Although playing with dolls is good practice for parenthood, playing paintball is even better preparation for the subsequent zombie-doll apocalypse. Rehearse for the battle of brain-eating Barbies with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get an all-day package with equipment rental, unlimited air, and two hundred paintballs at Warpaint International in Salem (a $30 value).
One of Salem’s only paintball purveyors, Warpaint International trains amateur armies in the art of painting on moving human canvasses. The indoor arena simulates sending paint platoons to war in the jungles of the Amazon or rewriting the Gunfight at O.K. Corral. The outdoor field dispatches splatter-squads on a tour of duty through classic, heart-pounding war scenarios. Relive World War II in the trenches, taking out adversaries near the Private Ryan Bridge, or recreate World War I with shocking accuracy by charging through the Darkwoods Castle, doing a slow-motion belly roll and shooting a dragon in the back.
Paintballers must sign a waiver before playing.
The sparkle of coal is a common sight in mineshafts, but no minerals have ever been found in Warpaint International's mineshaft. Instead, the splatter of fired paintballs covers the walls, just as it does in the newly renovated, 20,000-square-foot arena's other three play zones. Within the exciting facility, competitors can navigate the small homes of an indoor shantytown and crouch behind stacked barrels in an otherwise sparse mock-hotel.
JT SplatMaster Paintball offers a gentler version of paintball for younger players who have outgrown Extreme Contact Face Painting. And Warpaint International has partnered with Sniperz Den Paintball in St. Paul to host once-a-month events on more than 50 acres ripe for play, including seven bases replete with flags. Players can also stop by the full pro shop to stock up on markers, paintballs, and other related apparel.