Last year, as just about everyone was stuck at home at some point, many discovered (or rediscovered) a love for solving puzzles and mysteries. In fact, these types of games were flying off shelves, and many sold out well before the holidays. This year, though, they’re back, and if you have a puzzle- or mystery-lover in your family, any of these gifts is sure to delight them.
Escape room-themed subscription boxes are especially fun because you’re gifting an entire experience. They can also be a fun activity for the whole family over the holidays. The basic idea is you’re all trapped in a room you can only escape by solving riddles, cracking codes, and finding secret objects. With a subscription, your giftee will get a new mystery to solve on a regular basis (usually every month).
If you know someone who loves pretending to be Sherlock Holmes, they’ll love getting a new mystery to solve every month. It’s truly the gift that keeps on giving!
Escape The Crate is a really popular subscription box that sends a new escape room adventure every other month. With each new box, you’ll find yourself “trapped” in some kind of time-traveling adventure, like a pirate ship or even an historical murder mystery.
Then, you get your family and friends together so you can all work on figuring out the riddles and clues necessary to escape. Each crate comes with everything you’ll need to solve the mystery, including letters, ciphers, puzzles, tools, and interesting “secret” objects that act as rewards or pieces of the puzzle.
Each crate is designed for a small group (usually two to four people), and a new one arrives every other month. You can select two months ($29.99), four months ($57.98), six months ($83.98) or on year ($159).
Dispatch works a little differently than Escape the Crate. When you get one of these boxes, you’ll find physical clues that take you to the web and back to reveal a mysterious story.
For this one, you can actually choose the mystery you want instead of getting a random subject each month. For example, On the Run is a murder and romance, while I, Spy, is (you guessed it) about top-secret spies. Pricing ranges from $44.99-$124.99, depending on which box you choose.
Madmen and Heroes is a subscription box that mixes challenging puzzles, compelling stories, and interesting artifacts for a really fun experience. There are two storylines you can choose from: The CRAAAFT and The Resystance. The CRAAAFT and is based on folklore, while The Resystance includes stories about resistance movements throughout history.
Each box includes artifacts, photographs, letters, and hands-on puzzles for you to put together and figure out. It’s fun, interesting, and you’ll also learn a lot about history. You can choose a month-to-month ($29.50), three-month ($85.50) , or six-month ($165) subscription.
Finders Seekers sends a new box each month that includes an escape-room challenge with puzzles and codes that also allow you to explore different cities and cultures. This one is especially fun for travelers, as each box focuses on a new city.
It’s also family-friendly and ideal for kids over 10, so you can include the whole family. If you get stuck on any of the clues provided, there’s a big Facebook community you can join to get hints and help.
You can get a one-month ($30), three-month ($87), six-month ($162), or one-year ($300) subscription. The gift option is a three-month subscription.
Each month, Boxed Locks sends a bunch of clues and props you’ll need to figure out the final code to unlock a chest. The boxes are family-friendly and recommended for kids 10 or older. Each new challenge also comes with a hint card so you can’t get too lost.
The items hidden in the chest are also things you’ll want to hold onto after when the game is done, which makes this mystery subscription even more intriguing. It’s a fun way to spend time with friends and family, and you’ll look forward to your new box every single month.
Because the company is based in the United Kingdom, the pricing is in British Pounds. You can get a one-month ($33.31), three-month ($91.94), or six-month ($179.89) subscription. The gift option is a three-month subscription.
The Conundrum describes itself as part escape room, part choose-your-own adventure, which is basically exactly what it is. Each box delivers an immersive storyline with a definite ending. You’ll meet a bunch of characters from literature and history who will guide you through your adventure. You also have to solve puzzles and ciphers, and figure out hints and clues.
Each box comes with physical objects to manipulate and solve, on-theme recipes and drink cards to really get into it, suggested playlists, and more. You can play these with your family and friends or on your own, if you prefer. If you want to gift The Conundrum, you can choose one of the previous adventures.
If someone you love enjoys solving puzzles or mysteries, give the gift that keeps on giving this year with a mystery subscription box. Just be prepared to help them “escape” or work out some of those clues and riddles.