Finding ways to entertain the grandkids during a pandemic.

We live close to our grandchildren, ages 12 and 14, and have decided to see them on some weekends (observing safety precautions of course).  The question is, how do we entertain them?  We used to visit Knott’s and Disneyland.  We would go to the community pool, to the movies and museums and out to eat.  I’m really not comfortable with any of these venues right now, especially with the number of cases of COVID 19 increasing.

So instead we bake a lot of treats, muffins, bread, granola bars and even keto waffles.  We have shared them with neighbors and older adults sheltering at home. We walk several times a day. We play board games.  But best of all, we found escape room experiences online.  Some are short and self-guided like the Minecraft Escape Room.  Others are hosted rooms where a storyteller takes you through a virtual adventure with narration, images and sound effects.  Red Lantern’s The Hardin House Mystery is an example of this kind of game—a mystery set in 1988 where you and your school pals are trying to figure out what happened to a classmate who’s gone missing at Hardin House.  The kids love the interaction and challenge.  It’s so much fun and something different to do together.

In person escape rooms are now open in Orange County.  I was hesitant to give one a try.  However, their websites explain the safety precautions that they are taking.  They are only booking private groups, leaving more time between bookings so that they can sanitize their rooms and they have no contact or minimal distance contact with a host.  We decided to try one recently.  I felt very safe.  We did not come into contact with any other person.  Communication was by walkie talkie.  We had a lot of fun working together to solve the clues and escape.  We did it with one minute and 30 seconds to spare.  It gives us something to analyze and talk about together.  It’s a wonderful bonding experience.  I’m definitely going to book another escape room adventure when the kids come to visit again.

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