Tips for choosing outdoor games
When the weather warms, people everywhere head outdoors for fun. Instead of playing card or board games at the kitchen table, why not join family and friends and take to the back yard or the local park for a spirited game of croquet, horseshoes, or badminton? To make the most of game time outside, it's important to start with the right equipment. Here's what to look for when you're shopping for outdoor games.
Who knew that tossing a square beanbag into a small round hole would offer hours of warm-weather enjoyment? When shopping for a cornhole set, look for a frame with a slippery surface and reinforced edges and corners. A fold-up frame and a handy carrying case ensure this game is easy to transport to the yard, beach, or park.
For another tossing game with a slightly different edge, horseshoes involves throwing U-shaped cast iron rings around a metal stake. To keep track of points during team play, purchase sets with color-coded horseshoes, and look for products that feature a bag or case for convenient carrying. Because they're metal, horseshoes can be heavy.
After a lively game of bocce, you'll understand why it's one of the oldest lawn games on the planet. Also known as Italian lawn bowling, bocce involves getting your large ball closest to a smaller ball without another player knocking your ball out of the way. If you're on the hunt for a bocce set, look for one that comes with a case featuring sturdy nylon fabric and carrying straps. For family play, pick up a set with four different colors of balls to accommodate different players.
If the idea of batting a shuttlecock over a net with a skinny racquet appeals to you, then you'll enjoy badminton. When shopping for a badminton set, make sure it includes four official-size racquets and two shuttlecocks. A kit featuring a net with a freestanding base ensures quick and easy setup without the use of tools or stakes.
If you love playing golf and enjoy tossing a Frisbee, you'll have fun playing disc golf, a game that blends both outdoor activities. Save money on a disc golf set by purchasing a quick-set target, six plastic discs, and a sturdy carrying bag in one convenient package. Similar to traditional golf, discs within a set should include a driver disc, a mid-range disc, and a putter disc for each player.
Croquet is a lawn game you play with mallets, balls, and wickets, which are metal hoops you set in the ground. In order to win, a player needs a blend of skill and luck. Boost your chances for victory by investing in good equipment. Look for hardwood mallets, polymer balls that are resistant to chipping, and strong powder-coated wickets. Choose a rip-resistant nylon bag for carrying to ensure the wickets don't tear holes during transport.
A tetherball is a volleyball hanging from a rope attached to a tall metal post. When playing tetherball, two players try to wind the ball all the way around the post to win the game. Tetherball posts can be permanent or portable structures. Shoppers looking for a portable tetherball system should look for a product featuring heavy-duty construction and a durable, powder-coated finish. Make sure the tetherball base is fillable, too. You can add sand or water to weigh it down and stabilize it while still keeping it portable. Look for a design that features wheels for easy portability.
These days, you don't have to be a circus performer to walk a tightrope. Many outdoor enthusiasts channel their inner daredevil with slacklining. A slackline is a length of flat webbing suspended a few feet above the ground between two anchors, usually trees or posts set into the ground. For optimal safety when slacklining, choose products with a weight limit of 250 lbs. or more. For use with live tree trunks, shop for products that feature tree protectors.
Some days, you're excited to play an outdoor game but just don't have anyone to play with. That's what boomerangs are for. These toys have a curved, flat shape. When you throw them, they're designed to return to you. For an authentic experience, shop for a traditional wooden boomerang. Make sure it's designed for your particular throwing hand, right or left. If you're shopping for children, purchase a three-winged boomerang made of soft foam for easy throwing and catching.
Additional toss games offer even more fun outdoors for friends and families. Make your back yard the "it" place on the block with games like spikeball, ladderball, ring toss, and lawn dice.