Tuesday, June 06, 2017

"It's not every day your young [lady] turns eleven..." -Hagrid

...and for that reason, there's nothing else I could possibly do but create a Harry Potter escape room birthday party!

First off, many humble thanks to Angela Ringlein for helping me see this project through to the end and bringing the sparkle and shine to everything there! And many thanks to Miss Hannah Reeves, whose beta testing of the puzzles, riddles, and codes was vital to the success of our escape room! And thank you to the Lock, Paper, Scissors site, which provided an excellent escape room blueprint!  It was a lot of work, but WOW! what a fun and awesome way to spend a couple weeks! (especially if you have an angel of a daughter who's turning 11 and loves Harry Potter :)
(she said we could match...I must still be a cool mom!)
The other secret to our success was the folding/expanding accordion walls in most LDS chapels (not to mention the foyer furniture there also...). Perfect place to put a few bike locks... and a great way to have a progressive room!
I'll do my best to not include any spoilers in my description, in case you want to try our escape room some day... it does require a fair amount of Harry Potter knowledge, as per design, but one HP guru per group is sufficient to succeed.

So, according to "Lock, Paper, Scissors," to make a good escape room, one must "sketch out a story line" for your room to follow... so here's mine: 

"It's an ordinary school night in the Gryffindor common room. Among the students reading, studying, and chatting, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger are playing wizard's chess! Now, we all know that Ron is the superior chess player, but we also know that he's the six of seven kids, and his chess set is a hand-me-down that has seen many many games of chess.  As such, just as Ron is about to win, his queen misses Hermione's king... and smashes instead... her time turner! In a whirl of magic and hourglass sand, everyone in the Gryffindor common room is transported one week into the future!  

"You now find Hogwarts School of Wichcraft and Wizardry in an uproar, on the verge of closure, because 6-9 Gryffindor students (depending on the size of your escape room group...) have seemingly vanished for a week! Albus Dumbledore will be announcing the closure just before dinner in the great hall in exactly ONE HOUR! You must get out of the common room, complete all of your missing homework, and make it to the great hall before the announcement is made if you are to save the school!" READY??? GO!!!

The Common Room: 

 Announcement board...
 Arm chairs...
Basket of S.P.E.W socks, bookshelf, and chess game...

Curiosity piqued?? :) So was theirs... 
This is Dawna's birthday escape crew... (we actually ended up running the room four times over the weekend, but this is the only one I took pictures of)


(I loved that many of the kids came in costume!) 

But that's not all... because remember that part about missing a week's worth of classes and having to make up the homework?? Well, enter the...

Hogwart's Classrooms! 

(ok, so it's like 4 classrooms smashed into one little space... deal with it...)
 Looking to the right... (notice the 5 additional locks on the second accordion wall)
Looking to the left... interesting... 

The design of this space turned out to be really fun as the chairs served as a kind of maze they all had to maneuver around as they worked... now for a few close-ups...
Transfiguation (also a mysterious locked chest below the board)
Potions... (actually had a cooler setup later, but missed getting a picture)



Ancient Runes

Divination (it's a crystal ball, ok?)
And... I didn't get any pictures at all of my kids working on this section... lame... note to self: bring a designated photographer next time...

The birthday kids made it through the room in a respectable 1 hour and 10 min., which wasn't enough to save Hogwarts, but plenty for having a great time! I did catch the moment of final escape into the Great Hall (it's not a great video, but I love the excitement of the kids!)


Once they made it through, the kids got to enjoy a lovely Hogwart's dinner, complete with chocolate frogs and heaps of fried chicken :) 

(on a side note... the other groups made it through the escape room in 1 hr. 27 min., 58 min., and 1 hr. 6 min. All the other groups besides the birthday party kids were a mix of kids and adults.  All in all, for my first escape room, I think my timing was pretty good!)

A very happy birthday to my lovely intelligent daring and darling daughter Dawna! Thanks for lighting up my life always, and especially around your 11th birthday! I may have a new obsession now... 

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3 Comments:

At June 08, 2017 6:58 AM , Blogger Katie Groneman said...

Wow! This sounds amazing and hard both to set up and to complete! I'm super impressed!

 
At June 18, 2017 11:17 AM , Blogger Brooke Evans said...

This is awesome, good job!! I love that you did this :) Happy birthday to Dawna!

 
At July 07, 2017 11:13 PM , Blogger Aaron and Emily said...

Wow. You are kindof amazing, Deeb. Wish we could have been there.

 

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