Kick'n Paintball Park's staffers organize games at hyperball, airball, and concept fields—including an indoor facility that stays open year round. At the start of each game, these spaces transform into simulated battlefields where acrylic paintballs rain down like pennies on Abraham Lincoln's birthday. Players dash across the indoor turf or outdoor grassy terrain, taking refuge behind towering pipes or red-and-blue inflatables. As the last paintball falls, players depart the field guilt-free as Kick'n Paintball Park uses 100% biodegradable paints. Away from the fields, staffers repair gear and sell new equipment within a pro shop. Paintball markers line the walls, and shelves hold ample supplies of carbon dioxide.
What was once primarily used by the military has now become a popular—and adrenaline-inducing—sport. Ozarks Skydive Center takes the fear out of skydiving with expert instruction and supportive tandem jumps. Harnessed to instructors, new and seasoned jumpers alike experience the thrilling feeling of falling from nearly 2 miles. Ozarks Skydive Center also offers solo-flying options for more experienced divers, as well as licensing courses that teach adventure junkies how to exit planes, fall into the fetal position, and react to an emergency.
Founded by Joe Estes as a nonprofit operation, Safari Joe's Reptile World provides a 200-acre sanctuary for more than 250 exotic animals—including lions, leopards, alligators, pythons, and large tortoises—that were unwanted, abused, or neglected. Each week, five to six new animals are donated or abandoned at the facility. Though these animals cannot return to the wild, they receive nurturing care from a cadre of more than 30 volunteers.
While newly abandoned animals remain hidden from view within the sanctuary, the park also boasts exhibit such as Reptile World. This educational, hands-on environment encourages visitors to interact with a slew of exotic animals while learning about protecting each species and their natural habitats.
The Swim School of Joplin provides certification-level scuba lessons, diving vacations, and rental gear to help students to gain their underwater legs. Originally founded in Memphis in 1961, The Swim School of Joplin has since expanded aquatic operations to four states in the South and Midwest and runs scuba programs at both the University of Mississippi and the University of Memphis. Instructional programs include everything from introductory swimming and snorkeling lessons to specialty courses in night diving, search-and-rescue diving, and diving while learning to play the guitar.
Seizing an opening, a boy manning a motorized boat slams into the boat in front of him. Before the other driver has time to retaliate, he turns the wheel 90 degrees and high-tails it to the other side of the bumper-boat pool. Safe, for the moment. Nearby, similarly minded motorists intent on reckless cruising race laps around a go-kart track, bounding off the track’s walls and off fellow drivers trying to practice their parallel-parking skills. High-pitched screams in the distance indicate that the Tiger Terror rollercoaster has begun its decent, and the swift crack of a baseball bat indicates the batting cage has met its match.
As the sun sets on another day at Route 66 Carousel Park, park-goers take in the twinkling lights of a towering ferris wheel and the smells of sweet and savory park confections wafting through the summer air. Whether at the park on a whim or celebrating a birthday, corporate event, or puppy’s first words, guests can keep the revelry going late into the evening.
Beneath towering trees, paintballs and laser beams soar across Bill’s Extreme Paintball and Laser Tag’s 2-acre outdoor arena. Tippmann 98 quality markers and masks arm paintball players as they scale sniper towers and dive into hideouts, while professional-grade laser-tag guns allow future hair-removal experts to shoot lasers up to 700 feet. Vigilant referees stave off tomfoolery during matches, and picnic tables scattered around the facility provide platforms for snacks or birthday feasting. Bill's can also tote equipment to a customer’s chosen venue, allowing a partygoer to host a game in their own backyard, local park, or favorite alderman's office.
Skydive Missouri chaperones gravity-prone thrill seekers back to earth with the help of a trained team of champion skydivers. An all-encompassing two-hour instruction session prepares aerial enthusiasts for the basics of earth-bound homecomings, covering topics of equipment, aircraft procedures, instructions for free falling, and how to make cheeks flap wildly. After safely soaring thousands of feet above ground, a licensed, professional plane-ditcher, and aspiring human backpack, straps to customers and leaps into a free-falling duet, complete with all of sky-diving's pleasure, but none of the stress of having to locate elusive ripcords. While still safely plummeting at increased altitudes, a state-of-the-art square parachute deploys, providing ample time for free-fallers to say their goodbyes to clouds they've befriended while frolicking in the sky. The skilled gravity tempters at Skydive Missouri have completed more than 15 high-altitude aircraft exits with physically impaired divers, providing exhilarating experiences for all enthusiastic cloud-hoppers.