High-school social-studies teacher Anthony Pennino Sr. played his first round of paintball in 1985. By the following year Tony had gathered 20–30 friends and kin for paintball bouts on his family's private land. As demand for paintball guns and safety gear grew among his brigade of marksmen, he converted his basement into a makeshift store, supplying paintball accoutrement from home until moving into a storefront in 1990. Within two decades Tony and his clan formed the lauded paintball team the New York Dogs, opened their own indoor arena, and eventually combined that arena with their largest store yet.
That facility forms the backbone of Island Paintball, where a sports turf field hosts Model 98–brandishing players. In between games, players can watch other contests from behind the staging area's Plexiglas viewing windows or browse Island Paintball Supplies' gun wall and 12 massive showcases of paintball gear. An in-house gunsmith repairs any malfunctioning guns, which patrons can wield at open-play sessions and private parties.
Deer Park Bowl sets an atmosphere of relaxed fun with its state-of-the-art lanes and onsite bar and grill. Patriotic stars and stripes adorn 16 gleaming Brunswick Pro Anvil synthetic lanes that also feature upfront ball returns, delivering balls back to players faster than it takes to memorize the 14 Eskimo words for “bowling.” Servers at the onsite Pinheads Bar & Grill dish up pizzas, fried fare, and Italian entrees as customers play darts, gaze at six plasma televisions, and swig from an extensive selection of cold bottles, tap beer, and top-shelf liquor. On weekend nights, neon lighting transforms the alley into a cosmic wonderland, accompanied by satellite radio and Saturday night.
At The Adventure Park at Long Island, small platforms hang at various levels among the branches and boughs, connected by bridges and ziplines. Guests navigate up into the canopy and then soar back down, experiencing fantastic speeds coupled with stunning aerial views. To ensure all visitors have ample time to enjoy their experience, course start times are staggered throughout the day. This keeps the treetop traffic at a minimum, ensuring minimal wait times and no outbursts from squirrels with road rage.
Nicole Parisi forges interspecific bonds. At Major Expectations Riding and Training, she helps guests young and old get to know horses during lessons that run the gamut from simple horsemanship to jumping and show maneuvers. Alongside a packed curriculum of horseback sessions, Nicole can also corral a pile of ponies at a remote location for birthday parties or pony rides to celebrate a renewed mobile-phone contract.
Slides, climbing structures, and three inflatable jumpers and obstacle courses outfit Wood Kingdom's 5,000-square-foot indoor playground, while a separate snack area and private birthday room quarantine feasting children from frolicking ones. Elsewhere, knowledgeable staffers in the family-operated business' indoor and outdoor showrooms walk patrons through an extensive stock of home-playground equipment and outdoor furnishings, including trampolines with safety enclosures, basketball hoops, and gazebos. Wood Kingdom personnel subsequently delivers, installs, and maintains each piece of equipment, ensuring that sheds continue to reject move-in offers from portals to the underworld and swing sets are properly assembled.
With whirling colorful lights and a top-40 playlist, Roller Kingdom could give visitors the illusion that they're in a nightclub. But instead of dancing on the floor, guests strap on rollerblades or roller skates to glide across it. Novice skaters can improve their form during lessons or trade in their skates for laser-tag equipment and duel it out with friends in order to win prize tickets and the right to wear a homemade laser-tag championship belt made out of tinfoil. Outside the rink and laser-tag den, guests can play arcade games or belt out their favorite songs on the karaoke stage.