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 hailstorm of paint projectiles rains down upon CPX Sports' more than one dozen fields, each of which poses different challenges and requires specialized tactics. The crown jewel of the park is the Town of Bedlam, a massive maze of small-town 1950s buildings that jut out between streets dotted by paint-splattered cars and streetlights. There, snipers poke their heads out of the central city hall's tower as the opposing team hides out or checks for abandoned shampoo samples inside the post office. The Jungle of Doom drops teams into a heavily wooded field to vie for control of a central temple, and chromatic combatants weave between desiccated cars in the Wastelands, attempting to collect the most gas cans. A full pro shop outfits players with markers, protective gear, and Sesame Street coloring books for target practice.
Near the runways of O'Hare Airport, O'Hare Paintball Park hosts competitors inside its 25,000-square-foot indoor arena. A quiet staging area away from the noise of roaring opponents lets combatants prepare for each skirmish before storming the field with paintball guns in speedball or scenario matches. Red and blue speedball-format obstacles lend cover during quick elimination games, and inflatable hummers, log cabins, and wooden boxes conceal warriors in themed games to give an authentic war-zone feel. Experienced staff members interact with players before and after matches by assisting younger competitors, offering strategies for overcoming difficult situations, and offering techniques for painting Monet's Water Lilies on opponents' bunker walls. O’Hare Paintball Park is open to the public Thursdays through Sundays.
Westmont Yard’s indoor 60yd x 90yd rubber infill turf field, which can split into three separate fields, hosts athletic activities for everyone in the family, from a young son’s one-hand-touch football game to a dad’s adult league soccer match. The facility also puts on after school sports programs and houses birthday parties. For tykes too young to play on the fields, they offer The Playroom, replete with a huge bounce house and obstacle course.
Go-karts roar across the racetrack, bumper boats collide, and the cracking sound of confined home runs rings out from batting cages. This multisensory symphony fills the landscaped grounds of Fun Time Square, where attraction after attraction beckons visitors of all ages to kiddie train rides, 18 holes of mini golf, and the blinking lights of pinball machines in the onsite arcade. More intense thrills unfold at a paintball field, where abandoned cars, inflated cover, and war-torn art teachers guard players from enemy paint.
Housed inside of an airplane-hanger-like building with a high, A-frame ceiling, Chicagoland Paintball's battleground yields paintballing matches during all seasons. The center suits up players in rental gear before sending them onto the green turf floor to navigate mammoth inflatable X- and barrel-shaped obstacles. After the paint clouds clear, teams can agree to an armistice as they nosh on pepperoni pizzas and slurp down slushies at the onsite snack bar. And in the adjoining lounge, they recharge and recover with free WiFi and cable TV, plus nearby shower facilities that promote cleaner car rides home.