I Escaped from the School of Hard Locks

Birthdays are times to live it up and celebrate another year of life. My friend Joyce takes each birthday and invites her friends and family to accompany her in a new experience and adventure. 

Over the years for Joyce's birthday we've partaken in the revelries of a renaissance fair, set sail with a bunch of mateys at the Pirates Dinner Adventure, soaked in the mineral waters of Palm Springs, went ghost hunting on Old Town, danced with drag queens at Lips San Diego, and had my first experience at a karaoke bar and ate sushi off a revolving conveyor belt. 
Hot Springs Joyce
Renaissance Fair Joyce
Lips San Diego Joyce
Me with Wine Tasting Joyce
These are just to name a few of the fun times we've had celebrating my dear friend's birthdays! Each adventure has it's own stories and laugh to last a lifetime of reminiscing. 

For Joyce's birthday this year, she wanted to visit The School of Hard Locks. When she first told me about this I was a bit scared because Joyce has an affinity for horror movies, the supernatural, and things of the like. So, I was thinking this "school" was some sort of scary funhouse which I knew Joyce would love to try. 

Thank goodness it wasn't. She sent me the link to the website and here's what it said:

What is "The School of Hard Locks"?
Real-life room escape games are an immersive adventure game in which people are locked in a room with other participants and have to use their wits, persistence and collaboration skills to escape the room within a set time limit. Whether you are with a group of family members, friends, co-workers or even strangers, your goal is simple: find clues, solve puzzles, and work together to open the locked door in under 60 minutes.

Our group of 7 arrived and was greeted by Tony, the host at the School of Hard Locks. He explained the rules and had us put all of our personal belongings in lockers. We were not allowed to bring anything with us inside the locked room, especially cellphones.  Joyce was super excited to start the game!

Before we entered the room, Tony shared the background story to the "Principal's Office" we were entering, We were going back into time to the year of 1970 helping solve a mystery that happened at this one particular school. 

Our group was a bit giggly during all the rules and background story. I think it was anxious giggles of what was to come. 

Once we were in the room and the door locked, we darted. Each of us to different part of the room, finding locks, keys, notes, puzzles, messages, and more. For the first 15 minutes we were frazzled with all the clues we found trying to make sense of it all. Every once in a while the principal came on the loud-speaker to make an "announcement" which were more clues to help us solve the puzzle to get us out of the room. There was math, money, play on words, dates and times to remember, translation dictionaries to be used, clues in the dark, even clues on Silly Putty. 

At the end of our 60 minutes, we did not unlock the door to get us out of the room. Tony came back in asked if we wanted to continue, and of course we said YES! Tony congratulated us on the clues we had solved so far and guided us a bit with a few more hints, then again locked the door.

Our team worked hard to use what Tony gave us to  solve the last few steps to unlock the door. But, at the end of our extra 30 minutes, we did not unlock the final lock to escape the Principal's Office. 

This was a great experience and lots of fun! It was challenging and took each member of our team to do their part. Next time we hope to try the "Science Lab" room for another challenge! We hope next time we'll unlock the door successfully! 

To book your own School of Hard Locks experience, visit http://www.schoolofhardlocks.com/. Be sure to check Groupon for occasional deals!