New escape room in Grand Forks starts a “pandemic”

After being in Grand Forks for a couple of years, my friends and I have started running out of unique things to do in town. We’ve gone to the Northern Air Family Fun Center to play trampoline dodgeball, we go out to the movies often, we’ve gone outdoor ice skating, but we are always on the lookout for new things to do. That’s why when I heard Grand Forks was getting their first escape room, I was pretty excited to give it a try.

I first heard about escape rooms when Fargo opened one in July 2015, and although it intrigued me, I never made it down to Fargo to give it a try.

An escape room is a real life adventure game. The players get locked in a room and have to use clues in the room within an hour to defeat the game.

The Grand Forks Escape Room’s theme is “Pandemic.” With eight people, which is the maximum, in the room, my team had to try and use logic and reason to find the antidote before we were all quarantined because of the disease.

The escape room entrance was pretty easy to find, but it is located in a large building that contains other businesses, a café, and floors of apartments, so we had to do a little exploring to find the actual room. When we found it, we were greeted by co-owner and creator of the Grand Forks Escape Room, Tyler Bauman. Bauman was very friendly and more than willing to chat with us while we waited for our 10 p.m. timeslot to roll around. Bauman owns the room with his fiancée, and they recently moved to Grand Forks from Fargo to open their business. Their grand opening was on Aug. 4, but the time and creativity that went into creating the scenario, making sure every little detail was perfect, and building the actual room must have taken some time.

When our time slot began, we were put into a small room that looked like a science lab. We had very little instruction on what to do besides find the antidote, and if you need to use a clue, hold the clue card up to the camera. Each clue equals five minutes taken off the time.

We ended up using all five of our clues, and each time we held up the board, a small hint would appear on the same TV screen that the 60 minutes were ticking down on.

With eight people locked in a room, the game gets very intense. Towards the end of the hour we were all yelling, panicking, and sweating, almost as if we were actually infected by some sort of pandemic.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t pull ourselves together in time to find the antidote to save the world, but we came pretty close. When our time was up, Bauman came into the room to explain and show us the little things we missed and forgot to put together. After about twenty minutes of questioning him on every last detail of the room, we took a group picture and went on our way still feeling energized and excited.

My entire team agreed that the escape room was one of the most interesting and fun things we have ever done in Grand Forks. Not only was it fun, but it forced us to use teamwork, logic, and reason while completing it. There aren’t a lot of hands-on things to do that really make you think outside the box. This activity is great because anyone from 12 year olds to college students to grandparents could have fun doing this.

If you haven’t been to the Grand Forks Escape Room yet, it is definitely worth the $28 ticket. I went in with high expectations, and I was not disappointed. To make it even better, Bauman plans on changing up the scenario every few months so that players like me can come back and enjoy the fun again.

If you are looking to have an awesome time with a group of friends, you can book a reservation at http:/ The Grand Forks Escape Room is located at 100 N. 3rd Street, Suite 40, Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Emily Gibbens is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]