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Our Escape Adventure Part 15: Lighthouses, Witches, NYC and More Escape Rooms!

Our Escape Adventure Part 15: Lighthouses, Witches, NYC and More Escape Rooms!

Greetings from Hershey, Pennsylvania! On this leg of our trip we packed in a lot of states and lots of activities. We did several escape rooms, but also visited a few lighthouses in Maine, toured New York City, visited Salem, Massachusetts for their annual Halloween event and even toured the Hershey Chocolate Factory.

As usual, our escape room reviews are at the end, but first here is an update on our life in the RV.

Trip Statistics

States Visited This Leg: Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania
Total Miles Traveled: 28,791
Total Escape Rooms Played: 239

RV Life

While staying in New Hampshire, we took a day trip into Maine. We played some escape rooms (of course!), Curt had his first lobster roll (at the Highroller Lobster Co.), and we visited a couple of lighthouses (Bug Light and Portland Head Light). It was a great day and we got our Maine sticker for the map!

We also decided to visit Salem, Massachusetts for their annual Halloween event. The event is every weekend for the entire month of October, and we were told that it gets busier as the month goes on. Luckily, we were able to go on October 1st, but it  was still very busy. If you ever decide to visit, we recommend going as early in October as possible and buy tickets in advance for any events or shows. We were not able to get a ticket for the Salem Witch Museum until the last tour of the night. We debated about not doing it, but we’re glad we did. It was really interesting to learn about the history of the Salem Witch Trials. It was all started by a group of preteen girls and ultimately 25 people were put to death or died in prison after being accused of witchcraft. Very disturbing!

We also went to Gallows Hill. We watched their main show and went through their Lost Museum experience, which is a haunt, but has some escape room elements. That turned out to be our favorite thing to do in Salem. Both are creepy and had a couple of good jump scares. 

From New Hampshire, we traveled into Massachusetts and stayed outside of Boston. While in Massachusetts we took a couple of day trips to play escape rooms and get our stickers. We spent a day in Connecticut and a day in Rhode Island. Fun Fact: Rhode Island is the smallest U.S. state at only 1,545 square miles (4,001 square kilometers)!

Our big adventure was the two days we spent in New York City. We took the train from Beacon, New York, which was about 20 minutes from our campground, into Grand Central Station (a 90-minute ride). And, we mastered the Subway system, as we had to take it multiple times to get around. Tina was so proud. 

We, of course, played a few escape rooms. Two were in Brooklyn and the other was in Manhattan. At one of the Brooklyn escape room companies, we had to wait outside for around 30 minutes before we could go in. During that time, we saw our first New York rat run across the sidewalk. That thing was huge!

On day two we walked through Times Square (a madhouse) on our way to Central Park. After passing Times Square, we had some NY style pizza (it was great) and we visited Spyscape. That place is very interesting. Curt thought it would be a lot of spy gadgets, but it was more about the history of spies and spycraft. Also, each visitor receives a wristband and gets to participate in various challenges (code deciphering, reading body language, finding people on surveillance cameras, answering a bunch of questions about yourself, and going through a maze of lasers). In the end, you are told what spy career you are best suited for based on how you did in these challenges and the answers to the questionnaires. Tina’s ideal secret spy career is as an Agent Handler, and Curt would apparently make a good Intelligence Analyst. LOL…okay.

Then we headed to Central Park, which was also very busy, but it was amazing. We walked around there for a while, but we didn’t see all of it. It’s massive. After that, we tried to go to the Museum of Ice Cream, but it was sold out. What?! Guess we should have bought tickets ahead of time. So instead, we took the Staten Island Ferry to Staten Island and back to see the Statue of Liberty, and that ended our New York City adventure. At the end of the day we had reached 25,000 steps and were exhausted.

While staying in New York, we also went to the Hudson Valley Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze with Curt’s friend Cathleen that he used to work with at a camp in San Francisco. Blaze is an outdoor event where you walk around and view amazing displays of over 7,000 carved pumpkins. 

After New York, we traveled to New Jersey. While staying there, we drove over to Pennsylvania to visit the warehouse of escape room builders, Giant Dream Productions. We had played a few of their rooms on our travels and had the opportunity to see where the magic happens. Robert and Joe, the owners, were great. They even gave us a gift basket at the end. Later, we went to a local escape room venue and played two more of the rooms they created (Shipwreck and What Happened in Vegas?). They really know what they are doing and they put together very fun games worth checking out. Just be aware that they have sold them to escape rooms all over the U.S, so once you play one, be on the lookout for the same theme and storyline at other rooms, so you don’t end up playing the same game twice.

While in New Jersey we also did a day trip into Delaware, so we could get another sticker for our map! 

