A stunning fall marks the time to put the boats and jet skis into winter storage. Camping trips are shorter and more local and yard games are covered with the falling leaves.
Add to that the cancellation of most fests and bazaars, it may be a head scratching time trying to figure out what to do. Why not try something totally different?
Last November, Becky and Ed Yielding added a new business to their Northwoods Escape Room location on Highway 45. It’s a pure Northwoods game that has been spreading like wildfire across the country.
Meet Kickin Axe Up North – the axe throwing game where the bullseye is the target in a variety of games. “We thought we needed something else for the indoor activiites on rainy days because we already were so busy. We found that (axe throwing) and we thought we would incorporate both of them together and that’s how we ended up having both!” Becky explained.
They heard about the axe throwing idea at an Escape Room convention they attend every year. So they went and tried it and said “Ok, let’s do it!”
The couple moved to Eagle River 20 years ago from Colorado. Becky’s father grew un in Land O’Lakes so she was familiar with the Northwoods lifestyle.
“Love the small town! We’ll never live in the city again!” she said though her whole family lives in Colorado.
They opened Northwoods Escape Room that is now in its fifth year. They are very pleased with how well this live game is doing. Becky admitted that the Covid-19 crisis has impacted their business, but she says they are holding their own.
Reservations are suggested but drop ins are welcome. There is a choice of two rooms. For those newer to gaming, they suggest “Grandpa’s Candy Shop.” For the more experienced gamers there is “E & G Taxidermy” that is somewhat “gorey”.
Those players who select the Candy Shop are “cousins” who must find Grandpa’s secret chocolate recipe that he hid. If the recipe is found, the perfect chocolates can continue being made and stave off the bank that is trying to foreclose on the shop.
This game is family friendly and accommodates two to eight players.
E & G Taxidermy is reserved for those 10 and older and four to eight can play this game. The premise is the taxidermy shop was selected to mount a prize fish that was just caught. The strange shop owner invites all in to tour the shop. He suddenly leaves and locks everyone in, claiming he will return in an hour.
Again, the gamers will look for clues to help them escape. They have discovered that he stuffs people as well as animals. If the players are still locked in when he returns, they are the next victims!
It is $20 per person Tuesday through Thursday and $25 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Over on the Kinkin Axe Up North side of the house, everyone is welcome to participate, however, there must be someone over 18 in the group. There is an “axepert” that will demonstrate how to throw the axe, (actually, it is a hatchet), help with the games and review all safety procedures.
Each session is an hour long and the group can play any of the games or can just release their tension and just throw! It .is up to the group, The cost is $20 per person. Winter hours are Tuesday and Thursday 3:00p.m. – 8:00 p.m.. Wednesday 3:00 p.m. Until 7:00 p.m., Friday 3:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Saturday 3:00 p.m.- 10:00 p.m. And Sundays by apppointment.
Special groups are welcomed at both facilities and soft beverages, beer, malt beverages and hard seltzers are available for purchase. Groups may bring in food for their parties but not alcohol. Parties of 20-30 per hour are very welcome.
Kickin Axe Up North and Northwoods Escape Room are at 1161 Hwy. 45 South. Online information and details for Kickin Axe Up North can be found on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kickinaxeupnorth/ or the website https://kickinaxeupnorth.com/ or call 715-377-2447.
“Right now it’s a great stress reliever,” Becky tells those who are considering throwing axes. “If you are coming after work you can sit down, enjoy your friends, have a drink and throw some hatchets.
It’s something different to do.
“Date nights and we have had a lot of bachelor/bachlorette parties in the last couple of weeks. It would be a good thing for team building for the holidays rather than just go out to dinner,” Becky says.
Try it out!