Catherine is a rising senior majoring in English at Princeton University. Her hobbies include running, cooking, and of course, reading and writing. Current items on her bucket list: run a marathon, learn to make macarons, and hike Machu Picchu. Her favorite city is London, though New York and San Francisco also come close.
If being locked in a room for an hour with strangers and needing to find the key to your escape sounds eerily like the Hunger Games, don’t worry–everyone’s on the same side in Escape the Room, an interactive game that allows mystery lovers to realize their dreams of being the next Sherlock Holmes or Robert Langdon. (In fact, Sherlock even gets a little shout-out in one of the games.)
Inspired by popular flash computer games and similar real-life games in Asia, game creator Victor Blake quit his finance job to bring five giant puzzle rooms (with more on the way) to New York. The premise of the game is this: You’re locked in a room with a group of strangers, friends, or both, and together you need to find the key and escape in just one hour. There’s even a game master who watches the activity through a camera (we imagine this is the most frustrating yet amusing job in the world) and offers a nudge in the right direction at key moments via carefully worded messages on the computer screen. The challenge requires only “finger strength,” according to the game master–and, of course, intellectual strength.
Despite the frequent traffic lights, cars, and pedestrians, New York City is pretty runner-friendly, shutting down streets each March and November for the half and full marathons and playing host to dozens of weekend 5k’s. For the more casual runners, the Color Run has been a hugely popular option, with an event held in Queens this past spring and upcoming ones in Brooklyn. We rounded up ten other crazy themed races, from 0.05k to marathons. Many involve food and others raise money for charity, but most importantly, all are about having a good time on and off the course.