Photo Credit Jerome.Romme/Shutterstock Photo Credit Jerome.Romme/Shutterstock

Whether you want to survive in the wilderness, mix potions in a castle, or embark on a time-traveling adventure, Michigan’s escape rooms provide the perfect puzzle escape.

MICHIGAN—You’re going to play a game. You have 60 minutes to solve the puzzle and escape. No, this isn’t Saw. You’re in an escape room. 

A popular entertainment trend from the last ten years, an escape room is an interactive cooperative puzzle. Players enter a room and must use environmental clues in the room in order to escape. Types of “rooms” may vary wildly, from fantasy dungeons to modern bank vaults and everything in between. The reward for completion? Usually a fun photobooth-style group shot of your winning escape team.

The entertainment phenomenon has its origins in video games. “Escape the room” games started with text-based game Behind Closed Doors in 1988. The Japanese game Crimson Room popularized the escape room genre in 2004. In both Crimson Room and similar Adobe Flash games by creator Toshimitsu Takagi, players use first-person perspective to collect items from a room, solve puzzles, and escape. By 2007, Takao Kato took the escape game “IRL” (in real life) with publishing company SCRAP. It wasn’t long before in-person games could be found at Japanese bars and clubs. The craze migrated to Asia and Europe and, finally, the United States began hosting escape games as early as 2012. Over 2,000 escape rooms are in operation across the nation.

Michigan’s first escape room was Manhattan-based Escape the Room in Detroit. In the years since opening, many other Michiganders have started their own escape rooms. We’ve rounded up the best local rooms to escape — if you dare!

The Fifth Wall Escape Rooms (Ferndale)

1930 Hilton Rd #100, Ferndale, MI 48220

Room Themes: The Harry Houdini Trap, The Purple Gang, The Sly Fox, Weirder Stuff: The Kidnapped Humanoids of Allegan County

Prices Start At: $15/person

If you want to learn a little of Michigan’s wacky history while you solve puzzles, try the Fifth Wall Escape Rooms in Ferndale. The escape room location uses the theme of a secret society, modelling the Fifth Wall Society as a research team of forgotten histories. Explore the famous magician Harry Houdini’s final days in Detroit with The Houdini Trap, brush up on your mob lore with The Purple Gang, or recount a western Michigan urban legend with their current “Weirder Stuff.”

For more information, visit their official website, Facebook Page, or Instagram Page.

Great Lakes Escape Game (Frankenmuth)

566 S Main St, Frankenmuth, MI 48734

Room Themes: Black Beard’s Brig, The Heist, Immunity Quest, Lucky Duck Speakeasy

Prices Start At: $15/person

The next time you’re in Michigan’s beloved Little Bavaria, you may want to try your hand at Rübezahl’s challenge. Great Lakes Escape Games, to hear them tell the tale, is the haven of the German mountain lord and trickster spirit Rübezahl. Rübezahl delights in puzzle games of trickery, tended to by his gnomes. Guests to Rübezahl’s realm may perform The Heist in the home of one of Frankenmuth’s finest citizens, take down a 1920s criminal in the Lucky Duck Speakeasy, and more.

For more information, visit their official website or Facebook Page.

Alecatraz Escape Rooms (Traverse City)

221 Garland St, Traverse City, MI 49684

Room Themes: Dr. Piccolo’s Lab, Warden’s Office

Prices Start At: $25/person

Why is it “Ale”-catraz? Because this downtown Traverse City escape room is located in the Workshop Brewing Company. In the primary Warden’s Office escape room, players infiltrate the office of Alecatraz Prison’s warden and figure out a case of missing inmates. New room Dr. Piccolo’s Laboratory is opening very soon! Base price to book a room is $75, but covers up to three players.

For more information, visit their official website, Facebook Page, or Instagram Page.

Locked 460 Escape Rooms (Grand Rapids)

2035 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508

Room Themes: Apartment 460, Lou’s Garage, Wanted

Prices Start At: $25/person

Some of Grand Rapids’ best escape rooms are found at Locked 460. Take a trip back in time to the Old West with the Wanted escape room, themed like a western saloon. Live out the vintage car lifestyle at Lou’s Garage. Or take a gnarly visit to a criminal’s apartment in the 80s with Apartment 460. Base price to book a room is $75, but covers up to three players.

For more information, visit their official website, Facebook Page, or Instagram Page.

Monroe Escape Rooms (Monroe)

14750 Laplaisance Rd., Suite H30, Monroe, MI 48161

Room Themes: Merlin’s Castle, Missile Launch, Pirate Chest Quest

Prices Start At: $25/person

Downriver’s premier escape room destination features three different rooms. Find the treasure chest before the boat sinks in Pirate Chest Quest. Explore a medieval castle in Merlin’s Castle. Or fight your way to an underground Cold War bunker in Missile Launch. Base price to book a room is $100, but covers up to four players.

For more information, visit their official website, Facebook Page, or Instagram Page.

Think It Out Escape Rooms (Fraser)

16658 15 Mile Rd, Fraser, MI 48026

Room Themes: Campout, The Locker Room, On The Radio, Superhero University

Prices Start At: $15/person

This Metro Detroit spot features three difficulty levels: standard 3:60, with three clues and 60 minutes, E.R. Lite with unlimited clues, and Hi-Score with point tracking for time and clues. Guests will enjoy creative room themes such as On The Radio, where the goal is to escape a radio station, Campout, where players are lost in the woods, and Superhero U, where players must escape a supervillain lair.

For more information, visit their official website, Facebook Page, or Instagram Page.

