Birthday Parties

We’re getting very popular for kids birthday parties recently – which is great to see, groups of kids choosing a couple of hours sport instead of a couple of hours at Pizza Hut (ok, sometimes they choose both)!

Click on the usual questions we get asked below to find out more…

Parties FAQ

What do you do for an Archery Birthday Party?

In general, our parties are based around our 2-hour taster format, but made a little more kid-friendly. That means approx 50-55 minutes of getting everyone suitably equipped and taught the basics of archery using standard targets - a short break - and then approx. 50 minutes archery on novelty targets (Balloons, Minions, Superheroes, Zombies, whatever seems suitable for the group!).

We have a little Wiliam Tell routine we can do in the Break if it feels like the group needs something to occupy them while they Snack!

What is the cost?

We charge £18 per archer but with a minimum charge of 8 archers (i.e. £144 minimum fee - you are welcome to only bring 4, 6 etc, but the minimum charge of £144 remains).

This ensures we can cover the room rent and staff wages regardless of actual attendance.

For more than 8 archers, the £18 per person charge still applies, so 10 people = £180, 12 = £216.

We advise no more than 15 archers without special arrangement, due to the size of the venue.

What else do I get for that?

Your fee includes the Room Hire / Range Use. (We can travel to you, to a wide range of venues, but the costs are considerably higher.)  Your fee also overs the staff, use of all needed equipment & targets.

You are in the room for the full 2 hours as per a standard session, though for a Party we  let the Mid-session break run as long as is needed by the parents, to let whatever snacks you bring be eaten, do the Blowing the candles out etc.

(You are welcome to arrive upto 15 minutes prior to the session time, and there's typically only 15 minutes clean-up time at the end if we've a session booked after yours, so bear this in mind if you're bringing a very large cake etc along, and check with us if you're likely to need more time.)

We don't push you to add to the Archery session in way of trimmings (i.e. Archery cake, party bags and what not) but if you're interested in such things, please let us know.

What else is going on at the Venue during my party?

We run our sessions as the weekend when the Venue is closed for its normal use. However, on occasion some other areas of the Unit may be in use, but beyond the shared main entrance, they will not impact the Archery Range.

How many people should I bring?

Our fee is based around a minimum of 8 archers, but you are welcome to bring less than that of course, the fixed fee as above being applied in that case.

We'd advise no more than 15 archers, as they'll not really get enough time shooting otherwise. But if that's a problem, please don't tell Friend number 16 they have to stay at home, we're not cruel!

For accompanying parents etc - please apply a degree of common sense. The room is fine for 15 archers. 15 archers each bringing 1 parent will be fine, though we may end up a little short of chairs! 15 archers bringing 2 parents each will get very crowded, and if siblings are brought along to, it would quickly become a safety issue, and some would have to miss out seeing the archery session take place.

If you're booking a private session for  a LOT of people (bit archers or archers and spectators) discuss it with us first so we can make sure to accommodate you comfortably.

There is no additional fee for the accompanying adults of course - but please do not expect any of them to be allowed to shoot. We may if we choose drag the Birthday Kids parent up to be embarassed in front of the friends (because its funny...) but beyond that is entirely at the discretion of the staff on the day.

What if the adults want to join in and shoot for the entire party?

Book them in as part of your group! The same per-person fee applies, and we don't mind if the party is all kids, all adults, or a mix of the two.

How many staff will be there?

Depending how many people are attending, there'll usually be 3-4 staff present. Naturally we carry specialist archery instruction insurance, and we're all very experienced in dealing with the nuances of groups of amateurs faced with using potentially deadly weapons!

Is this SAFE as a birthday party?

It's worth pointing out in bold letters - these are REAL weapons. The bows being used are more than capable of shooting an arrow right through someone.

We don't use toy bow & arrows, there's no Nerf-ing around here. We will make sure the bows are used in a safe manner, and you can all go away knowing you've really taken part in archery.

Safety is paramount and strictly applied from the moment the safety instructions are given at the start of the session.

