Across the woodsball fields and speedball arena of Long Live Paintball, contenders dodge the colorful fire of their opponents as they leap over cable spools and post up behind a charred bus or towers of barrels. It's on these obstacle-ridden grounds that dye-slingers compete in elimination-style games or battle to complete a given mission, such as capturing the adversary's flag and using it to pick popcorn kernels out of their teeth. Admission rates range from simple entry fees for the fully equipped to all-day Gold packages that supply players with a marker, 500 paintballs, and all the other necessary provisions. Rentable chest protectors cushion trunks from crossfire, and disposable camo cuts down on the time players spend fusing their DNA with that of a tree. Although the field is generally first-come, first-serve, the staff can prepare for parties of 10 or more with an advanced reservation.
Stacked logs, stumps, and tangled thickets make good hiding spots—or are they obstacles? Clad in camouflage and goggles, players navigate that question while stalking the woods at The Paintball Asylum. They grasp paintball guns during color-splattering rounds of the game, which resembles a grittier Capture the Flag. Extra supplies for the matches are available at The Paintball Asylum's pro shop, and the space accommodates birthday and bachelor parties, as well as corporate team-building events.
An armored military truck rumbles around a bend into yet another stretch of dark woods. Something within the trees glows, catching swaying branches in the light. Or are those swaying bodies? Suddenly, hordes of undead monsters charge out of the woods, attacking the truck. The only thing to do is aim, shoot, and repeat. Welcome to Lehigh Valley Zombies, an interactive apocalypse.
Escorting visitors in trucks and arming them with paintball guns, the event's organizers then drive out into the woods, where they're met with special effects lighting and roving zombies. Passengers pick off the attackers with paintballs before they reach the truck. The fast-paced fun combines thrilling action with horror, and the trail holds plenty of surprises. Much like in real life, the zombies don't fire back, though each acting shambler stays safe with a mask that is equal parts protective and horrifying. Back at basecamp, victorious guests enjoy campfires, food, and other forms of seasonal fun.
Players at Lehigh Valley Paintball wage simulated war across a variety of battlefields, choosing from a variety of play styles on both speedball and woodsball fields. The staff can also customize markers with engravings or leather wristbands, useful for proudly showing team affiliations, graphic designs, or helping identify guns that have escaped.
A HPA?charged Tippmann 98 marker in hand, paintballers in pursuit of their opponents' flag race among the wooden spools, barrels, and bunkers gracing the fields of Paintball Depot's wooded outdoor arena. As colors fly through the air, Helix goggles with antifogging helix lenses and face masks shield players' faces against the rainbow barrage. In addition to offering open play, Paintball Depot accommodates corporate team-building events, group outings, and airsoft games that often run on one field as paintball sessions commence on other courses.
Have some fun with your friends by recreationally hunting other humans (a sport made popular by Mel Brooks's Blazing Saddles) with today's Groupon: $20 gets you entry, a full day of play, rental equipment (semi-auto paintball marker, hopper, face mask, goggles), and free CO2 and N2 refills (a $30 value), as well as 200 paintballs (a $12.80 value) at Poco Loco Paintball in New Hanover. Your Groupon is good for Sundays in October and November, and Saturdays and Sundays from December on. Fulfill fantasies of expertly evading crossfire as you infiltrate enemy territory and annihilate the opposition faster than Reverend Johnson threatened to leave town after discovering that the sheriff has been murdered. Or just spatter strangers with neon splotches. Poco Loco is designed with both novices and expert players in mind, so you don't need years of mercenary training or a Blu-ray copy of Blazing Saddles to try it out.Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.