The best paintball venues offer acres and acres of varied terrain suitable for playing a variety of games like woodsball and speedball and/or a large indoor facility with thousands upon thousands of square feet for players to run around. This is why they tend to be found in far-flung suburbs rather than competing for prime real estate with downtown skyscrapers. Read on to get your hands dirty with paintball battles near Chicago.



CPX Sports

2903 Schweitzer Road
Joliet, IL 60421
(815) 726-2800

CPX Sports features a couple dozen different fields at its sprawling complex next to the Des Plaines River, including the Jungle of Doom, where the object is to find that golden idol. If your tastes run more to Harrison Ford as “Blade Runner” rather than Harrison Ford as “Indiana Jones,” you might prefer the post-apocalyptic ruins of the Armageddon field or all those burned-out vehicles that litter the Wastelands field. Then there’s the town of Bedlam, a million-dollar recreation of a 10-block downtown section of a typical Illinois community. In addition to these themed fields, CPX offers 10 wooded fields and speedball fields.

O’Hare Paintball Park (Credit, Dennis Jacobs)

O’Hare Paintball Park

1071 Thorndale Ave.
Bensenville, IL 60106
(630) 595-9870

This indoor facility is one of the closest to the city of Chicago. The field layout alternates between speedball and scenario play. The field is surrounded by a 360-degree viewing area so spectators can watch all the action.

(Credit: Badlandz Paintball Field's facebook)

(Credit: Badlandz Paintball Field’s facebook)

Badlandz Paintball Field

306 W. Elms Court Lane
Crete, IL 60417
(708) 418-3335

You don’t have to travel to South Dakota to find some weird terrain for paintball play. The Badlandz is only about a half-hour drive south of the Loop. Paintball players can choose from several wooded fields with plenty of areas for outlaws to hide, including one with a wooden fort large enough to accommodate the 7th Cavalry.

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Paintball Explosion

601 Dundee Ave.
East Dundee, IL 60118
(847) 426-2662

What would Santa say about Paintball Explosion? The jolly red one would hardly recognize the old Santa’s Village Amusement Park since its transformation into one of the area’s top paintball venues. Paintball Explosion offers 11 different fields, including its new Nuketown 2013 field, which — like several of the other fields here — is inspired by a popular video game, in this case, Call of Duty: Black Ops II.

Chicagoland Paintball

537 W. 195th St.
Glenwood, IL 60425
(708) 756-1166

Chicagoland Paintball occupies the former site of Country Club Paintball, about a 40-minute drive south of downtown Chicago. This is one of the Midwest’s largest indoor facilities and it’s climate controlled for comfort both in winter and summer. The large, inflatable obstacles can be moved around to offer players a variety of different field experiences.

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Dennis D. Jacobs is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in scores of newspapers and magazines and on multiple websites. For the past four years, he has been the Chicago International Travel Examiner for He lives in west suburban Chicago.