Taryn's Wreckreation Guide: Backyard Games For Summertime

June 7, 2016

I'm having a BBQ at the family cabin this weekend, rain or shine, and have been working on some epic Backyard Athletics (Beer Olympics, as they're sometimes called). There are tons of great games, not to mention new ones popping up every year, and even some you might invent yourself. I was a big fan of Dizzy Beer in college, but if I told you how to play, I'd hate to be held responsible for any injuries... Anyway, here are the games I'm most fond of for summertime shenanigans, and if I missed any, please send me an email with details!


Cornhole: In this awesome lawn game, teams of two take turns throwing bean bags at a raised platform with a hole in the far end. A bag in the hole scores 3 points, while one on the platform scores 1 point. You play until one team hits 21 points.

Can Jam: Do you have two big trash cans and a frisbee? Good! Here's how you play... The object of the game is to score points by throwing and deflecting the frisbee and either hitting the can or landing inside the can. Your partner stands at the opposite can with your opponent, and vice versa. Points are awarded for 'dingers' (when the frisbee is deflected by your partner into the side of the trash can) for 1 point, a 'deuce' (when the frisbee hits the side of the trash can without help from your partner) for 2 points, or a 'bucket' (when the frisbee is deflected into the can or floats into the can on its own) for 3 points. If the frisbee makes it into the trash can without assistance from your partner, he scores a 'chog' for an instant win and the game's over! The game ends when one team scores exactly 21 points.  If a frisbee toss takes your team's score over 21 points, the points for that throw get subtracted from your score instead of being added. In the event of a 21-point tie, sudden death rounds are incorporated until one team has more points than the other. 

Ladder Golf: In this game, you and your partner will toss ropes with golf-style balls on each end of the rope toward a series of three rungs that resemble a small ladder. The point is to get the ropes to wrap around the rungs for points. The top rung is worth 3 points, the middle rung is worth 2, and the bottom rung is worth 1. The goal is to hit exactly 21 points to win the game.

And for the more traditional lawn games...


Croquet: You know the deal. Mallets. Balls. Hoops in the ground. Very frustrating at times...The object of the game is to hit your balls through a six-hoop course in the right sequence in each direction and finish by hitting them against the center peg. The team who finishes the course first wins. I'm a big fan of playing defense, but that's not always the best strategy...

Horseshoes: I am always SO ashamed of my weak arm strength when I play (takes me a few rounds to actually get NEAR the stake I'm aiming for) but this is one of my all time favorites. I'm not known for my ringers, but if I ever get one, you can bet there's going to be a celebratory dance. My favorite is the "grave digger". 

Have fun in the sun this summer! Get out there, play backyard games, drink good beer, and enjoy fabulous company! 


Happy Adventuring,


Taryn Daly