Paint flies all weekend long at Antioch Paintball Park, as teams of players vie for control of two fields littered with hay-bale obstacles or Sup'Air bunkers. Large nets next to the field protect observers and wayward butterflies from paintballs. The field boasts a large grill area for teammates to tell colorful war stories while eating grilled hot dogs and gulping down energy drinks after a quick rinse in the onsite showers.
Paintball Jungle has pitted trigger-happy Technicolor troopers against each other in simulated combat for more than 20 years. The semi-auto basic package treats two warriors to a tour of paint-slinging duty, equipping each with a rapid-fire paint gun, protective facemask and goggles, two CO2 refills, and 500 nontoxic paintballs. Peppered with forts, bunkers, and a teepee village, the battlefield sprawls across 50 acres of flat, lush eucalyptus grove like a duvet spread over a sleepy general after a long night of salsa dancing. The park opens at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and after a short orientation at 9 a.m., games last until 4 p.m., with a 30-minute lunch break for ingesting rations and talking strategy. Teams are evenly matched, preventing merciless mercenaries from outgunning the fun out of first-time players.
Though sunlit fields are typically the site of football games and cow sunbathing, at Fairfield Extreme Sports, they serve as the grounds for colorful paintball skirmishes. Players charge the outdoor fields, quickly diving behind inflatable obstacles to shield themselves from the incoming barrage of paintballs during games of speedball and recball. Throwback Thursdays give players a taste of old-fashioned paintball matches that feature semiautomatic markers and the traditional postmatch exchanges of, "Good show, old chap."
Flying chromatic spheres splatter across the turf and cover of Midway Paintball's six fields situated on 22 acres of woodlands and open spaces. Protective rental gear and paintball markers aid games of elimination, capture the flag, and save the king. The western field's buildings shelter tactical retreats, and the hyperball field's huge prone cylinders of corrugated piping allow for cat-like surprise attacks or intimidating sudden naps. Dotted with inflatable cover, the astroturf-covered NPPL?regulation field presents an ideal arena for professional-grade matches.
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Escape curates friendly competition within its 45,000-square-foot facility, which houses massive paintball and laser-tag arenas. The faux-combat emporium houses two indoor paintball fields, including a castle-themed map in which players defend flags just like peasants did in the days of medieval paint arrowing. Ribbons of light cut through the ominous fog that hangs over the 5,000-square-foot Q-ZAR Lazertag arena, a maze-like structure illuminated by black lights and soundtracked with high-octane beats. After rounds of recreational warfare, guests can relax at Escape's arcade or tap into the building-wide wireless Internet to send an email ordering an ambush on an unsuspecting pal.
A stress-shedding family-friendly sport for splatter soldiers of all types and stripes, paintball grants its combatants the perfect backdrop for one-on-one duels or group-oriented maneuvers. Spread out your tickets over six solo sessions, or round up five friends, coworkers, or NBA starters for a fast-paced adrenaline-fueled jaunt across unique indoor and outdoor terrains that can include pastoral fields and themed villages. Each trek arms guests with a battle mask and goggles, semiautomatic paintball marker, hopper and tanker, and orientation that lays out the rules, safety precautions, and the symbolism behind to Jackson Pollack’s early work.