Party or not, any behaviour seen as risking the safety of those in the room will be dealt with sternly, and can result in any child (or adult!) being prevented any further participation. We'd encourage you to advise everyone of this prior to the session to limit the chance of upset.

We've never had anyone injured by an arrow in any of our sessions. It's possible for people to catch their arm with the bow string and get a bit of a sting from it, but we do our best to minimise that.

What about Food?

We encourage everyone away from treating it like a normal birthday party and wanting to set up tables etc - you'll just be wasting your archery time!

It's best to simply bring a Drink/Snack for everyone to have in the mid-session break.

Some customers in the past have purposely made up the Party bags with that in mind, and given them out at the beginning of break so the kids can start on them straight away! (though we can leave our mini-Tuck shop open if you want, we'd just need to be warned before hand).

For Heath & Safety reasons the kitchen cannot be used by the Public, so while we can accommodate parents storing/cutting the Cake etc, we cannot allow any other food preparation on-site.

Ah yes, the Cake, what about the Cake?

Yes, you can bring a cake! We can source you an Archery themed cake if you wish, just let us know.

** Please Note: We did have one memorable occasion where someone used an Indoor firework as a Candle.  :D We don't like the fire alarm going off - so encourage any Cakes to not look like a mini-bonfire, just in case. **

If you'ld rather NOT do the Cake or Food at all (perhaps you are doing a Meal-out afterwards or it's part of a fuller day) we can leave our Tuck Shop open for the sale of Drinks, Chocolate & Crisps as needed.

Can you provide drinks for the adults?

If you want the accompanying adults to have access to Tea & Coffee, then to save the messing of us Charging each person for it individually, it's just a fixed extra charge of £5 and we'll serve as many drinks as are asked for!

What does everyone need to wear?

Fancy dress is not advised (those big costumes really get in the way) just normal, casual clothes are best.

We are indoors - so it will usually be comfortably warm (and get can a little too warm on very sunny days) so bear that in mind.

Long sleeves help, can avoid you catching your arm with the bow string, and make the protective arm guard more comfortable to wear, but they are not essential. Long hair is best tied back in a Ponytail, and we'd advise against particularly big necklaces or ear-rings, or pro-truding lip-piercings.

If we do find anyone is wearing anything that could cause a problem, you'll be advised. Should you then choose to continue with it as is, we won't take any responsibility for any damage or injuries sustained.

I (or the child/children I've booked for) have a physical / mental disability that I've not mentioned - will it be a problem?

We'd REALLY rather you mention it, ASAP.

We like to think we are good at what we do. We've worked with disabilities of all types, and they are rarely a barrier to entry into Archery with us. However, catering for you may have an affect on our staffing or on the quality of service we can deliver to the other people in attendance, and as such any undisclosed disability becoming apparent upon attendance could require a cancellation of your booking for the benefit of all.

We do not wish to deliver an inferior service to anyone, for any reason, so will always consider the benefits of the group as a whole.

It could be as simple as needing to bring equipment we wouldn't normally have available if, for instance, you have an existing Shoulder problem that means you couldn't stand the strain applied by our standard Bow, so please let us know anything that could be important.

If we think its advisable that the person with disabilities doesn't take part in the session, we will let you know.

...do I need to mention things like ADHD?

Yes - mention everything. We've had someone who was described as 'disabled but perfectly physically able' turn up in a wheelchair and barely able to hold a bow - and it caused a lot of disruption needlessly, as very little is a problem IF we are prepared for it! (We have even hosted archery for the Blind.)

For ADHD etc though you might just find yourself pleasantly surprised. Archery does not award a lack of focus, and we see time and again it quickly bringing kids a level of patience and self-control that the parents didn't think was so easily acheived.

Does everyone shoot at once - or get put into groups?

Generally 3-4 people will shoot at the same time - and we have no more than 15 people in a session - so you will most likely be in groups of 3-4 people. Everyone is in the same room though, so even if you are not shooting on the same 'line' you are all in sight of each other.

How do I book?

If you're wanting to go ahead and book a party, please email bookings@blackburn-archery.co.uk letting us know the number of attendees (with ages for under-16s) coming along, and your preferred date(s) so we can check the calendar and work something out for you.

