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.
At The Scotch and Vine, owners David and Jill Pritchard blend upscale, artisan American cuisine, fine wines and scotches, and local, seasonal cuisine. The staff pours libations from more than 210 single malts, blends, bourbons, and ryes, as well as from a wine list that earned an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator. With that deep selection to work from, friendly, knowledgeable tenders help diners pair their dinners with the ideal wine, craft beer, or whiskey. In the kitchen, meanwhile, expert chefs sizzle hearty elk burgers, juicy sirloin steaks, tender seared chicken, and roasted beet salads. This cuisine helped Scotch and Vine earn a spot on King5 Best of Western Washington's 2013 list of the area's five Best New American restaurants.
The strains of Spanish guitar and live blues bands form a classy soundtrack to wine tastings or seminars on Scotch-crafting, while plates of fine cheese from regional farms complement the flavors of smoky spirits, frosty brews, and rich red wine. The bistro's cushy leather booths, accents, and soft lighting evoke the image of a grandfather's cozy study or a precocious 6-year old’s tree fort.
Be it a house party, a wedding, or a prom, Ramundo Andrews, a.k.a. Deejay Mythikal, is ready to plug in his laptop, turn on the mixer, and crank up a variety of tunes to fit the scene. He soundtracks parties with new and old school tracks in a range of genres such as rap, soul, and disco. Though he's been playing records for five years, Deejay Mythikal's musical experience dates back to high school where he first began to play in local bands. Since then, he's delved into musical production, sound engineering, and song composition.
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.
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.
My Gym, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 20 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. All classes are organized according to age level (starting as young as 6 months) and designed to incorporate the latest physiological and psychological research. Tiny Tykes gets babies moving with help from their parents, Mighty Mites teaches toddlers self-reliance and beginning sports skills, and Champions, a class for kids aged 6–9, emphasizes the importance of using teamwork to master more complex sports skills and achieve group goals such as building a human pyramid to reach the cookie jar. My Gym's energetic instructors are experts at using music, dance, and gymnastics to build youngsters' strength and self-esteem while stimulating their giggle-plexes. The noncompetitive environment fosters creativity and hands-on activities boost children's learning retention and fun quotient.