If your little Katniss Everdeen or Robinhood has been talking (ok, obsessing) about bows and arrows lately, you’re in luck. Before you shell out dough for your own set, though, check out Archer’s Afield in Tigard, where kids can not only try their hand at archery with real equipment, but they can also learn how to do it right and safely from seasoned pros.
photo: Beginner Lesson by Mark L. via Yelp
Pick a Lane
The first things you’ll notice when you walk in is the wide array of camoflage clothing on rounders for every size and shape. (They even have super pink, baby camo suits!). Past the pro shop, in the back of the establishment, you’ll see a wall of haybales with targets.
Each child has his or her own space to stand, right next to their own knee-high quiver filled with arrows, in front of their own target. The instructors then ask the kids if they’re righties or lefties. They are then instructed to pick out one of the black or white bows hanging on a portable holder that have either right or left imprinted upon them. Kids are given a solid set of safety instructions as they stand in their own lane, including how to wait to go safely remove their arrows from the target haybales, as well as how to pull them out without stabbing someone (or themselves).
photo: Archers Afield lanes by Susan F. via Yelp
Aim for the Bullseye
When the instructor tells them to start, they can take as many shots as they are permitted. If two people are sharing a lane, they usually can take 3 shots. The instructors walk up and down behind them, giving each kid pointers on how to hold, aim and shoot. They finish their turn, then wait until everyone is finished before walking to the hay bales to remove their arrows.
photo: Archers Afield Party Room
Classes and Parties That are on Target
Archers Afield offer a one-hour beginner intro class for kids ages 7 and up for $14, as well as a six-week Big Kids/Little Kids series of one-day-a-week classes for a variety of ages (some as young as 5) for $42/person. All equipment is provided. The range for beginners is set up so that kids under 8 years shoot at targets about five yards away.
Birthday parties are totally fun here. In addition to one of their party rooms, with a smaller range, you’ll get equipment and a mini, as well as a party table for $13/person (8 person minimum). Pizza and paper products are also available from Tigard Pizza Kitchen next door for an extra fee.Insider’s tip: Even though you might think the kids can last a long time, about one hour of shooting seems to be plenty long enough for the interest level (and arm/shoulder strength) of younger kids.
11945 SW Pacific Hwy.
Is your little one into bows and arrows in a big way? Let us know in the Comments section below!