This season the Pekin Paintball Park is offering an adrenaline rush. Owner Mike McKinley said this is their 7th season of outdoor recreation and have options for children to adults.
They are open on weekends only with the exception of a private party of a minimum of 15 participants during the week. In order to have a private party, reservations must be made at least one week prior to the day being reserved. On Saturdays they are open from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. and on Sundays from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Pekin Paintball Park is located at 14444 Towerline Road.
There are 3 levels of play offered. The first is called “KidSplat.” It is a birthday party package option for children ages 6 to 11. A regular caliber paintball is 68. For younger children, McKinley said they use 50-caliber paintballs.
The second level is “Low Impact.” McKinley said that people come in who want to play paintball but tell him they have heard it hurts to be hit with one.
“Getting hit with a regular, 68-caliber paintball, does sting for a few seconds but your adrenaline is rushing so usually you don’t focus on it,” said McKinley. “We made this low impact an option to reduce the impact of paintballs hitting you.”
Low Impact uses the 50-caliber paintballs and is an option for participants ages 8 to 100-years-old, McKinley said.
The third level uses a standard caliber and is for those 13-years-old and up. There are several packages to choose from that can be found on their website www.pekinpaintball.com. One such package is the Gold Rental Package. It includes one new 98 Tippmann Platinum series with a hopper and mask, all day field fee, all day air and 500 paintballs. General pricing includes a $15 admission fee, H.P. single fill for $4 and rental gear for $15.
Pekin Paintball Park also offers club membership for either 3 months for $50 or one year for $99. McKinley said people can show up for “walk-on play” where someone can play with others who have not come with a group. Typically there are at least 20 walk-ons each weekend.
On a weekly basis the Pekin Paintball Park has birthday parties, church or sports youth groups, bachelor parties and team building outings.
“We also have a lot of father-son pairs,” he said. “They bond while playing. They have a fun time.”
Safety is very important to McKinley. He said that before every participant joins the game they go through a safety briefing. Each participant must also have a signed waiver in order to play. Waivers are given at the paintball park or can be found on the website’s home page, filled out ahead of time and brought to an event for less of a wait.
Stephanie Wallace said she stayed when her son, Isaac had been invited to a birthday party at the paintball park because she knew he had not played much.
“Isaac didn’t have any reservations going into it at all. We talked about it beforehand so he kind of knew that it might hurt when he actually was hit,” said Wallace. “The paintballs used for the kids were smaller and slightly easier to break than a normal size paintball, whatever normal is, but they definitely still left welts on his arm. He said it stung but never complained thereafter and it was likely gone the next day. Before the boys went out to shoot, they all were given the face and chest gear to wear. Someone helped put it on them and gave them instruction on how to use the guns. Then there was someone out on the field while they were shooting. Isaac left saying he wanted to do it again.”
“It (paintball) has evolved recently,” McKinley said. “It’s a super fun sport. So often kids are used to communication through devices, but here it’s face-to-face communications. I think it’s extremely good to have that. Everyone has to work as a team to achieve an objective.”