The team sits silently, trigger fingers poised to unleash the simulated ammo in their laser-tag guns. Nearby, one of their teammates waits to be rescued. The team's leader creeps forward, checks the area, and gestures to the others. They locate their captured comrade, but something is amiss: the pilot's head is shaking. The air fills with flashes of light, and the battle is over.
Team Combat Live uses laser tag as a means to act out immersive tactical scenarios, foster team camaraderie, and covertly scan supermarket barcodes. In indoor and outdoor spaces, combatants run, crouch, and fire, using the same laser gear employed by SWAT teams and Special Forces. To further hone tactical skills, Team Combat Live sprinkles each battlefield with ammo boxes and medic locations. Their instructors, including a certified SWAT instructor, also host summer camps that teach tactical maneuvers.
The instructors of Origins Dance Academy have traveled far and wide to learn and practice their craft, from choreographing in Los Angeles to dancing in prestigious European and Canadian ballet companies to appearing in area musicals. That wide range of experience allows them to teach youngsters in a wide variety of classes, including tap, ballet, and hip-hop. Origins also occasionally presents its students in performances and sends them to competitions judged by technique, difficulty, and how well the dancers perform sequences from Swan Lake while partnered with real swans.
Youngsters clamor over air-filled merry-go-rounds, obstacle courses, and slides inside FunFlatables' indoor play arenas. Dyer's 12,00-square-foot facility houses giant aquariums, pirate ships, and 19-foot slides. Each bounce facility keeps toddlers from getting underfoot in dedicated Totland play spaces, complete with musical toys, miniature slides, and foam-covered floors.
For Josh Sickinger, starting a pumpkin farm was a rite of passage?his family has been farming in the Lowell area for more than 160 years. Each October, he transforms his pumpkin patch into a family-friendly playground in celebration of autumn. At his annual Harvest Tyme Pumpkin Patch, hay wagons pulled by tractors take guests out to the fields so they can cut a pumpkin from the vine or choose their favorite gourd from a pre-harvested selection. In the new section of the patch, kids can board the Harvest Tyme Express train which drives around an oval track. But that's just one of many family-friendly attractions here. Besides the traditional hayrides and a 3-acre corn maze, guests can let loose in the bounce houses, on a 65-foot-long slide, and at Farmville Playland, a farm-themed playground. There are plenty of other oddities here, including corn cannons?which can launch ears of corn up to 60 feet into the air?and a gem-mining village. Should guests get hungry, the farm also offers freshly popped kettle corn, hot dogs, caramel apple cider, and homemade donuts.
Looking to put a new spin on a classic family activity, the minds behind Glowgolf decided to give the game a phosphorescent update. Incandescent courses place friends and family amid a tropical-fantasy golf world of neon orange, green, and violet surroundings. Players putt luminous orbs through vibrant treasure chests and glimmering windmills while negotiating tricky obstacles near walls portraying black-light-lit aquatic scenes. With more than 20 locations spread over 10 states, Glowgolf's fluorescent labyrinths challenge human players and traveling gnomes.