(We know birthday parties attendance is often not certain until days before, so don't worry, we don't need an exact list of Names & Ages, just a rough guide. "8 x 9/10 year old boys" is enough detail!)

General FAQ

You say ages 7 and up on most things - can my 5 year old come along?

We say age 7, as experience has shown that below that children often don't 'really' want to try archery for a prolonged period of time. Yes, they are keen to have-a-go (in which case you can find us at a visitor attraction and try just a few arrows), but 1 hour - 2 hours? Often not.

As such - while it varies a lot from child to child, and we've got archers who have been shooting since age 5 or 6 - I'm afraid we can't accomodate anyone under 7 in our sessions (instead, look for us appearing at various locations doing £1 have-a-go, where they can least try a few arrows and see if they like it!).

Please bear in mind, whatever the age of the child, that if you book for a session/course and it becomes obvious they are physically not capable of taking part, no refunds are available.

Do I have to stay with my child when they are attending an Archery session?

We'd generally prefer it, yes.

We say that for 12 years and under, definitely.

From 12-16 we appreciate that many kids attend a whole range of weekly classes where they are dropped off and left to their own devices, and it is of course at the parents discretion. Please bear in mind however that unlike many other classes, your child is unlikely to be with a group purely of their own age, and you may even find they are in a group made up primarily of adults, which they may not be comfortable with.

What should I wear to Archery?

Fancy dress is not advised (those big costumes really get in the way) just normal, casual clothes are best.

We are indoors for most of our sessions - so it will usually be comfortably warm (and get can a little too warm on very sunny days) so bear that in mind.

Long sleeves help, can avoid you catching your arm with the bow string, and make the protective arm guard more comfortable to wear, but they are not essential. Long hair is best tied back in a Ponytail, and we'd advise against particularly big necklaces or ear-rings, or pro-truding lip-piercings.

If we do find anyone is wearing anything that could cause a problem, you'll be advised. Should you then choose to continue with it as is, we won't take any responsibility for any damage or injuries sustained.

(If you're attending an outdoor session - then of course dress according to the weather.)

I'm disabled - can I still take part?

We've done archery sessions for a wide range of disabilities. We can't guarantee that your disability won't prevent you taking part, but we'll always do our best to accomodate you. Get in touch, be honest with us about your physical limitations, and we'll advise you accordingly.

(We have regular archers who are either blind, missing fingers/limbs, wheelchair bound etc)

I have my own Archery equipment, can I bring it along?

Certainly - but we reserve the right to inspect your equipment for safety purposes, and to refuse it's use on any grounds we see fit.

For instance - a high powered compound bow, shot indoors at short range, does an extreme amount of damage to the Targets, and we have to think of the cost of that.

Can my family come along and watch my Archery session?

Of course (we want to sell them cups of tea!) but please advise us of any large numbers.

We fully expect a young archer to have their parents with them - but one archer bringing 8 spectators would quickly cause us considerable space problems, particularly at our indoor sessions. We'd ask that you bring a maximum of 2 spectators/supervisors per archer - but ideally just the 1.

Can I (or my family) take photos during the Archery session?

We are happy for photos to be taken of yourself, and the Blackburn Archery staff. However, please take care not to include any other participants in your photos when possible - and if anyone asks for you to stop taking photos, you should respect that.

If you take photos of Blackburn Archery staff - please ensure you use the photos in a respectful way.

If you take photos that include other participants (and they have not objected to you taking those photos) please exercise restraint in their use. For instance - keep them for Personal Use and Display and DO NOT post them on Social Media.

If you take photos that you are happy for Blackburn Archery to use on this website and other promotional items, we'd love to have them. Please email them to us, explicity stating in your email that you are granting us permission to use them for such purposes (legally necessary).

In some instances, we may take photos of You! (Particularly if you have completed a course and just been awarded a certificate). We will always ask if you are happy for us to take and/or publish that photo. If you are not - please just say so.

I've got several children that want to attend archery, will I get a discount for bringing them all?

Sorry, no, we don't currently offer discounts for multuple bookings (except for large Group Bookings for one-off archery experiences).