep in mind, too, that the experience is recommended for ages 12 and up; a waiver is required for anyone 14 and under.

The video store is just one of the options waiting to challenge your mind in Johnny Appleseed Country. To learn more about local escape rooms, visit (in Fitchburg) or (in Leominster).

Are you up to the challenge? Remember … the clock is ticking………….