Family-Friendly Escape Rooms in New Jersey

Work together to solve clues at Puzzle Out, one of our favorite family-friendly escape rooms in New Jersey.
Work together to solve clues at Puzzle Out, one of our favorite family-friendly escape rooms in New Jersey.

Little sleuths and code-breakers can show off their detective skills at one of these family-friendly escape rooms in New Jersey. Getting locked inside a room with your kiddos to solve a murder mystery or foil a cyber-attack adds a fun twist to family time and can be a cool alternative to other indoor fun zones, like these family-friendly arcades and trampoline parks.

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Many rooms are suitable for children ages 8 or 10 and older, but some are geared toward older kids and teens. Be sure to check age minimums before booking. Themes vary from submarines and pirates to zombies and murder mysteries, so be sure to check the venue's website to find an age-appropriate experience for your child.

In most cases, your group has one hour to find clues hidden throughout the room to solve your mission. Hidden clues can be colors or numbers embedded in pictures or room decor; they can be in code or they can be locked away, requiring a riddle to solve. A game master monitors all the action on a video screen and can offer hints upon request. Most require reservations, so call ahead or book online.

Escape Room NJ – Multiple Locations

With locations in Englewood, Madison, Pompton Lakes, and Hackensack, Escape Rooms NJ offers a wide variety of experiences. The most all-ages-friendly option is "The Wonka Experience," where your group attempts to orchestrate a heist of the first Gobstopper. If you want to add a little competition to the mix, consider booking the "Bomb Hacker Escape Competition" at the Pompton Lakes center, where you can battle head-to-head against another team to disarm a bomb and save a restaurant. Big kids will get a spook from the ghostly phenomena in "The Otherside," which prompts players ages 12+ to explain mysterious happenings in another Pompton Lake game. Party packages are available.

Go Time Games – Wayne

Go Time Games challenges visitors to solve a wide variety of puzzles during their visit. Groups of 2-5 players conquer one experience after another, always with an eye on the leader board to see how they're faring against other teams. Challenges include "Feed the Animals," where you have to figure out which animals to feed; choose wrong and you're dinner. In "Power Surge," you're challenged to restore electricity to a blacked-out city, while "Puzzle Room" is a more traditional escape room experience.

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Puzzl Out has three escape room locations in New Jersey
Puzzle Out offers a variety of escape rooms in Newark, Hoboken, and Jersey City.

Puzzle Out – Newark, Hoboken, and Jersey City

Puzzle Out's trio of northern New Jersey locations run live escape games that give participants 60 minutes to complete their mission. Most games cater to kids as young as 8, though some versions aren't suitable for children. Games are ranked by difficulty. In Jersey City's "Downtown Countdown," participants play a game of Simon Says to disarm a bomb before it blows one of the city's landmarks. Visitors to the Hoboken location can participate in a "Codebreakers" game that challenges them to channel their inner World War I-era Secret Service agent. The company even offers an online-only "Crypto Heist" game that challenges you to turn into a hacker to infiltrate an arms dealer's digital wallet.

Escapology – Garwood

At Escapology, all escape room games are limited to your group only. Six different options are available, including a kid-friendly "Scooby-Doo and the Spooky Castle Adventure." If you're looking for something a little more grown-up, tweens and up can take part in "Antidote," and try to save the world from chemical warfare. Another kid-friendly option: In "TH3 C0D3," you've been framed for the biggest digital hack in U.S. history, and it will take teamwork to prove your innocence.

Amazing Escape Room – Multiple Locations

There are six locations of this micro-chain of escape rooms within New Jersey, plus an additional location across the border in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Some locations include axe-throwing games as an additional option. Themed games include "The Wizard's Apprentice," "The Pirate's Ship," "Top Secret Mission," and more.

Escape Garden State – Fairfield

Teens ages 14+ plus are welcome to try one of the four escape rooms at Escape Garden State. Pretend you're at the Jersey Shore as you attempt to deactivate a bomb hidden in an arcade in "Boardwalk Blast," or head deep into the Pine Barrens to hunt the Jersey Devil in "Devil's Den." Other options include "Mafia Blackout" and "Power Surge."

The Escape Game NJ escape rooms
It's thrills and anxiety until the big escape at The Escape Game! 

The Escape Game – East Rutherford

This brand new escape room is set to open at American Dream in March. Its interactive experiences are meant for ages 13+, though younger kids can participate with adult supervision. Two we find intriguing? Try to beat the Mob to a stash of gold in "Find the Gold," or kick it old-school in the funhouse-like "Pass Your Class" experience, where you're forever stuck in school if you can't work together to pass your final. In all, six escape room experiences are offered.

All photos courtesy of the escape rooms

This post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated since.

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