Best Summer Games – A Top Five List

What better allows you to be a friend, teammate, competitor, host, and inspirer of happiness than summer lawn games?  Well, there probably are other things that lend better to those roles, but heck, summer games are fun and can bring together a family and friends!  I remember, in my younger summers, sitting in a low, striped polyester beach chair in the back yard, holding a glass of iced lemonade to my nape and watching my cousins blow bubbles in the sun.  That child, hot and bored, wished for something a bit more exciting and fifteen years later, I happily present to you, the top five backyard games for this summer.

5. Badminton

An Odd Garden Variant of TennisCarlton Shuttlecock

If you haven’t seen the game of badminton before, you’re missing something extraordinary.  Reminiscent of 19th century England, the game consists of lightweight racquets, a net, and the illustrious shuttlecock.  The (usually nylon) feathers of the shuttlecock provide drag so that it decelerates much quicker than a ball, which means, no out-of-the-park home runs for any over-excited players.  Hit the shuttlecock in the air over the net until it hits the ground!  Easy to set up in the back yard or in a park, lightweight, and affordable, badminton is a great way to involve anyone and everyone.  Cheerio!

Try the Franklin Elite Series 4 Player Badminton Set

4. Volleyball

Sick Dig Bro! Wilson Softplay Outdoor Volleyball

Another net game, volleyball is an incredibly fun way to get some exercise.  Setting and spiking competitively or leisurely tossing the ball back and forth, this game works for everyone.  Learning this game also can have advantages when you come across a game of indoor volleyball, beach volleyball, or even water volleyball.  Make some memories this summer with family games of backyard ball in the sun.

Recommended volley ball set – Park & Sun Spectrum Classic

3. Toss Games

Did You Say Cornhole?Bean Bag Toss - Cornhole Game

At my desk, there isn’t much in this world more enticing than being outside with some buddies, baseball game on the radio, and tossing a bean bag with a cold beverage in my free hand.  I don’t know about you, but I’m a fan of relaxing and taking advantage of the warmer months.  Sometimes referred to as tailgate games, toss games are simple and require little set up.  Usually in the form of a bean bag, players toss the object underhanded at a target.  Rules depend on the game being played, but the simplicity and the game-day feel of toss games definitely put them on the top five summer games list.

Fun bean bag game for the family – Corn Toss by Sport Design

2. Croquet

Through the Wickets and into the Stake, Old Sport!North Meadow Scottsdale Croquet Set

With origins dating back 400 years, croquet can transport you through time.  Well, no.  But it is exciting, classic, and perfect for some backyard Saturday fun.  Whether you’re sporting knickers and argyle socks or some under armour shorts, any day with reasonable weather is a perfect day for croquet.  I had fun playing this ball and mallet game as a kid at my grandparents’ house in Maine and this summer I will be definitely getting into some croquet mischief, putting on an English accent, creating new rules, and competing feverishly with my young nephews.  Undoubtedly a winner, croquet is perfect for backyard hangouts.

Best seller –  North Meadow Scottsdale 6-Player Croquet Set

1. Horseshoes

Summer Just Got a Bit LuckierWD Horseshoe

Albeit strange, pitching oversized shoes of a horse is cool.  Ancient Grecians tossed them when they couldn’t afford a discus.  Soldiers threw mule shoes in Union Camps during the Civil War.  Abounded in history, horseshoes is a game everyone knows and playing it is easier than ever today.  All you need is two stakes and some horseshoes to pitch.  The skillful pitch of the shoe is not something that demands tremendous physical ability, which makes it perfect for players of all ages.  Backyard or in the sand, horseshoes defines the summer as the epitome of relaxing, fun, and memorable!

One of the best horseshoe sets around – WD Horseshoe Co. Glory Set

Now, where’s my lemonade?

By Isaac Clark

Isaac is a Lemonade Lover at Sports Unlimited.

Best Horseshoe Sets for Your Game

Find the perfect horseshoe set for you and your family this picnic and summer season!

Picnic HorseshoesWhen shopping at most retail outlets you’ll find mostly “picnic” style horseshoe sets, as opposed to professional. Those picnic type horseshoes are also known as “recreational” sets, and it’s what you typically see at your backyard picnics or on the beach. Depending on your level of play, where you’re playing, and how competitive your spirit, we at SU will help guide you to selecting the best horseshoes for your game.

Some things to consider before purchasing your shoes:
American Professional Series Horseshoes
American Professional Series Horseshoe Set
$39.99

Who’s primarily playing?  Adults, Kids or a Mix of both? If you’re planning a picnic for teenagers or adults, it’s fun to go with a recreational, steel set. You get the real feel of horseshoes and the classic clang when hitting the stake. We recommend the American Professional Series Horseshoe Set by St. Pierre for $39.99. It’s a quality set that’s made in the USA and was designed by a former world champion.

Kids Rubber Horseshoes
Rubber Horseshoe Set
$19.99

If your kids are primarily playing with the set, or if you’re looking for something light and easy to carry down to the beach, then you might want to go with a well-made, rubber horseshoe set. Trust me, I know from experience that you want your kids playing with a rubber or plastic set. When they inevitably drop a horseshoe on your toes, you’re going to be thankful it’s not steel! For only $19.99 this Rubber Horseshoe Set is a great, pain-free choice, and can be used for both indoor and outdoor play.

 

Are you looking for horseshoes that are approved for NHPA, professional play?

If you’re considering entering a certified NHPA sanction tournament, or training for one, it’s important to understand that your horseshoes need to be approved by the NHPA. We offer a number of tournament horseshoe sets and horseshoes in various weights, colors, shapes, and prices. These shoes are manufactured by WD Horseshoe Company in Erie, PA so they’re all made in the USA and are of superior quality. All the horseshoes on our site are clearly marked if they are approved by the NHPA for tournament play. Our top picks for tournament approved sets are the Mustang at $66.99, the Bandit for $89.99 and the Glory for $119.99.

Happy Pitching!

 

By Mike Neff.

Mike is the Director of E-commerce at Sports Unlimited.