Locked in History: Escape Fort Nisqually

You peer out from under your bonnet around the candlelit room in search of something — anything — that might lead to the next clue. Locks, keys, and combinations are concealed around you in the 19th-century-era Factor’s House at Fort Nisqually Living History Museum. The hour-long escape room is in full swing, and you and your fellow pioneers are living out a mystery from a bygone era.

Based on actual events that happened at the first European settlement on Puget Sound, “Arrested: Escape Fort Nisqually” follows the story of imprisonment, leaked company secrets, and more. Visitors will be led through the narrative by a historic interpreter, their guide for the night.

Jessica Smith, assistant events and volunteer coordinator at Fort Nisqually, said there’s about a 50/50 chance visitors will escape the game, and those who do usually have only 15 minutes or less left on the clock. But you don’t have to be good at puzzles to participate — this game requires a variety of skill sets in order to be successful.

The game was developed by Labyrinth Escape Games’ Andrew Lind. Before co-founding the company based in Portland, Lind volunteered as an assistant interpreter at Fort Nisqually as a teenager. He was an obvious choice to develop the game because of his experience in the industry and familiarity with the history of the fort. Lind developed the first iteration of the escape game, “Trapped: Escape Fort Nisqually,” which debuted in 2017, as well as “Arrested,” which launched in January 2019 to give visitors a new mystery to solve.

If you go:

Available Thursday through Sunday nights starting at 6, 7:45, and 9:30 p.m.  |  $30 per person; up to 10 participants per game  |  Suggested age of 14 or older  |  Pioneer garb provided, but not required.

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