our fearless team at Austin Panic Room

It was a cold, rainy winter day just before Christmas. My family had heard a lot of good things about Austin Panic Room. So, we decided to give it a try. The 10 of us ranging from 6 to 72 had a blast and can’t wait to try it again.

If you’re not familiar with a panic room, also known as an escape room, here’s a short lesson. Your group, locked in a room, must solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints, and strategies hidden in the room. The clues are designed to help you escape the room in a fixed amount of time! In our case, we had ninety minutes to escape from the Cabin.

The scenario was this: “a fierce blizzard had hit our secluded ski resort! Caught in the snow, the 10 of us took shelter in a nearby cabin. Beware, the old wooden structure could only stand the brunt of the storm for ninety minutes. We needed to find a way to escape the cabin or succumb to the fury of the blizzard.” Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

Our Introduction to the Panic Room

austin panic room

When we heard those rules, the staff also told us that the Cabin room was the easiest of the five Austin Panic Rooms, we figured with 5 “A” students and 5 college degrees we would be able to set a record escape time, which was 29 minutes. I’m sad to say we weren’t even close, but we still had a great time.

We got a short introduction and some ideas from our moderator then entered the Cabin, which is about the size of a living room. It’s about 20 feet long by 15 feet wide.

We all immediately spread out and individually started looking for clues. Big error!

Hint: be a little more organized as you search for clues to help you escape. Every so often, we’d hear an excited “I found one” and we would swamp that person to find out what it was they discovered. In most cases, it led to another riddle, clue, puzzle, or a key or combination that unlocked everything but the back door to the cabin.

Panic Room Sample Clues

I don’t want to give it away, but here is an example of some of the clues or riddles we encountered:

  • A chess board and chess pieces that required us to arrange and move some chess pieces into the right positions, which unlocked the drawer below the chess board
  • Fruit that told us where to find a combo to a lock
  • Tags on 5 bears in the room that had information leading to a another clue
  • A clue that told us to tune a radio to a certain station for the next riddle
  • We had to use clues to arrange coffee mugs from various countries with numbers on them to get the code to open the jewelry box
  • To help find our way to safety, we had to find several pieces of a map we discovered using other clues; when pieced together, those clues led us on a route that would give us the combination to one of the locks on the escape door
More clues at austin panic room
chess board clue at austin panic room
austin panic room

There were at least eight locks that required either a key, number, or letter combination and maybe 15 or so clues, puzzles, or riddles that we needed to solve. All of the clues, riddles, and puzzles were very clever. I swore a secret oath not to tell you too much that would help you escape. They did give me permission to say, “Mirror, mirror on the wall…”

Help From Above

Austin Panic Room

We thought we were doing well. We’d only been at it for 15 minutes or so when our moderator, watching us on a hidden camera, said, “You’ve only got 30 minutes left, do you want your first of 4 clues?”

A resounding “Yes!” echoed from the room.

It didn’t look like our combined intelligence was going to set a new record, so the goal became to try to escape before our time ran out! We got all four clues and still didn’t make it out until our moderator walked in and helped us with the final clue.

We all had a blast, and I think the kids solved at least a third or more of the clues. They loved it and said, “Let’s try another room.” We all agreed that was a good idea but all the rooms were booked.

The ride home was a buzz with chatter about the riddles, clues, and cleverness of what we experienced!

we all enjoyed ourselves at the Austin Panic Room

Back on the Chain Gang

Austin Panic Room is a part of the Texas Panic Room chain of panic rooms. The others are in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Lubbock, and Rockville, MD.

Each location has different rooms. Austin, for example, has 5 rooms:

  • The Cabin – get out before you succumb to the fury of the blizzard;
  • The Oval Office – you’re assigned a highly classified mission within the Oval Office;
  • Human Trials – as kidnapped subjects of a mad surgeon, you’ve been injected with a lethal drug and the chances of survival are looking extremely slim: can you find the cure before the surgeon returns?
  • Prison Break – this is the hardest room because you are handcuffed in a prison with one objective: to break out while the sheriff is away;
  • Abandoned School – your team of secret agents have been tasked with the job of stealing a blueprint of a revolutionary design that is stashed somewhere in the classroom.

Grab some friends, business associates (great team building opportunity), or family and give Austin Panic Room (or any of the other rooms) a try!

Austin Panic Room Prison Break

Check out some other fun things to do in Austin.

Mike Sharp
Author: Mike Sharp

I have a passion for travel and outdoor activities, and now I'm enjoying retired life. I will continue my traveling, golfing, boating, and enjoying life all across the great state of Texas.

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