You’re probably familiar with escape rooms designed for adults, but have you ever considered escape rooms for kids?
Most escape rooms are built for adults -- the complex puzzles, questions, and subject matter usually aren’t suitable for a group of children. But the concept of an escape room can be a great form of entertainment and education for children. Escape rooms are interactive, challenging, and entertaining for adults, and with certain modifications they can be so for kids.
Escape rooms challenge players with advanced puzzles, linear and nonlinear solution paths, and themes that can be complicated or scary. Most children aren’t able to solve puzzles that are made for adults. For this reason, if you’re looking for a family-friendly escape room, you’re going to need it to be designed specifically for kids.
Escape rooms for families can also incorporate aspects of puzzles that engage the parents in the group. In this sense, it can be engaging for the whole family to have a different set of clues for parents and kids. This parity of challenging adult-focused puzzles and child-focused puzzles can be a difficult balance to accomplish inside an escape room, but it can make for a unique and memorable escape room experience.
If an owner determines that there is a market for a family-focused escape room, certain business decisions will need to be made. For example, owners need to determine whether there is a price point at which the business can thrive, and the parents can afford. Additionally, just as with any escape room, a family-focused room needs to determine whether it can rely on repeat customers. And if not, they need to have a solid plan for driving new patrons -- more families -- to their business.
Could Family Escape Rooms be a Valuable Experience?
Nicole Ginsberg, vice president of business development and co-owner and creator at Museum of Intrigue and Intrigue and Co., an escape room business for families, offers some insight. Located in a mall space in Syracuse, NY, Nicole says that there is a huge market for kids’ escape rooms. “Kids in gaming is extremely important,” she says. “We’re in a mall space, so it’s very important that we are a family-oriented option as well.”
The key is to understand your market, which in the case of Museum of Intrigue means catering to intergenerational gaming. That begins with your market’s age group. Nicole breaks it down as follows. For kids aged four to six, rooms shouldn’t take longer than 20 minutes to complete. For those in first or second grade, rooms can take a bit longer. It also comes down to design. Kids of different ages can handle more in terms of physical movement, and searching and finding objects. And finally, consider how fun a room will be. What is fun for a first grader is different from what is fun for a twelfth grader.
Escape rooms are physically immersive experiences for kids, and in a digital age are some of the few remaining forms of physical entertainment still thriving. The physicality of escape rooms may give them an edge over other forms of entertainment for families, but the market question needs to be considered to determine if you can rely on a family-focused escape room to make enough revenue.
Is There a Market for Family Escape Rooms?
Some cities already have escape rooms geared towards families with children, which helps prove that there is demand in some markets. One important consideration is the cost of the escape room. Consider again that an average escape room costs upward of $30 per ticket. First and foremost, consider whether parents would be willing to pay this much for their children to visit your escape room business. Or consider the alternative: whether you would need to lower the cost for a family escape room, and if you would be able to produce a room at a low enough cost to justify that.
In the case of Museum of Intrigue, Nicole says they balance the use of promotional pricing and different pricing levels. “It’s hard to justify the expense of entertainment for an hour,” Nicole says. “You have to tailor the price to the time.” For example, Museum of Intrigue often runs “family days” and specials that increase the affordability of the event. They also use Groupon to help bring in families, because using groupon allows them to sell 4-6 player experiences.
If you’re considering building an escape room in your area, verifying the market will determine the potential for success of the project. Namely, is the market big enough to make an escape room for families viable? Consider also location. Locations close to highways or transit areas can attract more new customers to help sustain your business. If the location doesn’t easily motivate new customers to visit, you will have to determine whether your business will support the cost of refreshing rooms at a rate to consistently attract repeat customers.
So Should You Build a Family-Friendly Escape Room?
Family escape rooms do exist, so there is proof of an existing market for them, depending on the location. If opening a family-friendly escape room makes sense within your market, it could be a great project to implement for future growth of your business. Family escape rooms are still novel, so chances are there would be limited competition in your market.
If you decide to build a family-friendly escape room, contact our team at Escape Room Techs. Our experienced team of engineers can help you with everything from designing for different ages, to building props so you succeed with your family escape room.