The Backyard Axe Throwing League
The Home of Axe Throwing Since 2006

Top Things To Do In Chicago This Summer

by Diane Stolte 0 comments


Plan a Trip to the Backyard Axe Throwing League in Chicago

backyard axe throwing league chicago

Summer is just around the corner, and that means that things are just starting to pick up in the Windy City.  Like most of the Midwest, the City of Chicago isn't exactly known for its warm winter weather, so as soon as spring hits and the sun starts to stay out later, the whole city explodes with vibrant colour, people, festivals, and fun.  Whether you're taking in a ball game at U.S. Cellular or Wrigley Field, checking out The Bean at Millennium Park, riding the rides at Navy Pier, or shopping on the Avenue of the Americas, Chicago offers a little bit for everybody

Situated in Illinois and on Lake Michigan, Chicago is among the largest cities in the U.S.  Known for its bold architecture, museums, and famed sports history (amongst much more), Chicago is a must-see city for anyone looking to spend some time away from home this summer.  With so many activities to do in and around the metropolitan Chicago area during the summer, you might find it hard to narrow it down to just a few, which is why we've put together a list of the top things to do this summer in Chicago including axe throwing at the Backyard Axe Throwing League Chicago.

1) Experience The Thrill of Axe Throwing at BATL Chicago

Just north-west of the popular Bucktown and Logan Square areas is where you'll find BATL Chicago.  In the area of Old Irving Park, and just blocks away from Irving Park Station on the MTA Blue Line, the Backyard Axe Throwing League in Chicago has been bringing the sport of urban axe throwing to the Windy City since 2017. The Backyard Axe Throwing League started back in 2006 in Toronto when founder Matt Wilson got together with some friends and pioneered the sport of urban axe throwing as the world knows it - in a backyard in downtown Toronto.  Fast forward to 2018, the Backyard Axe Throwing League has 14 locations across North America, and is the premiere axe throwing destination in the world.  We're the best at what we do, so it's no surprise that BATL is the authority when it comes to axe throwing.

Just live every other venue across North America, BATL Chicago offers many ways to get involved with the sport of axe throwing.  On top of our world-famous weekly axe throwing leagues, we also offer weekly public walk-in axe throwing sessions (no reservations required) and private event bookings for groups of 2 and up - perfectly suited for adult birthdays, bachelor and bachelorette parties, corporate team building events, or a summer outing with friends.  Make sure to plan a trip to BATL the next time you visit Chicago!

2) Take in Live Music Across Chicago

Chicago might be synonymous with blues and jazz, but you can find music of all genres all around town.  Indulge in one of the many music festivals that take place in the summer, from the more casual affairs like the Do Division Street Festival and the Chicago Blues Festival in Millennium Park, to the more raucous affairs like Lollapalooza in Grant Park or Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park.  If you're looking for something more laid back, try checking out live music venue Silvie's Lounge or Fuller's Pub in the Irving Park area.

3) Explore the Navy Pier

Chicago's Navy Pier is a bustling 1.5 mile-long boardwalk that is sure to please people of all ages.  Attracting well over 8 million visitors per year, Navy Pier is lined with restaurants such as Bubba Gump, Billy Goat’s Tavern and Capi’s Italian Kitchen and studded with small shops selling everything from apparel to toys to Chicago souvenirs. If shopping isn't your idea of a good time, not to worry: Navy Pier is also home to a large arcade, mini golf, and plenty of amusement park-style rides.

4) Experience Chicago's Famous Wrigley Field

The Chicago Cubs are already one of the most storied franchises in Major League Baseball (MLB), and coming fresh off a 2016 World Series victory a ticket at Wrigley Field is a hot commodity these days.  Situated in Wrigleyville, Wrigley Field is the second-oldest baseball stadium in the major leagues, and a must-see stop on any trip to Chicago.  After the game, the streets of Wrigleyville are packed with fans enjoying a walk down the street or stopping in at one of the many bars in the area.  If Chicago's Northside isn't your thing, head on down to the Southside and take in a White Sox game as U.S. Cellular Field.  Situated just south of The Loop and Chinatown, be sure to grab a hot dog while you're there - just make sure you don't ask for any ketchup.

