8 Places in the Philly Area to Practice Your Ax Throwing
National Ax Throwing Day is June 13th. Here’s where you can throw like a pro in and around Philadelphia.
In a little over two years, ax throwing has gotten an outrageous number of us to channel our inner lumberjacks, thinking the quirky pursuit wouldn’t be difficult to master. The first time I went ax throwing, I thought, “All I have to do is stick the wooden board. That won’t be so hard.” Boy, was I wrong. Luckily, my ax master — Haleigh Schiafo, general manager of Bury the Hatchet Philadelphia — guided me through the ins and outs of the sport, giving me tips and technique suggestions along the way. “It’s all about your form,” Schiafo said. “Everyone thinks it’s about force, or how strong you throw it. It’s actually about posture and follow-through.”
To maximize your chance at hitting the target, you should grip the bottom of the handle with both hands — one over the other, with your dominant hand on the bottom. Lift your elbows, so they’re locked right next to your ears and facing forward. Keep your wrist as strong as possible and in a straight position; rotating it will change your shot’s trajectory, which could be dangerous. Release the ax when your wrist — not the ax itself — is in your line of vision and then finish with a dramatic follow-through.
This Thursday, go out and practice properly throwing some axes for National Ax Throwing Day. To help you choose the best place for you, we’ve rounded up eight venues in and around Philly where you can throw like a pro. All venues listed below include an ax master who will show you the ropes.
Where: 1719 Washington Avenue, 2nd Floor (Graduate Hospital); 1020 West 8th Avenue (King of Prussia); 1890 Woodhaven Road (Bensalem); 1931 Olney Avenue (Cherry Hill)
No matter which location you choose, Bury the Hatchet thinks of ax throwing like darts but more badass. Your session begins with a 20 to 30-minute throwing lesson from your lane’s ax master and continues with fun, competition-based games, like a tournament, Around the World, or even Never Have I Ever. Bury the Hatchet also offers leagues so you can build your skills among other ax throwers. All locations listed above are BYO food and drink, though liquor is not permitted. A two-hour throwing sessions costs $39.99 per person, and you can reserve at your nearest Bury the Hatchet here.
Where: 401 Birch Street (Kennett Square)
Located at the Creamery, a beer garden and community gathering space, the Chop Shop is Kennett Square’s only ax-throwing range. This venue offers both recreational and competitive throwing opportunities, with a league in the works. To throw at the Chop Shop, it’ll cost $25 per person for one hour of walk-in throwing or $40 per person for a two-hour private lane rental. For food and drinks, you’ll have to stick to the Creamery, which serves up comfort foods like pizza and barbecue as well as beer and cocktails. You can make reservations here.
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Where: 232 Market Street (Old City)
Kick Axe is the newest ax throwing venue in Philadelphia, opened just this past April. Its ax pros will teach you the basics in about 10 to 15 minutes, then get you playing games while practicing your skills. A 75-minute range reservation costs $35 per person, but you can enjoy a BOGO free special this Thursday with code AXEDAY. Kick Axe also sells snacks, pizza, beer, wine, and sparkling beverages on site.
Where: 9806 Bustleton Avenue (Northeast Philadelphia)
At Mazhu Axes, you can throw as a walk-in ($22 per person) or group member ($40 per person), or watch as a spectator ($10 per person). For the first time, the establishment is hosting an ax-throwing tournament, with the chance to win $1,000, this weekend. In case your arms need a break, the Northeast Philly venue also offers non-ax throwing games like shuffleboard, foosball, and pool. Mazhu Axes is BYO food and drinks, but again, leave the liquor at home. You can book your next session here.
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Where: 1501 Grundy Lane (Bristol)
Stumpy’s Hatchet House started from an impromptu game of ax throwing in a backyard. The Bucks County location meets all your ax-throwing needs, offering 11 throwing pits and one private party pit room. For one hour ($25) or two hours ($40), enjoy small or large group ax throwing — both of which Stumpy’s cleverly refers to as the “Social Throwdown.” Make your reservations here.
Where: 1121 Ivy Hill Road (Wyndmoor); 240 South West End Boulevard (Quakertown)
Throw House is a 10-lane ax-throwing hangout located in both Philadelphia and Quakertown. During your two-hour throw session, create a bracket-style tournament or play games like tic-tac-toe or ax blackjack. The Philadelphia location is BYO food and drinks, while the Quakertown location offers local brews from the Proper Brewing Company. Prices for a two-hour session range from $28 to $39.99 per person, depending on the size of your party. You can book here. As a National Ax Throwing Day bonus, the Wyndmoor location is offering free ax throwing to the public from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday.
Where: 19 Hagerty Boulevard (West Chester)
Located in a relaxed, ‘burb setting, Tilted Axes will teach you how to throw an ax while also providing fun opportunities like a dance floor, video games, and pool tables. Go to enjoy a two-hour session ($38.99 per person), or sign up to join one of the leagues. Again, feel free to BYO food and drinks, but Tilted Axes also partners with local businesses that’ll deliver to the venue. Reserve your next session here.
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Where: 2019 East Boston Street (Kensington)
Urban Axes sought to bring the Canadian-based sport to a more metropolitan area (hence the name). The Kensington venue offers 2.5-hour group sessions, one-hour walk-in throws, and eight-week leagues. Its trained coaches are with you every step — err, throw — of the way, supervising your tournaments and supporting your skills. To book a $38-per-person group session, go here.