Just four years ago, there were roughly two dozen escape rooms in the United States. Fast-forward to 2019, and we’re looking at more than 2,300 facilities nationwide, with over sixty options up and down Colorado's Front Range. Throw in destinations like Estes Park, Steamboat Springs, Breckenridge, Vail, Frisco, Grand Junction and Durango, and the Colorado count rises to 75 — the highest number of escape rooms per capita in the country.
Faced with so many options, it might be hard to decide which rooms to try — and not all are created equal. But whether you’re looking for mind-bending puzzles or want to moonlight as a secret service agent, there’s an escape room for you. You just have to know how to find it.
Here are fourteen of the best escape rooms in the Denver area, including picks in Colorado Springs and Fort Collins:
21 Keys Escape Rooms
3362 Templeton Gap Road, Colorado Springs
$24 to $30
21 Keys offers a variety of rooms, including one that’s designed for groups of up to ten people. History buffs will love Project Iceworm, based on an actual U.S. Army base in Greenland. The near-dark room requires headlamps and flashlights, and contains red herrings to throw you for a loop. The owners of 21 Keys take pride in providing a challenging experience for those who seek a true test of their puzzle-solving abilities.
ConTRAPtions Escape Rooms
3720 South College Avenue, Fort Collins
$24 to $28
ConTRAPtions’ source of pride is its high-tech wizardry, most evident in a brand-new space-travel game, Plight of the Margo. Designed to be played in two ninety-minute rounds, this room looks and behaves like a real spaceship, and you’ll even come face-to-face with life-sized aliens.
Conundrum Escape Rooms
2480 Kipling Street, Lakewood
6350 Wadsworth Boulevard, Arvada
$25 to $27.50
Conundrum Escape Rooms offer both an immersive space and challenging puzzles. Submersion transports you to an underwater submarine through cool effects like a functioning periscope and a massive control board for the ship. Here the puzzles blend into the environment and become part of the room and your mission. To succeed requires quick, abstract thinking to get the ship’s systems back online and navigate an active minefield.
Escaped in Time
4442 Banes Road, Colorado Springs
This family-operated escape room is perfect for players who wish to indulge their inner children. You can attempt to break out of a pirate ship or a whimsical dream world. Well lit and suitable for groups of up to eight, Escaped in Time is fun for the whole family.
3021 North Hancock Avenue, Colorado Springs
Horror fans and haunted-house enthusiasts: This one’s for you. Three different escape rooms await inside the Hellscream Haunted House, including its multi-floor game that uses a real, functioning elevator. The puzzles could use some work, and it can be challenging to distinguish between game pieces and haunted house props, but the standout experience makes it easy to look past that. If you really want to up the ante, be sure to select the “scary” option to play with live actors in the rooms.
Fort Collins Escape Room
4025 South Mason Street, Fort Collins
$24 to $26
Fort Collins Escape Room offers the complete package. On top of a fun and approachable game, we also found a warm and inviting lobby, an interactive briefing and a nice twist on the standard post-game photo. And with tickets at $24 to $26, it’s one of the most affordable spots in the area.
Golden Puzzle Room
860 Tabor Street, Suite 210, Lakewood
1110 Washington Avenue, Suite 200, Golden
Golden Puzzle Room keeps its modestly built rooms well lit, making them approachable for multi-generational families. Here the excitement stems from solving hard puzzles with outside-the-box thinking. The business offers multiple skill-level scenarios and even a kids-only room for children ages six to twelve.
4758 North Chestnut Street, Colorado Springs
Planet Deadline offers both traditional escape rooms and virtual-reality escape rooms (and soon to come: virtual haunted houses). The waiting space is cramped and the lobby is seriously lacking in aesthetics, but the concepts are original and the rooms are highly themed. Horror fans will have a blast playing Slaycation as they attempt to escape a serial killer’s cabin in the woods using clues left from his past victims.
1440 Blake Street, #150, Denver
1 West Flatiron Circle, #2153, Broomfield
$25 to $27
Puzzah!’s rooms are sturdy and solid, and its games are well designed to keep you on track. Emphasizing puzzles over immersion, the space requires you to come with your thinking cap on and select your team wisely. Puzzah!’s unique adaptive clue system makes these games accessible to all skill levels and presents special challenges for teams that can beat the clock.
Q: The Live Escape Experience
333 East 4th Street, Loveland
810 9th Street, Greeley
What you need to know: One of the state’s rare escape rooms with live actors, Q: The Live Escape Experience stands out from the rest. In the game Area Q, you infiltrate a heavily secured and barely lit underground bunker, retrieve an extracted bacteria and blow up a lab, all while not getting caught by the guard who makes his rounds every ten minutes. You’ll have a better experience if your team has at least one risk-taker who won’t be afraid to interact with the guard. Escape From Q offers two unique games at each location, all with a spooky slant that’s going to leave you feeling like the star of a real-life horror movie.
Rabbit Hole Recreation Services
1156 West Dillon Road, #1, Louisville
$30 to $40
Rabbit Hole Recreation Services offers the perfect mix of realistic sets and sophisticated puzzles. These rooms feel like the imaginary places they’re designed to be, and the steps in the game are more involved than finding a code and using it on a lock. Add in an impressive layer of tech that elevates the experience from interesting to engrossing, and you’ve got one of the best spots in the area.
222 Walnut Street, Fort Collins
Though Somewhere Secret very closely resembles an escape room, that’s not an entirely accurate description, because the goal is not escape. Rather, the room was designed to invoke a sense of intrigue and deliver a mysterious, if not magical, experience. Complete the game in under an hour and leave with a treasure map that leads to more adventure in and around Fort Collins.
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6811 West 120th Avenue, Broomfield
Themescape’s name is apt, as its rooms are highly themed and aim to take you on an escape from your daily reality. The game Sector X offers spectacle: a chamber with clues only illuminated by a hand crank, a bookshelf full of gooey specimens from space and a creature nestled up in a creepy, pulsating cocoon.
Time to Escape
9655 West Colfax Avenue
Owned and operated by a team of two, with deep roots in history and installation art, Time to Escape offers games that use three rooms each and stand out for their ability to transcend time through immersive design. The puzzles are challenging but not impossible to crack, they fit the theme well, and they keep you running back and forth between rooms for an active, engaging experience.
What are your favorite escape rooms? Let us know at email@example.com.