Every year for a while now, Richard and I spend a bit of time in October looking for some fun new advent calendar (one for him and one for me). In years past we’ve had one that was all caramel, one that was all coffee, one memorable one that was all cheese, and even one that was all jigsaw puzzles. This year, however, we decided to go for a theme – escape rooms.

The one on the right has been a huge disappointment – it’s all pencil type drawings with minimal instructions that only serve to confuse instead of assist, so after the first couple days we have given up on that, but the one on the left has been absolutely fantastic.

The premise: you’re an elf in Santa’s workshop. A huge storm and earthquake has caused a lockdown of the entire premises, and you have to move from room to room, opening a new door each day. Each day you have a puzzle you have to solve, that will tell you where the next door is in the calendar (they are labeled with codes, not numbers). The fun bit is that the ‘rooms’ themselves, despite being only about 2 inches square, are extremely detailed (see below as an example – there’s details on all sides, plus ceiling and floor, behind each little door you open), and sometimes the puzzles are interactive (for the room displayed below, we had to ‘sew’ a button – don’t worry, this isn’t a spoiler as that’s part of the initial instructions for the room).

Admittedly, we had to use a hint for the first two days, as we figured out just how the whole system works (also I am blaming this just a little on COVID brain, because after avoiding it for the past three years, guess what we both came down with at the end of November, sigh) but this morning we got it with no hints at all, phew, so I think we’ve finally gotten the hang of it.

It makes each morning that much more fun, opening a new door and checking out what’s hiding behind. I think this advent calendar might actually be my favorite one yet.

‘Tis the season for Holidailies.

  • We are doing this one too! Haven’t needed hints so far but we have done the regular Exit escape room games a lot so we kind of know what to look for. My only question is: has it been explained why we are in the South Pole, I am very confused about that!

  • This sounds awesome and I want it now. But is it that small/cramped to use? Because I have Lego advent calendars and just putting together the objects off the tiny door instructions is painful.

    • The instructions and story for each day are all in a separate book (normal size print), and most of the puzzles involved work outside the rooms. It’s just that each room has lots of interesting details and sometimes there are clues hidden inside them so you have to peer into them (or in the case of the last one we did, just snap a quick picture with your flash on and then refer to that).

      • Okay that is really smart and I am going to start doing that because I get a neck ache trying to see all the walls on those little boxes.

        We continue to love this advent calendar.

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