5) Taste the City of Chicago

Chicago is known across the world as a major foodie destination - which makes eating throughout the city a delight for all visitors.  It may be a highly contested topic in the world of Italian food, but a Chicago-style deep dish pizza still remains a must try.  For the authentic taste, check out Lou Malnati's Pizzeria on North Avondale Avenue in the Irving Park area.  While you're in Irving Park indulge in another Chicago classic - the Italian beef sandwich.  Roma's Italian Beef Sausage on North Cicero Avenue is an area staple.

No matter where your interest lie, Chicago has something for everyone.  Make sure axe throwing at the Backyard Axe Throwing League (BATL Chicago) is on your list this summer, and enjoy everything Chicago has to offer!

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Top Things To Do During The Calgary Stampede

by Diane Stolte 0 comments


Axe Throwing in Calgary During Stampede

It's springtime in Calgary, and you know what that means: the Calgary Stampede is just around the corner. The Calgary Stampede takes place across the entire city this year from July 6 - 15th, and you can already feel the town starting to buzz. Billed as "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth" for a reason, the Calgary Stampede is not just midways and rodeos - but a 10-day celebration of all things Alberta, including live performances by Blue Rodeo, Colter Wall, Whitehorse, Lindi Ortega and Mike Plume.

With festival headquarters stationed at Stampede Park in the heart of the city, its easy to get anywhere around you and experience all that Calgary and its surroundings have to offer whether you have a car, enjoy the increased public transit services, or are navigating the city by bike. Here is a short list of things to do while you're visiting Alberta for the Calgary Stampede.

Calgary Stampede_Axe Throwing

1) Experience The Thrill of Axe Throwing at BATL Calgary 

Almost 3 years ago Backyard Axe Throwing League Calgary opened up shop in the North East and has been bringing the urban sport of axe throwing to not just Airdrie, Chestermere, Calgary, and the surrounding area but with guests coming from all over Alberta and Western Canada. Located near Sunridge Mall at Deerfoot Trail and 16th Ave. NE, BATL Calgary offers the best indoor axe throwing experience - pioneered by us at the Backyard Axe Throwing League back in 2006.

When visiting the Calgary Stampede, you can visit BATL Calgary for our public walk-in axe throwing each weekend, or book your own private event. We're capable of hosting groups anywhere from 2-150, and each private event booking includes one on one guidance from our resident axe gurus (they'll have you sticking bulls eyes in no time) before launching you into a round-robin tournament followed by a single elimination playoff. Private events run 2-2.5 hours, which create the perfect diversion from a hectic day at the Stampede. BATL Calgary also has a fully licensed bar and kitchen for you and your guests to nibble on artisanal cuisine and quench your thirst on our local beer, wine, and cooler offerings. Find out more about BATL Calgary here, and experience the unique thrill of axe throwing while visiting this year's Calgary Stampede.

If you live in Calgary and you're looking for more axe throwing you can join BATL's axe throwing weekly league! With no experience necessary you’ll compete individually while receiving tips from our friendly coaches – and plenty of time to hang out between throwing. To learn more and to join a league click here.

2) Visit The Rockies

The Calgary Stampede is an extremely busy festival, with people rambling around the city of Calgary virtually 24 hours a day during the entire span of the event. If you need a dose peace, quiet, and nature, Alberta has got you covered. Take a short drive west down the Trans Canada Highway and you'll be smack dab in the middle of the Canadian Rockies. Banff National Park is a mere hour and a half drive from Calgary and provides a beautiful contrast to the chaos of the Calgary Stampede - home to Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Sunshine Village, and a major destination for outdoor sports such as hiking, skiing, and biking.

3) Visit The Calgary Tower

Right in the heart of downtown, and a mere 15-minute drive from BATL, you will find the Calgary Tower. Originally known as the Husky Tower, the Calgary Tower is celebrating its 50th birthday this year and is a defining feature of the Calgary skyline. Located 191 metres (626 feet) in the sky, the Tower not only offers a stunning 360° view of the Stampede, it also dishes up views of the Rocky Mountains, the prairies, the foothills, and offers fine dining at Sky360 - the Tower's own upscale eatery. Make sure you take some time out of the hectic Stampede schedule to visit this must-see tourist destination.

4) Sample Calgary's Food Scene

It's not just deep fried foods and BBQ dished up at the Calgary Stampede. Though carnival fare is a staple of this festival, the town itself is budding into its own culinary destination in Western Canada. Chris Lorenz, the man behind the menu in the kitchen for BATL Calgary, recently joined the ream at Diner Deluxe offering refined fair at Aspen Landing in the Southwest of Calgary. If you're looking for something a little more casual, head on down to 17th Ave SW and visit Tubby Dog for gourmet hot dogs, cold beer, and retro arcade games. If you're leaving BATL and in the Northeast, head down to Barlow Trail and 32nd Ave NE for an array of multicultural food options.

