Top 12 brilliantly fun park games
Now, let's not get carried away, but IT'S SUNNY. AND HOT. Before it all ends (because it *will* end) head to the park immediately and give these a try...
HEY EVERYONE. LOOK OUTSIDE. IT'S SUMMER!!!
Yep, that's right - summer (aka our favourite week of the year) is finally here. As we all know, the minute the sun comes out, the Brits do two things.
Step 1: Take off their clothes
Step 2: Head down to the local park
Beers in hand, we don our shorts and sunglasses - sending the fashion police into a frenzy - and head to the nearest spot of green for some serious relaxation.
And, if this nice weather intends to stick around, what better way to pass the time between all the horizontal-ness than to give some of our 12 brilliant park games a go...
A favourite among the British aristocracy, this old sport has been around since the 1850s, and the game and its players haven’t really changed since. Delightfully simple, it basically involves hitting a ball through some pegs with something resembling a fun fair blow-up hammer. Benefits to this simplicity are, of course, that you can participate with – and after – a glass of Pimms or nine.
Stay true to its heritage by dressing up in your Sunday best – boys slick the hair back and grow your neatest moustache; girls long skirts and bonus points for bloomers – and shouting across the park at your fellow players such encouragement as ‘crickey - that was jolly good old chap! You’re doing spiffingly!’
England’s finest comes in two varieties - competitive and kick around. For the lazy summer days there’s the endless amusement of the latter. A simple concept whereby you vaguely aim the ball in the direction of a friend, but it will inevitably find its way to someone else, or a dog, or a picnic.
Be sure to rip the guy who turns up in shin pads (there’s always one), and never believe the one who claims they haven’t played since they were 12.
Everyone’s favourite PE lesson, rounders constitutes hitting a ball not really all that far and running in a circle, effectively in a race against TIME ITSELF. Or, more precisely, against the person who’s retrieved the ball you hit.
It also happens to be the perfect park game, not least of all because the equipment used, namely the ‘bat’, can be conveniently substituted for whatever you have at hand. My weapon of choice is always a ketchup bottle, although lid security is key to this particular selection. Otherwise you’re just playing Danger Rounders. Which perhaps isn’t a bad idea.
Boules* (*pronounce in a French accent)
Not just for your grandparents, boules is a lovely leisurely way to spend a sunny afternoon, with the only necessary exercise being a swing of the arm and a squint of the eye in the search for the small wooden target. Perfect.
They don’t make them like this anymore. How it was first decided that throwing a round disc through the air at your mates could be really quite a good game we may never know (although admittedly I haven’t checked Wikipedia), but my money’s on a misunderstanding during some authentic Greek plate-smashing. What’s more, in my general life-experience, students are hardcore worshippers of the practice of the frisbee. Quite right too.
I like to think of badminton as the chilled out version of tennis: same hand-eye coordination principles and there’s still a racquet, but it’s a damn sight easier to play. There's something strangely relaxing about the 'swoosh' noise the shuttlecock makes at it flies calmly through the air, and it works just as well without the net.
All in all, no real equipment or specific ground necessary, and none of this aggressive grunting business that tennis involves. It’s like someone sat Venus Williams down, shrunk her racquet in the wash, swapped her ball for a dead bird and told her to CHILL THE F*CK OUT.
Old School Treasures:
What with everyone devouring 50 Shades of Grey, it’s safe to say the Brits this summer have all become a bit, well... *whispers* horny. So, why not revamp one of everyone’s favourites - the good old, slightly perverted, ever-so-scandalous kiss chase! Having a member of the opposite sex kiss you on the cheek may not be quite as terrifying as when you were 6, but then again I suppose that depends on who you’re playing with.
NB: If you're playing this in public be sure to let people know that you're playing this game willingly otherwise you'll probably be arrested before a winner is determined.
One of the lesser-known playground games, Doctor Doctor involved sending away your designated Doctor (because Doctors are never witnesses to the crisis, the whole point is you have to call them) and the group of people left join hands. You then twist under, over and between each other (hands still joined) into some crazy, tangled jumble of people. You then call your Doctor.
Hopefully this Doctor won’t have gone to pick up a frapuccino or an ice cream in the meantime, because clearly none of you can use a phone. Doctor Doctor must then untangle you, without breaking the hand holding artwork. Take photos.
You’ll need to bring this with you, but it’s worth it. Nothing beats a good old game of Twister – outside in the sunshine. Grass makes for a softer landing when you, inevitably, fall over, and your outdoors location makes for the added challenge of avoiding being done for indecent exposure.
British bulldog is ideal for the spontaneous park-goer, as it involves nothing except your own lovely selves. Mark your ‘home’ lines out with a shoe or a beer can, designate your Bulldog and line up, ready to run to safety to the other ‘home’ line. If the Bulldog touches you, you join them in terrorising others.
Particular fun is always to be had towards the end of the game, when there are eight bulldogs versus two or three stragglers battling it out for ultimate glory. Cue brutal rugby tackles and hilarious bundles.
Sardines is essentially hide and seek for people who like to be different. One person hides, everyone looks for them - the twist is that once you find them, rather than alerting the others you instead hide with them. This continues until everyone is hiding in the same place while the last 'seeker' starts to feel like Billy no-mates.
I’m reliably informed that, while playing, it is common to find yourself irrationally needing a wee, at which point the fact that you’re squatting behind a tree could be useful. That is, until the other sardines spot you and come to squeeze in next to you. Awks.
Still - in my slightly nerdy and most humble opinion - the coolest way to get around, rollerblading is currently experiencing a decline in the popularity it enjoyed in the 80s and 90s, but that’s not to say it’s not going to seriously up your street cred. Er, innit.
One of the more demanding park games available, it does have two rather important requirements - the blades themselves and something more concrete than grass, but the effort will be more than worth it. Maybe invest in some elbow/knee pads and a neon sweatband... there’s a lot further to fall than when you were ten. Safety first and all that jazz.. Oh, and the neon sweatband? That's just for fun.