• Zombie-Escape Puzzles Keep Teams Together Through Apocalyptic Activities

     
    FROM THE Winter 2017 ISSUE
     

For a team-building exercise that’s off the beaten path, Trapped in a Room with a Zombie provides an hour’s worth of puzzles, problem-solving, communication and yes, a zombie, to your next corporate event. 

Groups of up to 12 people are trapped in a room with a chained-up zombie and a host. The host explains the rules: You have an hour to solve all of the clues and get the key to escape the room before the zombie eats you and your group members. Seems simple, except for the fact that every five minutes the zombie’s chain gets longer, and you have less room to move, which threatens your ability to solve the riddles.

Seem terrifying? “I’d say it’s more fun than scary,” says Barry Zelickson, owner of Big Thrill Factory. “I understand why people would be skeptical, but it’s always a fun experience. It’s not really intelligence-based, I mean I’ve seen kids escape and had groups of adults not make it out.”

If you intend to make it out alive, Zelickson stresses the importance of communication and working together. Often someone tries to take on the role of leader and refuses to listen to their members’ ideas. Strong leadership is crucial to survival, but so is listening.

Seventy percent of groups fail to make it out. The ideal group has one or two strong leaders that suggest concepts, decide on paths to follow or lead the group to certain outcomes. Thinking creatively is another underestimated skill for this puzzle. Adults can struggle to let their imagination flow and that hinders their problem-solving skills. At “Trapped,” you can let your creativity fly and say whatever wild answer pops into your head. You never know, you could be right.

The teamwork skills gained from solving the clues manifest themselves in the workplace, where listening, communication and creative thinking are all crucial in collaborative projects. 

The new edition of the activity, Trapped in a Room with a Zombie Still Hungry, is now available at Minnetonka-based entertainment destination Big Thrill Factory, and Trapped in a Room with a Zombie is coming to Oakdale in January 2017.  

The atmosphere at relaxed Avondale neighborhood eatery Pisolino may remind you of a charming, laid-back European bistro—and for good reason.

Chef and co-owner James De Marte spent over a decade cooking his way through Italy to craft and hone the skills on full display at the cozy restaurant today. “The restaurant is truly his dream-turned-reality and a showcase of his love for Italian cuisine,” says co-owner Rachel De Marte.

 

There’s no better way to build team spirit than with a can of spray paint and a blank canvas. Native 312 Events gives groups a chance to foster community and creativity while learning about one of Chicago’s most widely seen forms of art: graffiti.

Javier Dominguez and Adam Dittman founded Native 312 Events nearly two years ago after working together on events for more than eight years. They now provide Urban Art Workshops to a variety of clientele, including collegiate groups and corporate teams.

 

Popular Catskills destination Emerson Resort & Spa has partnered with Table to Farm Tours to educate guests about local history and farming practices.

Table to Farm Tours is available year-round, and their tours rotate based on the season. They have partnerships with producers from Ulster, Delaware, Schoharie, and Greene counties in New York State.