We wrapped up this leg with a visit to Hershey, Pennsylvania, home of the famous Hershey Chocolate Factory. We took the tour and visited the factory store. They have flavors of Hershey Bars that you can only get at that store. Of course, we had to buy one of each to share. They were good, but Tina’s favorite is still the original milk chocolate.

While staying in Hershey, we decided to experience the Bates Motel Haunted Hayride and Haunted House near Philadelphia. It is one of the top haunted attractions in the U.S. and we can see why. They have a hayride, a corn maze and, of course, the haunted motel. Definitely a must-do if you are in the area around Halloween and like to be scared! 

Next, we are headed south into Virginia to stay a few days near Washington, D.C., but before we go, here are our escape room reviews for this leg of the trip! 

Escape Rooms

Granite State Escape (Manchester, NH)

  • Dead Cabin- This room had a good creepy cabin vibe; and overall, we enjoyed it. The puzzles and the set design were pretty good. It is dime, but they give you flashlights. There was some crawling and a couple of red herrings, but we’d recommend this one if you are in the area.

Main Escape Games (Portland, ME)

  • Uncle Ned’s Cabin-This room is cabin themed, but it is not creepy like many other cabin-themed rooms tend to be. Uncle Ned has left you a fortune, but it’s hidden in the cabin and you need to find it. Some of the puzzles were easy and others were challenging; it was a good mix. The set design was very good. You do need some outside knowledge with a puzzle or two, but most people should be fine.
  • Dr. Gem’s Time Trap-This game was a neat take on the time travel theme. The puzzles were fun, the set design was really good, the tech was impressive, and the game flowed very well. While we also enjoyed Uncle Ned’s Cabin, this one was our favorite at this location.

Boxaroo (Boston, MA)

  • Mystery of the Magician’s Study- The set design was good, and we enjoyed most of the puzzles. There were a few puzzles that involved excessive searching and a few seemed repetitive.  There were also a few times that something opened and we didn't realize it. Overall, we enjoyed this room, but we preferred Storyteller’s Secret.
  • Storyteller’s Secret-This was a fun and unique game. The hint system was great, as were many of the puzzles and mechanics. We also really enjoyed the intro to the game. What we didn’t enjoy was having to go back and forth and search the different areas for what had opened or what to do next. In that regard, the flow of the game wasn’t the best. However, the game master tries to help you out at times by shining a light on what to look at if you’re a bit lost. That was appreciated. Overall, though, we loved much of this game and highly recommend it.

Red Fox Escapes (Cambridge, MA)

  • The Body Shop-In this game, you play as Girl Scouts who are going for their auto mechanics badge in a body shop, but what is really happening is that a secret group of top Girl Scouts are looking to recruit you. This game has a crazy twist mid-way and we loved it! The puzzles were unique; some were easy and others were very challenging, but the game adapts depending on how your team is doing. Newer teams are able to finish, and enthusiasts get extra puzzles to fill the 60 minutes. The storyline, puzzles, game flow, and set pieces were all fantastic. We highly recommend this game.

Level 99 (Natick, MA)

This is not a typical escape room experience, but it has many escape room elements, so we decided to include it in our reviews. We ended up having much more fun than we thought we would. This is like a choose-your-own-puzzle-room adventure. The 40+ individually standing rooms are a mix of physical, mental, mystery, and/or skill challenges. You get to choose which ones you want to do and retry them to get a better score if you like.

We paid for two hours and got through all the rooms we wanted to play and played some of them multiple times. A two hour block was enough for us because we did choose to do some of the physical challenge rooms and they can be pretty tiring. We wish this place was close to where we live so we could return multiple times. We would like to be able to replay some of the rooms and they also have art hunts and arena games, which we didn’t have time to try.

Codeword Escape (Rocky Hill, CT)

  • Gangster Gnomes 2 Out on Parole-A gangster family of gnomes is trying to take over Christmas. Can you stop them? This is a super cute, one-room game that we really struggled with by overthinking a few of the puzzles. We had some issues with some tech and the game master giving us hints on things we had already figured out. The flow wasn't great, and there were a few times we had no idea what to do next, but again, the room was cute. I mean, who doesn’t like cute Christmas gnomes, even if they ARE gangsters?
  • Movie Mayhem-Curt has always wanted to do a movie theater-themed room. We really enjoyed this game, overall. The set design was very neat. For the space they had, they made it feel like a movie theater. We really loved some of the puzzles, but there were a couple we weren't fans of. Also, we wish that when a door or drawer opened, there would be a sound or light on it. There were a few times we didn’t know we had triggered the opening of something. Overall, though, we had a fun time with this game and would like to see more movie theater-themed rooms.

