Hidden mysteries: Grand Illusion offers two escape room adventures (Review)


Grace Pak

RIDDLE ME THIS: Did you know that downtown’s Grand Illusion offers not one but two escape room opportunities? Check out guest writer Grace Pak’s review to learn more!

Looking for something fun and different to do this weekend?  Hidden in downtown Carlisle on the third floor of local restaurant/cider bar Grand Illusion are two escape rooms.  While you may have tried their brunch or flatbreads (or their various cider options for our mature readers), many people do not know that just above the restaurant are exciting rooms filled with riddles to solve.

Located at 26 W. High Street, Grand Illusion offers two rooms, based on your interests and time investment. You can choose between “Wonka’s Fantabulous Riddle,” a half-hour room that they rate 4/10 for difficulty on their website, and “Houdini’s Greatest Escape,” an hour-long room rated 6/10.

The Houdini Room is perfect for high school friend groups looking for a collaborative, engaging activity.  Up to six people can play the room together, and you must work as a group to find clues, solve puzzles, and decipher combinations to open all the locks that allow you to ultimately escape.  Set in 1936, the room stays true to its theme with dim lighting.  Players are given lanterns to help illuminate the clues that relate to Houdini and his career as a magician.

The Wonka Room is a great choice if you are looking for a shorter experience or playing with younger kids.  If your group can solve Wonka’s riddle and find his secret invention in time, you become the new owner of his factory, much like in the movie the room is based on.

Even if you don’t think riddles are your forte, the room’s immersive environment is sure to draw even hesitant people into the mystery.  If you get stuck on a riddle, the host ensures the fun continues by giving you extra hints or help when needed.

With hours in the afternoon and evening Thursday-Sunday, it’s the perfect weekend get-together or a unique summer pastime for friends or families.   Afterward, you can go downstairs to the restaurant for a convenient meal as a reward for escaping.

For more information, check out their website at GrandIllusionCider.com