view counter

Summer Calls for Picnics, and Picnics Call for Games

Eight activities to keep you busy this summer … and that you can bring indoors when it rains

Flicken Chicken
      Hosts of Memorial Day gatherings pray that the rain gods will stay away. Maybe their prayers will be answered. Or maybe not. So it’s a good idea to have activities that can be moved inside if need be. Best not to use a room with a crystal chandelier or a fish tank. These games can quickly be moved back outside when the sun returns.
 
Cornhole
     Everyone knows this game, though some know it as Bean Bag Toss. Invented in 1883 as a way to bring horseshoes indoors, it uses a gentler missile, bean bags, tossed by players at a slanted board 24 inches away for fun and 27 inches for tournaments. The object is to get your bags onto the board (one point) or in the hole (three points) without spilling your beverage. All ages. https://americancornhole.com
 
Ladder Ball 
     This game turns cornhole on a vertical axis and adds a cowboy lasso! Cowboy Cornhole? You toss a bola — two balls connected by string — at a three-rung ladder. The goal is to wrap your rope around the rungs. The top rung scores one point, the middle scores two points and the bottom three points. All ages; no horses required. https://ladderball.com
 
 
 
Beer Pong
     With or without alcohol, the goal is to toss a ping pong ball into a mug. The Paul Bunyan-style outdoor version uses volleyballs and trashcans. You don’t have to get drunk to play, but it helps in understanding the staggeringly convoluted and regionally diverse rules. https://bpong.com/wsobp
 
Spike Ball
     If volleyball and four-square had a child, it would be named Spike Ball. Slap a lightweight but bouncy plastic ball, a little bigger than a softball, onto a tiny trampoline and wait for the other team to slap it back. Most active of all games mentioned with acrobatic diving for balls. Indoor rules — no diving, play off walls, ceiling out, definitely cover the windows. You can also get Spike Buoy for the pool. https://spikeball.com
 
Kubb
     Pronounced coob — not cub or cube — Kubb is an ancient Scandinavian game nicknamed Viking Chess. First, you take a sword and slice your way through … no wait, that’s not it at all. Actually, you toss wooden batons to knock down an opponent’s wooden army (blocks) and ultimately wooden king. After the Vikings chopped down all the trees, they had to play the game by throwing femur bones at their enemy’s decapitated heads. Talk about a sudden-death playoff. Hugely popular in the Midwest. www.usakubb.org
 
KanJam
     KanJam is Corn Hole for the athletic, combining Frisbee-type tossing with taking out the trash. Throw the disc and hit the can for two points. If your partner deflects the disc and it hits the can, you still get two points. If your partner deflects the disc into the can, you get three points. A smaller version is available for indoor use.  www.kanjam.com
 
Flicken Chicken
     Flicken Chicken is one of the newer old games to come around, chicken tossing being one of the oldest professional sports next to Mongolian dead-goat chucking. You and a partner take turns trying to toss the rubber chicken into the pot. It is harder if the chicken is alive. All ages; no clucking or plucking required.
 
Mini-Foot Golf
     Foot Golf, played outdoors by kicking a soccer ball into a hole, is the second fastest growing game in the nation behind Pickleball. Both games are a little large for indoor play, but mini-foot golf, like putt-putt, will work with a smaller ball that doesn’t leave the ground. Despite the name, you don’t need small feet to play. www.footgolf.us