RI Riddle Room (Warwick, RI)

  • Rocky Point Park-This game was based on an actual amusement park in the area that ran from the late 1840s and closed in 1995. The game has puzzles based on many of the rides and attractions of the park, and we can see how this would be very nostalgic for those who attended as kids. Unfortunately, we don’t fall into that category. Nevertheless, we enjoyed this game. The set design isn’t bad, the puzzles were pretty good, and the game flow was good. Our game master was also fantastic!
  • Imagination of Intrigue-While we really enjoyed Rocky Point Park, we didn’t care for our visit to the land of imagination in this game. The puzzles just did not connect with us. Unfortunately, Curt got hit in the head by a cabinet door early on that should have stayed open. Ouch! Players should never get hit with props or doors. Something that is different with this game than other games we’ve played is that they have bonus puzzles everywhere. There are more bonus puzzles in the room than the main puzzles. Those puzzles are marked with a “B,” and while we liked the idea of bonus puzzles for bigger groups, we felt that we missed out on most of the room since the two of us didn’t have time to attempt more than one of them. Oh, and there’s a math puzzle and not an easy one. Ugh!

Doors of Divergence (Brooklyn, NY)

  • Heresy: 1897-Wow! What a production! Having live actors really enhances this game. The puzzles are very challenging. The set design is fantastic. The game flow is good. Those are the pros. The cons are that, with two players the games are public. We were fortunate enough to play with someone whose company we enjoyed. Also, the actor in the room was wearing a mask as part of her costume that covered her mouth and she used an accent, so it was very difficult to understand her. This led to miscommunication at times which was frustrating for everyone including her. That said, we really wished we could have done the second room and hope that we can play it if and when they get their new location, since this location is shutting down at the end of October. 

Myss Tic Rooms (Brooklyn, NY)

  • Ghost Light-In this game, you’re tasked with turning on the ghost light in a theater to keep the spirits happy at night. We really enjoyed this game. The puzzles were good, the set design was good, and the flow was good. However, the game was dim and we had to use our phone lights. Also, there were three or four times we couldn’t tell what the solving of a puzzle triggered or opened. After searching for a time for each one, we would have to ask the game master for help. As frustrating as that was, we had a good time playing this game.

Exit Escape Room NYC (New York, NY)

  • Sugar Rush-You’re getting ready to compete in a cupcake challenge when you realize your competition has hidden all your ingredients. Can you find the ingredients and bake your cupcakes in time? This was a very cute game that we found to be on the easy side, and we finished with over 30 minutes left using zero hints. We had a blast, though. On the flip side, this escape room business is in busy Manhattan and is not easy to find, the facilities aren’t in the best shape, and the staff are not the friendliest. The game, though, is perfect for beginners, families, and enthusiasts looking for an adorable game that will be an easy win.

Think Solve Escape (Turnersville, NJ)

  • Bubba’s Backyard Bar-B-Que and Brouhaha-This was a fun game that had good set design and enjoyable puzzles. The owner, Patty, was wonderful. It was interesting that one of the more unusual puzzles was the same one we had in our Bubba’s game in Kissimmee, FL. 
  • The Cellar-You're trapped in the cellar of a serial killer. We enjoyed the creepiness of this room. The puzzles were really good, and the flow worked well. We loved the personal twist mid-game. We recommend this company and wish that we had had time to play more of their games. We got to take a look at their new Witch Cabin room and it looks fantastic. 

Axxiom (Wilmington, DE)

  • The Mason’s Temple-Your group is “locked” in a tomb and needs to find a way out. This game was okay. Our GM was very friendly, but her hints/nudges were not hints, she told us exactly how to do whatever puzzle we were working on. The “hints” came by walkie-talkie and were hard to hear at times. It is also very dim. The “torches” are not much help for all the reading you need to do on faded scrolls. There is a lot of reading! There are some neat set pieces and props, though.

Escapopolis (Lansdale, PA)

  • Shipwreck Island-Uh oh! We’re shipwrecked on an abandoned island, but we found a shack that may hold the secrets to helping us escape. With the exception of one coconut puzzle, this is our favorite Giant Dream Productions game (and we’ve played 5 of them). The set design is fantastic. The puzzles were fun and made sense. The ambiance was very good. Also, we appreciated the friendly staff at Escapopolis.
  • What Happened in Vegas?-This is a Vegas hotel suite “Hangover” game. As with all Giant Dream Productions games, the set design is great. This is their most difficult room and we definitely needed some hints to make it out. Some of the puzzles were not intuitive for us, but the set pieces and props are a lot of fun, and overall we enjoyed the game. 

Next we are headed into Virgina, as we slowly make our way south back towards Florida. Only one month is left of our amazing adventure! 

Until Next Time,

Tina and Curt

Tina Deater & Curt Jackson

Tina Deater & Curt Jackson

Enthusiasts, travelers, bloggers

Tina is a former city and transportation planner turned escape room owner and Curt is a podcaster/blogger/content creator for the summer camp industry. Their worlds collided when they were handcuffed next to each other in a pirate themed escape room while attending an escape room enthusiast meet up event.

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