Activities for a work picnic
May 24, 2005 3:26 AM   Subscribe

Woo! It's BBQ time at work, and we're planning a big party. It's come down to me to pick out the various activities, and I'm looking for suggestions.

Ideally, I'd like to have things that EVERYONE can do and have fun doing, including our non-athletic co-workers and children, as well. Ideally we'll be able to have some event that each person has an equal chance of "winning", because we've got fun prizes for folks. We're going to have 10-30 people, and there are volleyball courts and horseshoe pits where we are having the BBQ. I'm already thinking that we'll have a pinata, and the idea of sack races has been tossed about, so think down those lines. I think things like a trivia contest would be too boring, but I also don't want to get into, say, a pushup contest or something that's too hard for folks that don't usually participate in sports (we're a web company and ages range from 21-mid-thirties, so think outdoors geek fun).

as much as I'd like to just have everything hinge on a drinking contest, i don't think that would be fair to my coworkers, as i'm obviously a shoo-in -- also we will have some teetotalers in the mix.
posted by fishfucker to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (20 answers total)
 
there probably will be a budget for this,but I doubt it will exceed $100., So while I think it would be reasonable to buy a croquet set or something, this sort of budget would preclude the truly awesome, like bouncy castles or pony rides, mot to mention the unbelieveably awesome bouncy pony castle rides.
posted by fishfucker at 3:28 AM on May 24, 2005


heh heh heh MOT TO MENTION LOOK OUT OSCAR WILDE
posted by fishfucker at 3:29 AM on May 24, 2005


Horse shoes, lawn bowling, frisbee (now called 'ultimate'), badminton for the more physically inclined. Bring a hackysac for the kids.
posted by furtive at 4:41 AM on May 24, 2005


If you can set it up, frisbee golf would suit everyone on your list. A little bit of prep work setting up a course and some baskets, but it's an awesome way for kids and adults to play together.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 4:41 AM on May 24, 2005


Got wind? Kites are always fun.
posted by taz at 5:14 AM on May 24, 2005


I second bocce. It's fun, and anyone can play.
posted by horsemuth at 5:53 AM on May 24, 2005


We have found that it's cheap and easy to amuse children and nerdy adults with a giant bubble maker. They have a closable hoop made of cloth and can make bubbles 2-4 feet in diameter. And get some small normal ones for the less coordinated.
posted by 445supermag at 7:34 AM on May 24, 2005


I'll third bocce. At our annual adults-only camping/drinking/tubing extravaganza, the bocce games are always fun. It's what I'd term "casually competitive," in that the participants are competing against each other, but no one really knows or cares how to play well. I've played with at least three very different groups, and it's always a hit.

Giant bubbles are good, too. I always hope that one bubble will last forever and become my secret bubble friend. Alas, it hasn't happened--yet.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:49 AM on May 24, 2005


One could set up a scavenger hunt in the park.

At the family picnic for a hardware store that I used to work at we had a building contest where each team was given identical sets of weird pipes and hardware. Prize went to the tallest construction built in 5 minutes.

Other kinds of engineering challenges are to build a container that protects an egg that you shoot from a catapult or build a popsicle stick bridge that holds the most weight.

Water ballon wars are fun for all ages.
posted by deanj at 8:20 AM on May 24, 2005


Kickball!
posted by Staggering Jack at 8:41 AM on May 24, 2005


A fourth vote for bocce. And a putting competition. You can get the practice cup thingies and have co-workers bring in their putters and old golf balls. It's usually broken up into various age groups (kids, teens, adults). Have a prize for whomever sinks the most in his/her age group.
posted by deborah at 9:24 AM on May 24, 2005


Kickball is also fun. Any of the kids foursquare games would be fun. We did a volleyball tournament at our corporate picnics when I worked for a big company, and that always went over well... the IT department always practiced for MONTHS, only to lose to Sales, who didn't practice at all, every time.
posted by SpecialK at 9:55 AM on May 24, 2005


At the family picnic for a hardware store that I used to work at we had a building contest where each team was given identical sets of weird pipes and hardware. Prize went to the tallest construction built in 5 minutes.

great idea.

Water ballon wars are fun for all ages.

I like this too.

I should mention that bocce probably is a good answer, but I'm leaning away from it because I have a personal distaste for bocce, and all other games where coordination and thought take precedence over running fast and kicking things hard.

we'll probably bring a set anyways, and that will be when I "watch the grill" (ie drink heavily) while everyone else plays.

so maybe i was the wrong guy to tap for the activities thing.

posted by fishfucker at 10:03 AM on May 24, 2005


Croquet.
A fish for prizes style game for kids (Get the Oriental Trading Company catalog now).
Bean bag toss-style games.
If it'll be hot and there are any small hills around the park, summer sledding is always a blast (blocks of ice, towels, you get the picture).
posted by Gucky at 10:24 AM on May 24, 2005


A fish for prizes style game for kids (Get the Oriental Trading Company catalog now).
Bean bag toss-style games.
If it'll be hot and there are any small hills around the park, summer sledding is always a blast (blocks of ice, towels, you get the picture).


ooh. these are all good ideas. I guess what I'm most interested in is sorta out of the norm type games and activities; like carnival stuff, etc, that you can do for a long time, or for a short time, or not at all. I think the more organized stuff might not quite fit our attention spans.

Washers might be a good thing.
posted by fishfucker at 11:06 AM on May 24, 2005


I like the old Relay Races.

Pop a baloon by sitting on it, run back and switch, next person eats a can of baby food, run back and switch, next person carries an egg on a spoon in their mouth and back, etc.

Also, get in a large circle and do the chicken dance. It is required.
posted by chota at 11:21 AM on May 24, 2005


"Pass the Orange" - tuck an orange under the starter's chin and pass it to the next: no hands!
Amoeba Tag
Balsa Wood Plane Rally
Tie Dye - this is a minimal set up, lots of fun, can run all day type of event. Just give lots of notice to people to bring white cotton clothing to dye, even better if you can swing the budget to provide the shirts.
posted by plinth at 1:12 PM on May 24, 2005


Try this website here. It's a resource for summer camp staff and has TONS of games and activities you can do with a group of people, lots of which are good for both adults and kids and the majority of them don't require props. If you do the sack races and need the sacks or need bunches of little prizes that are SUPER cheap check out Oriental Trading.
posted by Ugh at 2:56 PM on May 24, 2005


out of the norm type games and activities; like carnival stuff, etc, that you can do for a long time, or for a short time, or not at all.

Have you thought of arts & crafts type stuff? Paint a t-shirt or a beach bucket stations, sand art, clay, etc. Those kind of activities tend to get as complicated/time consuming as the participants want them to be, it gets kids and grownups and it's a neat bonding thing, as people love to show off or look at the one closet artist's stuff.

We did a party with a make a puppet station – carton of tube socks, glue, feathers, ping pong balls, Sharpies, googly eyes, etc -- and had a puppet stage set up. Kids and grownups ended up putting on lots of impromptu shows for everyone else.
posted by Gucky at 7:48 AM on May 25, 2005


well, i ended up not "over-organizing", which was good because I didn't make it there until 2p (there was an opening at my art gallery the night before). The only idea i actually used from this thread was the water balloon one (which I heard was roundly loved -- and also I really liked the height contest, which I think was done at a work party of my father -- who taught engineering -- at one social function or another ).

I really do appreciate all of your responses! thanks everyone!
posted by fishfucker at 10:41 PM on June 20, 2005


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