Erebus Escape (Pontiac)

34 Oakland Ave, Pontiac, MI 48342

Room Themes: Body of Evidence, Dragon’s Curse, Extinction, Eye of Horus, Lockdown, Once Upon a Time, Thrones

Prices Start At: $28/person

This downtown Pontiac escape room is the spin-off of the popular Halloween hotspot Erebus Haunted Attraction. At Erebus Escape, guests book a private room for four or more and get to solving clues. Room themes include Lockdown, where players are trapped in a prison, Body of Evidence, where players explore a suspicious funeral home, and Eye of Horus, an Egyptian mythology-themed tomb.

For more information, visit their official website, Facebook Page, or Instagram Page.

Michigan Escape Games (Davison)

9023 Davison Rd, Davison, MI 48423

Room Themes: Blackout, CDC Laboratories – Viral Containment, CheckMate, CSI: MURDER! At Bar Noir, The Dwelling, Final Breath, Meltdown, Mission Impossibly, The Steampunk Time Machine

Prices Start At: $25/person

This Flint suburb escape room offers ten different creative themes. Players may free a tormented ghost in The Dwelling, prevent the Chernobyl nuclear accident in Meltdown, avert a possible time paradox with Steampunk Time Machine, or mimic the plot to movie Mission Impossible in bomb-diffusing Mission Impossibly. All sessions are booked for private rooms and prices are per-room.

For more information, visit their official website, Facebook Page, or Instagram Page.

EpIQ Escapes (Jackson)

561 Wildwood Ave, Jackson, MI 49201

Room Themes: The Attic, CSI: The Back Alley, Chosen

Prices Start At: $25/person

This escape room from two Jackson County natives is not one to be missed. Players can flex their love of true crime with CSI: The Back Alley, which investigates a serial killer’s latest crime scene. Equally macabre is The Attic, the top-most room in a dilapidated house with a spooky history. Players can also do a genre shift altogether with Chosen, an elite space mission onboard the Trinity 5000. All sessions are booked for private rooms.

For more information, visit their official website, Facebook Page, or Instagram Page.

Know Way Out (Petoskey)

1691 US-131, Petoskey, MI 49770

Room Themes: Agent Academy: The Final Test, The Eyeland, Mad Hatter’s Asylum, Medieval Mayhem

Prices Start At: $23/person

This little gem of an escape room in northern Michgian is unique as can be. For fans of Alice in Wonderland, become a guest of the Mad Hatter’s un-birthday party and escape his crazy chaos. For those craving more chaos, The Eyeland provides a Bermuda Triangle-themed adventure of bizarre proportions. For something a little more traditional, try Agent Academy: The Final Test for a spy-themed adventure or Medieval Mayhem to save a queen and her court wizard from certain death. All sessions are booked for private rooms. Keep an eye out for their outdoor events as the season permits.

For more information, visit their official website, Facebook Page, or Instagram Page.

Spymaker Escape Rooms (Flint)

4310 Miller Rd, Flint, MI 48507

Room Themes: The Alchemist, The Catacombs, The Dead Man’s Hand, Escape the 80s, Spymaker

Prices Start At: $28/person

This family-owned business in Flint stocks several historically themed escape rooms. Players may retrieve the fabled Philosopher’s Stone from a medieval laboratory in The Alchemist, capture a battle plan as a 1940s spy, or embark on a Back to the Future time travel quest in Escape the 80s.

For more information, visit their official website, Facebook Page, or Instagram Page.

Escape Marquette (Marquette)

130 W Washington St l4, Marquette, MI 49855

Room Themes: Catch a Killer, Submerged, Yooper Camp

Prices Start At: $28/person

The Upper Peninsula’s largest city features escape rooms just downtown. Players can get into “da Yooper spirit” with Yooper Camp, where they are lost in the Upper Peninsula woods and must get supplies. Other rooms include Catch a Killer, where players raid a therapist’s office, and Submerged, where players must locate oxygen while trapped at the bottom of the ocean. All sessions are booked for private rooms.

For more information, visit their official website, Facebook Page, or Instagram Page.

The Hallway Entertainment (Port Huron)

1219 Military St, Port Huron, MI, 48060

Room Themes: That 70s Cabin, Wizard School

Prices Start At: $25/person

St. Clair County’s only escape room just moved to a new location with brand new adventures. The Hallway Entertainment includes new room That 70s Cabin, where players search a cabin in the 70s for clues to the disappearance of a group of friends. In Wizard School, sneak into a professor’s study at a magical school very similar to Hogwarts. Also check out Hallway Entertainment’s Game Nights and Escape Dinners.

For more information, visit their official website or Facebook Page.

Northern Michigan Escape Rooms (Grayling)

1239 Mc Clellan St, Grayling, MI 49738

Room Themes: The Black Door, Hetephere’s Tomb, The Pirate Ship, P.U.E.V. Grayling

Prices Start At: $20/person

Next time you’re “up north” for its many outdoor recreation options, you might want to take a look indoors at these escape rooms in Grayling. The family-built entertainment venue features several themed rooms, including a pirate ship, Egyptian tomb, and 1920s speakeasy. Base price to book most rooms is $100, but covers up to five players. The P.U.E.V. Grayling, a submarine themed room, is specially built for two players, and priced to match.

For more information, visit their official website or Facebook Page.

Zoya Escape Rooms (St. Joseph)

4298 Niles Rd #1, St Joseph, MI 49085

Room Themes: Alien Escape, Egyptian Escape, Toymaker Workshop

Prices Start At: $99/two people

St. Joseph might be a perfect beach city, but stepping indoors for Zoya Escape Rooms is an unbeatable experience. Zoya Escape Rooms currently include two rooms perfect for conspiracy lovers. In Alien Escape, players explore the cabin of a wicked pharmacist who may or may not be associated with aliens. The Toymaker Workshop is an accidental robot army machine that intrepid players must reprogram. All sessions are booked for private rooms.

For more information, visit their official website or Facebook Page.