Well, it’s finally happened: the temperature in New York has caught up with the season. So now that it’s so cold you can’t even imagine touching your bike handlebars, it’s time to grab a bow and shoot a few arrows at Gotham Archery, an indoor archery range in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.
Before you can channel your inner Katniss Everdeen, you’ll have to take the range’s introductory class, where an enthusiastic instructor will teach you rules and safety guidelines, as well as how to shoot the bow correctly. This was very helpful—we’ve been to other ranges that are much less instructive on technique. After the initial training you’ll get a few rounds of practice shots, and the class wraps up with a head-to-head balloon-shooting competition.
The intro class costs $30 if you sign up online, and we highly recommend doing so: it fills up very quickly. (The cost includes equipment rental.) We went as a pair, but it would also be great with a group. Once you’ve completed that first class you’re ready to start reserving lane time to perfect your shot. (Cost: $16 per hour, plus $11 for equipment rental.)
Even though we weren’t the best archers, we found the activity really satisfying. Something about the combination of focus and skill felt almost meditative. We got into a groove when we returned later that week after booking range time.
Trip Tip: Know Your Bow
Gotham Archery rents both compound and recurve bows. We opted to shoot with the recurves, which are the bows used in Olympic competitions, but the instructors said bow choice is mostly a matter of personal preference (though compounds can be slightly easier for beginners).