5) Experience Shakespeare by the Bow

10 days of parties can take a toll on your body, so perhaps you'd like to spend a relaxing night in watching a historical drama. Skip the Netflix in the hotel and head over Prince's Island Park and catch a live version of Shakespeare's The Tempest under the starry skies. Plays happen every evening from Wednesday to Sunday during the Calgary Stampede and are pay what you can.

No matter how you choose to spend your time, you can be sure that a trip to this year's Calgary Stampede will be an action-packed adventure with a little bit for everyone. Stampers, it's time to Join the BATL at the Backyard Axe Throwing League Calgary.

Photo Credit: Bill Marsh, Stampede, Axe Throwing
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Complete Country And Meghan Patrick At BATL

by Diane Stolte 0 comments


Meghan Patrick From Complete Country Visits BATL
Complete Country is Canada's voice for country music coverage from coast to coast.  More than just a news outlet, they keep fans up to date by offering in-depth looks at popular stars through constant engagement and unique audio/video content production.  Recently the Toronto East location of The Backyard Axe Throwing League had the pleasure of hosting Canadian country music star Meghan Patrick, with Complete Country in tow.  We had her out to throw a few axes while she was filming a video promoting her new album, Country Music Made Me Do It, before going off on a summer tour in support of the album.  Plaid shirts and axe throwing go together like cookies and milk, so it's no surprise that BATL venues across North America have played hosed too many country music stars donned in plaid.  With the guidance of our skilled staff members (axe gurus, as we like to call them) Meghan was sticking bullseyes in no time.  If you're a Meghan Patrick fan, luckily for you Complete Country caught the whole thing on film - and you can check out the entire interview here.

Celebrity Visits at the Backyard Axe Throwing League
When you do something for 12 years, you're bound to get noticed.  The Backyard Axe Throwing League has been host to countless celebrities over the years - both for recreational fun and for filming.  Athletes such as NBA star Rick Fox, NHL players Mike Cammalleri and George Parros, George Armstrong, and Darren Pang; actors and actresses such as Ruby Rose, Vin Diesel, Gerrard Butler, Rick Mercer, and Alex Høgh Andersen; and musical acts such as Amon Amarth, The Washboard Union, Terri Clark, and the list goes on.  It's easy to see the appeal of throwing cold steel into the wood, for celebrities and non-celebrities alike.

Luckily, making a trip to BATL doesn't require being a celebrity.  We pioneered the urban axe throwing back in 2006 - and have been known as the foremost authority on the sport and the best at what we do ever since.  The Backyard Axe Throwing League has 14 locations across North America (in Toronto, Ottawa, Kitchener, London, Niagara Falls, Hamilton, Calgary, Squamish, Chicago, Nashville, and Detroit) with more locations set to open later this year, so finding a venue to sharpen your skills has never been easier.

Your Private Axe Throwing Event
A trip to BATL offers a chance to unwind for you and your guests, in an exhilarating yet safe environment.  It's an outside the box way to plan an outing for you and your friends or colleagues and will guarantee to leave a lasting impression on them while you're at it.  Each BATL venue across North America takes bookings for groups of 2 and up, 7 days a week, and our private group bookings are perfectly suited for any event/occasion.  If you're trying to find a unique way to enjoy your "last fling before the ring", a trip to BATL is your go-to spot for your next bachelor or bachelorette party.  Looking for an adult birthday party that not only gives you a chance to converse with friends but also engage in some friendly competition?  Look no further than a trip to BATL.  And if it's a corporate team building event that you're after, you'd be surprised to know that the power of the axe is one of the best ways to build camaraderie, positivity, and engagement.  Nothing says team building like beating your boss in a match of axe throwing!

BATL offers two types of private event bookings: 1 hour bookings for groups of 2-5 people, and 2-2.5 hour bookings for groups of 6 and up.  No matter which private event you book, you'll get the same thing that BATL has become famous for: the best one on one instruction from our skilled and friendly staff members, followed by a round robin style tournament and single elimination playoff - all orchestrated by our staff, leaving you with nothing to do but throw axes and enjoy the company of your guests.  Many BATL locations offer complete bar and food services, which means even less planning for you.

