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Why An Escape Room Should Be Your Next Family Activity

Updated: Mar 26

In a world where kids (and their parents) are more glued to their screens than ever, finding a fun family activity can seem like an impossible challenge. Young people have an almost limitless selection of distractions at their disposal and - let’s face it -  a game of Monopoly at the kitchen table is going to struggle to compete with the algorithmically-intoxicating lure of TikTok or Fortnite.

If you’re going to get everyone to commit to an afternoon of quality bonding time “IRL”, you might need to forget the board games, and find an activity that’s exciting, immersive, and enjoyable for the whole family. Luckily, escape rooms tick all those boxes.“

If you haven’t tried one before: an escape room is an experience-based adventure game that challenges participants to work together in order to solve puzzles and, ultimately, escape (if you need a primer, check out this blog article). Because of their collaborative, interactive, and fun nature, escape rooms have become a hugely popular team-building activity - and, like any team, they can also help families bond, build memories, and - most importantly - have a great time together. 

So, if you’re at a loose end trying to think of fun things to do with the kids - and can’t face another afternoon arguing over Scrabble - we’ve put together a list of the reasons to make an escape room your next family adventure. 

1 - Escape rooms encourage good communication 

To succeed in an escape room, you’re going to need plenty of effective communication. You need to figure out a plan, share ideas, and tap into each team member’s unique perspective. There might be days when your family barely shares more than a monosyllabic mumble (read: teenagers) but, when you’re faced with an engaging common goal, you’ll be amazed how quickly the words flow. 

2 - Escape rooms foster critical thinking 

There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that video games help growing brains develop problem solving skills but, when your kid’s on their third hour mowing down zombies with an AK47, it’s easy to be sceptical. While the holy grail of “fun and educational” might seem out of reach, escape rooms provide a mental workout that’s genuinely fun. We know, because we’ve seen hundreds of participants (of all ages) laugh and smile while thinking logically, laterally, and creatively.

3 - Escape rooms create lasting memories

Escape rooms are exciting, interactive experiences that stand out from everyday life. Many of them (including ours) have immersive theming - transporting your family to a totally new environment - and when you combine that with the adrenaline rush of racing against the clock, and the sense of achievement if/when you escape together, you can form a shared memory that stays with you forever. 

4 - Suitable for All Ages and Abilities

While some are more difficult than others, one of the most appealing aspects of escape rooms is their suitability for a range of ages and abilities. When you visit an escape room like The Department of Magic, you’ll be faced with a variety of different puzzles and challenges, requiring different capabilities and strengths, so each member of your group can contribute to a successful outcome. Teamwork really is key so, while specific puzzles might require a more seasoned puzzler to lead, the whole group can be exploring their environment and looking for fresh clues, or just enjoying the immersive atmosphere!

5 - Provides a Digital Detox

We’ve already mentioned how digitally-dependent many of us are these days. Kids, parents, and even grandparents can find it difficult to put their phones down and get lost in their surroundings (no matter how much they want to). An escape room gives you an opportunity to detach from your devices, focus on the people you’re with, and pay no mind to social media. Trust us, when you’re racing against the clock, it’s all tick-tock and no TikTok. Of course, you can still get a selfie ‘for the gram’ once you’re finished (be sure to tag @department.magic when you post it). 

6 - Themed 3D fun

As we mentioned above, many escape rooms are based on a theme. For instance, in the Department of Magic, you’ll be entering a magical world, where you’ll need to brew potions, repeat incantations, and master the art of divination to escape. When you step into rooms like ours, you enter a totally immersive, tactile environment that it’s easy (and fun) to get lost in. 

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, escape rooms offer families a unique opportunity to bond, collaborate, and create lasting memories through immersive, interactive experiences. By promoting communication, critical thinking, and teamwork, escape rooms also cultivate valuable life skills while providing a much-needed break from screens. So, gather your loved ones, put your problem-solving skills to the test, and embark on an adventure that will leave you laughing the whole way home. If you’re looking for an Edinburgh escape room that’s perfect for family groups, The Department of Magic has 2,000+ five-star reviews, including the following from Tripadvisor:

“Brilliant day out for families.” - Susan (March 2024) 

“A magical time… We visited the Department of Magic with our two boys (10 and 17) for a family escape room experience. None of us had ever done an escape room before… We loved our experience in the Department of Magic and will definitely be visiting again next time we’re in Edinburgh.” - blueceroc (February 2024) 

“Family/friends wizardry magic! This was an amazing experience… Clues were busted by our group which ranged from 8 to 40ish so definitely suitable for the whole family.” - Z L (February 2024)

To learn more about The Department of Magic, or book a slot at either of our escape rooms, click the button below:


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