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Coolest Summer Outdoor Games Sets

Photo courtesy of Hayneedle

Photo courtesy of Hayneedle

You have three seasons to sit inside staring at screens. Summer isn’t one of them. When the heat isn’t too intense, you should be outside playing. It’s easier to find the motivation when you have something to play with.

From bocce to cornhole (or baggo, or bags, or whatever you call it in your neck of the woods), here are our favorite game sets for summer—including a “Viking game” you’ve probably never heard of. You could buy cheaper made-in-China sets, but these look better and last longer.


001 Bocce

Photo courtesy of Made Jackson Hole

BOCCE BALL
MADE Handmade Bocce Ball Set
$150, madejacksonhole.com
Handmade in the U.S.A. and sold by a small Jackson Hole-based shop, this handsome bocce set from MADE will last you many BBQ-fueled summers.

002 Beach Tennis

Photo courtesy of Fredericks & Mae

BEACH/LAWN TENNIS
Fredericks & Mae Beach Tennis
$140, fredericksandmae.com
Designed by the New York-based duo of Fredericks and Mae, this birch-and-cork set is built to withstand salty air (and occasional splashes of beer).

003 Cornhole

Photo courtesy of Billy Boards

CORNHOLE
Billy Boards Custom Cornhole Board
$105 and up, billy-boards.com
Cheap is cheap. Quality costs more, but you’re paying for durability and craftsmanship with a custom board from this Minneapolis-based company. Have yours laser engraved with whatever logo (or taunt) you want you want to rub in your buddies’ faces.

004 Croquet

Photo courtesy of North Meadow Croquet

CROQUET
North Meadow Bar Harbor Croquet Set
$124, northmeadowcroquet.com
Made in Maine from “northern hardwoods”, this classy set is a nice touch if you’re hosting an outdoor cocktail party, a wedding reception, or your girlfriend’s parents.

005 Ladder Golf

Photo courtesy of Ladder Golf

LADDER TOSS
Ladder Golf Tournament Edition
$130, laddergolf.com
Apparently there are ladder toss tournaments out there. And if you were to take part in one of these tournaments, this solid hardwood set would qualify for competition. So it’s a good one. For those who appreciate handmade goods (and are willing to wait a few weeks for them), here is another option from Etsy.

006 Horseshoes

Photo courtesy of Dicks Sporting Goods

HORSESHOES
St. Pierre American Presidential Horseshoe Set
$65, dickssportinggoods.com
Made in the U.S. and forged from solid steel, this horseshoe set features a baked-on, chip- and corrosion-resistant finish. New England-based St. Pierre has been making horseshoes for more than 60 years.

007 Badminton

Photo courtesy of Hayneedle

BADMINTON
Baden Championship Badminton Set
$122, hayneedle.com
This independent, family-owned company makes a weatherproof badminton set that won’t fall apart on you after a summer or two. Nothing’s more fun than watching your friends whiff on the birdie while trying not to spill their beers.

008 Kubb

Photo courtesy of Yard Games

KUBB
Kubb Game Premium Set
$50, yardgames.com
Looking for something new? Try this Swedish lawn game that (allegedly) has been around since the Vikings invented it. Your goal is to hurl small dowels in an effort to knock down your opponents’ blocks. Like a carnival game, minus the toothless hawker intent on swindling you.

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