Got $25, a few friends and an hour? Escape Muncie will soon be Muncie’s newest attraction, opening the first week in July.
"Escape rooms" have been growing in popularity across the country, and Jennifer Everetts has visited several with her family — leading her, her husband and son Andrew to create their own.
It's a growing trend across the world. In small or large teams, guests are essentially locked in one or more rooms for typically an hour. Throughout the room are hidden clues that will help the team of guests escape.
Everetts said it happened quick. Just days after talking about the idea with her family, the Muncie family found a building, got a permit and began to work on the ideas for the three rooms from which guests can try to escape.
“We’re always looking for something new and interesting to do, and we take a lot of vacations, and a lot of times it’s boring to go to a museum if it’s raining or to go to a park," Everetts said. "We stumbled across escape rooms last Christmas, and we found several of them together as a family and just really loved it."
Everetts said two to eight people can be in a room, but she recommends six for the rooms at Escape Muncie.
Booking is done online at escapemuncie.com, and it costs $25 per person for the one hour given to escape either a theater, mansion or classroom. A Ball State student discount will become available.
Everetts said she hopes to open a fourth room by the end of the summer.
“Muncie doesn’t have anything like this, and so it’s really been exciting to see how many people are ready to come and go through our escape rooms,” she said. “I think it’s going to be fun to be able to watch from the sidelines too, to watch how you all try to figure out how to unlock the clues and how to unlock the locks and get the codes to get out.”
While her family's new business is about entertainment for the citizens of Muncie, Everetts said she also hopes to make some money off of Escape Muncie to help with her nonprofit organization, Journey Home Jamaica.
Everetts and her husband started Journey Home Jamaica five years ago, but they've been working to save and raise enough money to purchase a hotel in Jamaica to be used as an orphanage and as a training center for foster parents.
While they've done several fundraisers, they don't have enough. Everetts hopes this new business will help create the funds they need.
“When I was thinking about it and praying about it one night, I just had this idea that Muncie doesn’t have an escape room and there’s so many people that would certainly love to do this and don’t want to drive all the way to Indianapolis or Fort Wayne; we’re right here,” Everetts said.
Ball State senior public relations major Sarah Deitz said she initially thought doing an escape room would be scary or creepy, but it ended up just being fun.
“It definitely takes more brain power than your typical afternoon activity, but it really makes you feel accomplished when you finish it. I recommend it for anyone who loves a good challenge or maybe wants to work on team building with a team, family or work group,” Deitz said.
She said she's definitely planning on visiting Escape Muncie when she returns for school in the fall.
Incoming freshman public relations major Adrianna Nagle said she's excited to experience her first escape room in the next couple weeks with her family and plans to visit the one in Muncie when it opens.
“I love the concept. I was surprised when I heard that one was going to be in Muncie. I heard it not long after my aunt set up the reservations for the escape room in Indy,” Nagle said. “I hadn't even heard of it before my family decided to go, and now Muncie will have one.”