Escape the Room at Escape Haus, New Braunfels’ new live-action venue
After floating down the river or strolling around Gruene, spend an air-conditioned hour at Escape Haus, New Braunfels’ brand new venue for live-action “escape-the-room” games now wildly popular across the United States.
“You’re placed in a room and given 60 minutes to find the clues and solve the puzzles that will allow you to escape,” explains Escape Haus owner and New Braunfels native Duane Penshorn.
Five Unique Theme Rooms
Escape Haus — which isn’t part of a chain — boasts five unique theme rooms: The Library of Secrets, Backstage at the Magic Show, Kid’s Classroom, Mad Scientist’s Lab and Game Suite.
With the exception of Kid’s Classroom, the rooms are designed mainly for teens and adults and are recommended for between six and 12 players. Escaping each room requires between 30 to 40 individual discoveries and actions by players.
Reservations are suggested. Escape Haus also books corporate events involving team-building and entertainment.
Observation, Communication, Critical-Thinking Skills
Co-owner Christine Penshorn says Escape Haus appeals to people who like to use their observation, communication, and critical thinking skills to solve problems.
“When the countdown starts, you will find yourself transported to a place where your inner Sherlock can awaken,” she says.
Escape Haus is exactly what New Braunfels needs, adds Duane Penshorn. “You can tube, enjoy the Schlitterbahn — but what are you going to do at night, especially if you’ve got kids along on your vacation?”
Escape-the-Room games started in Japan in 2007 and spread rapidly across Asia and Japan (there are 180 venues in Beijing) before arriving in San Francisco in 2012. Also referred to as panic rooms, lockdown or maze rooms, there are 13 escape room establishments in Austin and four in San Antonio,
An Escape Room game was even featured on the popular TV show, “The Big Bang Theory,” whose resident nerds got out in six minutes.
Says Christine Penshorn: “Although these rooms are fun for everyone, their puzzles can be complex and challenging to solve. This is why we decided to offer a special room for kids ages 6-12. We wanted to offer something for everyone since New Braunfels is such a family friendly town. If your child can look at colors or unlock a key, they’ll eventually get out!”
Escape the Mundane
Participants of all ages are “locked” in rooms in the company of a game master, who can assist should clues prove too challenging.
“Some hardcore gaming types say no to the helper, but most people just want to have fun,” Duane Penshorn says. “Our goal is to really help you suspend reality and transport you back to the place each room represents. We don’t want you to feel like you’re in a mall in New Braunfels — we want our guests to escape the mundane and enter fantasy worlds they didn’t know existed.”
Photos of rooms are not allowed so the experience is novel for patrons. “Most people tell us their visit went by very quickly because they were so focused on finding the next clue and enjoying that next ‘Eureka!’ moment,” Christine Penshorn says. “Most say they’ve never experienced anything like this before.”
Escape Haus hosts birthday parties, corporate team-building sessions, date nights and other social functions.
“It brings people together, and teaches them a lot,” Duane Penshorn says. “The bonding experience can be intense. Nobody ever leaves bored.”