Find Your Inner Katniss in Gowanus


Practicing archery is actually surprisingly relaxing. Photo: Brooklyn Based

Practicing archery is actually surprisingly relaxing. Photo: Brooklyn Based

Welcome to Date Night, our new monthly series where we suggest a date that will shake up your night out routine. Whether or not it’s the kind of date that might end up between the sheets is entirely up to you–we’re just here to tell you about a good time that’s ready to be had somewhere in Brooklyn. 

The date: My new favorite night out with my husband is a trip to Gotham Archery in Gowanus, followed by dinner somewhere in the neighborhood (he favors Dinosaur BBQ, my vote is for Littleneck). If you really wanted to gild the lily, you could even follow dinner with a barrel-aged cocktail and a round of shuffleboard at The Royal Palms (or check their food truck schedule for dinner options there), and then a cone at Ample Hills. But let’s start simple.

If archery sounds like something that will make you feel frustrated and grumpy and un-datelike, take it from me, it won’t. I am the world’s worst sport at doing new things that I’m not good at, and I’m also competitive, and married to someone who is great at target shooting. I was sure the whole archery experiment would end in tears, or at the very least, bickering. Instead, it was mellow and fun and left me wanting to go back. 

Shooting a bow turns out to be quite meditative. After my introductory course, during which the instructor told me that women tend to excel at archery, it took less than ten minutes to kick my competitive nature and just focus on getting better at using the bow. Unlike yoga, where my mind constantly wanders, archery got me out of my head and into its flow, which put me in a super mellow and happy mood. And, I was actually pretty good at it.

Compound bows sit ready for apple splitting. Photo: Brooklyn Based


Need to know: If you’ve never been to Gotham Archery, you’ll need to take the one-hour introductory course the first time you go. You can book online and I found it to be super informative and not at all a drag. The instructor teaches you archery basics, including range safety, then helps you select, adjust, and learn to shoot a bow properly. Then you get to spend the rest of the time on the range, shooting. It can get quite busy on weekends and in the evenings, so the earlier in the afternoon you can make it there (the range opens at 3pm weekdays), the better, so skip out early or go on your afternoon off, if you can.

Price range: The intro costs $27, includes bow rental and about an hour on the course. Once you’re initiated, it’s $11 for bow rental for the day, plus $16/hour on the range.

Romance level: Archery isn’t something you do with another person so much as near another person–the meditative quality is also quite solitary. That said, it’s good to stop and clear your mind from time to time, perfect for scoping out how cool your significant other looks shooting a bow. If this is a new relationship and the sight doesn’t give you the tingles, time to rethink it.

Good for a platonic date? Absolutely. Explore your inner Katniss with a pal and then buy each other ice cream when you’re done.

Gotham Archery, 480 Baltic St., Brooklyn, 718-858-5060, open Mon.-Fri. 3-10pm, Sat.-Sun. 9am-10pm


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