If you’ve got a kid who’s into mysteries, detectives, and solving puzzles, you’re in for a real treat. We pulled together the most awesome list of Escape Room party ideas — from cool invitations and mind-boggling activities to rewarding treats.
As you probably already know, actual Escape Rooms are popping up all over the country as popular party venues for older kids and adults. But if you’re not wanting to be locked in a room to crack codes and solve logic puzzles in order to be crowned victorious at the end of it all, you can easily find ways to pull off an Escape Room party right at home.
To prove our case, we scoured the web like an ace detective to find 25+ ideas and tips that are just perfect for a mysterious party that even our littlest ones can get into.
Let the adventures begin!
At top: Detective cupcake toppers by Edible Details | The Party Teacher
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Escape Room Party: Invitations
This fun Escape Room Party invitation will really set the mood for a night of old-fashioned puzzle solving. I love the antique parchment paper design, which looks expensive, but isn’t. This one comes as a digital download so you can save and print at home as many copies as you need. ($8, Gypsy Soul Art Studio)
This cute Sherlock Holmes Mystery-style invitation is perfect for an Escape Room Party for younger Whodunits. ($16 and up, That Party Chick)
This cool Escape Room party invite isn’t too twee so we love it for our older kids. It’s a digital download that can come with a matching thank you card — a nice touch for our tweens and teens. (starting at $16, Dream Big Designs)
Escape Room Party: Games & Activities
You don’t need much more than a great whodunit game for an Escape Room event, but a party just isn’t a party without some great photo ops, and we’re big fans of photo booths. Check out these 75 Printable Murder Mystery Photo Booth Props and you can masquerade as Miss Peacock and Colonel Mustard.
Cool Mom Picks discovered Escape the Room: Mystery at Stargazer’s Manor at Toy Fair this year, and rightfully included it in a roundup of the 11 best board games for families. It includes challenging puzzles tied together with a mysterious storyline, which means everyone has to work together to get through it. It’s better for tween parties (ages 10 and up), so maybe make it something to pull out at the sleepover once the PJs are on.
Another fun option is this very cool Escape Room Party Kit chock full mind benders, puzzles, riddles, and clues to unlock! This should keep even the littlest ones busy for a good long while.
Of course, if you’re up for the challenge, you can put together your own riddles, puzzles, and clues for your party with these printable Secret Code Riddles or Create Your Own Cipher tips. You can use combination locks, cipher puzzles (like this Mini Pharaoh’s Cipher that’s perfect for an Egyptian Pyramid-themed Escape Room Party), and other fun props to create your own challenges.
Escape Room Party: Decorations
Every Escape Room Party adventure needs a timer and this 60 Minute Hourglass Sand Timer is an exciting way to measure the passage of time. Set it for whatever big mystery game you’ll be treating your guests to and see if you can unlock the clues and solve the mystery before the timer runs out.
Set the scene with a roll of Crime Scene Tape we found at The Party Teacher. You can use it for decoration in the party room, across the center of the table where the kids will have cake, and as a photo booth backdrop. Or hey, you might even want to save some to close off parts of your home that you don’t want kids to enter (heh).
Make a big impression by spelling out “ESCAPE” at the entrance to the party room with these Gold Mylar Letter Balloons from the Oh Happy Day Shop. Easy and fun!
Real sleuths needs tools to solve mysteries and these mini Magnifying Glasses from Oriental Trading will come in handy and can be used as party decorations too. At each place setting, write the guest’s name in very small letters on a napkin and place one of the magnifying glasses over. Finding their seats at the table becomes a fun activity all on its own.
We love how The Party Teacher used vintage pieces — a typewriter, a rotary phone, antique hand mirror — to decorate a Vintage Nancy Drew Mystery Party. Take a cue from her — this would also work perfectly for any Escape Room party! You may already have some of these items at home, but if not, you might be able to score some at a local thrift shop. (h/t Hostess with the Mostess)
Don’t forget these Footprint Floor Decals, which you can place throughout the party rooms. Even the smallest details like this can make a big impression! You can get 16 footprints for under $10, so maybe pick up a few packages and you can even use them as clues to solving “find it”-like games.
Escape Room Party: Food
How great is this Mystery Cake created by Candi’s Cake Creations? Love the fondant clues, caution tape, and the huge magnifying glass on top. She’s got a ton of craft ideas on her Facebook page, and of course takes custom orders, so definitely click over to get inspired.
If you’re looking for something DIY, you can keep it simple by topping your own homemade cupcakes with these cool, vintage-looking detective-style fondant toppers from Edible Details (also shown at very top).
I’m partial to the girl detective here, but if you prefer a boy (or even better, a combo) they take custom orders. Love the apt yellow-and-black color scheme that The Party Teacher used for these Nancy Drew cupcakes at her daughter’s own mystery birthday party. (h/t Hostess with the Mostess)
These cardstock Detective Cupcake toppers from Patty Antle’s Prettys are another simple (and less sugary) option to dress up simple cupcakes. They match perfectly with the Sherlock Holmes invitations above!
If you have impressive piping skills, we love the Brain Cupcakes from Martha Stewart featured in our Cool Mom Eats roundup of cool, creepy cupcakes. After all, to be a success at an Escape Room party, you need some serious brainpower.
Make regular popcorn a Pop-Secret Snack like the The Nerd’s Wife did at her Secret Agent Spy Party. Solving puzzles and riddles works up an appetite and these would be perfect for game-time snacks.
You don’t need strong solving skills to know that he kids will gobble up puzzle-piece sugar cookies. This Puzzle Cookie Cutter from Rochaix — plus some homemade or store-bought sugar cookie dough — is all you need.
I spy with my little eye some very happy kids if you make these cute Magnifying Glass Cookie Pops for desserts. Click over to Anders Ruff Design for the super easy tutorial.
Escape Room Party: Favors
Go big and fill these Mission Unboxable Spy Briefcases with some of our favorite Escape Party favor ideas below or with a detective themed book or two. The Nancy Drew Files series or the Encyclopedia Brown series are two great choices. These briefcases are on the pricier side, but if you’re having just a handful of kids at your party, they’re worth the splurge. ($16.95, Mission Unboxable)
These Sherlock Holmes-themed favor bags are more budget-friendly and perfect for smaller treats and trinkets like candies and a deck of cards. ($12.50 for 8, K Port Gift Company)
We love this Sherlock Holmes pencil set from The Carbon Crusader. Give each party guest one or, if you’re guest list is small, the entire set. ($8 for set of 6, The Carbon Crusader)
These Puzzle Cube Erasers are a game and school supply in one, which makes for a very logical gift for an mind-boggling Escape Room Party. ($6.50 for 12, Small Toys)
These Invisible Ink Pens and UV Lights by NV Glow are perfect for creating secret messages and the cool factor is off the charts. ($14 for 12, Amazon)
Temporary tattoos from Tattly are always a huge hit in goodie bags and I’m all for the encouraging message of the Okay, Let’s Do This tat, especially for a party as challenging as this one. ($5 for a set of 2, Tattly)
Metal Mind Teasers will keep their IQs sharp for days after the party. Trust me, I can spend hours trying to figure these things out! ($12 for set of 48 puzzles, Oriental Trading)
These antique Victorian-style “Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.” bookmarks make a great keepsake. Pair these with some of the detective books we mentioned for a thoughtful Escape Room Party reward. ($10.08 each, Elysian Workshop)