When my husband and I first started dating during my senior year of high school, I never would have thought that 12 years later, we’d be stuck in detention together.

But here we are, inside a classroom, with both our cell phones confiscated, and only an hour to retrieve them before the teacher returns.

What sounds like a nerve-racking situation for any high schooler is a leisurely, interactive way for adults to think outside of the box—and that’s what Escape Room is all about.

Escape Room, which made its way to Virginia Beach last July, is a challenging, team-building activity for friends, family members, coworkers or a group of strangers to complete together by observing their surroundings, searching for clues and solving complex puzzles to locate a specific item inside a room in just 60 minutes.

There are four different rooms, each with its own theme, furnishings, sets of clues and end goal. Players could be on a frenzied hunt for inheritance money, desperately trying to escape the home of a traveling crook or working to uncover a valuable piece of art that was stolen and replaced with a counterfeit. In our room, the goal is finding our phones in an hour’s time, or we’ll be faced with eternal detention and no access to our social world. (Ironically, my husband is a high school teacher and has confiscated many a cell phone in his day. Now he knows how his students must feel.)  

escape room virginia beach detention

Unsure of where to begin, we rummage through backpacks, flip through textbooks and encounter many locked drawers and boxes. During the course of our 60 minutes, we're allowed three cheats, given by staff members via walkie talkie. Working together, we're able to solve some of the clues, although in the end, we're not even close to finding our confiscated phones. Feeling somewhat like failures, we watch as the final 40 seconds run out on the timer above the door. A staff member immediately waltzes in to show us the clues we missed, noting that he was impressed with our progress since, typically, a two-person team doesn't get very far. We decide that next time we'll make it a group project.

escape room virginia beach detention escape room virginia beach detention

As we exit the classroom, another group excitedly awaits their turn to enter an Escape Room. "Well?" a guy in the group questions us, "Did you escape in time?" We sadly shake our heads no. "Oh, make way," the guy laughs to his friends, "Losers coming through!"

'Boy, this really is just like school,' I think to myself. 'Bullies and all.'

Escape Room is located at 408 Investors Place, Suite 107, Virginia Beach. Call 757-228-7577, or visit EscapeRoomVirginiaBeach.com to book an escape or to learn more.

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