That silly leprechaun! You were all ready for St Patrick’s Day until a leprechaun came in and mixed everything up and turned everything into puzzle! Now, your kids St. Patrick’s Day celebration has turned into a St. Patrick’s Day escape room. From lots of rainbows and shamrocks to glowing gold coins and free printables, this is one celebration they won’t soon forget.
Kids will love having to work their way through the clues and solve the puzzles left by the friendly leprechaun. Some of the puzzles take a little bit of time to get ready, but the clues are exciting and together they make one of my new favorite escape rooms.
I’ve also included the printable puzzles featured in this post, for FREE to subscibers. (You can subscribe for free and download the pages today!) Using the printables will save you time and money!
This St. Patrick’s Day escape room can be played independently by one child, or with a group. The escape room game also makes for a great party activity. It’s up to you how you use it.
So get ready to make St. Patrick’s Day exciting for kids of all ages as they problem solve, think critically and get excited by learning through play.
St. Patrick’s Day Materials
Most of the materials for your St. Patrick’s Day escape room are simple and easy to prepare. However, there are a few materials, such as the UV pen and glow in the dark paint that are not commonly found in most households.
Adding one or two special materials for a puzzle can make the room appear more professional, exciting and it also challenges players to work with materials that are new to them.
What you will need for this escape room:
- 6 Lockable Boxes
- 3 Number Locks
- 2 Key Locks
- Shamrocks (made from felt)
- Cardstocks/Wooden Squares (To attach grid photos to)
- Green Tape
- Playdough each color of the rainbow
- White Playdough + Gold Paint (Optional)
- Clear Tape or Laminator
- Glow in the Dark Paint
- Plastic Gold Coins
- UV Pen
- Leprechaun Hat
If there are any of the puzzles that you feel don’t fit your players, or you don’t have the materials available to you, check out my collection of over 40 Escape Room ideas. You can substitute one of these clues for one that you take out. If you see another clue that you love, you can also add it into this escape room to add an extra puzzle to the challenge.
St. Patrick’s Day Escape Room Set Up
Once you have all of the materials, you can start setting up your room. I painted the lids to my lockable boxes in a rainbow pattern, but you don’t need to do the same to your boxes.
This game is a little bit different then some of my other escape rooms because each box holds the clues and items for the next puzzle. The puzzles aren’t hidden all over the room. Players work their way through the room by solving a puzzle and then opening the boxes one by one. (With the exception of the shamrock clue, which is explained below)
You can place the boxes out in the room where they can be seen by players as soon as they walk into the escape room. You can also choose to hide the boxes around the room. It is up to you and the skill level of your players. Hiding the boxes will make the room more challenging. The boxes are either locked with a combination/number lock or with a key lock.
When players walk into the room, they will see the 6 boxes (unless you hide them), a grid on a table created with tape with numbers in each grid box, a festive hat, and a bunch of felt shamrocks. You can always add extra decorations around the room to add to the St. Patrick’s Day theme.
Below are the steps for you to set up your room. Below the steps is an example of how players will do the St. Patrick’s Day escape room. I hope you love it!
St. Patrick’s Day Escape Room Welcome Letter
Start by printing the welcome letter, and then ripping it up so that it becomes a puzzle for players to have to put back together.
Once ripped up, place all of the pieces into the first box and lock it with a key.
This key will be what begins the game. You have two options for how to give players this key. You can either give it to players as they enter the room or you can hide it somewhere in the room.
St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Clue
You can’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day without seeing lots of shamrocks. For this puzzle, simple cut out several fabric shamrocks and cut them out in pairs. I used felt for all of my shamrocks, but you can even use sheets of paper.
Cut the shamrocks out and then glue the two sides together. In one of the shamrocks, place the key for the next locked box. They key should not be visible, but it can be felt.
St. Patrick’s Day Escape Room Grid
When players open their next clue, they will find instructions and a collection of St. Patrick’s Day images. The images and instructions are all included with the free printables. You can choose to attach the printables to something solid, such as a slice of wood, or even cardstock, but they can be left as just paper too.
Once you have all of your pictures prepared, create a grid. I created it on a table in the escape room using green painters tape. You need to create a grid that is 4×4 (16 boxes). In the bottom left corner, place, or tape the word start.
In the rest of the boxes print 14 random 3 digit numbers. You can use scrap paper for the numbers or print them on tape to stick to the table. Then print the number combination for your next lock on one sheet of paper
The correct combination for your lock needs to be placed in the fourth box in the second row. The rest of the (fake) numbers can be placed to fill the rest of the boxes.
St. Patrick’s Day Dough
In the next locked box, players will find six rainbow colored balls of dough/clay. Inside each of the balls, you will place a scrambled clue. These words can be printed along with the other free printables.
Either laminate, or cover fully with clear tape and print your next lock combination below the printed words. In the example, the numbers 216 can be seen on the yellow, green and blue dough.
Once printed and laminated, place one square with the few letters, into the red ball and completely hiding it within the dough. Continue placing a cut out into each ball of dough in rainbow order (red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple).
Print the words “Rainbow Order” on the bottom of the box and place the colorful dough balls inside the box. (If you want to make this clue more challenging, you can cover the rainbow dough with white dough. This alternative option is explained more fully at the end of this post.)
Glowing Coin Clue
Prepare your next clue using a bunch of plastic gold coins and some glow paint. Start by printing random lock combinations (any 3 digit numbers) onto each of the gold coins.
