A travel blog such as this one is usually filled with photos of beaches, mountains and city scapes, it’s mostly about what adventures can be sought in the great outdoors especially when travelling with kids. Kids don’t tend to do so well looking around an art gallery or sampling the local fine cuisine. However, what happens when it is raining, or when you want some respite from the heat? Indoor holiday activities such as bowling or visiting a museum are just as important as the outdoor ones and can form great memories for the whole family.
Take Lockdown Paphos for example. Lockdown Paphos is a suite of 5 escape room experiences in you guessed it Paphos, nestled just behind the Lighthouse beach on the Tomb of Kings road.
For the uninitiated, an escape room is a themed room where you and your team have to find clues and solve puzzles to either escape the room or complete a goal within the given time, usually an hour.
The escape room concept has exploded in popularity in recent years and with good reason. They give people a chance to step outside of reality for a limited time and get absorbed in an extraordinary and believable adventure. Unlike computer games you are fully immersed in the experience and can enjoy it together with friends and family.
My limited encounters with escape rooms in the UK lead me to believe that the escape room experience was often geared towards adults with restrictions for under 12’s or under 8’s. I was delighted to find that Lockdown Paphos offered family friendly rooms for all ages.
The theme of the rooms were Wizard School, Tomb of the Kings and Space Station. We opted for Wizard School; Barry Trotter and the Deathly Marrows, modelled on the Harry Potter film franchise.
On arrival we were welcomed into a large lobby area. Here you can leave personal belongings in secure lockers and meet your Game Master who will explain the rules of the game to you and what you are looking for inside. After a quick trip to the loos upstairs (essential when you are about to be locked in a room for an hour!) our game began.
Now I’m not going to be a spoiler so don’t look for any hints or cheats here! The Deadly Marrows game was expertly written with different types of puzzles involving all the senses, fantastic for both adults and kids. There were no scary bits and the puzzles were definitely challenging but not so much that you became demoralised and if at any point you get truly stuck or veer off path help is on hand from your Game Master.
Zachary, who is coming up to 6 was too young to really be involved in solving the puzzles but he was able to run around fetching items for us, holding a torch light, switching switches and searching for pictorial clues. After around 50 minutes he started to tire but holding his attention for that long was nothing short of remarkable. Anabelle (just turned 9) was very involved and was able to solve several clues herself, in fact I was quite often told off for not listening to her! Lee was very much a sceptic before we arrived, he’s not into games at all, even a board game at Christmas is a chore but within minutes of entering the room he was hooked.
If your goal is to get out the room in as fast a time as possible I’d suggest that this room is suited for slightly older children. For us it was important to have a family experience, get the kids involved as much as possible and enjoy the adventure. As homeschoolers it was a fantastic real world activity where we could see how the kids problem solving skills are developing.
How did we do?
We timed out! We’re certainly not a family of Einsteins and sadly didn’t make it out of the room in time, we had just one clue left to solve. Our friendly Game Master arrived and walked us through the final clue which secured our freedom back into the lobby. Discovering later that the Barry Trotter game was the hardest of the five games at Lockdown Paphos has healed my bruised ego a little!
As a unique and fun bonding experience you can’t go wrong with Lockdown Paphos. The owners Matthew and Kate Edmondson opened the experience in 2015. As play and entertainment writers for events and hotels across Cyprus they masterminded the games themselves and as a parents a family feel was essential. As the current no1 local fun and games activity on Trip Advisor our experience certainly didn’t disappoint.
Family travel and family holidays are all about shared, memorable experiences. Why just pay to watch your kids on rides at the amusement centre or put them in a kids club when you can enjoy a unique activity together.
Lockdown Paphos gets the thumbs up from Adventure in the Somewhere, We wish Matthew and Kate every success, it is very much deserved. We’ll definitely look to return to one of the other (easier 😉) rooms before we leave for our next destination.