Escape Strategy Mad Hatter Escape Room

Alice in Wonderland image for Mad Hatter escape room at Escape Strategy

Escape rooms are popping up everywhere and for good reason – they’re fun!

What is an escape room?

For anyone who hasn’t visited one yet, let me tell you a little about how an escape room works. Most escape room facilities have multiple rooms and each room has a theme. Themes can be general (like a crime scene or spy scenerio) or specific (like Al Capone). You choose a room and generally you need to make a reservation before you go. Rooms have different capacities, and if your group doesn’t fill the capacity you might be matched up with strangers to work on the room together. Before entering, you’ll learn the story of the room and be told the rules of the game.

Once you’re in the room, you have an hour to escape the room through a series of puzzles, clues, and (mental) obstacles. You can expect to find several locks in the room and you’ll need to use clues or solve puzzles to figure out how to open them. Each lock you open will lead to another clue, or puzzle, or hint, or maybe all three. Not everyone “escapes” the room in the hour, but teamwork and thinking “outside the box” are the best ways to succeed.

Escape Strategy

Escape Strategy is an escape room facility with three rooms: The Mad Hatter, The Senator’s Office, and The Crime Scene. As a family, we’ve wanted to try an escape room for a while, but many of the themes are not really for young children. We were excited to visit Escape Strategy’s Mad Hatter Room and share our experience.

No spoilers! Obviously, I can’t share many details about our experience, including pictures. I have added some Mad Hatter/Alice in Wonderland photos to this post for ambiance, but none of the photos I’m sharing are from the Mad Hatter room. If you want to know what the room looks like and what the puzzles are you’ll have to visit Escape Strategy yourself.

Girl walking down path - Alice in Wonderland

Location: 4151 E. McCoy Drive, Suite 147, Aurora

Phone: 630-405-5399


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  • Closed Sunday & Monday
  • Tuesday-Thursday – 4:30 PM to 10:00 PM
  • Friday – 4:00 PM to 11:00 PM
  • Saturday – 1:00 PM to 11:00 PM

Admission: The escape room is $30 per person. Each room accommodates 7 people. If your party is smaller than 7 you may be in there with other people. To ensure your party has a room to themselves you need to book all seven tickets for your time slot. You can book your experience online, and the scheduler will show you the number of spaces available.

We paid: Our experience was complimentary to facilitate this post.

Amenities: Bathrooms are available. Use them before entering the rooms so you don’t have to interrupt your experience! The building is accessible to strollers or wheelchairs. There’s a large lot and free parking.

Alice in Wonderland tea party table and chairs

Our experience

And now I attempt to tell you about our experience without telling you very much about the experience!

This has been on our family “to do” list for a long time. I had a chance to try an escape room with a friend recently and my description of it got the kids even more excited about the idea.

Escape Strategy is a storefront in a strip mall. There’s a large sign and lots of parking so it’s easy to find, but it looks fairly ordinary from the outside. You check in at the desk and there is comfortable seating at the front if you arrive early and have to wait for your room. All the employees were friendly and nice and one of them led us to our room. He showed us where the bathrooms were, and then explained the rules. He also told us how we could get hints if we needed them.

Rabbit with a watch - Alice in Wonderland

The rules are fairly simple – don’t destroy stuff. They let us know that we didn’t need to pull anything off the walls for clues, and all the outlets in the room were real so we should leave them alone. Once we were ready to start we were asked to lock up our phones and anything we didn’t want to carry in a chest outside the room, and we were given the key to the chest so we knew our items were secure. Being separated from my phone generally makes me a little twitchy, but I knew it would only be a hindrance in the room.

As excited as we were to do this as a family, I did have some concerns. Having tried an escape room before I knew there would be lots of puzzles and I was pretty confident John, Cooper, and I would enjoy it. I wasn’t sure about Dexter; he loves solving puzzles, but I was afraid he might be a little bored if John, Cooper, and I were too quick to solve them and he didn’t get a chance. I was definitely concerned about Campbell being bored. He’s 4. He’s still learning letters and numbers and I didn’t think he’d be able to help with the puzzles. I hoped the room decor and chaos around him would keep him entertained. I was wrong to be worried.

 Blue drinks in bottles, Alice in wonderland tea party theme

The room itself was adorable and fit in with the Mad Hatter theme very well. There was a LOT to look at and explore. We noticed several things immediately that could be clues or part of the puzzles, but we didn’t have enough information right away. A sign on the wall gave us three clues to get us started so we went to work immediately trying to figure things out.

Wonderland hole - Alice in Wonderland

My fears that Dexter and Campbell might be bored were completely unfounded. They went to work with the rest of us. There were tasks that the kids figured out before John and I did. No special skills or knowledge was needed, just some creative thinking. There was one task in particular that Campbell claimed as his own and he was excited to be helping solve the mysteries.

We were told we could request a maximum of three hints during our hour. The kids were anxious to get a hint so we could solve things faster, but we were making steady progress most of the time and held off. We finally agreed it might speed things up, so the five of us assembled in front of the camera like we were told to, and did the chicken dance. Yep, that’s how you request a hint. We got our hint (which helped!!) and we were off again. Amazingly, we only used one of the three available hints!

Alice in Wonderland tea party setting

The puzzles were not impossible – I knew we could solve them all. The question was, could we do it in an hour? As we got down to ten minutes, and then five, we all started to panic. We were solving puzzles and figuring out clues, but we weren’t sure if we would make it. And then… we got the final answer and VOILA! We made it. We escaped with just a few minutes to spare.

In conclusion…

We do a lot of things together as a family. We enjoy spending time together and we’re often trying new things and having fun experiences. This was fun; probably even more fun than we expected it to be. What really surprised me was what a great family bonding experience it was. We weren’t just having fun together, but we had to really cooperate and collaborate.

On the way home we were all excited about how well we worked together as a team. The kids were bursting with ideas for projects and puzzles they wanted to create together.

Escape Strategy is perfect for:

  • Anyone who loves logic games, puzzles, or riddles.
  • Families looking to have fun and reconnect.
  • Team-building for scouts, groups, or contentious siblings.
  • Birthday parties or special outings with friends or family.

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