With its shades open, Revo Entertainment Center looks like a typical indoor field. With its shades drawn, though, its true colors show. Its true glow-in-the-dark colors, to be exact.
The fun center's 3D murals give off an ethereal light that alludes to the spot's specialty: glow-in-the-dark games, that come to life with the help of 3D glasses. During Glow Soccer, youngsters play a game similar to traditional soccer, except in the dark, the field lit by each team's glow shirts and the ball itself. LazerBall, on the other hand, fuses paintball and laser tag into a single, cosmically-themed sport in which players shoot soft pellets and laser light at each other in a battle over the fictional Planet Revo. Though similar to paintball pellets, the LazerBalls do not explode upon impact and won't stain clothes or ruin any priceless artworks used as shields. For littler laser warriors, the center also offers an age-appropriate version of the game known as Lazerball Soft, which uses extra soft spongy balls that are gentle on tiny torsos and limbs.
Crouched behind a stack of tires, a player feels the incoming paintballs smack against the rubber as he plots his next move. Such a sight is common at Bigshot Paintball Field's outdoor field, a collage of upturned pallets, cable spools, and dirt mounds where combatants outmaneuver each other to find the best firing positions. Bigshot's staff acquaints every player, from beginners to those who have been living off field grass since 2005, with the rules of play and equipment operation before allowing them to enter the thick of battle. Between bouts, the staff also dispenses bottled water and soft drinks and can recommend nearby pizza joints that deliver. Barbecue grills are allowed as well, if there's room available. As a not-for-profit organization, Bigshot Paintball Fields donates a portion of its proceeds to the Police Officer Assistance Trust, a support organization for the law-enforcement community of Miami–Dade County.
At Family Paintball Center, players armed with rented markers storm the fields during classic games: capture the flag, elimination, and elimination’s cousin, resurrection, in which tagged players can be reborn. Separated by sky-high screens, the sprawling fields are scattered with wooden fences and spools as well as inflatable shapes that players can use to dodge incoming pellets. To make a day of it, groups can bring along food and drink, and even set up their own barbecue grill. There is also a concessions stand on-site, and local pizzerias deliver to the field, rather than just throwing their pies there Frisbee-style.
At Action Town Florida, battles take place with paint, lasers, and putters. A professional paintball team designed the outdoor paintball arena, which sprawls across 2 acres and encompasses urban-warfare and garage areas. Area 51, the laser-tag arena, fuels competition with high-tempo music and glow-in-the-dark obstacles. The nine-hole miniature golf course also glows in the dark, offering a helpful way to distinguish between real obstacles and imaginary friends' heads. Action Town Florida also fills its facility with arcade games, bumper cars, and climbing walls, as well as a bounce-house city with very reasonable property taxes. Its party packages give guests a taste of all offerings, along with refreshments and food.
From the outside, China Steak House's diner-style windows and corner location almost make the restaurant feel torn from an Edward Hopper painting—with the addition of red lanterns hanging from its awning. But within, it’s the eatery's commitment to a variety of regional Chinese flavors that’s the main draw. Cantonese noodle dishes find good company alongside the menu’s spicy Szechuan entrees and occasional Miami-style touches—such fried plantains—find their way into the mix. The dining room incorporates a bit of a ballroom vibe with its high-backed booths and heavy wood chairs surrounding lacquered tables that add class to an already refined dining experience.
When paintballers feel ready for action but aren't sure where they'd like to do battle, they point their browsers to www.paintballpromos.com. There they'll find packages for nearby paintball fields, so they don't have to litter their own backyards with empty oil barrels and fill tiny water balloons with tempera paint. Packages usually include the rental of a marker and mask; paintballs and air fills are an extra charge at the field.