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Escape artists take on mad scientist who loves Elvis and an evil elf

Picton and Wellington library branch visitors moved through space and time, solved puzzles and riddles, cracked codes and used strategies to complete a great escape adventure.

Over six weeks this fall, participants in the Picton and Wellington Branch Makers Clubs built ‘escape rooms’ (adventure game in a locked room) and in the process, learned about puzzles, locks and keys, creating story lines and adding atmosphere.

Over the past two weekends, they put their escape rooms into action for family and friends and the public and watched the process unfold – quite often right down to the time wire.

The Picton Escape Room was set in a mad scientist’s laboratory. The mad scientist was desperately in love with Elvis and working hard to travel back in time so she could be with him. Participants were captured in the rift in the space/time continuum and needed to solve the clues found in the lab to find the key and escape before the rift closed.

From a key found at the bottom of a beaker of Pepsi (Elvis’s favourite drink) to a diary with a secret message in it (Elvis’s time of death, 2:30pm) to a combination lock (combination 2-3-0) to a teddy bear hiding the key to freedom, each group puzzled through and escaped with a little time to spare. The Maker Club kids added in some atmosphere with a rattling door that constantly reminded the trapped participants of their impending doom and the presence of the mad scientist herself.

The Wellington Branch Library meeting room was transformed into an abandoned Christmas workshop for the afternoon. The Wellington Maker Club was inspired by both Halloween and the upcoming holiday season for their escape room. Set in the snowy North Pole, participants were locked in an abandoned Christmas workshop by an evil mad scientist and given just 25 minutes to escape before being locked in forever and forced to work like Christmas elves.

The Makers choose to incorporate all sorts of Christmas details, but each one spooky and dusty, and just a little off. Moldy cookies and sour milk held a clue to a key to solve a Christmasy cipher. A dusty ornament that hung on a tree covered in spider webs led to a combination for a lock hidden among abandoned stuffed animals. An evil elf guarded the door, waiting for a password before he would move. All the teams managed to escape, but only by the skin of their teeth.

The fall Maker Clubs have wound down and preparation is under way for January’s 3D Printing Maker Club. This six-week session will introduce County kids to the possibilities found in 3D technology, from art, history, science, medicine, and culture.  Those interested can sign up at https://peclibrary.org/register. Space is limited. Ages 8+

 Coming events at the Wellington Branch
LibraryToddler TimeThursday, Dec. 14, 10:30am Ages 0-6 – Stories, a messy craft and a little snack.

Creative KidsThursday, Dec. 14, 3:45pm Ages 6-13 Drop in after school to hang out at the library and stretch your creativity! Paint, draw, tinker and make, learn a new skill, and discover new hobbies.

Coming events at the Picton Branch Library
Drop-In Playgroup with The Hub Thursday, Dec. 14, 9:30am Ages 0-6 Drop in for social time, story time, snack and crafts with The Hub Outreach program hosted by ECE professionals. Enter the library through the side door.

Kids Knit Thursday, Dec. 14, 3pm Ages 6-12 Learn the ins and outs (or knits and purls) of basic knitting! While there will be no formal instruction in December, the kids are welcome to come by the library to practice on their own and access the knitting supply stash.

Click here to visit the Prince Edward County Public Libraries website to see what’s new in books and activities.

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