Stumped as to what to do during these cold long winter nights? Maybe you just need to get out of the house, hang out with some friends, get a great upper body workout and toss around an axe or two.
Wait, throw a hatchet? In New Jersey?
Yes, now you can release your inner lumberjack with hatchet-throwing establishments that are popping up all over the Garden State.
One such venue is Stumpy’s Hatchet House located in Eatontown, NJ. Started as a friendly competition between two friends who were chopping wood for their chiminea, the play got more serious, targets were built and the idea for Stumpy’s was born. Opened in April 2016, Stumpy’s has attracted customers from ages 21-92 who want to “let it go” and release some stress. In their safe, indoor, controlled throwing pits, customers can enjoy an alternative form of recreation where they can get back to their roots.
Typically customers will “train” for about 15-30 minutes, going over the rules, learning to throw the hatchet and then perfecting their aim. Then the fun begins. From standard games where players score points depending on where their hatchet lands, to variations such as S.T.U.M.P.Y and Around the World, there is something for all levels of players.
Available for groups large and small, reservations are strongly suggested and the facility is strictly for those 21 and over. Party rooms are available for rent if your group wants to chill between throws or rent the whole venue for that big celebration. And if you are one of those who just likes to watch, you can do that too, for a $15 fee.
Has all that throwing made you hungry? Snacks are available on site and Stumpy’s is BYOB (beer and wine only). Don’t worry though, because they have rules and procedures in place to ensure all are safe and most people are too busy throwing to imbibe too much. And while you are free to bring your own booze, leave your personal hatchet at home! Insurance requires that only Stumpy hatchets be used. So dress comfortably and bring your game face and get ready to hurl!
For those who have more of a competitive spirit, you might want to check out Bury the Hatchet. Like its competitor, axe throwing is the name of the game at this establishment but with a different twist. After your safety lesson and a bit of one-on-one practice with your friends, it’s game time. All throwers participate in a round robin tournament followed by final knockout round to award a hatchet-throwing champion. Their “hatch-perts” will take care of all scoring, so you can relax and enjoy the sport. At the end of every round robin tournament, one member of the group is the winner. Tournaments are ideally played with 10 or more people although they can accommodate groups of 4.
Friday and Saturday you must have a group of 8 or more to book and Sunday through Thursday you must have a group of 4 to book. Parties of less than 4 should call to check availability. Booking can be made online at burythehatchet.com and must be made at least 24 hours in advance online. They welcome same day bookings by phone or Walk-ins if there is availability. Also, at Bury the Hatchet, while you can’t bring booze, you can bring your kids, well those who are 15 and over. So gather up your friends and get throwing!
Stumpy’s Hatchet House is located at 22 Meridian Road, #5 in Eatontown, NJ. Reservations recommended: 732-544-5069 or visit their website at stumpyshh.com/. Also, coming in the Spring 2018, a second location in Morris County, NJ.
Bury the Hatchet has locations in Cherry Hill, NJ, Old Bridge, NJ and Bloomfield/Montclair. For more information, see burythehatchet.com.