Then on one coin print the actual lock combination. On this special coin, with the actual lock combination, cover the coin with glow in the dark paint.
St. Patrick’s Day Escape Room Pigpen Cipher
Print the cards for the pigpen cipher and place them a the locked box along with the combination clue. (Both of these pages are included with the printables.) You also need to include a UV light in the box.
St. Patrick’s Day Escape Room Final Clue
The key for the final box is securely attached to the hat. I attached a bit of hot glue to the key and stuck it to the hat. The hat is simply placed somewhere in the room to look like a decoration. Another fun option is to give it to a player to wear as they play the game.
St. Patrick’s Day Escape Room – The Final Box
In the final box, place a copy of the completion certificate for each player. You can also include a small treat, such as chocolate coins, of any other surprise you want to give the kids.
Once you have all of your puzzles and materials ready, set them in the room and you are ready to start!
St. Patrick’s Day Escape Room Game
Below is an example of what a player would experience as they play the St. Patrick’s Day escape room game. It also includes the solutions to the puzzles.
– – – –
The Red Box
As you enter the room, you notice a bunch of colorful boxes, that are all locked. There are also shamrocks, a hat and a large grid on the table with lots of numbers. There are also lots of other fun decorations throughout the room. This is going to be great!
You notice a single key on the table that almost looks like it was left there accidently, but you grab the key and try to open a box. You start with red because that’s rainbow order!
It opens, you’re off to a great start!
Inside the box there are a bunch of ripped up pieces of paper.
You start putting them together like a puzzle.
All of the pieces fit together to create a welcome letter.
You read it and quickly notice a few things! There are a few letters in the note that are larger, green and a different font. If you look at just those letters the note says: “THE SHAMROCK HOLDS THE KEY”.
You look around the room for shamrocks. There are little shamrocks on things at decorations as well as a bunch of felt shamrocks on the table.
You start with the felt shamrocks. Picking them up one by one, you don’t notice anything special about the shamrocks. However, when you press/squeeze each shamrock you notice that there is something hard inside one of the shamrocks.
You rip (or cut) the shamrock open and find a key!
The Orange Box
You quickly use the key to open the lock on the orange box. Inside there are a bunch of pieces with St. Patrick’s Day pictures on them and a page with instructions.
The instructions say:
“Follow each of the steps below and place each picture in a square on the grid. Only one picture per square. You will end up with one uncovered number.“
You bring the pieces to the grid on the table and start following each of the clues. Each clue tells you a grid location to place the piece. As you place the pictures on the grid, you also notice that you cover a number on the grid each time.
You read each clue carefully and finally fill your grid. Once all of the pieces are placed, you notice that there is one box on the grid that you did not cover and the number is visible. You read the number 405 and try to unlock another locked box!
The Yellow Box
You open the box and find six colorful balls of play dough. Moving them around you notice that on the bottom of the box, it says, “Rainbow Order”.
You see that the six balls of dough are each of the colors of the rainbow, so you set them in order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple, but nothing happens.
You start looking at the dough more carefully, but don’t notice anything printed on it or any clues. So, you start ripping apart the dough.
Immediately you feel something inside the dough. You take it out and it is a piece of paper that has a few random letters on it that don’t seem to mean anything. You check the rest of the dough and find a piece in each ball. Putting the rainbow order from the ball of clay color, in order it says, “SHINE LIGHT ON COINS”.
On it’s own this doesn’t mean anything because there are no coins and no light. On a few of the notes from the dough, there was a number printed on them. Using that number, you successfully open another box!
The Green Box
Upon opening the green box, you notice a bunch of coins and a UV light! This must be the coins and light that the last clue was talking about. You shine the light on the coins, but then realize that you need it to be a bit darker to see if anything happens.
In a darker area, you shine the light on the coins and move them around until you notice one special coin!
There is one coin glowing and clearly stands out.
You pick up the coin and see a number on the back – another number lock code. You use it to open another box and it works!
The Blue Box
Opening the blue box you notice each letter of the alphabet, but in some sort of code. There is also a page with symbols on it. Somehow these pages connect together.
Looking closely at the symbols you notice that each of the symbols can be connected to a letter.
You start printing a letter that connects with each symbol. An example of how you figured out the letters is below.
Once you have figured out the clue, it reads, “SEARCH THE HAT”. The only hat in the room is the one you have been wearing on your head the whole time! You take it off and start searching the hat!
You find a small key stuck to the hat!
The Purple Box
Using the key you open the final box…. and you did it! You solved all of the puzzles and completed the escape room. You get a certificate and chocolates!!! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
St. Patrick’s Day Escape Room Alternative Ideas
You can do the St. Patrick’s Day escape room the same as described above, however, you can choose to add a few alternatives to make the room more challenging, and exciting.
Doing small things, such as hiding the boxes throughout the room, instead of making them visible right away can create a challenge and it will take players longer. Hiding the boxes can also be a great option if young children are playing because they can enjoy searching for and helping their team find the boxes as older players read puzzles.
Another option that you can try that I did with one of my groups was cover each of the rainbow colored dough in white clay. I did something similar with my students in class in the past and it is always a favorite activity.
By covering it, there is no rainbow colors for players to see right away.
Players need to squish or cut open each of the balls and then put them in rainbow order to solve the clue.
You can even add a layer of gold paint to the white dough to really make opening this box a surprise!
With the pigpen cipher alphabet code, you don’t have to use my example of “Shine light on coins”, you can create your own code using the alphabet. If you want to add an extra clue, or make the clue more challenging, this code is an option.
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