Two teams of gunmen disperse across the tower field, some marksmen ducking for cover in the World War II–style bunkers constructed of railroad ties, others seeking protection inside the field's two-story pillboxes. Silently holding their positions, the players feel a hush fall over the field as they wait to see which side will make the first move in their battle to take the central, three-story tower. As they sit frozen behind their barricades, an excruciating hush envelops each one until it seems they're each alone on the territory. And then someone sprints toward the tower.
Apocalypse Paintball spans 50 acres of playing grounds, encompassing 15 current and upcoming fields that range from two speedball courses to a 40,000-square-foot castle. Coordinating both walk-on and private play, Apocalypse's staff maintains active, challenging bouts through organized games such as capture the flag and downed pilot. Between competitions, a fire pit, grills, and a large picnic area invite players to recuperate and exchange stories of catching incoming fire with their bare hands.
In addition to paintball, the Apocalypse crew also runs Airsoft sessions and hosts tournaments. An FAQ page anticipates visitors' questions to encourage a seamless transition to the fields.
Poynette’s Smokey Hollow Farm was founded in 2004 as a hub for family holiday celebrations, selling harvested fir trees to Christmas shoppers and welcoming astonished onlookers to compare shoe sizes and inseams with Big Jake, the world’s tallest horse. Standing 6’10” in withers, the 11-year-old Belgian draft horse graces the pages of Guinness World Records 2011, and was recognized on Today for his goofy personality and fundraising efforts for Ronald McDonald House. During the holiday season, clients can also hitch free rides on horse-drawn wagons to tour the farm's lush grounds, and year-round visitors can stop by the gift shop to stock up on potpourri, Amish baked goods, and other items made by local artisans.
The family-run Creek Bed Country Farmacy invites families to enjoy the charm of a working farm during seasonal festivities every fall. Their multi-acre corn maze, which changes every year, is easily the largest attraction on the grounds. The maze contains paths of different difficulty levels so that navigators of any age can choose their challenge and test the effectiveness of homemade compasses. Hayrides trawl the grounds, passing a 5-acre pumpkin patch full of gourds for carving. Kids let off any excess energy on a straw mountain, beehive-shaped play structure, or 40-foot trail slide.
Ivy snakes around door frames and fine stemware dangles above the Von Klaus Winery Tasting Haus’s bar where racks of all-natural fruit wines give off a kaleidoscope of colors. In this space, Von Klaus's staff re-creates the secluded winery experience right in downtown Baraboo. During four-course tastings, they pour samples of their sulfite- and preservative-free wines crafted from handpicked apples, wild cherries, or New Zealand kiwis. As guests gaze out the windows onto the historical square, the staff brings out small plates that may include Wisconsin cheese, jumbo shrimp, and chocolate truffles. As intimate as these pairings can be, the team at Von Klaus also finds a way to re-create the same feeling on a larger scale at private events. In addition to mobile tastings, the winery also brings its traveling vineyard to events in which a professional wine steward is on hand to offer guests a variety of sips.
The friendly tool experts at Direct Tools Factory Outlet help customers to negotiate the store's huge inventory of new, reconditioned, and factory-blemished hardware from brands such as Ryobi, Homelite, and Milwaukee. Items are priced at a reduced rate, giving purchasers extra money and a brand-new stockpile of hardware to construct a time machine to go back and impress an early hominid with a Dirt Devil Scorpion 7-amp hand vacuum ($29.99) or a factory-blemished Ryobi One+ Lithium-Ion compact drill ($127.99). Each product carries a warranty of at least one year, even the reconditioned items, which had to get back in shape with pushups and burpees to earn their warranty ribbon.
Dells Watersports, a boating haven founded in 1979 by Steve and Kathy Zowin, creates adventures aboard its high-speed and leisurely paced watercraft. Atop the waters of Lake Delton, inflatable tubes bounce over waves as they’re pulled by rental ski boats, and rental waverunners heed the stop signs held up by mermaids. Taking more leisurely trips, kayaks and canoes carry groups on scenic floats by sandstone bluffs, white pine trees, and the Timme Mill dam. Back on shore, staff members man a full-service marina department stocked with boating equipment. Dells Watersports also maintains sister facilities for watercraft rental at Mirror Lake, Castle Rock Lake, and inside all the world's fishbowls.