Backed by a landscape of rolling green hills, paintballers navigate a maze of trenches, only peering above ground with their be-goggled eyes for a careful survey. With 14 battlefields to choose from, paintballing combatants test their mettle while fostering team-building and strategization skills. Players fire off rounds from Tippmann or Kingman air guns while ducking behind rusted, paint-splattered oil drums, stacks of large tires, or the big yellow dump truck left behind by Godzilla's toddler. Each battleground presents a different challenge—the turf airball course is populated by inflatable obstacles, and the woodsball field forces teams to traverse forested grounds made hazardous by wetlands and overgrowth. After a grueling match, players can take refuge in the shaded picnic areas to rest, refuel, or brush up on Sun Tzu's lesser-known text, The War of Art.
While traversing more than 30 obstacles and sprinting along hilly trails can be done when donning clean gym clothes, it's often more fun when those clothes are covered in mud. That's the idea behind the Hot An Dirty Mud Run?the themed 5K races blend running and obstacle scaling with mud pits and mud crawls. As participants challenge their endurance and mettle, they also get down and dirty, splashing down water slides and getting muddier than a mermaid's ant farm. At the end of the race, they can clean off in onsite showers to rejoin society's standards of cleanliness at the after-party, which boasts drinks, beer, food, and music. Portions of proceeds go toward Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that emotionally and financially assists soldiers wounded in combat.
At Paintball Wars, the competition is just as unforgiving as the terrain, where splattered rounds mix with the red earth kicked up by dashing and diving players. On Kill Hill, players crouch behind plywood barricades and hay bales, while others climb atop the dirt bunkers, affording them a higher vantage point but exposing them to enemy fire. Nearby, the Flats keeps everyone on the same level, eschewing the Z-axis for ample cover behind barrels and piled tires. Alternatively, the Speedball field’s configuration of inflatable cover changes on a weekly basis, providing new challenges and preventing regulars from memorizing the locations of invincibility power-ups. Outside the battle zones, the park’s armory doles out rental equipment to the uninitiated, including such useful items as one-time-use camouflage overalls and ammo pods.
Mulligan Family Fun Center's three locations surround parents and kids with sprawling smorgasbords of kinetic entertainment. Outside, each park's sunny grounds encourage healthy activity with putt-testing miniature-golf courses and the hairpin turns of go-kart tracks. In the batting cages, aspiring sluggers test their swing while recognized major-league sluggers test their disguise against the park's do-not-admit posters. Back inside, climbers scale the rock wall?s vertical challenges and friends battle friends in laser tag?s intense light-based combat.
Each location also has its own signature activities. The Torrance location's rookie go-karts, for example, enable younger drivers to take a turn down the track, whereas the Palmdale location boasts a longer, 1,500-foot track for children and adults alike.
Bowling is the great social equalizer—a common ground where grizzled undercover clowns, blue-collar English lords, LARPer librarians, big and tall lingerie models, hordes of hive-minded hipsters, and the other two social demographics that comprise America can unite in common cause and topple a gaggle of stuck-up, inanimate wooden pins. Brunswick has been a household name in this egalitarian pastime almost since the beginning, with a company history that dates back to the 19th century, providing classic American good times to all manner of patrons across the country. And with today's Groupon tying the room together, you'll get to play two games (up to a $10.98 value) in its hallowed halls wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (up to a $4.79 value).