Axe throwing, feather bowling and archery tag—unusual and strange sports are all the rage these days, with arcades and studios dedicated to these “extreme” sports popping up all over Michigan lately.
In addition to being a great way to spend an afternoon, these venues double as great date-night spots, team-building excursions for coworkers, and even fun bachelorette or bachelor party destinations! So, if you want to try your hand at one of these “extreme” indoor sports, we’ve got you covered. We rounded up some of our favorite places to play in the greater Ann Arbor area below. Have fun!
Over the past few years, we’ve seen axe-throwing studios opening up all across the country, and that includes Ann Arbor! Axe Ventura opened up just a few years ago, offering Ann Arborites the opportunity to throw axes at marked targets. We know what you’re thinking, but this sport is completely safe! Each party is accompanied by a guide that will teach you and your group how to throw safely and effectively to hit the target every time. They recently added a bar so you can enjoy beer and other spirits while you play! Click here to make your reservation.
Both beginner and experienced climbers can find fun challenges and learning opportunities at Planet Rock! As Ann Arbor’s premier, indoor rock-climbing gym, Planet Rock offers more than 25,000 square feet of climbing surface, a full training area and a giant bouldering mushroom. Their second location in Madison Heights offers a 15-meter official competition speed climbing wall and an ice climbing training area as well! Special programs for children ages 4 – 19 encourage body awareness, coordination and problem-solving skills, and each program includes free belay lessons for parents and free climbing while their child is in class!
As one of Michigan’s top escape games, Decode offers some of the most interesting and complex escape rooms in the state—and they have facilities in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Detroit! In Ypsilanti, their facility offers a three-part adventure called Minerva’s Trilogy. The story is about Minerva, an adolescent Artificial Intelligence machine with lofty goals. Here in Ann Arbor, you can enjoy an outdoor game that will have you exploring parts of A2 you’ve never seen and a drive-in adventure perfect for social distancing.
Have you ever just wanted to break stuff? There really is no better way to release frustration than throwing things across the room but that can get pretty messy (not to mention, expensive) fast. Cut to the Destruction Depot in Whitmore Lake, a “Rage Room” that gives you the opportunity to smash anything and everything with the tool of your choosing. Locals donate items like broken computers, old glass figurines, furniture and more that they are no longer using, giving you the chance to work out your stress with a crowbar, baseball bat, hammer and more. And the best part? You don’t have to clean up the mess.
Are you looking for a sport that is just as funny as it is fun to play? Knockerball in Livonia gives you and your family/co-workers/bachelor party the opportunity to don inflatable padding and knock each other around while running around an indoor field. This sport looks super silly but is also a great team-building exercise, forcing you to work together with your teammates and get the soccer ball into the other team’s net. Knockerball also offers rentals of knockerballs, mega darts, giant Connect 4 and more if you want to add some more fun to your upcoming event! Click here to learn more.
While laser tag isn’t the most “extreme” sport in town, it’s still super fun for all ages! There’s no better place to play this exciting team activity than Zap Zone in Ypsilanti. Voted the #1 Laser Tag Center in Michigan, Zap Zone’s laser tag arena will have you and your group running, dodging, rolling and shooting lasers at the opposing team. If you’re looking for even more fun at Zap Zone, don’t worry! They also offer hundreds of arcade games, bumper cars, a VR Zone and VR rides.
Fowling—or football bowling—has become super popular in Michigan over the past few years. This unique sport is a mix between football, bowling and cornhole with the goal of knocking down your opponent’s pins before they knock down yours! You can try this exciting sport for yourself at The Fowling Warehouse, the first-ever fowling destination, located in Hamtramck. While it’s a bit of a drive from Ann Arbor, we promise the fun is absolutely worth it! And, if you’ve really fallen in love with this unique sport, we have good news—The Fowling Warehouse is coming to the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area in October 2021!
While you’re in Detroit, you might as well take advantage of another extreme gaming venue: The World of Games! Here, you can try your hand at axe throwing, SmashBowl (another football, bowling hybrid), cornhole, giant beer pong and feather bowling. Feather bowling is basically a mix between bowling and shuffleboard with the ultimate goal of rolling your puck down a sloped surface and trying to place it closer to the feather than any other player. So, grab your group of friends and head down to play a round! Call (734)-250-8558 to make a reservation ahead of time.
Ready to get EXTREME?
Which of these “extreme” sports are you planning to try first? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to snap a photo when you go—we’d love to see it on Instagram!