What to Expect When You Visit an Escape Room

If you're visiting an escape room in Chicago as a group, there are a few things you should learn to expect before you get started.

Escape rooms have gained popularity throughout the past decade. It's estimated there are as many as 50,000 escape rooms worldwide.


Despite the growing trend, there are still a lot of people who have never been to an escape room.

First-time escape room experiences can be a little intimidating if you don't know what to expect. But with the proper preparation, we promise you'll have a blast!

You should know a few things before booking at The Great Escape Room in Chicago.


What is an Escape Room?

An escape room is an adventure-style game in which you are "locked" in a room, typically in a team of 8 to 10 people. Your team is given a defined time limit (usually around 60 minutes). The goal is to work together to solve clues, riddles, and puzzles to escape from the room before the clock runs out.

During that time frame, you can work with a designated game monitor or personal in-room performer to receive some hints to help you advance in the room.

Although rooms are based on different themes, they are not meant to be scary. There are no live actors waiting to jump out at you, or cause alarm.

If your team solves everything necessary before the time is up, the doors will unlock and you can leave the room. But, if you do not complete the tasks in time, you'll still have a lot of fun!


How Do I Choose a Room?

The Great Escape Room in Chicago has 6 different rooms to choose from, including 4 escape rooms and 2 scavenger-hunt rooms.

Escape rooms test your ability to do puzzles, break codes and solve problems. For example, you may have to use clues or observe features of the room to crack combinations. These rooms have a designated game monitor who can help guide you by providing occasional hints if you choose.

Scavenger-hunt rooms provide clues to help you search the room for what you need to unlock the door. These rooms provide an immersive experience with a designated in-room performer.

You have 60 minutes allocated for all of the rooms except the Escape The Colosseum: The Underworld Maze experience which has a 120-minute limit. Some rooms have strobe lighting and fog machines.

Each room has a different level of difficulty. For example, only 18% of teams solve Escape Artist: The Final Seance, making it one of the more advanced rooms.


How Do I Book at The Great Escape Room in Chicago?

The Great Escape Room in Chicago accepts walk-in appointments but space is limited. If you're looking to make a group escape room reservation, you can book online.

Booking online can help ensure you book the room of your choice. It can also help make sure you're accommodating the schedules of everyone in your group.

60-minute rooms are $35 per person to book and the 120-minute Escape The Colosseum: The Underworld Maze experience is $50 per person. Anyone under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

If you don't see a time available that works for your group, we offer reservations outside of our regular business hours as well.

You can also book special corporate events, team bonding events, and private parties through our website. If you are looking for fun birthday party ideas, we offer full packages for birthday events!


Mobile On The Run Escape Room

If you're looking for work event ideas, our mobile On The Run escape is perfect for team bonding events with large groups.

This portable experience will come to you and accommodate groups of 49+ people, with no maximum cap. Participants can split off into various teams and work together to solve puzzles using their problem-solving skills.

This is a great way to host team-building events or help your workplace bond in a fun and memorable way.


What Can I Expect When I Arrive?

When you arrive at your first escape room experience, you may have some anxiety. It's important to remember that anyone can do an escape room. There are no required skills needed to enjoy the experience.

When you get to The Great Escape Room in Chicago, you will meet your game monitor or personal in-room performer. They will give you a rundown on everything that you need to know before entering the room.

Make sure your personal items are secured. Wear comfortable clothing as you will be moving around a fair amount inside the room.

You will also want to use the restroom. Being "locked" inside of a room for an hour or two will not be as enjoyable if you have to go, so make sure you go before the game begins.

Your guide may show you a quick mission video to help you prepare for the adventure ahead. Pay close attention to any instructions provided to you as they may help your team escape.


Tips to the Escape Room for First Timers

Once your team has entered the room, the timer will start counting down. If it's your first time in an escape room, you may be wondering what to do next.

These helpful tips can help your team succeed.


Look at Everything

When you enter the room, begin looking at everything.

Identify any objects to see if they open or if they have a lock. Look in, on, and under all the items in the room. Examine any books, wall hangings, or rugs to see if you can find any clues that may help you along the way.


Identify Any Patterns

Take a moment to look around the room and search for any potential patterns. Look for similarities and irregularities in the room.

Are there letters that appear on the wallpaper? Is there an interesting visual design in a painting? These items might have more significance than you think.

Patterns may help assist you in solving a puzzle at some point. So pay attention to what the patterns may be telling you.



Your time in the room is limited, so make sure you use it wisely!

If someone is great at solving puzzles, you can put them to work on those. If other team members are organized, you can have them keep track of all your puzzles and clues.

Once a clue or puzzle has been solved, have someone put it aside. Keeping track of your accomplishments can help your team stay organized.

Utilize the strengths of everyone on your team.



Communicating with your team is crucial to your success.

You don't want multiple people exhausting the same clues over and over. Everyone must be on the same page so that you can budget your time wisely. If a code has been cracked, put it aside and move on to the next task.


Seek Help From Your Game Monitor or In-Room Performer

Your game monitor or personal in-room performer is there to help make the escape room experience more rewarding. If your team is feeling stuck, reach out to them for a hint. They are there to help you along the way.

Pay close attention to the hints they provide. They typically won't say anything that isn't significant to your success.


Be Mindful of the Time

Keep an eye on the time.

If your team has been stuck working in one area of the room for too long, you may want to take another look around. You may be missing an important part of your puzzle or a part of a clue.

Designate one team member to keep an eye on the clock but try not to let the time limit stress you out either.


Have Fun

Even if you don't make it out of the room before the clock runs out, you will have had a great time! Escape rooms are a great way to bond with your team, and flex your imagination.

The experience should be enjoyable so relax and have fun!


The Benefits of Escape Rooms

Visiting one of our escape rooms is more than just a fun way to pass the time. The experience offers a lot of benefits.

Escape rooms are a great way to break up your usual routine with something exciting and adventurous. Our rooms encourage out-of-the-box thinking and imaginative role play. It's a great experience for anyone with a love of gaming.

It's also a great way to promote team building and team bonding. The experience can help increase problem-solving, communication, and stress management.

Escape rooms are accessible to everyone. You don't need to have specific skills to enjoy them.


Embracing the Escape Room Experience

Booking a trip to an escape room for the first time can be unpredictable, but it doesn't have to be intimidating! Knowing what to expect from the experience can help you relax and enjoy the adventure.


Whether you're looking for fun birthday ideas, corporate events, or a night out with your friends, The Great Escape Room in Chicago is fun for everyone!