With paintball gear on, 10,000 sq. ft. can seem like a vast jungle. Specifically, one where the animals have figured out how to operate paintball markers. The outdoor paintball arena at Celebration Station hosts friendly competitions between players of all skill level, who fire salvos from behind obstacles. That competitive zone only makes up a small portion of the fun, however. Outside alone, visitors find a towering rock-climbing wall, batting cages, and a go-kart track that twists and turns across a quarter mile. Bumper boats collide nearby, while waterfalls cascade down the landscapes of an 18-hole mini-golf course.
Arcade tokens take over indoors, where 100 games present visitors with a challenging dilemma: should they master every one of the racing simulators, or take a break for a game of laser tag? Luckily, they can ponder their choices over a meat lovers pizza at the onsite restaurant.
The aquatic playland at Surf and Swim aims to bring the quintessential beach experience to a controlled water park. Inner tubes and their passengers float atop a wave pool's sprawling waters, splashing as the sun lovingly stares deep into their eyes. Pipes, plastic animals, and fountains pepper the kids area, and the aptly named Chill and Grill Cafe serves up burgers and fries. On select nights, the park transforms into an outdoor movie theater, where groups can swim and bob for their ticket stubs while watching a full-size screen.
For the past 20 years, Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park has been one of Dallas’ primary sources of satisfied screams, launching Texans into lower orbit with palpitating rides that test the confines of physics. Thrill-seekers can exhaust adrenaline reserves on hair-raising attractions, including the seven-story bungee jump, the Skycoaster, and the Texas Blastoff, which acts like a giant slingshot that rockets riders 70 miles per hour toward the sky. Nothin’ but Net sends amusement park goers plummeting on a 130-foot freefall, and the Skyscraper's enormous propellers whip guests around with 4 gees of force before serving up views of the city’s stunning skyline. Thanks to precautions designed specifically for each ride, Zero Gravity boasts a flawless safety record, whereas the park’s flexible schedule jump-starts hearts seven days per week, making it the perfect place for family, weekend, nighttime, and group activities.
When a building starts to sway, it's generally a sign of stiff winds or poorly maintained architecture. At Pump It Up, however, it's merely an indication that another energetic child has occupied one of the bouncy fortresses. The facility boasts a climate-controlled indoor playground, complete with inflatable slides, obstacle courses, and, of course, houses that beg kids to safely bounce off the walls. The staff invite parents and kids for open playtime and also help host private birthday parties and camps that combine playtime with arts, crafts, and pizza.
GattiTown’s All-You-Care-To-Eat-And-Drink Buffet fills familial units with unlimited pizza, pasta, salads, and desserts in a fun environment (valid drinks are non-alcoholic). The sight of Gatti’s famous pizza will make your plate’s mouth water and subsequently beg for seconds. For dessert (or just a brief intermission between cheese sticks and SpaGatti), foster creative instincts by creating miniature Eiffel towers out of cinnamon sticks and slices of Dutch-apple dessert pizza. Diners can also accompany their meal with a televised view in one of the dining rooms. The sports room gives you a chance to bet on your favorite team using a stack of warm and buttery breadsticks. For movie critics young and old, the fun-flicks room flickers with family entertainment, and the café’s quiet, low-key atmosphere is tailor-made for devouring spaghetti blindfolded while discussing the influence of John Cassavetes's use of cinéma vérité on the Shrek movies. To make sure your feast doesn’t go straight to your thumbs, retire to the game room for 6,000 square feet of video games, skee ball, and more. However, the truly daring diner will want to stuff his or her stomach to bursting, then take in a few rounds on the bumper cars.
As December 21, 2012, approaches, many Americans eagerly await the moment when Hades will emerge from the Underworld to recklessly devour raw egg. Until then, experience man-made terror with today's Groupon: $10 admission to the Festival and three haunted houses at Dallas ScareGrounds, the scientifically authenticated scariest grounds in Dallas or America. Dare your friends to witness the spine-tingling goblins and humiliate your weak-bladdered enemies. Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.