Record-breaking heat waves or sudden thunderstorms could have put a pin in anyone’s outdoor plans this summer, not just in upstate New York, but across the country. Yet indoor recreation isn’t limited to your gyms, arcades, bowling alleys, or even a nightclub. Have you ever wanted to throw an ax at a wooden target for a change? There are more opportunities than you think.
Ax throwing falls into the category of target hitting sports. One of the governing bodies is known as the World Ax Throwing League, a global organization that aims to promote ax throwing as a competitive sport, partner with clubs and businesses, and standardize official rules. The sport’s popularity in urban areas grew dramatically after Backyard Ax Throwing, or BATL, became the first to bring an indoor experience to the public in Toronto in 2006. Many companies followed suit, some partnering with WATL to use their rules for their customers, and in March 2019, Bad Ax Throwing opened its first location in Camillus for the greater Syracuse area.
Many ax throwing sites offer fun packages, discounts for large groups, and open bars while patrons play. A session with a party allows a coach or ‘axe master’ to teach clients how to throw, let them practice, give them games to play and offer advice on their technique, especially if it’s their first time. Some venues have organized ax throwing leagues that compete in regular WATL-affiliated tournaments, so anyone who enjoys their experience can sign up to compete on a larger scale.
Each company may have different prices, rules, and regulations, so it’s best to read the location’s FAQ page on their website first or call ahead to plan your visit accordingly. For legal and safety reasons, regardless of location, patrons can expect to sign a waiver and be asked to wear closed-toe shoes before pitching.
While some other sites offer ax throwing as an additional service, this list highlights companies that are specifically dedicated to the activity or other targeted sports throughout the year. So if you’re looking for something new, exciting, niche, and fun for all your friends, you don’t need to “focus” the question any longer. Here are 12 places to throw axes in upstate New York.
Bad ax throwing at Camille and Rochester
Two of Bad Ax Throwing’s 40 locations in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom are in upstate New York. The Township 5 location in Camillus is a 3,100 square foot space with five throwing lanes, while the other Bad Ax in downtown Rochester, which opened in April 2019, has six lanes. Both have a fully licensed bar offering a wide selection of beers and wines. Each Bad Ax has specific hours of operation, offers online booking for groups of four or more (such as birthday parties, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and corporate events), and runs leagues to launch in partnership with the WATL.
Far Shot USA in Syracuse and Albany
Far Shot USA is a one stop shop for many different indoor city activities. In addition to ax throwing, its two locations in downtown Syracuse and downtown Albany offer knife throwing and archery so its customers can experience multiple hitting sports. The Albany location has a full bar, and the Syracuse location doesn’t encourage guests to bring their own food or drink. The company has locations stretching northeast to Worcester, Massachusetts, and another opening soon in Providence, Rhode Island. Each location also offers a free birthday session with a group of six or more.
Colony Axis Generation
Just outside of Albany, Generation Ax is a small business that promotes education, inclusivity, and fun around the sport of ax throwing. They offer WATL leagues for adults, themed party events for private groups, a small food and drink menu (with BYOB encouragement), an ax throwing league for 8-13 year olds, and even a mobile ax throwing trailer for scheduled outdoor events. .
Axes & Ales in Rochester
Axes & Ales promises a fun ax throwing experience for everyone in the college district of Rochester, whether it’s your first time on a date night or your next competitive throwing at their WATL league sessions. . Their website lets you sign their waiver online so you can skip the lines, and their reservation process is done by phone or email. As the name suggests, Axes & Ales serves alcohol with 12 taps spinning select beers in addition to other craft ciders and wines.
The Yard Hatchet House & Bar in Albany
If you’re looking for an evening of great food and fun activities for all your friends right in the center of Albany, you’d be at the Yard Hatchet House & Bar. This late-night bar and restaurant offers indoor and outdoor lawn games, a wide selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, snacks, and even watered-down milkshakes and ice cream from their sister company BoozyMoo!. Activities like ax throwing and cornhole can be booked online on their website, but all parties must be 21 or older and bring valid ID.
Adirondack ax in Queensbury
Tourism in Lake George is high in the summer for plenty of outdoor fun, but Adirondack Ax in Queensbury will give guests the ax throwing experience they crave in the comfort of the Adirondacks year-round. This family business is a WATL partner with online group booking, special events, throwing league tournaments, gift cards and a mobile unit for private parties within a 25 mile radius.
Throwing game in Batavia
In this small town between Buffalo and Rochester, Game of Throws is another small business that hopes to give everyone a fun time. Located inside the Harvester building in Batavia, they offer three indoor ax throwing lanes, two corn hole lanes, lawn games like Giant Jenga and Yardzee, and a Tru Golf Vista 12 Pro Golf Simulator. “. Reservations are made by appointment only.
Buffalo Hatchets and Hops
Hatchets and Hops is a small, growing ax throwing business that started in Western New York and now has locations in downtown Buffalo, Black Rock, and Brooklyn. With a handcrafted selection of specialty pizzas, appetizers to share and craft beers, they not only offer ax throwing at these locations, but also on the go with their personalized “Axe Cart” that customers can reserve for private parties no matter where they live. in upstate New York.
Denim Ax Co. in Elmira
Located in Elmira, this company offers exactly what you’re looking for in your ax throwing experience with a strongly encouraged recommendation to not only wear closed-toe shoes, but “as much denim as possible for your ‘denim-wall’ photoshoot.” “Denim Ax Co. offers walk-in tours, advance reservations, private parties, league sessions, a selection of beer and soft drinks, and, of course, denim goods.
The Ratchet Ax in Ellicottville
As you walk through Ellicottville, you might notice The Ratchet Hatchet in this small village in western New York. For small or large groups and private parties, this local business encourages reservations but will take appointments based on space and availability. They offer a small menu of specialty cocktails, flatbread pizzas, and other appetizers. The business will temporarily close September 24 to move to a new space down the street in Ellicottville and hopes to reopen in mid-2023.
The Ax lounge in Schenectady
The Ax Lounge is another small business that recently opened in Schenectady last year. Instead of booze, it’s one of the few places that promotes its own cafe, The Ax and Grind, which serves a full menu of handmade coffee, tea, lemonade and bubble tea, in more of their ax throwing. Their website includes online reservations, prize and league information, FAQs, and a quick guide to popular throwing games to play in the lounge.
Plaxeburgh to Plattsburgh
Whether you’re visiting Plattsburgh for a Michigan hot dog or not, you’ll also find a place to throw some axes while you’re there. Plaxeburgh is a new ax throwing venue which opened last summer in the city’s Big Lots plaza, off Cornelia Street, according to The Sun. Its Facebook page allows people to book their reservations and acquire more information.
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