It’s easy to get stuck in a social rut: going to the same places, doing the same things, and eating the same food every weekend. It’s time to exit that lane and push yourself and your friends to see the light and step up your social game. Sure, they may be reluctant at first — because people tend to stick with the familiar, but we can guarantee that once you push them off that (possibly literal) cliff, they’ll be thanking you profusely and buying you gifts, or at least saying something like, “Hey, I thought that would suck, but it was actually awesome.”
Check out these 15 awesome group activities that you can do to take things up a notch no matter where you are, because cool spots like these are popping up everywhere. So, step. away. from. the. remote.
We’re all in need of a good adrenaline rush every once in awhile, but only a select few have the guts to make it happen. But when you commit to sandboarding at Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park, there’s no turning back. And shredding through the tallest dunes (or take your pick from smaller ones throughout the U.S.) in North America on a fiberglass board is a challenge you’re only going to want to face with your closest friends.
Skydiving is cool, but actually jumping out of a miniature plane sounds absolutely terrifying. To get the same feel without the weeks of apprehensive sweats beforehand, opt for an adventure at Philadelphia’s indoor skydiving facility iFLY, where instructors will teach you how to fly with your body and flip through the air with the help of a self-contained vertical wind tunnel. It’s pretty badass, even if you did cry the first time you couldn’t stop flipping. And these places are popping up everywhere from Virginia to Vegas, so get ready to flip out.
Austin’s Blazer Tag is no ordinary laser tag arena — it’s the largest laser tag venue in all of Texas. Dive through a three-story maze filled with ramps, bridges, and raised nooks that make sniping your opponent that much more gratifying. Aside from the grand event, Blazer Tag also offers over 60 video games, air hockey tables, skeeball, and an indoor ropes challenge course. But before you go, make sure to get your mail forwarded — you won’t be leaving anytime soon.
You know what’s awesome? Trampolines. You know what’s even more awesome? A trampoline park with foam pits. And you more what’s even awesomer? You in a trampoline park with foam pits doing backflips with your best friends. Bounce! Trampoline Sports is located in Syosset, New York, and comes complete with trampolines, foam pits, and trampoline basketball and dodgeball. Yeah — dreams really do come true.
Is there a better way of bringing people together than trapping them in a room and forcing them to find a way out? Yes, but it’s a lot less entertaining. Nashville’s The Escape Project will transport you to another world where you’re forced to team up and race against the clock. With themes like The Heist, Underground Playground, Prison Break, and Mission: Mars, you and your friends will be set for a while. And if you’re nowhere near Tennessee, no worries — variations of Escape the Room can also be found in New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and other cities throughout the country. It’s cool to be locked up these days.
If this election cycle doesn’t kill us, a zombie apocalypse definitely will. Don’t you want to be prepared? Of course you do! Getting your face taken off by a flesh-eating corpse isn’t the best way to go out. That’s where the Zombie Apocalypse Survival Camp comes in. Instructors will teach you how to shoot guns, work a crossbow, build a shelter, and seal up a nasty wound, all while being chased around by the undead. Take notes. And if you haven’t noticed, zombies are in, so take your pick of your latest local zombie adventure.
If there’s one thing you should be doing in New York this summer, it’s attending the Illuminati Ball. Coined “an immersive dinner theater event,” the evening mixes Sleep No More with a dreamlike atmosphere to bring you a night more memorable than your senior prom. After a limo picks you up in a secret NYC locale, you’re whisked away to an undisclosed location an hour outside the city, where the enigmatic evening unfolds. Upon sitting down for dinner, your first course is enjoyed while wearing a blindfold (presumably because it adds to the whole “WTF is going on” ambiance) and actors donning extravagant animal masks wander throughout the jarring lakeside estate. Sounds weird, right? That’s because it is — weird and insanely cool.
Friends are supposed to make you braver, and if there’s one time you’re going to need that courageous boost, it’s when you’re zipping 300 feet above a canyon floor at 40mph — in the dark. Catalina Island’s Nighttime Zip Line Eco Tour provides riders a thorough exploration of the area with nearly a mile’s worth of zip lines. In between heart-pounding rides, guides will provide tidbits of Catalina Island history and its wildlife. Sounds equally frightening and exciting. Start coercing and find a local zipper by you!
After seeing 127 hours, rock climbing in the real world became a lot less appealing. But strapping on a harness to scale a fake rock wall is totally doable. Reno’s Whitney Peak Hotel boasts the world’s tallest artificial rock climbing wall, coming in at 164 feet. If you’re not up for the challenge, the facility also offers three indoor boulders for beginner climbers. Either way, you’re going to be working up a sweat. So rest assured knowing that you have the option to end your day hitting up the casinos and local restaurants, both of which involve a ton of sitting. Score!
Obviously paintball is awesome, but Chicago’s CPX Sports takes things up a notch (or 10) with the town of Bedlam, a town they built entirely from scratch so gamers could adequately hide from their targets. The deserted city gives off a 1950’s feel and comes complete with a city hall, quaint shops, archaic cars abandoned outside of stores, and dusty streetlights. The quiet, creepy feeling you get when walking past the city sign can only mean one thing: it’s go time.
Unfortunately in today’s world, it’s socially unacceptable for anyone over the age of five to jump headfirst into a ball pit. Unless you’re at City Museum, Missouri’s giant adult playground, where belly flopping down slides, climbing through a pipe organ, and getting lost in caves is perfectly normal for someone with a 401k.
If you’ve ever wanted to flip off a wall Matrix-style, Tempest parkour facility will have you feeling like a bruised-up Neo in just an hour. New students will focus on strength, balance, and full body awareness, while the more advanced will get to try their hand at more elaborate parkour tricks, like back flipping off of walls and freerunning. Don’t forget to stretch though; no one wants a pulled groin.
Built in 1935, this massive inside-out stained glass globe is the coolest thing you’ll ever find in a library. Visitors will walk across a 30-foot glass bridge that spans the center of the globe to get a closer look at the entire world from a single perspective. It’s also the only place where the surface of the world can be seen without distortion, making many of the countries look entirely unfamiliar. But the best part? You get to go around the world in 20 minutes without any layovers. Sold!
Mini golf was a standard first date in middle school, but things have gotten more exciting with Portland’s Glowing Greens, an indoor, black lit, 3D, pirate-themed miniature golf course. With pirate images popping out of the walls and skeletons that come out of nowhere, this place will have you seeing mini golf in a whole new light. Literally.
Lose the beads, step away from Easy Street, and start getting freaky with the paranormal. New Orleans’ ghost and vampire tour from French Quarter Phantoms will take you through NOLA’s most historic neighborhoods, while educating you on supposed real-life vampire-like crime stories. At least your friends won’t judge you for screaming like a baby, right?
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