Paintball Explosion began when a group of paintball fanatics decided to make their dreams a reality and set about designing eight different fields of movie-set quality. Located just a 40-minute drive outside of Chicago, the real-life fantasy land they created includes the sci-fi-inspired, concrete environs of Code Black Field as well as the abandoned amusement-park setting of Biohazard Field.
The expansive facility also sports indoor and outdoor speedball fields for adrenaline-fueled fastness. Between matches, gamers can prepare at heated buildings with locker rooms and showers. With an onsite sports bar and grill, Paintball Explosion makes the paintball haven a place where enthusiasts can discuss the forces of velocity, wind resistance, and the physics of splatter.
A family walks down a lane cut into a sprawling field of corn, striding confidently until they reach a fork. After a debate, they turn left, and eventually left again. A wooden bridge leapfrogs them to a new path, lined with rows of eerily similar corn stalks. Luckily, it's a balmy day, the blue sky striated with wispy clouds, and they're not in a hurry to emerge from the green ocean of corn.
From an observation deck nearby, the 28-acre cornfield looks like a postage stamp inside the 450-acre farm, which grows soybeans, corn, and more than 50,000 Christmas trees. Homesteaded in 1840, the land is now owned and worked by a third generation of Richardsons. The family wanted to welcome visitors to the farm to enjoy the rural, outdoorsy fun that could only fit on such a sprawling space. They planted the corn maze?among the world's largest?and devised other attractions such as a zipline and paintball gallery. Visitors can also cheer on racing pigs, pet animals in an interactive zoo, and participate in different maze games. In autumn families come to pick pumpkins and in winter they cut their own Christmas trees.
The sudden roar of gunfire rolls over Richmond Hunting Club's facilities, which sprawl across 850 untamed acres. The club's location nearly adjacent to Chain O' Lakes State Park draws sportspeople of all levels who can spend time shooting skeet, boarding a loyal hunting dog at the onsite kennel, paintballing, or stocking up on ammo at the pro shop. Outdoorsy folks who frequent the club often tie up their mountain goat outside and congregate inside the Bar & Grill, refueling weary trigger fingers with buffalo burgers and pheasant pot pies in a classic hunting-lodge setting.
As red inflatable obstacles shield snipers on the Speedball field, the Hyperball field's blue barrels protect players from enemy fire. Tipped-over speedboats litter the greenery of the Docks, and thickets of woods shelter the wooden walls of the Amazon and colorful fragments of children's play structures scattered throughout the Playground.
Each of the six fields hosts a variety of gaming scenarios, ranging from elimination and capture-the-flag rounds to attack-and-defend sessions or multiple flag-station contests. Laser-tag players itching to compete on terrain other than H2 Paintball's 10 acres can call upon its Mobile Command Option, wherein H2 personnel convert offices or empty basement shark tanks into miniature laser-tag arenas.
Trampolines cover a majority of the more than 35,000-square-foot Mega Trampoline Fun Zone. Here, sock-clad visitors can leap about endless bouncy surfaces, off the walls, and even into neighboring foam pits. Live DJs set hopping sessions to upbeat tunes every Friday and Saturday night, while pickup and tournament dodgeball games challenge airborne players to evade incoming throws.
Trampolines aren't the only attractions inside Mega Trampoline Fun Zone. For guests craving more jumping opportunities, an inflatable area sports plenty of slides, bounce houses, and obstacle courses. Test your aim on the paintball range's sound-activated targets. Blips, bleeps, and ticket streams resound from Mega Trampoline's arcade, which hosts classics like air hockey.
At Kits Sports Center, children and adults can play basketball, baseball, soccer, or flag football. Youth programs like preschool PE, co-ed dodgeball, floor hockey, kickball, and beginning basketball instill teamwork, discipline, agility, and other skills. Adults can socialize in women's or men's soccer and volleyball programs, or push it to the max during a Flight Athletic Fitness Training workout, which incorporates sprints, drills, and bench-pressing of coaches.