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Cindy Crushes Programming: Riverdale Escape Room

In today’s episode of Cindy Crushes Programming, Cindy Shutts shares with us how she hosted a Riverdale themed escape room with her teens.

To learn more about the basics of hosting an Escape Room, please check out Breakout Edu as they have basic kits that you can use as a foundation. You can also read a couple of previous posts on Escape Rooms here at TLT and online:

TPiB: Build an Escape Room by Michelle Biwer – Teen Librarian Toolbox

TPiB: Locked in the Library! Hosting an Escape Room by Heather Booth

Cindy Crushes Programming: Stranger Things Themed Escape Room

Programming Librarian: Creating a DIY Escape Room for Your Library

Basic program premise . . .

Your teens will be “locked” in the library and in order to escape, they must unravel a mystery, find the secret codes, and “unlock” the boxes to survive or meet your end goal. Most escape rooms give participants one hour to escape. You will set the scene as outlined below.



8 Books to Read if You Can’t Get Enough Riverdale

Plot: Josie and the Pussycats have been kidnapped. You have 45 minutes to open the box to get the flash drive of their location or else they will never escape.



You could use the Breakout Edu Kit

  • 4 digit lock
  • 3 digit lock
  • Word lock
  • Key lock and key
  • Two lock boxes
  • Cat headbands
  • Homemade Pop’s Diner Menu (see documents at end of post)
  • Receipt showing chocolate milkshake but price is cut off (see documents at end of post)
  • A table up set up like a diner booth to represent Pop’s Diner. You can use paper and plastic tableware
  • Fake blue and gold newspaper with word spell circled (see documents at end of post)
  • Maple syrup with fake expiration date
  • Fake poster about the dance where Josie and the Pussycats are supposed to perform
  • A ransom note that that says, ”Josie and the Pussycats will expire if you do not pay $50,000.”
  • Flash drive
  • Pom Poms (Optional)

Instructions: I made sure I read the prompt, so everyone knew what was going on. I also let them know they had two hints. I am always prepared to add one more hint later on if they need it.

Red Herrings: Fake poster about the dance where Josie and the Pussycats are supposed to perform. I also I placed various random props.

Check out the Riverdale prequel book

Check out the Riverdale prequel book

Word Lock: I used the word “spell” because it is one of the easiest words you can use for the lock. I have an article in the issue of Blue and Gold in which the Spellman family of Greendale is mentioned. I have circled the word spell. This is the easier clue. This lock is attached the smaller box. The torn receipt is to be placed in this box.

4 Digit Lock: The clue is the ransom note with the word expire on it. I have a bottle of maple syrup that looks like it is a Blossom Maple Syrup bottle. This lock is attached to the large box. The combination is 0319.


3 Digit Lock: The code is 399. The menu will have prices on it. The receipt that is in the small box will have the price ripped off. This lock will be attached to the large box.


Key Lock: The key will be hidden in the room. I had a set of pom- poms and I hid them in any prop that would work.

Results: This program went really well and all the participating teens enjoyed it. Next time I would add one more lock to make it last longer. It took one group 30 minutes and the other group 20 minutes. I would also add more decorations next time.

Support Documents

blue and gold

Dance sign

pop’s dinner recipt

Riverdale pop’s menu

Cindy Shutts, MLIS


Cindy is passionate about teen services. She loves dogs, pro-wrestling, Fairy tales, mythology, and of course reading. Her favorite books are The Hate U Give, Catching FIre, The Royals, and everything by Cindy Pon. She loves spending times with her dog Harry Winston and her niece and nephew. Cindy Shutts is the Teen Services Librarian at the White Oak Library District in IL and she’ll be joining us to talk about teen programming. You can follow her on Twitter at @cindysku.

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