A siren whines, and its volume suddenly overwhelms all other sounds on the ravaged battleground. Soldiers peek out from between layers of sandbags. Some stick to the camouflage netting on the edges of the field, cautious, yet daring to hope that the keening noise means a ceasefire. They're out of ammo. Finally, the call comes over the loudspeaker—"Reload!"—and they rush forward, snatching up handfuls of bright orange darts and popping them back into their plastic weapons. Once the siren goes silent, the fighting will begin anew, and the indoor arena will once again become a flurry of foam projectiles and laughter.
This scenario is a typical open play session at the Tag Zone, where an armory of Nerf guns ensures safe yet thrilling competitions. Every battle follows the rules of one of four team-based games: squad vs. squad, capture the flag, protect the leader, or "the prison." Youngsters ages 5 and up launch and dodge the soft missiles in an indoor arena dappled with padded obstacles. Field #1 displays inflatable bunkers throughout the 2,300-square-foot zone, whereas Field #2 stacks sandbags and barrels around 1,900 square feet of military-themed space. To encourage teamwork and fair play, a referee oversees each bout.
Though The Tag Zone is all for friendly rivalries, the staff refrains from tracking scores. They prefer to focus on in-the-moment excitement and sportsmanship. In addition to rounds of open play, they also host private parties, tournaments, and monthly sleepovers, which bookend a night of rest with Nerf warfare. Additionally, adults can also join in the fun of aiming toy bazookas during corporate events that forge bonds between coworkers. Parents can even participate in open play matches, preparing their kids for the day when they must hunt and capture their own birthday piñatas.
Presented in part by Dan Clark, also known as Nitro, of American Gladiator fame, the Gladiator Rock'n Run is a unique and challenging event, pairing an obstacle-heavy running course and an attempt at breaking the record for the world’s longest mud pit with post-race entertainment, including beer, music, and food. Those prepared to race must dance through tires, army-crawl through mud, and clamber up rope ladders to avoid barrels thrown by giant apes. The roar of spectators rings throughout the course as bystanders cheer on runners to inspire strong finishes.
Founded in South Korea by Grand Master Choi Yong Sul in 1950, hapkido synthesizes the best parts of numerous other martial arts disciplines in the name of self-defense. At Conqueror Hapkido, students learn the secrets of this hybrid art, disarming attackers with a combination of quick strikes, debilitating joint locks, and throws that rely on the opponent's own redirected momentum. In addition to martial arts lessons, instructors also teach bootcamp training sessions that challenge endurance and build muscles with a blend of strength and cardio work.
Despite its wintery moniker, Kent Valley Ice Centre doesn’t just thrive in the colder months. The public ice skating site and home of the Kent Valley Hockey Association also teems with warm-weather activities, housing miniature golf and batting cages on its sprawling facilities. In addition, the family-friendly sports emporium invites guests to a full-service cafe and bar and a pro shop where visitors can purchase hockey equipment, ice skating gear.
Typically, when people have friends or family in town, they show off their city by cramming in as many attractions and sights as possible. The four brothers behind the Sasquatch Relay take that approach to its logical extreme, orchestrating 75- and 190-mile relay races that spotlight their native region of Puget Sound. The trek leads teams of 6 or 12 in a one- or two-day journey through the shadows of Mount Rainier and the Northwest's sea of evergreens. At a party at the finish line, runners celebrate and share their surprise over how much shorter Sasquatch looks in person.
The Seattle Thunderbirds are part of the Western Hockey League, a collection of competitive junior hockey squads. Premium seats surround the rink on all sides and only go up to 20 rows back, providing an up-close view of the biscuit being whacked into the basket, dekes, and fancy stick work that subtly carves passages from Alan Alda's Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself into the ice. With any luck, you'll see a hat trick, a chippy second period that devolves into a baseball game, or the start of a player's successful pro career. Noted T-bird alumni include Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks and Chris Osgood, the Red Wings' goaltender.