Are your big kids bored of bowling? Not quite ready for the zip line? Consider laser tag or paintball, both fun party options and action-fueled activities you can find right here in NYC.
For the uninitiated, laser tag is a high-energy game of tag meets hide-and-seek that’s played with infrared laser guns in a darkened arena. Paintball pelts participants with small dye pellets. The object of both games: Get to your opponents before they get to you out by strategically shooting, running, and hiding from cover to cover. Don't worry, the laser guns emit harmless, invisible rays that register a "kill" by lighting up a spot on your adversaries' vests and paintball pellets might sting for a few seconds, but there's no long-lasting effects.
Check out one of these five fast and furious laser tag and paintball spots.
Don't forget to check out our brand-new local DEALS page where you can score discounts on camps, classes, birthday party packages, and more for NYC kids. Check back often as we're constantly adding new ones.
Laser Tag at Bowlmor Chelsea Piers — Chelsea
Pier 60 at 23rd Street and the West Side Highway
This sleek, high-end bowling alley added an aerial ropes course and 3,000-square-foot laser tag arena to its attractions in 2014. The laser tag has an NYC theme with replicas of landmarks like the Washington Square Park Arch and the Statue of Liberty. My son really loved the laser guns, which are less realistic than other local spots and shoot a visible beam of light. Children need to be at least 44 inches tall to play.
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At Cousins Paintball kids chase and dodge opponents at an outdoor arena.
Cousins Paintball — Staten Island
2727 Arthur Kill Road
The only exclusive paintball facility in NYC, this Staten Island spot has an outdoor paintball arena where guests can play on a variety of different themed fields. Organizers recommend not bringing kids younger than 9, though they have hosted parties for kids as young as 7. One option for the kid-set: Splat ball; a twist on the traditional game that uses a spring-loaded gun for a lower impact. Be forewarned: This spot is weekends only, though parties of 10 or more may rent out the facility seven days a week. Reservations are recommended on the weekends, though not required.
Fun Station USA — Staten Island
3555 Victory Boulevard near Crane Street
A modest laser tag course is just one of many attractions at this one-stop romping spot that's been around since the 1980s. Video games, batting cages, small carnival rides, ball courts, a virtual reality simulator, and a gated toddler area are also offered. Check Fun Station's website for cool coupons to snag unlimited laser tag deals.
Funtopia USA – Middle Village, Brooklyn
Metro Mall-Middle Village, 66-26 Metropolitan Avenue
This old-school arcade and play center offers a black-light laser tag game called Laser Runner. There are lots of additional attractions including a three-level play structure, indoor bumper cars, a bowling alley, and video games. Parking is complimentary, and admission includes a voucher for a FREE return visit.
Indoor Extreme Sports — Long Island City, Queens & Staten Island
47-11 Van Dam Street between 47th and 48th Avenues, Long Island City
501 Industry Road, Staten Island
The name says it all: Indoor Extreme Sports caters to a wide variety of adrenaline-fueled activities. We were big fans of the Long Island City location of this outpost, and now Staten Island boasts a location of its own, too. The two locations offer an eye-popping five different "fields" to do battle on. Players can take part in both paintball and laser tag, plus a new archery tag game, the first in NYC. A variety of options are offered from Black Ops Laser tag to Zombie Laser Tag and a basic Arena Laser Tag game. Age recommendations vary by attraction, but typically, the games are meant for kids at least 8 years of age. Parents should note that all levels use realistic looking, military-style guns, and there are minimum numbers required for play, making this a better birthday-party destination than drop-in option. For additional details, check out our full Indoor Extreme Sports review.
A version of this article first published in 2015, but it has since been updated.
Top photo: Bowlmor Laser Tag. Photos courtesy of the venues