Families traveling to San Francisco this summer now have a new reason to visit Madam Tussauds on Fisherman’s Wharf. Alcatraz – The Breakout escape room, just opened in May, will challenge parents and kids to use their wits if they want to find their way out of one of America’s most notorious — and supposedly escape-proof — prisons.
Best of all, the interactive exhibition is located just a mile from the real Alcatraz Island, visible across the bay.
Themed after the infamous 1962 escape, the experience puts visitors in the shoes of three of Alcatraz’ most infamous inmates — Clarence Anglin, John Anglin and Frank Morris — who, against overwhelming odds, managed their daring prison escape. The men were never found, alive or dead and, to this day, their fates remain a mystery.
For those who don’t know the story, part of the ingenious plan the inmates used to escape included wax likenesses of their heads they put in their beds, tricking the guards into thinking they were asleep in their cells.
Of course, the idea of famous people fashioned from wax was too much of a coincidence for Tussauds to pass up.
In real life, of course, the three inmates had a lot of time to plan their getaway, whereas you and your family will only have 60 minutes to accomplish your goal.
The scenario is it’s 1962 and you are all in prison for a crime you didn’t commit — but any attempt to escape puts your lives in jeopardy. Enter a kind-hearted guard who confides he might look the other way if you attempt an escape, but his shift changes in an hour.
Your challenge, then, is to hunt for clues, solve puzzles and crack the code that will tell you what escape plans Morris and the Anglins have in the works and where the secret tunnels are that will lead you and the kids to freedom.
The experience, debuted May 23, is open daily 10 a.m.–7 p.m. and is designed for groups up to eight guests aged 12 and over.
Pricing starts at $125 per group of four people.
Why not follow your Tussauds experience with a visit to the real Alcatraz Island by boat? There are many companies offering outings, but Alcatraz Cruises, run by the National Park Service, is the official operator and offers the best rates for tickets and transportation to Alcatraz Island.
Tours depart from and return to Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing, located along San Francisco’s northern waterfront promenade, near the intersection of The Embarcadero and Bay Streets. The pier is about a quarter mile from Fisherman’s Wharf and is accessible on foot, by bike or public transportation.
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