Think you can escape? From the Queens border east, escape rooms are taking Long Island by storm. But what exactly is an escape room and why should you check one out?
Read on for our review of Long Island's latest escape room, Just Escape LI in Massapequa, and find more indoor family fun zones in our Sports Center Guide.
Escape rooms are literally rooms in which groups of friends (as many as 15) must find clues to unlock the door and escape. You are locked in (unless there’s an emergency) and you cannot get out. Most rooms have themes, and many include more than one room, although the second room is hidden until you find the necessary clues.
Recently, I was fortunate to try one of the newest escape rooms on Long Island, Just Escape LI in Massapequa. Of course, being trapped in a room with no escape is not ideal for someone as claustrophobic as myself, but I was willing to give it a go. I had visions of dark rooms, a clock ticking down as I break into a sweat, and never being released. But as we pulled up the building seemed totally nondescript and not at all intimidating.
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The Sweet Revenge room offers a new spin on the quest for eternal youth.
Once inside, the gray and yellow color scheme is somewhat soothing. Everything is bright and open, not the dark dungeon I feared. A quick tour showed beautifully detailed rooms, each with specific themes such as Carnival Conundrum, Sweet Revenge (a candy adventure), Underworld (a mobster one), Trials (Salem Witch Trials), and more. Choosing a room isn’t easy, and without giving too much away there were many ooohs and ahhhs as we toured the rooms and were surprised at the choices, details, and differences.
Eventually, we chose Underworld, which happens to be Just Escape LI’s most popular room. It is considered of moderate difficulty, even if in one area you are blindfolded and handcuffed; that sounded a bit much for my first time. Walking into this mobster-themed room it’s hard to imagine finding any clues; everything is so neat, orderly, and organized. But clues you do find.
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Can you escape the global black marketers in the Underworld room?
With the clock ticking down from 60 minutes, we went through every crack and crevice, finding mind-bending clues everywhere. And again, in the name of secrecy I’ll just say some clues were easier to locate than others, while some completely stumped us for minutes at a time. Nothing is as it seems in an escape room, but that didn’t stop us from having a great time.
Just Escape LI isn’t merely for adults. There are rooms and birthday options for children 7 and older, especially in the Carnival Conundrum and Sweet Revenge rooms. Plus, Just Escape LI works with parents to create the perfect birthday party for children and is an ideal destination for children who love puzzles and games. In its pizza room is a long table set up with tons of games, including Jenga, Rubik’s cubes and more.
Parties can accommodate up to 20 children depending on the room. Parents have the option of choosing a one- or two-hour escape room experience plus access to a party room for two to three hours.
Just Escape LI is located at 529 Broadway in Massapequa; Call 516-809-8980 for more information.
Photos courtesy of Just Escape LI.