With immersive settings, engaging themes, and entertaining storylines, escape rooms are a unique experience that’s fun for the whole family. There are many escape rooms for kids throughout the DC area, so families with children of all ages can get in on the fun.
In escape room games, players are "locked" (don't worry—they can actually leave at any time) in an elaborately themed room and must work together to break free by deciphering clues, cracking codes, and solving puzzles before time (usually 60 minutes) runs out. While the puzzles and clues are typically geared for tweens, teens, and adults, younger children love to help out and embrace the exciting themes.
Here are 14 top escape rooms for kids in DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. For more indoor fun near DC with kids of all ages—including the best indoor rock climbing gyms and awesome trampoline parks—check out our Guide to Indoor Playgrounds, Play Spaces and More in DC.
Note: While escape rooms are family-friendly, keep in mind that dimmed lights, loud noises, and other special effects in some rooms may be intense for young players. Check websites for details and age recommendations before you go.
Prepare your child by letting them know they can leave the room at any time and that there are always staffers nearby, ready to help out. Note that unless you have a large group, you may be placed with other people in an escape room.
Best Escape Rooms for Kids in Washington, DC
You can choose from seven immersive experiences at Escape the Room’s two DC locations, including saving DC from dinosaur clones in Penn Quarter's Jurassic Escape, embarking on a classified spy mission in The Agency at the same location, or stopping the spread of a deadly pandemic in the Midtown location's Outbreak. Groups with children under 10 must purchase a private room.
All of the games at Escape Artist DC are developed in-house, and there are plenty of puzzles in each room that both children and adults are able to solve. Escape Artist DC offers three escape-room themes—House of Pawns, Gallery Heist, and Night at the Museum—which are updated and refreshed regularly. This escape room is conveniently located just a short walk from the Eastern Market metro station.
3. The Escape Game — Georgetown and Penn Quarter
The Escape Game has two locations in Georgetown and Penn Quarter, with nine themes to choose from, including The Curse of the Mummy, A Pirate’s Adventure, and The Heist, among others. Each game has multiple rooms, and you can ask for as many hints as you’d like. All ages are welcome and children ages 4 and under can come along for free.
Unique to DC, Insomnia Escape Room offers private games in immersive settings with detailed props. Popular rooms include The Mafia, set in a 1930s speakeasy, and The Alchemist, in which your team needs to find the philosopher’s stone hidden in the Order of the Alchemist’s library. Insomnia Escape also offers several virtual-reality escape rooms and a VR arcade.
Step into a video game come to life at Beat the Bomb. Unlike most escape rooms, which are puzzle-intensive, in Beat the Bomb players don hazmat suits, helmets, and face shields and move through a series of high-tech rooms while cracking codes and navigating laser mazes. If you don’t succeed, get ready to get blasted—the fifth and final room contains what’s billed as the world’s largest paint or foam bomb. Children must be at least 8 years old to participate, and kids 10 and up can play on their own.
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Take on Operation Jingle Bells at Clue IQ. Photo courtesy of the Clue IQ Facebook page
Best Escape Rooms for Kids in Maryland
6. Clue IQ — Frederick, MD
Clue IQ creates custom-built, immersive game environments with high attention to detail. The four on-site escape rooms include a festive adventure to save Christmas, a quest to retrieve King Arthurs’ sword, and a special-ops mission to retrieve a powerful artifact. Puzzles are best suited for ages 12 and up, but all ages are welcome, and children under 6 participate for free.
Big Escape Rooms offers four themed rooms, with the Basketball room recommended for younger players. Your team is trapped inside the locker room and you have 45 minutes to escape, or you will be forced to forfeit the game. Even though this is rated as a beginner-level room, it has only a 50% success rate, so be prepared for a challenge.
Battle a mad scientist, break out of (make-believe) prison, or go on a fairy-tale adventure through a mystical forest in a private escape room with just your group. Red Door Escape Room offers five full-episode experiences, with difficulty levels ranging from “beginner” to “challenging,” and one mini game option, which is 30 minutes long.
Best Escape Rooms for Kids in Northern Virginia
At Escape Room Arlington you can experience the retro thrill of a 1980s arcade, battle supervillains who have escaped from the comics, and explore the chambers of Edgar Allen Poe. Four different escape experiences are offered, and all game rooms are private.
Gear up in goggles, shower caps, and splatter suits and get ready to get messy! The Art Attack room at Bond's Escape Room's Arlington location is a combo splatter room/escape room where you get creative with both puzzle-solving and art-making. Described as the largest escape-room venue on the East Coast, Bond's has 15 themed rooms, with Art Attack being the best choice for beginners. The fishbowl-themed Bowl Voyage and the spacecraft-themed Escape From Venus II: Collision Course are other easier rooms for beginners at the Fairfax location.
11. 5 Wits — Arlington, VA
At 5 Wits in Ballston Quarter, you play the starring role in a live-action, high-tech adventure with hands-on games, interactive challenges, and hidden secrets. Unlike traditional escape rooms, each adventure has multiple possible endings and a flexible level of difficulty that adapts to your group. In each of the three experiences—Drago’s Castle, Espionage, and Tomb—you’ll travel thousands of square feet, exploring an immersive environment complete with theatrical lighting, synchronized soundtracks, and dramatic special effects.
Cyber Raccoon’s Train Robbery adventure is built around a storyline set in the American West. While most of the puzzles are too complex for younger kids to solve on their own, children can still contribute to the experience, and mixed groups of kids and adults playing together are encouraged.
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Escapology features lots of fun themed rooms at its three DC-area locations. Photo courtesy of the Escapology Facebook page
Best Escape Rooms for Kids Near DC with Multiple Locations
13. Escapology — Bethesda and National Harbor, MD; Fairfax, VA
Escapology offers a variety of escape room games at each of its DC-area locations. Families can go on a pirate adventure or solve a mystery with Scooby-Doo at the National Harbor location (and soon the Fairfax one), investigate a mansion murder in Bethesda, and so much more. The National Harbor location also offers outdoor escape games. And at Escapology Fairfax (and soon Bethesda) groups of players ages 7-14 can play in Kids Mode, which gives them unlimited access to hints via a walkie-talkie connection with helpful staffers.
14. Escape Quest — Bethesda, MD and Alexandria, VA
Explore the catacombs of Paris, join a team of Navy SEALs, search for lost treasure, or go on a knight’s quest to save the king. Escape Quest offers private adventures in six different escape room games at each of its DC-area locations.