escape rooms toronto

Escape rooms reopening in Toronto for people within same social circle

We could all use a little escape from reality right now, and Toronto's escape rooms are reopening to help out with that. 

Immersive, Insta-worthy Daydream Adventures reopened on August 1 and they're confident about their strategy, with protocols in place to make sure everyone can imagine and play safely. They even created a spiffy graphic to inform visitors of their procedures.

They allow private groups, advance booking and online payment only, and masks and hand washing are mandatory.

Not only are they making sure there's more time between groups, but they're also locking the door and only unlocking it when ready for the next group.

All groups are trusted to be within the same social circle.

"We will be locking our main entrance and unlocking only when we are ready for the next group," says Katelynn Trotter of Daydream.

"This is to stop contact between different groups and to allow our team time to clean. We are sanitizing all high contact surfaces after each group leaves, before a new group enters. This means that there is more time between games and fewer bookings each day."

They're still accommodating those who don't feel safe going out or being in their space with a virtual game called The Witch's Forest

"Our staff will also be wearing masks and practicing physical distancing. Customers can only book in advance, no walk-ins, and must pay when they book. This is because we don't want our team handling payments and we can control who enters our store. Booking information will be used for contact tracing," says Trotter.

"Our situation is a little different than most escape rooms because we are a small facility. We are feeling confident that as long as customers are respectful of our rules, we will be okay! Daydream only has one room open and this means that a group has an entirely private experience, no one else would ever be in the store."

Looking Glass Adventures is taking a more cautious approach.

"We're a family-friendly venue so we're processing cautiously towards opening late August or early September," says owner Christine Hibbard.

"It's no secret that the escape room industry has been hit hard during COVID and I am sure that most venues are very anxious to get open again. We were one of the first to close, around March 16, and will be one of the last to open in the GTA. Luckily, we have pivoted our business so that we can still continue to operate safely at this time."

To diversify, they've started running remote play escape room games and launched an online shop selling board games, take-home escape games and puzzle boxes. They're also coming out with a rental take-home escape room game they deliver and sanitize that's suitable for small parties.

"We're moving our lobby to a larger space," says Hibbard when it comes to reopening. "Our staff will take over our former 'lobby' area allowing them to work safely while maintaining social distancing between staff."

Masks will be required inside, contact info will be taken down for tracing and teams must all be part of the same bubble. They're actually even making social distancing part of the adventure.

"On arrival, we'll have a large TV that we'll use as a briefing area. Teams will not be briefed in person but will get information via the TV. This will minimize interaction between guests and staff. The team will then walk themselves to their game area," says Hibbard.

"They'll still get help with a game master when needed but it will be through our no contact hint system. Once done, the team will be able to escort themselves out our back exit, thus allowing for one-way directional flow in our facility and very little interaction between staff and guests."

When it comes to their venue, Looking Glass is the total opposite of Daydream, but thankfully either a very small or very large space is perfect for distancing.

"Our space is 4,000 square feet and we'll be staggering teams to only allow for minimal groups at a time," says Hibbard. "We're really lucky to have such a large space as most venues in the city are much smaller. We're going to take advantage of our ample space and allow for as much distancing as we can."

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