Paintball is like a production of Hamlet: it's exciting, demanding, and by the end everyone has pretend-died. Take paintball arms against a sea of troubles with today's Groupon: for $55, you get a semi-automatic paintball package for two at Paintball Jungle, located in American Canyon (a $110 value).
Paintball Jungle has pitted trigger-happy Technicolor troopers against each other in simulated combat for more than 20 years. The semi-auto basic package treats two warriors to a tour of paint-slinging duty, equipping each with a rapid-fire paint gun, protective facemask and goggles, two CO2 refills, and 500 nontoxic paintballs. Peppered with forts, bunkers, and a teepee village, the battlefield sprawls across 50 acres of flat, lush eucalyptus grove like a duvet spread over a sleepy general after a long night of salsa dancing. The park opens at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and after a short orientation at 9 a.m., games last until 4 p.m., with a 30-minute lunch break for ingesting rations and talking strategy. Teams are evenly matched, preventing merciless mercenaries from outgunning the fun out of first-time players.
Paint-shy participants can rest assured that every pistol at Paintball Jungle is carefully calibrated for correct velocity, so taking a hit feels more like a quick sting from a fat rubber band than a tears-inducing whack from a fat rubber mallet. Although the paint is washable, war is dirty business, so camouflage or dark-colored, loose-fitting clothing is recommended for all human canvases.
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