The return of spring means more time spent outdoors with family and friends, and we have prepared a classic list of activities to make any backyard landscape memorable for everyone.
They aren’t called classics because they got old. The following are the tried and true for entertaining any and all guests:
Countless outdoor games involve tossing something. Whether it’s a beanbag, washer, or horseshoe, these games can be adapted to different spaces and are guaranteed to keep everyone involved.
If keeping the lawn perfectly manicured is an issue, we recommend against horseshoes since it requires driving a metal stake into the ground and works best with a sand pit. However, if you have some sand to spare and a few yards of narrow space with no breakable lawn ornaments in sight, horseshoes is one of the greats.
For shorter grass, washers follows the same general rules of horseshoes, but uses a board that doesn’t break up the soil. It can be played in a slightly smaller space and the washers are far less destructive than a heavy metal shoe.
The safest alternative is the beanbag which can be used in a game called cornhole. Following similar rulesets as the previous games, players toss bags at two holes located on wooden or plastic platforms. This game (of the 3 options) is recommended for families that want to keep smaller children involved.
Bocce ball ranks among the all-time favorites for outdoor games. The game requires a larger space (usually 15 by 100 feet) and works on various terrain. Players take turns rolling a bocce ball closest to the jack or pallino (a smaller target ball) thrown prior to bowling.
If it sounds complicated, rest assured. It only takes a few rounds to be bowling like a pro. Like all of the other games mentioned so far, scoring is as easy as being closest to the target.
If you have the space to spare, badmitton never fails to keep the family busy for hours at a time. Sets are usually very affordable and easy to set up. The game is played much like tennis with a simpler feel due to the lighter weight and slower travel of the shuttlecock (a cone-shaped plastic object with a rubber rounded end).
Along the lines of setting up a net, you can never go wrong with outdoor volleyball. Best of all, volleyball can be adapted to suit a larger number of players if necessary to get everyone in on the experience.
If you want something challenging and sometimes less common, ladder golf may be the game for you. Ladder golf (or as my family calls it “Redneck golf”) requires 3 bolos made of golf balls attached by strings that are thrown by each player at a three-rung ladder. The goal is to wrap the bolos around the highest rung possible.
The last item on the list calls for a well-designed space to optimize performance. If you have never looked into an outdoor pool table, you’re missing out. Styles range from basic and functional to very high-end. An outdoor pool table can perfectly accentuate an outdoor living space and provides a centerpiece for having a few cocktails and sharing some great moments with friends while taking in the outside air.
Mix and match a few activities, but regardless of your choices, your guests will always look forward to the time spent with hosts that use their space to create cherished experiences with one another.
Todd Stetka is a Back Yard Improvement Consultant and Lifestyle blogger for Dream-Retreats