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Discovering the Heart of Bismarck: Spotlight on BREAKOUTND escape room


Every town has small businesses that make it feel like home. Behind these businesses are people you’ll never forget and locations you’ll always come back to, and that is the purpose of this LOCAL highlight—to showcase the places and the people that bring local business to life! 

BREAKOUTND is one such small business local to Bismarck, North Dakota. BREAKOUTND is an escape room started by Chip Garrison and his family back in March of 2022, and with eight unique escape room adventures within its walls, it is currently breaking ground as the only escape room to call Bismarck its home. We at NERDNCO obtained an exclusive interview with those over at BREAKOUTND, where we got to know the heart behind what they do and where they plan to go in the future. If you’re interested at all in local small businesses, keep reading to learn all about Bismarck, North Dakota's only escape room.

What is an escape room?

By now, escape rooms have taken the world by storm, but for those unfamiliar, here’s the rundown: Imagine you are trapped in a room with nothing but your wits, your friends, and a series of mind-bending challenges and puzzles to complete in order to secure your freedom. Most escape rooms, like BREAKOUTND, have time limits of sixty minutes in which to complete all the required puzzles, and fortunately, while at BREAKOUTND, you and your group are never actually locked away. 

But the thrill remains.

We asked owner Chip Garrison what made him personally interested in escape rooms as a concept, and it turns out, he and his family have great qualifications.

“[I] started with geocaching with my kids and [we] graduated to more interesting things like escape rooms.”

NERDNCO side note: Geocaching is similar to escape rooms in that it requires problem solving and the spirit of adventure. It is a hobby that takes people on broad-spectrum scavenger hunts across many locations, while escape rooms have a focus on a single-location and indoor challenges—challenges that BREAKOUTND has mastered, no doubt in part to the Garrison family’s history with creative problem solving.

When asked what makes a good escape room, Chip explained that it’s the surprise factor that counts. 

“[It's the] engaging puzzles, things that surprise you, finding something unique and never seen before.”

Others have said the same thing about enjoying unique approaches to every puzzle. Google reviews boasts these two statements as well as many more about BREAKOUTND:

“Had a group of 4 with a wide age range but we all had an amazing time! The unique experience was a great family activity. The staff was friendly, helpful, and accommodating throughout. Highly recommend if you like a challenge!” - Sheldon Gordon

“The staff members were great and the room puzzles were amazing!  Such a unique experience. We can't wait to do it again!” - D K

What waits at BREAKOUTND?

So, what exactly does BREAKOUTND offer the people of Bismarck and North Dakota as a whole? A chance to escape the monotonous with their eight breakthrough escape room stories! Each room listed below is a playable story with varying difficulty ratings that takes you through challenge after challenge until you meet success. We’ve only detailed part of what makes each story incredible—you’ll have to reserve your own timeslot to see what exactly the hype is all about.

Diamond Heist, difficulty: 3/5

Diamond Heist escape room at BreakoutND

Fancy yourself a thief? In this challenge you and your team must infiltrate a museum and pull off the heist of a lifetime! Are you able to succeed at BREAKOUTND’s newest escape room theme?

Football Fury, difficulty 3/5

Football Fury Escape Room at BreakoutND

You don’t have to be a sports fan to cheer for this escape room challenge! In this room, your mission is to find a stolen trophy and return glory to the rightful champions! 

Overload, difficulty 3/5 (now retired to make room for a new escape room)

Overload Escape Room at BreakoutND

Enter a high-tech, computer-controlled world in this adrenaline-pumping escape room challenge. Your mission is to thwart a group of nefarious hackers and stop a nuclear reactor meltdown! 

Bunker, difficulty 1/5

Bunker Escape Room at BreakoutND

As BREAKOUTND’s most unique room, Bunker takes place deep in a high-tech security bunker. Your mission is to uncover the truth about a missing FBI agent and secure the evidence before your time runs out!

Treasure Hunters, difficulty 3.5/5

Treasure Hunter Escape Room at BreakoutND

An influential man of substantial wealth has taken his inheritance and hidden it behind a series of ciphers and puzzles. If his treasure remains unfound by you, it will fall into the wrong hands. Do you and your team have what it takes to outsmart the magnate?

The Prized Ring, difficulty 2/5

The Prized Ring Escape Room at BreakoutND

In the mood to save a kingdom? In The Prized Ring your mission is to take back the land from a band of usurping pirates, find lost daggers, and uncover a hidden power! 

Christmas Clock Conundrum (Limited-Time), difficulty 1/5

Christmas Clock Conundrum Escape Room at BreakoutND

In order to save Christmas, the Christmas clock must be repaired. Explore the Clockmaker’s workshop as you set about the task of saving Christmas once and for all!

Elfie’s Revenge (Holiday Exclusive), difficulty 1/5

Elfies Revenge Escape Room at BreakoutND

In this holiday special, a fed-up elf has decided to take his revenge and ruin Christmas! Will you be able to save Christmas from his mischief before it’s too late?

Read more about BREAKOUTND’s escape rooms here!

What is next for BREAKOUTND?

We asked Chip what was in store for BREAKOUTND and he was optimistic, saying their future was bright! With a new escape room experience around the corner, the Garrison's will be busy, but we at NERDNCO look forward to seeing what they come up with next. Follow BREAKOUTND's Facebook page for updates and for a chance to see your group photo featured! 

As for Chip and his family, being able to own and operate a small business in the community of Bismarck, North Dakota is a joy in many ways.

"Bismarck and North Dakota are great people. Just really good, wholesome people..." Chip said when asked about the surrounding area. He went on to say that BREAKOUTND will "...continue to innovate and find great ways for families and groups to have fun and engage one another!"

That's a wrap!

In our LOCAL highlights, we at NERDNCO love to put the spotlight on small businesses with enormous heart and unique offerings. BREAKOUTND meets our criteria for stellar small business, and it should meet your criteria, too! With plenty of passion and unique experiences to enjoy, BREAKOUTND is not to be missed.

Next time you're near Bismarck, North Dakota, don't forget to reserve your timeslot and experience the thrill for yourself!


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Welcome to the LOCAL Topic of the blog, where we celebrate the small businesses and localized news that make your community special. Our mission is to shine a spotlight on the people and places that make our neighborhood unique, and to provide a platform for local voices to be heard. From highlighting the best local shops and restaurants to reporting on important community issues, we aim to be a valuable resource for anyone interested in staying connected to their community. Thank you for joining us, and we hope you enjoy reading about all the amazing things happening in your neighborhood.



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