Gusts of steam blasting out of vents, the eerie black eyes of neon-green aliens, and fiery-mouthed craters set the stage at Outer Zone Laser Tag’s 5,000-square-foot arena. Within this extraterrestrial combat zone, players scurry up a 175-foot ramp system and duck behind columns to avoid enemy fire or any existential crises that crop up when aiming the phaser at a best friend. Flickering of strobe lights and swirls of fog hamper vision as players crawl through tunnels and aim their lasers at opponents’ LED-lit vests, hoping for direct hits and big points. Before each session, groups learn the game rules in a briefing room and gear up with the help of a zone commander in the vesting room. Outer Zone Laser Tag also welcomes birthday parties, inviting celebrants to shimmy on a dance floor after taking down enemies in the arena.
Windsor Mountain International Summer Camp hosts families on five-day rustic retreats on 365 acres of rural white-pine forest. Parents, accompanied by their children, can return to the days of bunking in cabins and dorms, roasting marshmallows, and kindling campfires with only a piece of flint and a smartphone. A daily activities schedule abounds with aquatic endeavors, such as canoeing, sailing, and swimming; adventurous challenges, such as zip lining and ropes courses; and creative activities, including music, theater, and arts and crafts. A winding network of hiking trails transports forest explorers along the shores of hidden lakes and through dense pine woodlands, where hikers can seek answers to the philosophical question of whether it’s possible to hear a falling tree’s cries for help.
A natural doorway to the past, Polar Caves gives families an underground adventure through a network of caves and passageways formed by a retreating glacier during an age when woolly mammoths still roamed the earth. Encompassing a stretch near Hawk's Cliff, the highlight of Polar Caves Park is the caves themselves, which wind underground through the rock, twisting and turning before reemerging at the surface. Self-educating explorers can guide themselves through the subterranean walkways, where escaped slaves, Prohibition-era rumrunners, and angry teenage saber-toothed tigers found safety. Previous occupants have left behind evidence of their hidden lives, including a wood-burning stove and cider press. Along the trails, both above ground and underground, educational opportunities abound, with signs proclaiming local history and distinguishing local flora and fauna. Diminutive Dr. Dolittles enjoy practicing their deer whispering at the petting zoo, and landlocked fans flock to the birds at the waterfowl display.