My family is always on the hunt for new, fun family adventures. When searching for things to do this summer, I came across a listing for a family Outdoor Adventure Game from Escape Maze and I was intrigued. This adventure took place at a family farm in the middle of farm country in Peterborough. It promises a trip into the past, outdoor navigation and puzzling clues to follow. A family fun adventure that was perfect for both children and adult’s alike.
Escape Maze was originally founded in July of 2014 with 2 escape rooms. The concept is based on being locked in a room with your friends, a bunch of clues and only one way out ~ break the code. You need to work as a team solve riddles, find clues and escape before time runs out. I had been dying to try the Escape rooms but knew it wasn’t a game for my kids. When I learned they had expanded the fun to include 4 escape rooms, 9 haunted adventures and 2 family friendly outdoor adventure games, I couldn’t wait for my family to try it.
The Outdoor Adventure Games is new this year and is a brand new concept in the escape room industry. The entire facility is themed around the Gold Rush times that existed in the Peterborough area in 1866. It takes place on the Walling family farm and works much like the Amazing Race. You are given a map, compass and directions. You locate different stations and each station will have a challenge to solve. You and your team can choose to compete to win the best time, to enjoy the course at your leisure, or compete with your friends and family to see who gets the best time.
Our Escape Maze Outdoor Experience:
Our drive to the Escape Maze was beautiful! When our GPS told us to pull off in the middle of nowhere we were a little alarmed. After driving past a few farms, we saw the sign for Escape Maze and knew we had found the right spot!
The main building was decked out like an old saloon from a Western movie which fit right in with the Gold Rush theme. We were greeted by the Game Masters dressed in time period clothing and escorted into the photo shoppe. We got to dress up in a variety of fun and traditional pioneer clothing to take an old time photo. The kids had a blast!
Next we were treated to a comical, yet important, black and white movie that gave us information to help us on our adventure. We learned the true history of the Gold ‘rush’ in the Peterborough hills and were given a back story to which our adventure was based on. Then we were provided with a map, a piece of string, chalkboard and chalk, 2 compasses, a clue book with 6 padlocks on it, and diary to guide us through our journey!
We set off! Our goal was to let the kids lead and complete the missions rather than beat the clock. We read the diary, followed the map and wooden sign poles and searched for our first destination.
Each stop included an important building that you may have encountered if you lived during the pioneer times (trapper’s lodge, saloon, mine, etc.). Each building contained a story in the diary with clues that you had to search for around the building. The answer would either give you a 4 number or 4 letter code that would unlock one of the locks on the clue book. You could use the string to help measure things and the chalkboard to do calculations. Some of the stops were easy and the kids were able to come up with answers themselves. Others were more complex and required an adult intervention. The kids learned how to read maps, use compasses and enjoyed the beauty of the natural surroundings.
My family whizzed through most of the clues and arrived at each stations with good time (or as fast a 4 year old’s legs can carry her!). The last station was the hardest and we ended up having to use a cheat clue to figure it out. Now the cheat clue doesn’t point out what you need to do, instead it provides with you another task to complete that will give you a clue where the original one can be found!
Once you unlock all padlocks, you are provided with the final clue and then you race back to the covered wagon and find your teams box to stop your timer! My family completed in 1h50, but we weren’t rushing! Instead we enjoyed our time teaching our kids new skills, working as family team and enjoying the beautiful day!
If you are looking for a great adventure with your friends or family, I highly recommend you take the beautiful drive to the Escape Maze. Next time, DH and I want to try the Escape Room with some friends! I think were are now primed and ready for the challenge!