These escape rooms are Golden


Natalie Isberg

Golden Escape Rooms is located on 15 Commerce Dr., Units 110-111, in Grayslake, next to Asian Bowl.

Sarah Kenzer, a senior at LHS, and her family recently opened their own escape room business. 

Named Golden Escape Rooms, the business opened on Jan. 1 in Grayslake and features two, one-hour rooms and one, 15-minute room. They have the space for two more rooms and are currently thinking up new ideas, Kenzer said. 

“[My mom] has always wanted to own an escape room,” and it’s amazing to fulfill that dream, Kenzer said. 

Natalie Isberg
Samantha, Abigail and Sarah Kenzer all help to run the new family business. Abigail is a sophomore, Sarah is a senior, and Samantha is a graduate from LHS.

Before the official opening date, Kenzer had several friends test the rooms in order for them to give her some feedback. In the end, Kenzer said she didn’t have to drastically change too much, however, a few friends suggested that Kenzer make “The House That Spirits Built” a bit more challenging.

I recently checked out these new escape rooms to experience them for myself.

Natalie Isberg
The current 15-minute room, “Animal Rescue,” includes arranged stuffed animals such as cats, hamsters, one bird and dogs.

The 15-minute room will be changed every few months, and the current objective is to find the missing bunny that escaped from her cage. This room holds up to four people, as it is a little small, but I recommend having just you and one other person as there are not a lot of clues to go around. This shorter room only costs $5 per person, which is very cheap for an escape room, so I definitely recommend going to try this room out.

I completed this room by myself with a minute and a half to spare. Honestly, I would have been able to complete the room faster if I just took a closer look at the two clues I messed up on. There was one lock that I knew the answer to, but because I couldn’t find one of the letters the first two times I tried out the lock, I asked for a clue. When Sarah gave me the clue, and the answer was what I originally thought it was, I stared at the lock for a solid minute before I eventually found the letter.  

By the end of the 15-minute room, “Animal Rescue,” my sister Payton joined me for one of the hour-long rooms. Together, we were able to complete “The House That Spirits Built” with nearly six minutes left on the clock. This room holds up to six people, and judging by how well Payton and I did, I would recommend four people to complete this room.

Natalie Isberg
The first room in “The House That Spirits Built” includes a small desk, a fancy chair, a small door and bookshelves containing history books. The door to the right is very small because the escape room is based off the Winchester House in San Jose, California, where the last owner of the house happened to be below-average height, which is also why the props are smaller than normal.

The premise of this room is very cool. It takes place in the famous Winchester Mansion in San Jose, California. The storyline is that you’ve been on a tour of the mansion, and you were separated from your tour group, and because the mansion is so large, you need to find all of the hidden map pieces in order to escape. There are a total of four rooms within the plotline. 

The first one looks like a library or a study, the next is a dining room, the third is Sarah Winchester’s bedroom, and the final room is Sarah’s hidden room that looks a lot like a fortune teller’s room. 

Within “The House That Spirits Built,” the clues are hard, especially when there are only two people trying to figure out how to piece the clues together. However, if you are the type of person who likes a good challenge, I would recommend getting a few friends together to try out this room. 

Both hour-long rooms cost $25. The harder of the two, according to the employees, is “The House That Spirits Built,” so if you would like a more simple challenge, you should try out “Middle School Madness.” Unfortunately, I was unable to do this room, but I do plan on going back to try it out with my family.

In the end, it was clear to see that the Kenzers worked extremely hard on both of the rooms I tried out, which leads me to assume that they worked just as hard on “Middle School Madness.” 

Natalie Isberg
The “Middle School Madness” storyline begins in a typical classroom complete with desks, a world map and a table of the elements. These are all clues leading to entry into the next room.

While at the escape rooms, Kenzer told me that when she was creating these rooms, she wanted to make them different from most other escape room themes. I’ve participated in a lot of escape rooms and have seen a few Western-themed rooms, a lot of jailbreak rooms, and plenty of robbery based themes as well. I really enjoyed how different and unique the Golden rooms were. I feel as though the mansion is more like others, but because you weren’t being haunted or trying to steal something, it still had the uniqueness that the “Animal Rescue” had and what I assume the “Middle School Madness” one has as well.