Axe-Throwing Bachelorette Parties Have Never Been So Popular (and No, We're Not Kidding)
Here are two things we never thought we'd say in the same sentence: "bachelor/ette party" and "axe throwing." But guess what, axe throwing has become a super-popular choice for prewedding parties. Seriously, we can't stop noticing the number of hatchet-wielding wedding parties popping up all over the place—even in urban settings like Chicago and New York.
By the way, this is exactly what it sounds like. You and your crew can book a private event at your nearest axe-throwing destination (there's probably one closer than you think), learn how to throw axes like a boss from certified instructors and basically have a blast blowing off steam, enjoying friendly competition and laughing your butts off. And what better way to channel your wedding stress than hurling hatchets in a controlled environment?
Today's couples and their pals are on the hunt for out-of-the-box bachelor/ette ideas, and this activity definitely fits the bill. "Every weekend we have at least one bachelor and/or bachelorette party come through," says Kelly Josberger, cofounder of Stumpy's Hatchet House based in Eatontown, New Jersey. "In the spring, it's not uncommon to have a Saturday with five or six." Josberger says the guys come looking for something rugged and competitive to do as a group, and women are excited to try something completely different from the norm. In other words, instead of bottle service at a nightclub, "they want adventure, and enjoy doing something rustic and exhilarating," Josberger says. "Hurling hatchets is something different and fun."
James Anderson, cofounder of Forged Axe Throwing in Whistler, British Columbia, says he never expected axe throwing to be so popular with the ladies, but bachelorette parties book events at Forged nearly twice as often as bachelor parties. Anderson also attributes its popularity to the larger trend of interactive adult recreation. While hanging out at a bar, restaurant or brewery is never a bad idea, simply put, "people are tired of going somewhere and sitting down—they want something they can actually do while still being able to chat," Anderson says. Think of it as having a similar flow to a bowling party—but with an edge, of course.
Worried about safety? Don't be. Every throwing establishment has their safety plan on lock. At Stumpy's, guests are closely monitored by a throwing coach in a controlled environment. And before anyone even gets to hold a hatchet, they're given a full review of rules, regulations and proper throwing instructions. "As far as activities go, it's just like throwing darts, only safer—[at Forged] we have assistants helping 24/7," Anderson says. And we know what you're thinking, that drinking and axe-throwing doesn't mix—but many throwing spots prohibit hard alcohol and all of them tightly monitor how much beer and wine is served.
Anyone who doesn't want to partake—although we bet you'll find even your most skeptical friends getting the urge once they get there—can always find something to do, whether it's cheering on pals, hanging at the bar or playing games like giant checkers or Jenga. "We put great effort into the environment of Stumpy's, from comfy leather sofas to rustic farm tables. We call our experience the 'social throwdown' because it's just as much fun to hang out as it is to take your turn at the target," Josberger says. "It's a perfect place to be with close friends and family before the bride and/or groom embark on their next adventure."
Feeling inspired? Check out five awesome places to get your axe on at your bachelor/ette party.