“An escape room? Nah, doesn’t sound like my thing,” my brother Paul said.

His kids and my son, Max, however, knew what an escape room was and were excited to go. Well, being teenagers, excited might be an exaggeration. Let’s just say there was minimal eye-rolling involved. We convinced Paul to join us, and we drove down to one of Hot Springs, Arkansas’, best escape rooms, A Narrow Escape.

Once we were locked in the abandoned lab of Dr. Immure (in the Bionic Dilemma adventure) and made friends with robot Ada, we put on our thinking hats to work together to escape. My brother, the skeptic among us, became a true escape room believer.

Here are just a few reasons why you should try an escape room, either on your next vacation…or just your next weekend!

1. You’ll Bond with Family and Friends

puzzle solving

It’s hard to find an activity that a large group of people will like doing together, but I’ve never met anyone who hated an escape room after doing one. The funny thing I always notice is how everyone immediately finds a task they’re good at. When I went to an escape room in San Diego, I picked up a Sudoku puzzle we needed to solve. Noting my grimace (I hate Sudoku), my friend Aly took the puzzle from me and solved it in seconds. I moved on to finding things hidden in the room, which is apparently my superpower.

2. You’ll Get to Use Your Brain

Outside of work, most of us don’t really ask much of our brains. But it’s so good to put them to work. Just look at any of the research about how solving puzzles improves your memory! I got a hit of adrenaline, rushing around, trying to beat the clock.

I thought I was crazy, thinking that I was happier when I left, but it’s been proven that escape rooms (and problem-solving in general) can boost your mood.

3. The Kids Get Detached from Their Video Games

escape room

I’ve all but given up trying to force Max to do anything on vacation. He sucks the fun out of it with his complaints. But I didn’t hear a single complaint from him or his cousins. Because they had a blast!

And Max has always been skilled with the Rubik’s Cube. There was a puzzle at the end of the scenario that the owner was quite impressed he solved. He said it was partly inspired by Rubik’s Cubes. I could see Max’s pride elevate.

4. You’ll Feel Accomplished When You Solve the Escape Room

I mean, obviously older children can solve escape rooms without adults, but I felt pretty darn proud of myself and my family for working together and finding our way out, with minutes to spare. Now we’re hooked! My brother found an online show about escape rooms, and thanked me for turning him onto them!

escape room hot springs

*A Narrow Escape provided comped tickets in exchange for a review, but all opinions are mine.