Axe Throwing Can Come to You
Planning an outdoor event and want to include axe throwing in the festivities?  BATL can also come to you!  The Backyard Axe Throwing League offers mobile axe throwing targets in the vicinity of all of our existing venues.  Our outdoor axe throwing packages are fully insured, equipped and available for both full and half-day bookings.  Our team of expert coaches can provide a customized axe throwing experience based on your specific group needs to make your next event one of the most incredible memories of the year for everyone who participates.  BATL's mobile targets have graced outdoor weddings, music festivals, charity BBQ's, and much more.

When you're planning your next spring or summer outing, let us do all the leg work.  Make axe throwing with The Backyard Axe Throwing league the choice for your gathering, and join the BATL!

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A Thank You To Our Open House Guests

by Diane Stolte 0 comments


We here at The Backyard Axe Throwing League couldn't be more proud of the community we've built since our inception in a Toronto backyard in 2006 (hence the name).  Over 11 years, BATL has been a breeding ground for a diverse and talented community, brought together by the axe.  Our league members and guests have come from all walks of life - musicians, lawyers, doctors, trades workers, restaurant industry staff, and the list goes on.

Last night, all 13 BATL venues across North America opened their doors to the public for a night of free axe throwing as a way to give back to the community, and it was a huge success.  Hundreds of both experienced and new axe throwers came out in hoards last night to enjoy an evening of fun and friendly competition, all under the guidance of our world-renowned staff - the best in the world at what they do.  Our venue in London, Ontario even treated its guests to a live music performance after the axe throwing, spearheaded by a band consisting of league members.  Like we said, our community is awesome.  Keep your eyes peeled for our next open house, and in the interim consider visiting us for a private event (for groups of 2 and up, perfectly suited for bachelor/bachelorette parties, adult birthdays, corporate team building outings, and much more) or registering for our weekly league play (with new seasons starting up in two week time!).  It's time to join the BATL!

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Open House Axe Throwing At BATL

by Diane Stolte 0 comments


This is a final reminder that all BATL venues across North America will be offering FREE open house axe throwing this coming Thursday April 26th from 7 - 10PM.  This is our way to say thank you to the thousands of guests that have visited The Backyard Axe Throwing League since our inception in 2006 - and to give an opportunity for those that have never got around to checking us out! It'll be a party, that's for sure.

Our skilled coaches will be on hand to give one on one instruction and make sure that you're sticking bullseyes in no time.  All of our coaches are also league members with plenty of experience, meaning that they are the best in the world at what they do.  Since it all began in our backyard 11 years ago, we've been cultivating the best axe throwers in the world - and you could be next!

In addition to our free open house on April 26th, our newest location will be opening in Novi, Michigan (just outside of Detroit) - hosting open house axe throwing each and every Friday and Saturday evening (from 6 - 9pm) throughout the month of May.  BATL Novi will be the premier axe throwing facility in metro Detroit.  Our venue is located at Twelve Mile Crossing at Fountain Walk near West Oaks Shopping Center, and is capable of hosting parties ranging from 2 – 100 + people.  BATL Novi will be our 14th location in North America, and will boast everything that the Backyard Axe Throwing League has become famous for – the best urban axe throwing in the world.  This includes private event bookings for groups of 2 and up (perfectly suited for bachelor/bachelorette parties, adult birthdays, corporate team building events, and much more), in addition to our public walk-in sessions and weekly league play under the National Axe Throwing Federation umbrella.  Mark your calendars starting May 4th and Join the BATL, Detroit!

BATL, The Backyard Axe Throwing League

BATL Staff Sunday With Mary

by Diane Stolte 0 comments


Meet Mary, a coach at our BATL Toronto location.  Mary applied to an online posting on a whim and threw her first axe the following week. That first axe, and the twenty or so that followed were terrible, but joining Monday Black League at Villiers helped with that. Almost two years later, what she thought would be just another part time job at the Backyard Axe Throwing League has become a passion, and she’s still excited to come to work each day--especially after a morning shift at her other boring retail job.  Seriously, throwing axes after five hours of customer service is nothing if not therapeutic.

On her few weekends off, you can find Mary pursuing her other passion cosplaying as Harley Quinn, the X-Men, and more at various local comic and anime conventions. She also recently guested in a series of YouTube cosplay videos, and occasionally blog about comic book movies.   Glad to have you on the team, Mary!

