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5 Reasons an Escape Room is the Perfect Mother's Day Activity

Mother’s Day can be tough to plan for. Every restaurant is booked solid, Mom always says she “doesn’t want anything”, and breakfast in bed only takes like, what, an hour? So you make breakfast, you get her flowers, and you still have a whole day to fill. Why not try something different this year? Whether Mom is a puzzle junkie or has never heard of an escape room in her life, here are 5 reasons she’ll love Mission: Escape Atlanta.

  1. Way less crowded than brunch. Don’t get me wrong, brunch is a great way to kick off your Mother’s Day. Nothing says 'We love you, Mom!' like pancakes she doesn’t have to make (and maybe a mimosa). But after spending an hour or two surrounded by hundreds of other brunch-goers, wouldn’t it be nice to do something a little…quieter? Our escape rooms hold a maximum of 9 and 10 guests respectively, so there will be no more than 10 people in your game. If you want to guarantee that it’s just your family in the room, we also offer a private game option at a flat rate.

  2. Get out of the elements. It’s May, and Atlanta is starting to get seriously hot –– not to mention all those April showers that haven’t quite gotten the memo yet. No need to worry about the forecast here! Rain or shine, come on in and spend an hour in our air-conditioned rooms for a nice break from the humidity.

  3. Mom doesn’t have to clean up after. When you enter the room, it’s tidy. Everything is in its place. And then you spend an hour making a huge mess! Not to worry, though – when your game is over, you leave the room…and the mess! We take care of all the cleaning, and we’re pros. Mom won’t have to lift a finger.

  4. Diamonds! Okay, maybe not real diamonds. But nothing says Happy Mother’s Day like the world’s most valuable jewel! If you play The Study, your goal is to retrieve the stolen Sienna III white diamond, a priceless gem belonging to the Royal Family. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, right? It might not be exactly the same as getting Mom jewelry, but it’s a whole lot more fun.

  5. Bring the family together. How many activities are there these days that the whole family can do together and actually enjoy? Our escape games are designed for ages 12 and up, but they’re fun and appropriate for all ages. Mom and Dad, little ones, teens, adult kids, significant others, even grandparents can all play. The best part? Teamwork is required for this game, so everybody has to get along and work together for one whole hour. If you want to succeed, you’ll have to listen to each other, share, and utilize everyone’s individual strengths. You might be surprised at how much working toward a common goal can bring you together!

Jewelry is nice, flowers are pretty, but an escape room experience is an opportunity to make lasting memories – and that’s the best gift of all. So what are you waiting for? Gather up the whole crew, check out our Instagram page for a special Mother’s Day discount, and have a Happy Mother’s Day!


Escape Room Dos and Don'ts (According to a Game Master)

Want to get the most out of your escape room experience? Not sure what to expect? Afraid of being “that guy”? We’ve got you covered! Check out these helpful tips from a Game Master on what to do (and what not to do) when you come to play.

DO

  • DO come prepared. Put on your thinking cap (figuratively or literally), do some Sudoku, meditate, memorize the room description. Whatever works for you. I’d recommend that you eat and hydrate beforehand (no food or drink allowed in the room, sorry!), use the restroom, and get PUMPED.

  • DO listen carefully to instruction. Assume that any information your Game Master gives you is vitally important, whether it’s rules, backstory, or helpful tips. This applies both before you go into the room and once you’re inside!

  • DO talk to your Game Master. We want to give every group the best experience possible. If you’re a hardcore group of escape artists who absolutely do not want any help, tell us! If it’s your first escape room and you wouldn’t mind a little extra help, that’s good to know, too. If you know what kind of game you want, it’s super helpful to communicate that to us. Similarly, if anyone in your group has difficulty seeing, hearing, standing for extended periods of time, or anything else relevant, please let us know. We’ll make whatever accommodations we can to ensure that everyone enjoys their game.

  • DO touch everything, unless you’re told otherwise. This is not a museum, it’s a hands-on experience! Pick things up, turn them over, open things, etc. You never know where a clue might be hiding.

