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6 Fun Escape Room Alternatives for You & Your Family

03 May 2019

Looking for a few fun escape room alternatives for you and your family?

While escape rooms are a great way to spend time with the family, there may be times when a typical escape room theme isn't a good option for you and your particular group.

Will your friends enjoy solving puzzles? Can your family work together well? How will your kids do with the limited space and time limit?

If a basic escape room game isn’t exactly what you’re after, here are 6 fun alternatives you can try instead!

What Are 6 Fun Escape Room Alternatives for Your Family?

These 6 escape room alternatives can be created in your own home!

1. Mini-Escape Room

A typical escape room takes place in a large, closed-off room indoors, and lasts around an hour. You can make your own mini-escape room, in your house or backyard!

All you need is:

  • A tent
  • A small collection of props
  • Your own creativity!

Mini-escape rooms keep the puzzle-solving fun to a small area and usually last around ten to fifteen minutes.

For a simple mini-escape room game, you’ll also need:

  • A box with a combination lock
  • Some framed pictures
  • Some art supplies

Put the pictures up around the tent, and draw numbers onto the edges of the frames, as clues for the numbers needed to unlock the box!

Feel free to come up with a fun story to explain why your kids or friends are trying to open the box, such as that there is a pirate treasure inside.

All that’s left to do is place a little prize in the box, be it a sweet treat or a message from a pirate king!

2. Puzzle Races

Puzzle races serve as excellent escape room alternatives for a larger group. 

Separate your group into two or more teams, and give each team a similar series of puzzles. These puzzles can include jigsaw puzzles, Rubik’s cubes, or crossword puzzles.

The teams must work together to solve all the puzzles as quickly as possible. Whichever team finishes first, wins!

Puzzle races can be very similar to mini-escape rooms; it’s like having two escape rooms running at the same time. These races encourage teamwork and create excitement through their competitive spirit.

3. Tabletop Games

Tabletop games are a great way to spend a quiet evening in with the family while still having fun and creating great memories.

You don’t need to stick with the classic board games or card games like Monopoly or Go Fish, though. Many tabletop games are also role-playing games, which challenge your group to use their imaginations!

You can also find “escape room” tabletop games, which include all of the elements of a mini-escape room inside a handy box!

The perk of a tabletop game is that it does not require much set-up beforehand. These can be comfortably played sitting around the kitchen table.

4. Scavenger Hunts

You’re never too old for a good old-fashioned scavenger hunt! Scavenger hunts are excellent both for staying at home and for going out into the world.

For your group, create a list of items they are likely to find in your chosen location. Be sure to print off enough copies of the list for everyone! If you are playing at home, including items such as a roll of tape, a toothbrush, or a pillowcase.

If you are playing at the park, perhaps challenge your family to find a blue flower, a picnic table, or a perfectly round rock.

For more variety, add clues that could have multiple correct answers, such as “find something pink” or “find something that isn’t where it should be.”

Have your participants take pictures of themselves with the items to prove they found it! Scavenger hunts are great escape room alternatives for people who would prefer to be running around, instead of sitting still at a table.

5. Amazing Race

For even more running around, expand the scavenger hunt into an “Amazing Race” style challenge!

Find a local park or other large outdoor space, and set up several stations for challenges.

These challenges could include:

  • Puzzles (“Solve this jigsaw puzzle!”)
  • Riddles (“What is broken the moment you say its name?”)
  • Or physical challenges (“Do twenty jumping jacks!”)

Send several small teams around the park to take on the challenges. The first team to complete them all wins! You can have each team start at a different challenge station to ensure they don’t run into each other.

This kind of race is great for large groups that can be divided into many small teams. It's also one of many escape room alternatives that keeps you working together, without becoming too disorganized.

However, Amazing Races require more set-up and volunteers to help run the challenges, in contrast to the other options on this list.

6. Geocache Storytelling

Geocaching is an outdoor activity in which you use GPS coordinates to go find a hidden container.

This container, known as a “geocache,” holds items and clues that direct you towards the next container. All you need in order to set up this game is:

  • A GPS device
  • Several small containers
  • Once again, your imagination!

Give your family members the first set of coordinates and set them off on their adventure. In each container that you hide, leave behind pieces of a story for your group to find. To hear the next part of the story, they will have to find the next hidden container!

This activity turns reading, which is usually a sedentary activity, into an adventure that requires moving around!

How to Choose the Best Game for You and Your Family

When choosing the best game for you and your family to play, it’s important to consider your family’s unique traits. You want to pick something that everyone will enjoy, after all!

Are your kids' outdoorsy adventurers who love to get their hands dirty? If so, a scavenger hunt in the park would be perfect for them.

Do your kids prefer to spend their evenings curled up on the couch with a book? A tabletop game might be more appropriate for them.

Be sure to also consider your family’s likes and dislikes. If your spouse is deathly afraid of zombies, then a zombie-themed mini-escape room will not be fun for them.

Why 60OUT?

If your family enjoys one or more of these alternative games, then it may be time to upgrade to a more advanced theme.

60OUT offers twenty-three uniquely crafted games spread out across seven locations. No single location has two rooms that are the same, creating a unique experience for every visit.

Each escape room contains an immersive adventure full of challenging puzzles - encouraging teamwork and creating exciting, fun memories for all. These games range in both genre and difficulty level, so you are sure to discover one that best fits your family’s needs and interests.

Book a 60OUT escape room today, and let the family fun begin!