BATL The Backyard Axe Throwing League

Open House At All BATL Locations April 26th

by Diane Stolte 0 comments


The time is almost here.  This coming Thursday April 26th all 13 BATL venues across North America will be offering free open house axe throwing from 7-10 PM.  It's a way for us to say thank to you to all of the guests that have visited The Backyard Axe Throwing league over the past 11 years.  We've hosted thousands of parties, translating to millions of axes thrown and many a fun time had.

If you've never thrown an axe before but always wanted to give it a try, this is your chance!  Our skilled coaches are the best at what they do, and will be on hand to guide you one on one in our safe and controlled environment.  BATL pioneered the sport of urban axe throwing back in 2006, so it's no surprise that we're the worlds most respected axe throwing venue.

With BATL locations in Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa, London, Kitchener, Niagara Falls, Pickering, Squamish, Nashville, and Chicago (plus locations opening soon in Scottsdale, Detroit, Dallas, and many more) throwing axes has never been easier.  All Backyard Axe Throwing League venues across North America offer public walk-in axe throwing, weekly league play, and private events for groups of 6 and up (perfectly suited for adult birthday parties, bachelor/bachelorette parties, corporate team building events, and much more). Stop by with your friends and family at any location during our open house to see what all the fuss is about!  It's time to Join the BATL!

BATL The Backyard Axe Throwing League

NBC Nightly News Visits BATL Chicago

by Diane Stolte 0 comments


News anchor Lester Holt recently paid a visit to BATL Chicago to check out the scene.  He put it best himself - everyone from millennial hipsters to bachelorette parties want to get in on the action, and we can't blame them.  Since we pioneered the sport of urban axe throwing in 2006, its taken the world by storm.  You can watch the full segment here.

The Backyard Axe Throwing League opened in Chicago in 2017 and has been serving the state of Illinois and its surroundings with the best urban axe throwing experience possible - with the expertly trained coaching staff on hand to guide you one on one to the bullseye.  BATL Chicago offers private event bookings for groups of 2 and up, perfectly suited for adult birthday parties, bachelor/bachelorette parties, corporate functions, or just an outing with friends!  We also offer public walk-in axe throwing sessions on a weekly basis for those wanting to just get a taste of the unique thrill of axe throwing.  If you're looking to get even more involved in our sport, you can join one of our weekly leagues - the thing that made BATL world famous.  Our leagues run all year and offer a perfect opportunity to enjoy friendly competition and make some new friends along the way.  Stop by BATL Chicago and join the BATL!

NBC News and BATL, The Backyard Axe Throwing League

Indie 88 Lists BATL Among Top Social Activities In Toronto

by Diane Stolte 0 comments


Looking for a way to get social with your friends?  Toronto radio station Indie 88 recommends a trip to BATL!  "...axe throwing headquarters BATL remains a popular destination for 20- and 30-somethings seeking unconventional activities to leaven their birthday celebrations."  You can read the full article here.

The Backyard Axe Throwing League has been providing the best axe throwing venues for the sport of urban axe throwing that we pioneered since our inception in 2006.  Though we started in Toronto, BATL has now grown to 13 locations across North America, with our 14th opening in Detroit (Novi) next month!  It's never been easier to experience the unique thrill of our sport.

Each BATL venue across North America offers many ways to get involved with our sport - but you don't have to be a 20-30 something.  We pride ourselves on making the sport as accessible as possible, hosting thousands of events for people of all ages over the years.  Whether you join one of our world famous weekly leagues, visit us for our weekly walk-in axe throwing sessions, or book a private group event (perfectly suited for adult birthday parties, bachelor/bachelorette parties, corporate team building, and much more!), the expertly trained staff at BATL will make sure you and your friends have a blast.  So what are you waiting for?  Plan your next social outing with us, and join the BATL!


BATL Staff Sunday With Drew

by Diane Stolte 0 comments


Meet Drew "Dookie" Neville.  Dookie is a beloved manager at BATL Yorkdale. He grew up in rural southern Ontario, but decided to leave that life behind and head for the big city. There, he embraced Toronto life and found axe throwing through his roommate.

Dookie is a wicked thrower, and if he's not at the Backyard Axe Throwing League, you can find him skateboarding around the city, listening to classic rock, playing Dungeons and Dragons, building stuff or reading...probably something about D and D. He has a heart of gold and a head of luscious locks that would make anyone jealous. Next time you're at BATL, ask for Dookie and take a few minutes to talk philosophy or Tolkien with him over a stout, cause he's awesome.

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