Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Hatchet Throwing In New Jersey : Visiting Stumpy's Hatchet House Green Brook - The Ultimate #SocialThrowdown!

Just google 'hatchet throwing near me' and you'll see how popular this new social craze is! Hatchet throwing in New Jersey! Who would've thought? This new, fun trend is appearing all over social media. You might've seen some of your favorite celebs tossing axes on Jimmy Fallon- like Jason Momoa and Jennifer Lawrence. Now you can try it yourself thanks to local 'hatchet houses' popping up around the country. Here in New Jersey, I had a chance to visit Stumpy's Hatchet House Green Brook and it was an experience I will never forget! Read on to find out what it's like to toss an axe or two and live to tell the tale.


Disclosure: I first visited Stumpy's Hatchet House Green Brook using an online coupon code for their grand opening. Then, I was graciously invited back by the owners to try hatchet throwing a second time. I'll explain why in a minute.


What is Stumpy's Hatchet House?

First things first, there are many hatchet houses popping up around New Jersey and the country, but I had the great pleasure of visiting Stumpy's Hatchet House in Green Brook, New Jersey (meaning, my experience review here is based solely on my visit there). Hatchet throwing is quickly becoming the new 'in thing' to do. Think of it as bowling, but with hatchets. Okay, okay, not exactly. But the general idea is there. You can play with a partner or with a group, but you'll reserve your own 'pit' that contains two targets painted on wood. As a group or with your partner, you'll take turns throwing (*gasp*) real hatchets to see if you can get a bullseye. On their website, Stumpy's refers to their franchise as: "...an alternative form of recreation. Primitive and organic, this sport suits those who love adventure, those who seek a release. Get back to the basics with hatchet throwing."  I would have to say I agree!




What Do I Wear to a Hatchet House? 

Guests visiting Stumpy's Hatchet House must be over 21 years of age. You'll also need to wear close-toed shoes (it's required- do I need to explain why?). Extra special fun: Stumpy's of Green Brook is BYOB! And you can bring snacks! Yup, they'll even provide you with a bucket of ice. How cool is that?? If you're still totally unsure of what to do before you visit, check out the 'first time' area on the Stumpy's website, where they explain in great detail how to prepare for your arrival.  Personally, I also recommend getting dressed for the part: wear your favorite lumberjack plaid. It's fun.



How Will I Know What to Do at Stumpy's Hatchet House?

When you first arrive, you'll sign a waiver (which I could not see at ALL the first time I arrived because I didn't have my reading glasses- yes, I'm that old - and the print was super tiny). But don't worry, they also email you a copy. After you sign your waiver, you'll be greeted by a pit master who will show you the ropes and explain all of the rules to you. He or she will also give you a quick demo and show you how to throw.



Is Hatchet Throwing Dangerous?

I talked to so many people who were literally afraid to come try their hand at throwing hatchets. Why?? Seriously, people, do you honestly think the hatchet is going to go flinging out of your hands and land in your skull? This is not going to happen, especially if you just follow the rules and enjoy yourself. The pit you are playing in is like a long alley. There are safety zones taped on the floor. Trust me, if I could safely do this, anyone can. That being said, it is still a hatchet you're throwing, so you just have to use your common sense and be careful. But that's the fun of it! There is a thrill in throwing that hatchet, a feeling of empowerment that you're tossing something over your head that you wouldn't normally toss in the air! And when it actually hits the target? Whoosh! Such a rush! You look at it and think, "I did that! I am strong!" 




Thoughts About First Time Throwing

So you might have noticed in my disclosure above that I visited Stumpy's of Green Brook twice - once with Mr. Jersey Momma and the second time with a group of friends. The first time I visited, I was nervous. I was not sure what to expect and I was terrible. I could barely hit anything. Mr. Jersey Momma picked it up right away, so I felt a bit stupid. The Stumpy's staff was amazingly helpful- about five Stumpy's pit managers came over to offer advice and help, but I really wasn't doing well. It made for a good laugh later on. But as you might come to learn yourself, the owners of Stumpy's Green Brook, Mark and Monica, are amazingly nice people. They caught wind that The Jersey Momma was feeling defeated (and honestly, I did not have a bad time- I enjoyed my visit, I was just so terrible at it!), so they invited me back with a group of friends to try again. And this time, I knew I would be ready. I trained (and by training I mean I watched numerous videos of Jason Momoa tossing hatchets on social media. If you're a gal and you don't know who he is, google him and you'll see. Anywho, this was strictly research, as I assured Mr. Jersey Momma) and I trained some more (I thought about what kind of beer and snacks to bring, that was the second part of my training). Third part of my training was offering a contest on my Facebook page to see if people could guess how many times I would hit the target (not a bullseye, cause let's be real, but just actually hit and stick the target). Guesses ranged from 28 (!) down to 4 (thanks a lot for your faith, Kid Congeniality!). I am proud to say that on my second visit, I hit the target TEN times, and got three or four bullseyes!! Yaaassss!! When you get a bullseye, you can ring a big bell that hangs near your pit. I was quite proud to ring that sucker several times, let me tell you. It's very empowering.



Jersey Momma Tips and Advice for Visiting Stumpy's Hatchet House Green Brook

You need to try this.  I am being dead serious here. As long as you're not suffering from some physical ailment (the hatchet is kinda heavy and it does give you a good arm workout), there's no reason why you can't try this. Kids are NOT allowed so it's a great parents night out or adults-only evening. The idea that it's BYOB makes it even more fun, and you can bring snacks or order a pizza. Heck, one of the fab ladies in our group brought a dozen Duck Donuts from down the road- I mean, donuts and hatchets, what could be better???


Other Jersey Momma Tips

-I'm all about the local businesses. We enjoyed an AWESOME buffalo pizza and beer at Capital Craft, a brewhouse that is right next door to Stumpy's Hatchet House Green Brook! And also, like I mentioned above, Duck Donuts is right down the road, too, as well as Blue Sheep Bake Shop. Someone was celebrating a birthday when I visited, and Blue Sheep actually made them a hatchet cake!! Wowee!!


-Stumpy's has some awesome merch (that's a cool way of saying merchandise, you know). Their t-shirts are so cute. I highly recommend purchasing one- I have several on my radar, including 'Let it go...'


- Stumpy's Hatchet House Green Brook is the perfect place for events- corporate team building, bachelor parties or bridal parties, girls night out, birthdays- you name it. It's sooo outside the box, I love it!!!

-If you think just throwing at a target could get boring, don't worry, they have games, too! You can play various kinds of games where you throw hatchets at different areas of the target for points. There are some listed online, or Stumpy's has them printed out for you to follow.

-It's loud in there. Think of a bowling alley kind of atmosphere, but maybe a little louder. So just keep that in mind if you're sensitive to noise.

-Stumpy's also has a little snack bar with chips, pretzels and other goodies. No alcohol at their snack bar, but just enough to nosh on.


So, in closing, please don't let fear keep you away from Stumpy's. I definitely plan on going again. There's nothing to be frightened of! And if you're going to give it a try, please check out Stumpy's Hatchet House in Green Brook. The owners, Mark and Monica, are 'good people,' as they say, and I know you won't be disappointed. And if you go, tell 'em The Jersey Momma sent you!


Stumpy's Hatchet House Green Brook
159 Rt. 22 East 
Green Brook, NJ 
You can also search the hashtag #socialthrowdown for more cool pics from Stumpy's locations around the country!

You can reserve a pit (throwing time) online- it's super easy! You just need to pay for one person online and then the rest of the throwers can pay when they arrive. It's easy peasy.

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