  • DO ask for help! Most rooms have some kind of clue or hint system to let you ask for help when you get stuck. Use it! Almost every group that escapes our rooms uses at least one clue, and most use more than one. We give you three freebies, no strings attached, so don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

  • DO keep an eye on the clock. The hour will go MUCH faster than you expect. "Shortest hour of my life" is something we hear a lot from new players. If there is a timer or clock in the room, be sure to glance at it every now and then. And work quickly! A sense of urgency is absolutely key if you want to escape.

  • DO work together. Teamwork really does make the dream work here. Communicate with your teammates, whether it’s a group of your friends or a group of strangers. And remember, communication goes both ways; if you’re not listening, you’re not communicating.

  • DO have fun! One of the most important factors in whether or not a group escapes is, believe it or not, their attitude. At the end of the day, you’re just playing a game. Have fun with it and don’t take it too seriously. Whether you escape or not, you’ll still have a great experience.

DON’T

  • DON’T be late. Escape rooms operate on a strict schedule, especially on busy days, so if you’re not here on time we can’t guarantee you’ll get your full hour in the room. We want you to have as much time to play as possible, and you’ll want plenty of time before the game to fill out waivers, use the restroom, and go over rules. If you absolutely can’t make it on time, call and let us know! We’ll do our best to accommodate you.

  • DON’T cheat. If you’re asked not to use your your cell phone, don’t take it out. If you’re asked not to pick locks, don’t pick locks. You came here to solve our puzzles, and even if you’re totally fine with cutting corners, it’s really uncool to ruin it for everyone else. Everything that you need to escape the room is in the room. We promise.

  • DON’T overthink it. Occam’s Razor –– the simplest solution is usually the correct one. Kids often do very well in escape rooms because they’re less likely to bring in outside knowledge and overcomplicate a puzzle. If it’s not common knowledge and the information isn’t available in the room itself, it’s probably not relevant.

  • DON’T break our stuff. I have yet to hear of an escape room in which you actually need to rip up the carpet, climb up into the ceiling, knock a hole in the wall, break furniture, or stick anything that isn’t a plug into an electrical socket. I have, however, heard of players doing every one of those things. Likewise, if something is nailed to the floor or screwed into the wall, it’s probably supposed to stay there. If it can’t be easily reset within 10-15 minutes, it’s not the answer.

  • DON’T play under the influence. This one is more of a suggestion, but hear me out. You’re playing an hour-long puzzle game that requires logic and critical thinking skills, and most people don’t get better at those things when alcohol is introduced. If you’re coming straight from happy hour, I would stick to one or two drinks at most. You can always grab a celebratory cocktail after you play!

  • DON’T act inappropriately. Our rooms have cameras and microphones for us to monitor your game. It’s only creepy if you make it creepy. Please don’t make us watch you make out.

  • DON’T panic. While our rooms are "locked" for the purposes of the game, you’re never actually trapped inside. There is an emergency exit button in every room, and you are free to leave at any time. It doesn’t count as escaping the room, but it’s useful if something can’t wait until the end or if you start feeling claustrophobic.

  • DON’T get discouraged. Escape rooms are challenging! That’s what makes it so rewarding when you do escape. Most people will lose at least one escape room, so whether it’s your first or your fiftieth, try not to let it get you down. I lost the first room I ever played, and I’ve lost rooms since. There’s always the next one!

Top 5 Heists in History

Millenium Dome Raid

    This one might not fully qualify as a heist, seeing as they weren’t successful, but when it comes to daring, not many live up to this story. On November 7th in the year 2000, these burglars were “12 inches from payday” when undercover police pounced. They’d been under surveillance for months after a botched armored truck robbery. The object they failed to pilfer was the 203 carat diamond, the Millennium Star. After using a digger to break into the Millennium Dome, Aldo Ciarriochi tossed smoke grenades to cover the thieves. Robert Cockram used a nail gun to weaken the glass. Robert Adams went to work with a sledgehammer to smash open the case. The undercover officers decided it was better to let the men destroy everything in sight before arresting them. Regardless, seven men were arrested in connection with the failed robbery. Although they didn’t get the diamond, they certainly possess jewels of their own. 

