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Taking on Nerf Challenge's battle arenas and obstacle courses

The foam-dart battlegrounds of my childhood, fully realized.

Walking into the Nerf Challenge, it's impossible not to have a huge grin on your face. I got to visit the 50,000-square-foot venue in Los Angeles and try many of the incredibly fun experiences. As a lifelong fan of Nerf toys, I couldn't have been more thrilled.

The first challenge, Wrecking Bowling, involves riding a giant, swinging bowling ball into huge bowling pins. Others are inspired by game shows. Dodge Blast, for instance, let me live out my dream of being on American Gladiator: I ran to different barriers, shooting Nerf blasters at targets while avoiding fire from someone on an elevated platform firing bigger blasters at me. Of course it wouldn't be a Nerf experience without visiting a couple of the battle arenas, where I played some of the classics. The Urban Playground, a hybrid construction site and skatepark, played host to a game of 5v5 capture the flag. And I participated in a game of last man standing in the appropriately named Blast Man Standing, where ammo and weapon upgrades were scattered in crates throughout a jungle-themed environment.

The Nerf Challenge runs Dec. 7 through Jan. 5 in Los Angeles before it heads on tour in the US and Canada. Future dates and tickets can be purchased at NerfChallenge.com. And the best part? You don't have to pick up the darts after yourself!