Alohomora! Harry Potter DIY Escape Room

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Just like in the room of flying keys, 'alohomora' probably won't unlock the door in this escape room (otherwise it wouldn't be a particularly thrilling experience).

That doesn't mean that this Harry Potter escape room won't be full of fun and magic. These fun Potter themed puzzles and games will make this the experience every Harry Potter fan will love!

An escape room is an experience that involves completing a series of puzzles and games to ultimately unlock the door and grant you freedom. Escape rooms are up and coming activities to do with your friends and family so why not bring one home and set one up in your living room! Follow these instructions to create your very own DIY escape room for your Harry Potter fans at home. Feel free to get creative and use these ideas as a basis for your own personalised escape room experience.

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Setting Up Your Room

Hogwarts Express

Escape rooms often occur in one or two rooms depending on the size and the theme of these rooms. For a quality experience, you want to make your room immersive and creative. There are lots of tips and tricks to a basic escape room, as you can see in the introduction, which you can use as a basis to your Harry Potter experience before you get started.

Clue Ideas

First Clue - Marauder's Map

Remember that these ideas are simply starting points for you. You can follow this structure exactly to make your room or you can use these ideas to create your own experience and change it up a bit. The easiest starting clue, in my opinion, is having a Marauder's Map in the middle of the room or displayed on a table for your player's attention to be immediately drawn to. There are a few different ways you can do this:

  • Have a digital Marauders Map in the form of a laptop, smartphone or tablet with the lockscreen as a picture of the Marauder's Map and the password to unlock it being: 'I solemnly swear that I am up to no good' which will then open the device to a page of notes with the next clue on it. This is probably best for an older audience (and big Potterheads) who would know this is the charm to reveal the information from Marauder's Map
  • You could make your own version of Marauder's Map by folding a piece of A4 paper at each end so they meet in the middle and open and close like doors. Then stain it with a teabag to make it look old and write the clue inside so your younger kids just need to open the map and read the clue.
  • You could also add an extra twist of writing the clue inside in invisible ink or UV paint so that the players have to find the light before revealing the message - very magical.


Whichever way you do your Maurader's Map it should reveal a clue something to the nature of: 'Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's flying keys! One of these keys is not like the other, one of these keys will be the answer!'

Second Clue - Flying Keys

The room of flying keys is a very iconic scene in the first Harry Potter film and you can DIY your very own puzzle with this flying keys game. You should create your own version of the flying keys; whether this is made from paper and cardboard, paper wings attached to real keys or even just print outs, you should tape them or hang them from strings so that they have the illusion of flying keys. As the clue says, one needs to be slightly different from the others and have the next clue on them. Also, make sure that your keys are in reaching distance of your players!

The clue should read: 'To get out of Devil's Snare you have to stop struggling, think hard and remember Dumbledore's advice'

Third Clue - Devil's Snare

While Devil's Snare is the room before the flying keys in the first film, it is a good follow up to the flying keys once your players are really into the spirit of the game. The idea of this one is to have posters on the wall of Dumbledore Quotes and leaves with words on them that need to be rearranged into the correct Dumbledore quote. You can hide the leaves anywhere in the room, or attach them to the correct poster with an envelope to make it easier for younger players. The idea is to write words on both sides of the leaves - one side will be the words of one of the posters and the other side will be the next clue so that when the leaves are arranged in the correct order to match the quote then when you turn the leaves over you show the next clue. This is quite a challenging puzzle so if you think your players aren't up to it you can skip this one by attaching the next clue to your keys instead.

The clue should read: 'Every flavour jelly beans aren't just good for eating, see if you can spell it out'

Fourth Clue - Spelling Beans

This is a fun jelly bean based code breaker - you can make it as easy or as difficult as you want depending on the age of your players. The fun thing about this is that it is Harry Potter themed and also involves jelly beans. All you need to do is print a key for your players so it shows what flavour of jelly beans you are using to create the code and then the beans to match your key to spell the word that you want to. There are many flavours to choose from and your beans don't have to match the real colours if you create your own key. They also don't have to be really jelly beans if you don't have any, just cut them out of paper. Then use the FIRST letter of each flavour to represent the bean and get your players to spell out a word pointing them to the next clue. Get creative!

Option for word: R(otten Egg), E(arthworm), D(irty sock) + L(emon), A(ubergine), B(ogey), E(arwax), L(iver)

Fifth Clue- Potions and Labels

Hopefully, your last clue should have pointed your players to a set of potions that you have laid out for them specially. These should all have different labels on them of different colours and filled with drinkable dark liquids (e.g. coke, squash or dark fruit juice). The idea for this is that you write something on the underside of the label which is the last clue and this can only be revealed once the liquid in the jar has been drunk. Make these as fun and creative as possible, with real potion names for your DIY harry potter escape room so that your players feel immersed in the wizarding world.

Your last clue should read: 'Use the spell to unlock the door' - Oh, looks like alohomora will get you out of this after all!

Magic

Flesh it Out

You can flesh this escape room out with as many Harry Potter riddles and code breakers that you want to if you feel this isn't long enough or hard enough to entertain your players. Use fun trinkets and symbols from Harry Potter, like the golden egg from the Goblet of Fire, to be the basis of your extra puzzles or games or if your harry potter escape room is for real fans then get them to match up spells to their actions! Play around with this template for a DIY Harry Potter escape room to fit your family and friends needs.

Disclaimer

Disclaimer

At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents. 

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.  

Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong. 

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Josie Bergman
An avid theatre go-er

Josie has grown up in London all her life and is an avid theatre go-er. She loves boogying along to her favourite musicals in the West End with her family. Her older sister always knows the best places to go in London for vegan food and her favourite attractions include the Victoria Palace Theatre and Borough Market.