 

Lufthansa Heist

    If you’ve seen Goodfellas you’re familiar with the Lufthansa Heist. The infamous Jimmy Burke masterminded this audacious foray into the illegal. In the early hours of a freezing December morning the gang targeted untraceable American bills brought in from Europe and stored at JFK International Airport. An inside man tipped them off to the delivery and divulged every detail they needed to know to pull this off. After subduing security by clubbing him over the head with a gun, six armed men corralled everyone into the lunch room. With extensive knowledge of the facility they forced a guard to take them to the vault, knowing exactly which doors had to be closed before another opened to avoid sounding the alarm. Once they arrived at the proper vault they removed around 40 bags of valuables. The entire action took 64 minutes and netted them over $6 million, almost triple what was expected. Parnell “Stacks” Edwards was supposed to dispose of the van to eliminate any trail, but then he got high. Parking the van in a no parking zone outside his girlfriends apartment led police to discover the vehicle and find Stacks’ fingerprints inside. The police suspected Jimmy Burkes crew almost immediately. Jimmy became increasingly paranoid. That spelled disaster for anyone associated with him. At least ten people with knowledge of the heist were brutally murdered to seal off any loose ends. It didn’t work, and Jimmy Burke went to prison, where he died. 

 

Antwerp Diamond Heist

    In a feat that would make Daniel Ocean weep with pride, a group of Italian thieves dubbed “The School of Turin” are believed to have stolen over $100 million. Yes, over one hundred million dollars. In February 2003, the largest diamond heist in the history of the world took place. Alleged ringleader Leonardo Notarbartolo rented an office space in the Diamond Centre building two and a half years earlier. Not only did this give him 24 hour access to the building, he was given a safety deposit box in the vault. What makes this event so puzzling are the extreme security measures in place at the vault. Infrared heat sensors, Doppler radar, seismic sensor, and a lock with over 100 million possible combinations were just a few of the safety measures in place. Not much is known about the actual robbery, but what we do know is that over 123 of the 160 deposit boxes were forced open and over $100 million worth of diamonds, gold, and other jewelry were taken.  Although Leo denies any involvement, his DNA matched DNA taken from a half eaten sandwich and was sentenced to ten years in prison. He is out on parole now. If this teaches you anything, it’s that you should always finish your food!

 

Gardner Museum Theft

    Art enthusiasts still cry over this robbery. In March of 1990 two men disguised as police officers tricked a guard into granting them entry after hours. They pretended to arrest the security guards, which prompted the question “Why are you arresting me?”. The thief’s response, “I’m not, this is a robbery”. With no one to stop them they made for the booty. During the 81 minutes they held free reign over priceless objects from across time and space they nabbed 13 works of art worth over $500 million, making it the largest private property theft of all time. Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Degas were among the artists targeted, as well as a Chinese Guoldest from 1200-1100 B.C. The investigation is still ongoing and operations range from Japan to France and everywhere in between. It is believed the art was in the mid-atlantic in the early 2000’s. The FBI said both original perps are dead, but they refuse to identify them. A $5 million reward is up for the taking if you can point them in the direction of the loot. According to authorities, “the search is narrowing and is almost over.” In a display of faith that the art will one day be returned, there are empty frames still hanging in the Gardner Museum.

 

Sienna III White Diamond Heist

    When Sir Claude Juan Philipe stole the title of Sir from the Royal Family, most thought he was finished with them. Claude had plans of his own. Rumors are whispered in pubs throughout England about how many times Philipe stole the Sienna III White Diamond, but the most well known case comes from the year 1916, the last year Claude Juan was seen the UK. The Royal Family had just celebrated the birth of a new girl. The guards were on heightened awareness because of this, but not on the Sienna III. The exact method used is a mystery. The next morning a total of 7 guards claimed to have no memory of the previous night; one even thought he was at home with his wife in Gloucester. What’s most peculiar is how much was left in the estate. Paintings from the Renaissance and sculptures of priceless value were untouched. The only evidence of Claude’s presence was a note left inside the diamond case. It read: M:EA. Authorities at every level are scrambling to solve this embarrassing case and are seeking help from anyone with knowledge.

