Teams clad in protective goggles scatter into a mountain field thick with laurel, rhododendron, and brier as they seek cover, their markers locked and loaded. Hearing paintballs whiz through the brush, a player dives into prone position. Adjusting her goggles after colliding with the ground, the combatant freezes, notices the silhouette of a whitetail deer crouched in the brush just yards away, and lets down her guard long enough to appreciate the moment before taking new aim.
At Pocono Mountain Paintball, players step onto 12 fields—including three scenario fields—ranging from untouched natural terrain to 1,700 feet of trenches and sandbag bunkers. To maximize players' game time, Pocono's staff maintains a reservation system that limits the fields to 100 players per day. Further touches include camouflage overall rentals, an online FAQ with participant advice, and changing rooms with hot showers so players can spruce up before meeting Mom for a post-game debriefing. Pocono's crew also coordinates rafting, biking, and kayaking packages through partner company Whitewater Rafting Adventures.
Cut through thick forests in the heart of White Haven, Stone Meadows Golf Course presents visitors with a tree-framed layout that weaves around links-style mounds and bunkers. The course brings water into play on a handful of holes, and multiple sharp dog legs lie in wait to challenge even the most skilled golfers. But competitors at Stone Meadows don't necessarily have to use clubs or slingshots to move balls across the course?they can use their feet, too. The relatively short length of 5,210 yards from the tips makes the course a perfect fit for footgolf, a hybrid of soccer and golf in which players aim to kick a soccer ball into cups in as few shots as possible.
Course at a Glance * 18-hole, par 70 course * Total distance of 5,210 yards from the back tees * Three tees per hole * Click here to view the scorecard.
Helmed by 23-year PGA vet Scot W.R. Nei, TourBound Golf Academy hones the skills of golfers of all levels with a blend of professional training and high-tech analysis. In addition to learning from extensively experienced human trainers, students study under the cold, metal gaze of a training robot, which mercifully sets its kill-phasers to the "teach" setting as it offers up exact movement measurements and mechanically guided golf-swing practice. An indoor and outdoor facility hosts lessons in all weather, and TrackMan ball-flight trackers and digital-video scrutiny pinpoint improper postures and map out spheroid trajectories with computerized precision.
Split Rock Resort nestles entertainment-packed quarters amid the quiet forests of the Poconos Mountains, making for a travel destination that's as thrilling as it is serene. After a day spent careening down four-story tubes, surfing on a flow rider, and boiling eggs in the hot tubs of the indoor water park, guests can recover from the hysteria in their Galleria two-bedroom suite, its comfortable confines bolstered by a full kitchen. During the warmer months, enjoy quiet time on the emerald terrain of the 18-hole golf course or on the many hiking trails in the area. Clans can diversify their group outings by taking in a flick at the onsite movie theater or slinging orbs down an eight-lane bowling alley with glow-in-the-dark pins (golf, movies, and bowling not included with this Groupon). Four onsite dining options keep energy stores and family fork fights up as guests dine on pizza, classic American fare, libations at the two bars, and chilled treats at the old-fashioned ice-cream parlor.
The clatter of fallen pins makes for a great party soundtrack at Stanton Lanes. Kids as young as three can host their birthday celebrations here, and to make sure that they score on the lanes, the staff engages ramps, bumpers, and motivational speakers that follow each rolling ball. Teens also throw parties to the tune of current hit songs, whereas adults gather for pizza- and coffee-fueled soirees. Of course, in the absence of a special event, bowlers arrive to pummel pins during open bowl.