the winter coat
By Judy Mottl
Alaska’s snowy months are a dream any lose themselves in while skiing, snowboarding, snow machining, ice
fishing, dog mushing, aurora viewing, or any
other number of activities for which the 49th
state is exactly suited. But between trips to the
slopes and the kennels, it’s nice now and then
to spend time in the great indoors, and there
are many options around the state to keep the
mind and body active and engaged.
Get a Game On
Fall and winter are prime time for Avalanche
Escape Rooms, opened in Anchorage by Jim
and Heather Donner in January of 2017.
Avalanche Escape Rooms offers four playing
experiences: adventure games in which participants enter a themed room and use clues
and elements to solve riddles and puzzles to
“escape” before time runs out.
The games include Blitzkrieg, where four
to eight players are part of an Allied Forces
team and must infiltrate a vault, survive a
booby-trapped bunker, and pull off a heist.
Another game, The Cure (four to six players)
is a race against the clock to help a doctor
save his daughter.
Regularly scheduled games take place Friday,
Saturday, and Sunday afternoons and evenings,
and games can also be scheduled by appointment any day of the week.
In particular the holiday season brings
party and special event activities to Avalanche,
says Jim Donner. “We host lots of holiday
parties during the week [of Christmas] and are
completely booked for our regular scheduled
times. In fact, we double our bookings during
these times,” says Donner.
Avalanche Escape Rooms draws a mixed
clientele from military groups to families,
students, and corporate groups or parties.
“Old and young alike have a great time. Our
games are not meant to be physically difficult.
You must think your way through, come up
with ideas and try them, and work together to
escape before time runs out,” Donner adds.
“You won’t see the same puzzle in different
games. The challenge, can you make it out,
that is what people really come for.”
The variety of puzzles and themes between
the different games allows guests to return
and have a new experience time after time.
Avalanche is currently building out two new
rooms to increase the opportunity for new
escape room experiences.
One of the new rooms is called It’s Mine,
a gold mine-themed game in which players
explore a lost family mine, recover hidden
inheritance, and escape traps set to protect it.
For a different game experience, Alaska
is now home to Dave & Buster’s, a game and
restaurant chain that opened its doors in the
Dimond Center in Anchorage in March.
Dave & Buster’s features a full-service
restaurant and a sports bar; a pool/billiards
space; and a gallery of arcade games and
experiences. It also offers rooms that can be
used for private parties or meetings.
One of its newest gaming experiences is
the Jurassic World Virtual Reality Expedition, an immersive experience in which
dinosaurs come to life. Via VR players are
able to “roll alongside raptors, battle a T-Rex,
and experience 360 degree vision and sound,”
according to the company. There are also
classic video games including Mario Kart,
Luigi’s Mansion, and Star Wars, as well as
200 arcade games.
“There are several activities
that guests can take part in.
They can touch a sea urchin,
sea star, or sea anemone at
the Discovery Touch Tank.
There is an open-air sea bird
aviary where guests can get
an up-close look at the unique
seabirds of Alaska.”
—Monique Dorsel, Marketing and Sales
Coordinator, Alaska SeaLife Center