Your hands wrap around the grip of a Tippmann marker. Multicolored spheres fly past you, spattering the trees and cutting air inches from your mask. Through the foliage, you can see half a plane buried nose-first in a clearing, one of many obstacles concealing potential foes. At SplatterPark, this good-natured combat sprawls across the adrenaline-soaked turf of 12 outdoor fields and 40 wooded and open acres adjacent to a lake. Warriors battle through capture-the-flag, base-defense, and other scenarios in themed arenas with adventurous names including Fort Buckeye, Snake Pit, and Dark Forest. Each field is suited to at least three types of play, but only the regular type of physics, and shouts of camaraderie echo off paint-flecked cover such as a broken-down school bus and a wooden-slat fort. In preparing for battle, combatants strap on rental or purchased gear under covered staging shelters, happy in the knowledge that their biodegradable paint ammunition will be harmlessly washed away by the elements or bears doing community service. SplatterPark also offer zombie-themed hayride shoots, in which a trailer is custom-fitted with 32 paintball guns, allowing participants to shoot live zombie targets. Prior to the hunt, visitors can test their skills on a target range.
The arena's surreal terrain was featured in the intense combat of Greg Hastings' Tournament Paintball, a video game from Activision, but the real park caters to players of all abilities and ages. At an onsite caf?, hot dogs and energy drinks refuel warriors and allow them to tell if their nemeses are actually target dummies with no appetite, and the pro shop's staff bustles among markers, accessories, and spare parts.
Amid rolling hills and green pastures, Marc and Lisa Sleeckx oversee All Hoofed Up Ranch, where crops, animals, and pastoral scenery flourish. The duo leads trail rides on their faithful fleet of Tennessee walking horses, exploring sites such as Mohican State Park and Malabar Farm State Park. Marc and Lisa saddle up the horses for carriage rides in the summer and sleigh rides through the winter snow, letting them hibernate in peace in the spring and fall.
Also a trained chef, Marc leads a cooking school at the ranch, inviting guests to benefit from his kitchen wisdom. After graduating from culinary school in Belgium, Marc immersed himself in the culinary scene, opening a restaurant for the European Parliament and training under the chef of a Michelin-starred restaurant. During classes, Marc teaches his students how to craft succulent dishes such as seared ahi tuna, coq au vin, and filet mignon—some of which he may prepared while cooking for the former president of Germany, multiple ambassadors, and baseball pro Chipper Jones. Marc also possesses a deep knowledge of wines, which he shares with students during wine-education classes and tastings.
In 1955, 19 people each brought an item of personal historical interest to a council room of the Galion Municipal Building. Together, they formed the Galion Historical Society with the mission of preserving the region's history for future generations. Today, the society maintains a history museum and the 19th-century Brownella Cottage, and hosts a variety of activities including ghost walks and lectures.