Got cabin fever? Are your kids growing tired of the
usual wintertime sports - sledding, skating, snowman building - and
are looking for a more challenging outdoor activity?
Paintball Explosion is an outdoor paintball theme
park, located in East Dundee, minutes off the I-90 expressway. It's
the perfect spot to take your tweens and teens for an afternoon of
outdoor fun - no matter the weather. Seven professionally-designed
outdoor paintball fields include scenarios similar to some of the
video games that you're tweens and teens are already playing. It
gives them the chance to move their eyes off the screen and onto
their real life opponents in the great outdoors.
My son and his pals were just plain thrilled to get
outdoors - no matter the snow, ice and cold - and run around with
their paintball guns. Donned in their winter gear and wearing
protective helmets, they told me that they really felt like they
were living inside a video game world - an abandoned town blanketed
in snow where they had to learn to battle as a team.
Here's how it works: check in by paying your entry
fee, renting your gear and purchasing your paintballs. After
listening to a brief safety lecture, you'll head outdoors and load
up your paintballs. If you have enough kids in your party, they can
form a team of their own; single participants will be assigned to a
team. On the battlefield, it's a race to see who can survive the
paintball onslaught. Referees are on hand to ensure safety and fair
This is most definitely not a sport for little kids
and I recommend it solely for older tweens - ages 12 and up - and
teens. Since our kids were dressed up in snow pants, they didn't
feel the sometimes slightly painful paint bullet hits. If you can't
wear snow pants, you'll definitely want to wear thicker
Viewing areas and closed-circuit live-feed video
from the field give parents the opportunity to watch their players
in action. Snacks and refreshments are available, too. To learn
more, visit Paintball Explosion at pbbomb.com.
Amy Bizzarri is a writer, Chicago public school teacher and mom to two kids - a preschooler and a middle schooler - living in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago.
See more of Amy's stories here.
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