DATE NIGHT: The Sanctuary Escape Games

If you are anything like I am, date night has gotten to be extremely repetitive. Dinner and a movie, OKC Thunder games, concerts – all fun things, but they don’t leave you with that feeling of adventure and excitement that you used to get back when you first started dating.

One of the main reasons we wanted to start OkieDads was to help you break the mold of what you always think of and help you think outside of the box when it comes to dating and entertaining your family. In our research, we think we have found a place that we can guarantee is unlike any experience you’ve ever had in Oklahoma City: The Sanctuary OKC.

(Note: You have, perhaps, heard of The Sanctuary and the massive haunted attraction that they are known for – but we’re going to put that part on pause until October.)

The Sanctuary OKC is home to two unique attractions that you and your wife/husband/family will talk about for years to come: The Ruins Bar & Grill, and The Sanctuary Escape Games. We decided to get with a a couple of our friends and make a double date night out of it – and so off we went to The Ruins Bar & Grill for dinner and a game at The Sanctuary Escape Games.

Walking into The Ruins, you are immediately transported to a world that can only be described as something right out of Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom. The level of detail in the restaurant (and the entire facility) is unlike anything else in Oklahoma City. The walls look like they have been carved out of stone, just as if you were sitting in the middle of ancient ruins (hence the name). There is even an actual airplane hanging from the ceiling that is suspended by vines, making it look like there was a plane crash in the jungle, and someone decided that this might be a good place to open up a restaurant. Even the tables and bar tops have been custom created with stones and bones embedded into the surface. Every inch of The Ruins & The Sanctuary has been designed to provide you with a total immersion experience.

The Ruins Bar & Grill

Arriving for an early dinner before the game, we settled on splitting a few appetizers and a burger. We’d also have a few drinks to help ease the nerve of being locked in a room for an hour and trying to escape before the clock expired. Our favorite item on the appetizer menu was the fried pickle spears. These spears were lightly breaded with a flavorful blend of spices, and were perfectly crisp without being greasy. They were truly excellent.

 

Our waitress suggested that the 3am Burger was among the highlights of the menu, and that’s exactly what we ordered. Let me tell you, this burger does not play around. An incredibly seasoned and flavorful beef patty laid as the bed for spice after spice: pepper jack cheese, sliced jalapeños, sriracha mayo – this burger packed a punch, but it was not overly spicy. As a burger enthusiast, I can tell you that it has been a long time since a burger left such a memorable first impression on me, and I can promise it won’t be the last time that I make the trek down to The Ruins for this particular sandwich.

The bar doesn’t hold back either, offering drink selections that will keep every person in your party satisfied. From big brewers like Budweiser, to local craft breweries such as Coop, The Ruins has your favorite beverage and at a price that won’t break the bank. In fact, they have happy hour specials on drinks and appetizers that runs from 5-7pm, so if you’re needing an early dinner or just a place to hang after work, The Ruins is your spot.

The Sanctuary Escape Games

Just as we finished paying our tabs at The Ruins, our Game Master walked over to our table to see if we were ready to head to The Sanctuary Escape Games. A quick bathroom break (do this – you’ll be locked in a room for an hour) and we walked over to a briefing room where we were given the rules of the game.

Once we were ready to go, we were led down a hallway and placed inside of a dark room with two doors, and our game master launched right into the story of The Lost Dutchman’s Mine. A few moments later, with three tasks to complete before time expired, the door was opened and we were transported into our game inside of an old abandoned mine.

There is no way to describe the level of detail that The Sanctuary has gone to make you feel like you are in a completely different world. The ground you are walking on is made of gravel. The woodwork on the walls is made from real cedar. The artifacts and props in the room are aged so that there is nothing in the room that makes you feel like you are in the year 2018. The sights, sounds, and even the smell of the game all contribute to this incredible escape adventure.

Unlike other Escape Games, this was not merely a set of combination locks and keys. You must live out the story of The Lost Dutchman’s Mine in order to complete all of your tasks and escape within the time allotted. And although you are in a building that also is host to a haunted attraction, there is nothing within The Sanctuary Escape that wouldn’t be considered family friendly. The game itself is extremely challenging, both mentally and physically, and cannot be compared to anything else in the entire state.

One hour and fifteen minutes later (yes, we didn’t escape in time) and we emerged from our game, feeling both disappointed that we didn’t escape within the hour, and filled with adrenaline that we were able to solve all of the puzzles to escape The Lost Dutchman’s Mine. We stopped for a quick photo in front of the wall of shame, and we were on our way out.

The Sanctuary Escape Games also hosts a second game, La Famiglia, which finds you working for the Mob in a deli. Although we didn’t play this game, we were given a quick tour of the room the game starts in, and not unlike The Lost Dutchman’s Mine, this game is also themed to the extreme. From old cash registers that still operate, to actual deli meats and cheeses that fill the room with the smell of a New York Delicatessen, La Famiglia shows all the signs of an incredible escape game experience, and we are already getting a night scheduled to play this second attraction.

 

Book your experience

The Ruins Bar & Grill and The Sanctuary Escape Games is open 7 days a week, and is perfect for double/group dates (you need more than 2 people to play the games). You can book The Sanctuary Escape Games by visiting them online, or calling (405) 726-1022

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