12 Cool NYC Escape Rooms for Kids to Conquer
For parents, living in a tiny New York City apartment can feel like a constant escape game. The clutter is closing in on you and you've got to locate two toddler shoes, a missing must-have accessory for your tween, and your own MIA cell phone before you can unlock the door to take on the mean city streets. If your clever kids don't see the game in that routine, they might be up for a different kind of challenge. Consider splurging on an afternoon in one of these kid-friendly escape rooms, where their puzzle skills (and yours!) will be put to the test.
These escape rooms are all great for birthday parties or even just "I'm bored" days. For more outings that are perfect for birthdays or family fun days, check out our Guide to the Best Indoor Play Spaces and Fun Zones in NYC.
Beat the Bomb—fail to defuse the bomb and you'll get blasted by paint at this colorful escape room.
1. Beat the Bomb – Dumbo, Brooklyn
Beat the Bomb is an experience like no other; it's a mixture of escape rooms, gaming technology, game shows, and theater. The bomb in this game provides a colorful ending: If you fail to defuse it, you'll be blasted by a colorful paint bomb. Players are outfitted in hazmat suits before entry and given one hour to beat the security system, or risk being blasted. Up to six players can participate at a time; booking a group of four guarantees you'll have a private go at the game. Though recommended for ages 10+, those as young as 8 can participate. (Special adjustments need to be made to the sensors for those under 4 feet tall, so if your party includes younger kids, be sure to let the staff know when booking.) Birthday party packages are available.
2. Brooklyn Escape Room – Boerum Hill, Brooklyn
Currently open for private escape rooms to test your prowess, Brooklyn Escape Room transports you to a spooky, haunted house. Though ages 8+ are welcome to participate, beware that the room may be scary to younger, or sensitive, kids. Kids under 12 years of age must be accompanied in the room by a paying adult. Games are meant for groups of up to eight. Check with the location for the availability of birthday party packages.
Clue Chase is one of the oldest escape rooms around and has plenty of space for larger groups.
3. Clue Chase – Herald Square
Clue Chase escape rooms have been part of the NYC adventure scene since 2015. One of the largest escape room locations in Manhattan, the Herald Square Clue Chase venue offers plenty of room for larger groups (10-12 people). There are four escape rooms to test your puzzle-solving skills: Moonshine Madness, Houdini's Workshop, Pirates of the Bermuda Triangle, and Guardian of Gotham. Each experience is roughly 60 minutes. While children are welcome, Clue Chase is not recommended for kids under the age of 8, and all children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
The Playground room at The Escape Game is a perfect introduction to escape rooms for the youngest kids.
4. The Escape Game – Midtown East
For one hour, escape the grind of the big city and polish your critical thinking skills in one of five adventure rooms. One of the rooms is a Playground theme, making this a perfect option for the youngest kiddos. It's recommended that children ages 13 and older play these escape games, but there is no technical age restriction. Children under 4 may be admitted for free, but you must call before reserving your room so that they can be added to the reservation for capacity totals. Whether you choose to be a Special Ops team member or break out of prison, these escape rooms provide a memorable afternoon.
5. Escape The Room NYC – Midtown
All escape games are private at Escape The Room, so plan to be cozy with family and friends while you work together to escape from one of the many room options. Game options include a submarine, dig, agency, office, clock tower, dinosaurs, and even a South Park-themed one (not recommended for children under 14). All ages are welcome; if anyone is 14 or under, there must be at least one adult chaperone in the room.
Escape reality at Escape Virtuality.
6. Escape Virtuality – Chelsea
This adventure location hosts more than just escape rooms; as the name insinuates, it also offers virtual reality escape rooms. If it's more the traditional escape experience that you're looking for, there are three options — Mission: Galaxy Quest, Runaway Subway Train, and Ghost Collector. These experiences (especially the runaway subway) may bring some New Yorkers' nightmares to near-reality, but rest assured it's just for fun. If it's virtual reality you're into, then try out one of the five virtual reality escape rooms. Birthday parties are also available at this location.
All ages are welcome at Hoodwinked Escape Room.
7. Hoodwinked Escape Room – Harlem
Hoodwinked has three long-running escape rooms ranging from spy-themed to a Harlem-centered treasure-hunt, and also hosts pop-up specialty rooms from time to time. All ages are welcome here, though those under the age of 13 require an adult chaperone. Rooms are ranked by difficulty level, so consider the age of your group when booking. Each game can accommodate up to eight participants, and party packages are available.
8. Myss Tic Rooms – Brooklyn
Check out The Montauk Project theme or the award-winning Ghost Light escape room at this Brooklyn venue. This unique escape room will take you on a journey that leaves you feeling as if you've been to the theater, read a mystery novel, and solved a puzzle – all in one! There is a minimum requirement for age at this location of 14 years old and children under 16 must have adult supervision.
PanIQ Room takes you to Ancient Egypt or the Wild West.
9. PanIQ Room – Chinatown
A franchise of the nationwide chain of the same name, PanIQ Room offers two different escape room experiences: Pyramid Heist and Wild West. Children under 10 years old are not permitted; those 10-14 must be accompanied into the room by an adult and kids ages 15-18 must have an adult chaperone present for check-in and to fill out waivers. Each room accommodates up to seven players and runs for one hour.
10. Mission Escape Games – Midtown
If you and your family are ready to take on a daring, 1-hour mission, then head on over to Mission Escape Games. There are multiple themes to choose from, including Mystery, Sci-Fi, and CyberPunk. Most games are family-friendly and are recommended for ages 10 and older. There's no technical age limit, but if you'd like to bring a child that is 5 or younger, call or email the location. Depending on the theme room chosen, you can book a room for up to 8-10 players.
Kids work together to solve the puzzle at Ripley's Relic. Photo by Stuart Ramson/AP Images
11. Ripley's Relic – Times Square
Children as young as 5 can participate in this new attraction at Ripley's Believe it or Not Odditorium. Tickets can be purchased as an add-on to your Ripley's visit. Your journey takes you underground to explore a "newly discovered" cavern, where you'll attempt to unlock a relic—and liberate yourselves. Fitting for its younger audience, this escape room experience lasts just about 15 minutes.
Choose an individual Mini Escape Adventure at Shipwrecked, or combine three puzzles into one Epic Adventure.
12. Shipwrecked Escape Deck – Red Hook, Brooklyn
From the creative team behind family-favorite Shipwrecked Mini Golf comes this trio of mini-escape rooms. Groups can book a 1-hour private escape room adventure and try to escape from as many rooms as possible. Lasting 25 minutes each, you and your team can experience all of the mini-escapes for an epic adventure. Though there is no age minimum, be warned: If you're playing with kids under the age of 13, some of the rooms have more of a scary quality, and you must have one participating adult over the age of 21. Themes include a haunted house (rated PG-13), a nuclear reactor, and a temple treasure hunt.
Photos are courtesy of the escape rooms, unless otherwise noted.