When Amber Sebastian celebrated her birthday with Russell, her husband, in 2013, they had no idea that a trip to one of Oklahoma City’s escape rooms would lead to the creation of their own in Grapevine.

Exactly one year after they visited the room, The Grapevine Escape opened on Main Street in 2014.

“We didn’t know what [escape rooms] were. And in the course of playing the room, we not only fell in love with the idea of the escape room, we also did like the cliche thing,” Amber said. “We went to a bar and Grapevine Escape was created on the napkin.”

The duo created their own concepts for each room, drawing from Grapevine’s heritage and culture.

“Our original idea was to think of things that tourists would be in town [for],” Amber said. “Tourists are going to be in town for a wedding ... we made it into the chapel room. Tourists are going to be in town for restaurants and wineries—[so] we have a wine vault.”

For Amber and Russell, an escape room is all about the experience. Every detail—from the lighting and props to the flooring—has to bring the customer into the created universe. To achieve this, they have enlisted the help of friends, family and locals with a passion for entertainment to bring each room to life.

“We believe immersion is one of the most important factors,” Russell said. “We’re very fortunate that we’ve got a pretty awesome team.”

That attention to detail has not gone unnoticed by escape room enthusiasts and novices alike. The Grapevine Escape was ranked among the top-100 escape rooms in the U.S. by Escape the Roomz, an online community of enthusiasts.

“For a mom-and-pop in Grapevine, we were humbled by that,” Russell said.

The Grapevine Escape began as a traveling escape room, expanding into its brick-and-mortar location in November 2017. The team created interactive online shows as a result of the pandemic as well as a festival escape room. They are now venturing into live interactive shows as well.

“This is a passion for us,” Russell said. “We’re pretty proud that we’re the only locally owned and operated escape room in Grapevine.”

The Grapevine Escape - 160 N. Main St., Grapevine. 817-601-5663. www.thegrapevineescape.com Hours: Mon.-Sun. 10 a.m.-10 p.m., rooms are available by reservation online.