Lawn games can be dated back to Egyptian times and have evolved and spanned across many cultures. There’s a reason these games have stuck through the test of time – they’re clever, fun, and can be played almost anywhere. Today there’s been a resurgence of lawn games in modern settings. One company has launched its own miniature golf pop up bar where you can have a cocktail and even snag brunch while you putt. Others have opened axe throwing locales, which have oddly become a new date night craze. In a world full of technology, lawn games are providing an entertaining and pleasant escape from the screen. To fill you in on what you’ve been missing, we’re giving you the rundown of our favorite types of ball games and why you should play them.
Ball Games vs. Throwing Games
Novices in the lawn game scene should know that there are two types of lawn games: ball games and throwing games. Just as their name suggests, ball games are any games that require a ball to play. This includes bocce ball, croquet, golf, petanque, and sholf—a mix of shuffleboard and golf. Throwing games involve throwing different items across a playing field, and range from horseshoes and cornhole to lawn darts and washer pitching.
Keep it Classy
Although you might think that bocce ball is just a game for grandpas, we think it’s arguably the classiest of ball games. Similar to bowls from England and Petanque from France, bocce ball is an Italian sport that originated in Ancient Rome, and who knows how to do chic better than Italians? Today, you can get a hold of fashion-forward bocce ball sets, so even if you don’t play well you can still look as cool as these Italians in Sicily playing lawn games.
Disc golf is one of those throwing games that has crossed over into mainstream by way of college campuses. Perhaps it’s the large greenways that are available on campuses that make the sport so enticing, or maybe it’s the thrill of realizing how much you can improve your accuracy and distance in just a short amount of time. Disc golf has blown up over the past several years, and there is even a National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships to meet the demand of players around the nation. If you have a competitive streak in you, you’ll have no shortage of opponents to master your disc game.
A Family Affair
Lawn games are a perfect family activity since they are generally easy to learn and force you to be present in the moment. Not only can you enjoy the fresh air of being outside, but you keep your mind sharp by learning new skills and get to work on teambuilding with those closest to you. Also, since these games are less physically demanding than most sports, everyone young and old can join in on the fun.
As the spirit of lawn games are becoming more and more popular, resorts and hotels are embracing them by building courses on their properties as another amenity. Chaminade Resort & Spa in Santa Cruz, for example, has invested in a total sports lawn redesign. Now guests at the resort can relax outside of their suites with a round of bocce ball, disc golf, horseshoes, or cornhole.
“Playing bocce ball in the evening, lounging in the hot tub at night, and walking the beautiful grounds in the morning was exactly what we needed,” says guest Carly D.
The Chaminade Resort & Spa is surrounded by 200 acres of natural landscape and hiking trails, allowing you to enjoy the great outdoors without leaving the property. Days of exploration can be followed by a relaxing session in their Himalayan Salt Sauna followed by dinner and wine tasting at their lounge and restaurant. Not a bad vacation if you ask us!