Sir Claude Juan Philipe - International Man of Thievery

     Claude Juan Philipe is believed to have been born in the 1870’s, and is almost assuredly born in Spain. His real name and parents are not known, but the earliest record of his existence is from an orphanage in which he escaped. After two weeks in the wilderness he wandered onto the property of a wealthy statesman, last name Philipe, and was discovered by his wife. She immediately fell in love with the boy; half due to the boys meager appearance, half due to the boys unending wit. The Count fell under his trance as well and they took the boy in as their own. Claude would never lack for anything his entire adolescence. He was reportedly taken aback by the lavish lifestyle he was thrust into. He traveled across Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, and rumor has it, Australia. He spent considerable time in England, specifically Oxford. The wit that won him the favor of the Philipe’s gained a world class education to match it. In his late teens Claude traveled to Rome, Paris, and Athens. His time was consumed with museums and ancient artifacts, and his adopted parents thought he might take to archeology or the life of an adventurer. Claude saw things differently, and with much difficulty he abandoned his pampered life and disappeared on July 11th, 1887. 

    It is assumed he used multiple alias’s. Most of them are unknown, but we can make educated guesses as to his whereabouts during his 20’s. An aging Duke in the Denmark told stories of a minstrel who hoodwinked him during a game of dice and made off with an undisclosed amount of gold, and rumor has it the Duke’s sister. This is the first of numerous tales all of which seem to involve a crafty and cunning prodigy. There was the educated Spanish banker that claimed Hernan Cortes had come back from the grave to scare him out of his mansion, only to return and find three Monet’s and two Picasso’s absent. There are no less than four dozen instances of victims returning home to discover items missing, and Sir Claude Juan is our lead suspect. Royalty in The Netherlands assume he stole their family crown. A king in Africa believes his soul and 500 pounds of gold were lifted by him. Most notoriously, a French politician who went mad asserted the thief stole his mind. That’s a half truth however. He first lost his wits when he realized his financial accounts were wiped clean. 

    One rumor that proved to be true is his title of Sir. A noble British officer was to be knighted by the Queen, but the night before was caught up in a drinking match. He lost. The man who won took his place at the royal ceremony and proudly accepted his title. Claude charmed the British family so deeply that several weeks later when it came to light he was an impostor they forbid his title be stripped. 

    Sir Claude Juan has been dormant for several years now. Investigators across the globe have surmised his death has occurred in some unknown part of the world. That was until the Sienna III White Diamond was stolen from the very family that bestowed upon him his knighthood. We believe the diamond is located on one of his properties. Can you find it and escape the Study? 

What is an escape game?

  

          If you’re reading this and know what an escape game is, you might not learn anything. If you’re reading this and have absolutely no idea what we are, please keep going. Escape games are not a new phenomenon, but they are catching on around the globe. They are based on widely played video games based on the same premise. You are locked in a room and must solve puzzles, riddles, or any manor of inventive and ludicrous tasks in order to escape in 60 minutes. Every game has a different theme and storyline. Some games include multiple rooms, or even hidden rooms. Your team may consist of family and friends, or almost entirely strangers. It’s up to you to work together and complete your escape. They reportedly started in Hong Kong in 2006, and have exploded in popularity since. We’re seeing that growth right now in the US. In 2010 there were zero games in America- now we have an estimated 367. Worldwide, there are over 2,800, but only one of them can be the top rated in Atlanta. That’s where we come in. After less than a year in operation Mission Escape is one of the top overall attractions in the city. Our unique design and style are matched only by the intensity and challenging nature of the rooms. Are you brave enough to try?