A popular group activity has found its way to Hernando County. Escape Artist Spring Hill opened up their first three escape rooms for people to try to master.
Having recently began, only officially opening their doors during Memorial Day weekend, Escape Artist Spring Hill had their ribbon cutting ceremony with the Greater Hernando Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, Aug. 2. Owner Kristi Cheesman was joined by numerous members of the Chamber and of Hernando County, with each of them giving the new business high praise. Everyone was buzzing with ideas and a desire to try out the rooms, with many viewing them as great team building exercises for their co-workers and companies.
Open seven days a week, there’s always a time available for groups to sign up, though weekends tend to be busier, as is typical for recreational based businesses.
For those that don’t know, an escape room is a puzzle. You and a number of your friends will be confined in a room with the objective of getting out in a set timeframe, usually an hour. There are puzzles and clues sprinkled amongst the room’s details, but it is up to you to decipher them in time.
Each room has a theme. For Escape Artist Spring Hill, they offer the Jailbreak, the Science Lab, and the Bank Heist themes. Each theme offers unique challenges, such as starting the Jail Break handcuffed in a prison cell.
On Friday, Aug. 3, I was able to test my skills against the Bank Heist. Two of my friends and I walked into the room, where we were informed that our “inside man” had been able to hack the camera and security system to give us one hour to break into the vault to steal the gold, gems, and other notes of worth. The first challenge was getting into the vault. After that, we had to open up safety deposit boxes to secure our prizes and find our way out of the vault to win.
This was exceptionally fun, while also offering enough of a challenge to make my group think, but never get discouraged enough to quit. Exploring the room’s details was entertaining for an escape room rookie like myself. For my friends, who are escape room veterans, they found the bank heist to be a unique experience, as they had not come across a room like this one anywhere else.
If you get stuck at any point during the escape attempt, you have the option of asking for a hint, which will be relayed to you by Cheesman via a walkie-talkie you are given when you enter the room. You get three hints, but can get more with a $5 donation to NAMI of Hernando County, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. My group used two hints, but we contemplated using more a few times.
This is definitely a place worth going to, a fun activity in our own backyard. The bank heist and science lab rooms can accommodate up to six people, while the Jailbreak can hold up to eight. With a large group though, I think it would be hard for everyone to experience the rooms’ challenges. My group was three people, and I would say between three and five would be the ideal number for these rooms.
Escape Artist Spring Hill is an affordable friends and family experience, at $25 per person. They offer a Military discount and also offer specials on their Facebook and Instagram pages. It is all private bookings, so you’ll never have to worry about being stuck with strangers. You can learn more by checking out their website at www.escapeartistspringhill.com.
If You Go:
Escape Artist Spring Hill
5230 Mariner Blvd.
Spring Hill, Fl 34609
Hours of Operation:
Monday-Thursday 1:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Friday-Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.