The escape room experience was developed in Japan 10 years ago, but is relatively new here in America. There are just 2,800 escape room venues worldwide and we New Yorkers are lucky to have Hoodwinked Escape right here in the Harlem. Hoodwinked Escape was created by Michele Ware, a local entrepreneur, who sees Hoodwinked Escape as transformative experiences for clue finders.
Hoodwinked Escape has four escape rooms, two of which were recently re-themed. There are levels of difficulty (the records for each room tell the story), so you can work your way up from room to room. I was invited to experience an escape room and chose the Spirit of Harlem room, because of the historical aspect of the story.
The other rooms (which I hope to experience also) are: Hangover II (loosely themed on the movie of the same name); the Experiment (the clue finders are trying to escape a science experiment); and Spy Academy (just like it sounds, the clue finders are learning to become spies).
I can’t reveal too much about the escape experience itself, of course. I had never done an escape room and was a bit trepidatious, but there was no need. We were given a walkie-talkie to connect with the Hoodwinked team, if we needed a clue (each room gets up to five clues). We did an recon of the room, trying to figure out where to begin and, once we got into the flow, had a lot of fun trying to solve the clues and get to the end of the story (we did it!).
Hoodwinked Escape is a great experience for families, friends, corporate team building, parties and date nights. Each room accommodates 2 to 8 people. Children are welcome, but must be at least 12 for adult-free experiences. Adults are invited to preview the rooms, prior to children’s parties, in order to help guide the children through the experience. Each room can be tailored to accommodate younger (or older) clue finders, so don’t feel you have to avoid the Hangover room, because of the theme, or the Experiment, because it might be too scary. Ms. Ware and her Hoodwinked team will make the escape room experience enjoyable and satisfying for all ages.
Hoodwinked Escape is located at 151 W 116th Street, on the northeast corner of W 116th St and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard. It’s just one block east of the 116th Street stop on the B and C subway lines and one block west of the 116th Street stop on the 2 and 3 subway lines.
If you’re a family taking a school break in New York City, Hoodwinked Escape offers a discount code for your family escape: SCHOOLBREAK15. For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on instagram, twitter, and “like” our facebook page too.