I can start a war or end one, I can give you strength or leave you powerless, I might be snared with a glance but no force can compel me to stay; What am I?
It’s February and the answer to that riddle is in the air. If that answer does not immediately pop out at you then maybe this article isn't for you. If, however, you are one of the millions of people looking for an activity to bring you closer together with a special someone the perfect date can be hard to manage. It should be intimate, exciting, new, and allow you to see new side’s of each other while not removing you so far from civilization that you couldn't for instance still make it home later to .. see new sides of each other. Here is one suggestion as a possibility, a room escape game for two.
If you’ve never played a room escape or escape room game, it goes like this. You make a reservation and when you arrive, you and your date (or dates, I don’t know your life) will be placed into a pre-created adventure that you will have to work together to overcome the locks and puzzles in your games. Skip the awkward small talk for now and get distracted instead, focus on seeing each other heroically in a moment of action. Afterwards when you go out for brunch, lunch, dinner, or drinks most importantly you’ll have something to talk about and get the conversation moving. Shared experiences are the foundation of a good relationship.
As gamemasters, we see a lot of couples come through and enjoy it or we wouldn’t be suggesting it, and we know some dates can be more stressful than others (besides an anniversary) so we took it a step further and interview couples that had gone through the most stressful relationship test we could imagine. Here are some of the things Dan and Amy, a couple who proposed in a room escape had to say:
To Dan (the Proposer):
Q: What was the significance behind proposing at an escape room?
A: I took Amy to a Zombie escape room for our first date, and a sequel Zombie escape room for one of our anniversaries. (This wasn’t by design, I just thought it would be fun). So escape rooms already had a fun and special significance for us, and I thought she might reminisce back to that emotional state when we visited this one.
Q: Did it go how you expected/wanted?
A:YES!!! It was absolutely perfect! On the execution side, I owe it all to Vincent Rubino for being a part of this and even customizing his escape room with some ideas I dreamt up. After our first conversation, I knew I could entrust the details of this life-changing moment to him. (And, my photographer Beking Joassaint of Beking Media for the beautiful footage).
I set the date on Amy’s calendar months in advance, and told her one of my best friends Neil was in town and we were going to meet for dinner (they had never met). To add some merit to my alibi, he was actually in town and we met up the night before, but Amy was working.
A few hours prior, I had Neil send me a text apologizing that he got stuck with work colleagues. (They did end up meeting a month later.)
After sharing the news with Amy, I played it very casual. I told her since we already had the time together, maybe I’d find something fun for us to do? I took a big risk with that last part, but fortunately she agreed and I think this helped aid in the surprise.
We got married a year later in May 2017 :)
Q:When did you know you wanted to propose in an escape room?
A:I had a number of ingredients I wanted to combine when I was dreaming up our proposal. I wanted it to be romantic, emotional, special, creative, and most importantly a SURPRISE. That last detail was probably the most challenging because Amy isn’t an easy person to surprise. She is incredibly smart and clever and always looking for clues. It’s one of my favorite parts about her and also why I wanted to catch her completely off-guard.
Amy’s schedule was also very regimented since she was in medical residency, and we often had to plan our dates months in advance. I needed a placeholder event that would not set off any of her alarm bells, with our actual date casual enough to be convincingly last-minute when our prior plans “fell through”.
Distilling all of these dreams into magic wasn’t easy, but the escape room was really a fantastic place to propose if I could get the rest of the particulars to fall into place. I also wanted to find an intimate venue that could host a 2-person escape, and after discussing my idea with Vince, I knew FITB was the perfect place.
Q:Are there any benefits with proposing at an escape room vs. other places?
A:It’s definitely unique and non-traditional! It would be pretty cool to see this grow into a trend, and there are some distinct advantages from the proposer’s side.
As the proposer, you have a relatively predictable (and a bonus for Chicago, temperature-controlled) environment, an opportunity to personalize your own details and control the timing of when you propose, and you also get to enjoy a really fun and intimate date before you even get to the proposing. Working together to solve tough problems is a fun way to connect with your partner and admire their smarts and creativity.
It’s also fairly short so if you set it up early enough in the evening or afternoon, you can spend your evening taking photos and celebrating!
To Amy (the Proposee):
Q: What was the significance behind being proposed to at an escape room?
A: Our first date was at an escape room! This was before escape rooms were as prevalent as they are now, and I remember being impressed he came up with that as a first date, and how good he was with the clues! That was one of the first things I was attracted to in Dan —his skill at deduction and putting complex problems together. I always thought I was pretty good at it myself, but I’d never met someone as genius at it as he was. Getting engaged at an escape room was something so inescapably (haha!) ‘Us’, I can't imagine a more perfect proposal!
Q: Were you expecting it?
A: Hindsight is 20/20 so now I pretend like I kind of had an idea, but in the moment...no! When Dan and I started dating, that was a big thing between us — we were always trying to surprise each other, which is difficult on both sides! We both fancy ourselves expert sleuthers!
For this, We had set up dinner with his friend, Neil, that night who was in town. Neil magically “cancelled” a few hours before we were supposed to all meet up, and Dan said we he had found something with just us instead, since we both already had the night off.
It was the day before we were about to leave for a two-week international trip, so I didn’t think too much of it. When we arrived at Fox In The Box, though, and we were the only ones there, I started to think that was a bit odd, but Dan had a good explanation for it that it was just a private booking. I don’t think I had any idea until the music changed at the very end to one from suspenseful escape room music to one of our favorite songs! I was even more surprised when someone with a camera (Beking, Dan’s photographer) walked in and Vince, with a bottle of champagne!!!
Q: What was your reaction when putting the final puzzle together?
A: It was funny because it was a bank vault, and at the end there was a giant jewel. Then the music suddenly changed, and I turned around and Dan was down on one knee with a jewel of his own!
Q: Would you have wanted it to be different?
A: Nope, it was perfect. We got to spend the rest of the night celebrating downtown in the city where we first met, and then departed the next day to a engagement-moon of sorts about Europe!
Now these two did their proposal at Fox in a Box - Chicago, who are equipped to handle proposals, but any adventure anywhere can bring the thrill of romance so get out there and have one this February. Whether you’re breaking out of prison, robbing a bank, or saving the world, escape rooms bring people together to work towards the same goal: escape. Solving puzzles may not sound like the sexiest activity, however your adrenaline will increase when you do so under a time crunch; that adrenaline is strong enough to keep you going through the rest of the night.
If it sounds like an interesting idea for a date, or to take the next step, rooms at Fox in a Box are reserved for one party of up to six guests. Larger groups more than one game can be booked at the same time slot, but at Fox in a Box you will never be added into groups with strangers like many other escape rooms.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1 312 878 7899 for more information on how to book your next team building adventure (or proposal) with Fox in a Box - Chicago. Visit our website for more information about our pricing and our rooms. Photo by Beking.