Scavenger hunts, escape rooms, murder mysteries and more
From Chuck E. Cheese to laser tag to trampoline parks and bounce house arenas, children have plenty to do in Central Pennsylvania.
But where's the fun for adults?
Interactive games for adults — like escape rooms, murder mysteries and more — have been popping up all over the country in recent years, primarily in larger cities. But, now you can also find some neat interactive experiences and games right here in Central Pa.
Here are some of the best ones to check out in the region.
1. Escape Rooms
If you haven't heard of escape rooms, they're the fun, new way for adults to play detective. Get locked inside a room with your friends and have one hour to find clues, solve puzzles and escape before time is up.
Each escape room has a different theme. Escape Games Live, 147 W. Philadelphia St., York, for example, offers three themed rooms: Escape the '70s, Escape the Precinct and Sherlock's Office (in order from easiest to most difficult). A game costs $125 for the recommended group size of six people, which comes out to about $21 per person. Visit escapegameslive.com for a calendar of available dates and times.
Escape Room Lancaster, 18 E. McGovern Ave., Lancaster, offers two rooms — the 1920s Lancaster Train Station (for up to eight people) and the Modern Art Gallery Heist (for up to 10 people). The Medieval Castle escape room (for up to six people) will open in September. Tickets cost $24 per person for each room. Visit escaperoomlancaster.com for available dates and times.
If you're willing to travel, the theme at Room Escape Adventures, 9116 51st Place, College Park, Md., is worth the trip. From now through Aug. 23, guests can participate in "Trapped in a Room With a Zombie." It's like a regular escape room, except you have to avoid the crawling zombie chained to the wall. Every five minutes, the chain is released another foot, so you better solve the puzzle quickly! If the zombie touches you before you solve the puzzle, you'll have to sit down and no longer be allowed to search for clues with your group. But you can still participate verbally. Tickets are $28. Visit roomescapeadventures.com/washington-d-c/ for more information.
2. Scavenger Hunt
Watson Adventures offers adult scavenger hunts nearly every weekend in large cities like Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington D.C. But in August, guests in Baltimore can play.
At 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1, teams of two to six players will gather at Fell's Point for The Secrets of Fell's Point Scavenger Hunt. Rather than hunting for objects, you'll be hunting for the answers to tricky questions about some of the places you'll see along the tour, such as 19th century buildings and the set of "Sleepless in Seattle."
Don't worry. No previous knowledge is required. You can find the answers to all of the questions, simply by paying attention to your surroundings. The questions are designed to point out some neat locations or teach you an interesting fact, but you'll only be able to get the correct answer if you're standing in the right spot.
The tour takes about 90 minutes to two hours and costs $19.50 per person. To purchase tickets or to find more dates for public hunts, visit watsonadventures.com. Private hunts are also available for up to 18 people in a location of your choosing.
3. Lincoln's Lost Treasure Hunt
Hired by a wealthy entrepreneur, you and your group of up to six or eight people will be sent on a quest to uncover Abraham Lincoln's secret treasure that's been lost for more than 100 years at Lincoln's Lost Treasure in Gettysburg. On this two-and-a-half hour adventure through the hidden shops and historic landmarks of downtown Gettysburg, you'll encounter cast members, solve cryptic clues and dodge FBI agents on your way to finding the treasure. Expect an adventure that's part improv theater, part mystery, part scavenger hunt and a whole lot of fun. Shows run Sundays through Oct. 25. Tickets are $38.50 for adults and $19.99 for children. Visit lincolnslosttreasure.com for details.
4. Murder Mysteries
Put your thinking caps on and get ready to play a real-life game of "Clue." At Murder Mystery Night at Escape Games Live, 147 W. Philadelphia St., York, you're not only responsible for solving the mystery, you become part of the mystery yourself. When you sign up, you're given a character name, character description and suggested costume to wear the evening of the event. You could be the killer, the victim, a suspect or a witness, but you won't know until you play the game.
Murder Mystery nights are held about once a month in York with rotating themes. The Aug. 29 mystery is a luau and costs $40. For tickets and more information, visit escapegameslive.com.
More murder mystery nights are also available at Strasburg Railroad in Lancaster County, Bube's Brewery in Mount Joy and on the Pride of the Susquehanna Riverboat in Harrisburg.
5. Cooking Classes
Cooking for a family at home can become so mundane. But an interactive, hands-on cooking experience with close friends and expert instructors brings the everyday task to a new level.
Choose from classes including Introduction to Asian Spices or Wok 101, offered from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on select Wednesday evenings in the fall and spring at YorKitchen, 37 W. Clarke Ave., York. Classes range from $25 to $65 depending on the cost of ingredients. Or participate in an interactive dinner — a cooking class and chef's table combined. You'll learn techniques from the chefs and assist in making an appetizer/salad dish, entrée and dessert. Once the class is over, the event turns into a dinner party.
If cooking isn't your cup of tea, but you love to eat, check out YorKitchen's chef challenge, which happens about four or five times a year. For $60, you'll watch two local chefs duke it out in a "Chopped"-meets-"Iron Chef"-style competition. Chefs have three rounds of 30 minutes each to make an appetizer, entree and dessert, each using the same secret ingredient. Then, you get to taste their creations, vote on your favorites and crown a winner. To-go boxes will be provided.
All YorKitchen classes are BYOB. Visit YorKitchen.com for a schedule of events.
6. Arcade Games
The Coliseum, 410 St. Johns Church Road, Camp Hill, is like adult Chuck E. Cheese (minus the ball pit). When you walk in to this entertainment megaplex, you see more than 100 arcade games from ski ball to air hockey to racing games and more. Grab a drink from one of the facility's two bars and start playing. Children are welcome, but you'll find a largely adult crowd later in the evening.
Next to the arcade, behind two glass doors is a full-service, sit-down restaurant and bar called What If West. The restaurant offers fine dining options like pan seared scallops, petite crab cakes, chicken Milanese or hand-cut filet mignon.
If fine dining isn't your thing, check out the downstairs sports bar, which offers some of the signature What If dishes, as well as wings, burgers and more than 20 beers on tap. The sports bar area also includes 12 bowling lanes, four pool tables, a foosball table, a golf video game with a room all to itself and a spacious seating area with plenty of televisions. Half-priced well drinks, draft beer, house wines and select appetizers are available for happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. seven days a week.
The Coliseum's hours are 11 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday and Sunday and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
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