Laser Tag (credit: Charley Gallay/Getty Images)

Laser tag as a sport got its start from the U.S. Army using infrared beams for combat training in the late 1970s and early ‘80s. The Bay Area boasts many fans of all ages that enjoy laser tag as an individual activity or played in teams. Played indoors or out, scored versions of the game have quickly grown in popularity across the Bay Area. Try out the following to find your favorite.

7D Experience
Pier 39, Building M-1
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 445-0120

Hold onto your seat in the 7D Experience state-of-the-art digital theater as you feel the whoosh of a roller coaster thrill or survive the doom of a zombie apocalypse. Blast seekers will delight in taking their best aim and have their picture displayed on the big screen. Check out the country’s most incredible interactive ride, using cutting-edge technology that surrounds you with sound, 3D effects and the absolute latest in laser technology. New DarkRide games start approximately every 10 minutes, all day long. LaZer Challenge is $5/person for the first session and $3/person for same-day return visits. XD DarkRide is $10/person for the first ride and $5/person for same-day return visits. Visit the website for complete information.

Nor Cal Laser Tag
2542 Monterey Highway
San Jose, CA 95111
(877) 667-2256

Nor Cal Laser Tag gets high-fives from its fans for providing awesome laser tag and paintball fun in a cool outdoor setting that most players enjoy above a mall setting. Nor Cal is a big place and kids have a blast, as outdoor laser tag is a variation of arena laser tag played outdoors. Everyone ages six and older can play to a level they find comfortable, from the casual player to those who come frequently. The games are structured to encourage teams working together to hone their leadership skills, effective communication, role-play and problem-solving ability. While similar to paintball, laser tag gets bonus points for being painless because it uses no projectiles, so kids and their parents can enjoy their time here worry-free. This is a great place for a birthday party where you can bring your own food to enjoy in the covered picnic area, or even have pizzas delivered right to the field.

Laser Quest
1400 N. Shoreline Blvd., Suite C3
Mountain View, CA 94043
(650) 965-9800

Looking for the perfect place to throw a party that is completely different? Laser Quest just may be the spot you’re looking for. Laser Quest is a specialist in birthday parties for kids, teenagers and adults, and a top-choice location for school field trips and corporate team events. Laser Quest is a family entertainment center that combines classic games of hide-and-seek and tag with some technical twists for some ultimate fun. Visit the website for additional information plus party and event prices.

Laser Tagging Incorporated
5759 Stevenson Blvd.
Newark, CA 94560
(510) 668-1200

Laser Tagging Inc. offers a fast-paced, high-tech escapade of hide-and-seek games for adventure lovers of virtually any age. The venue offers the latest laser tag technology along with state-of-the-art vests and laser guns to precisely track your score. Come with friends, family or even come alone and you will have a great time. Once inside the briefing room, you will get all of the important information you need to ensure a safe and fun environment for everyone. You will also be fitted with a high-tech laser vest with sensors on front and back, plus get a laser gun that releases a beam of light. Then head into the arena where your goal within 15 minutes is to tag your opponents and score as many points as you can. For a nifty twist on the game, sign up for All Night Laser Tagging, happening the last Friday of every month.

Melanie Graysmith is a writer, artist and educator based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. She is also a member of an independent filmmaking group. Her work can be found at