Need games for a picnic for all ages
July 18, 2012 3:50 PM   Subscribe

What are some good games to play at a picnic for a large group of people with a large age-range?

I'm looking for games that would be fun and appropriate for about 15-25 people at an outdoor picnic. The age ranges from 5 to 50, so nothing too complicated or overly physical. Ideally it would be something quick to explain and fun for everyone involved. About 15-30 minutes long. It doesn't need to be necessarily competitive like kickball.

Something like relay races are good, but might a little bit complicated to coordinate.

Water balloon games are fun, but we aren't allowed to use them at the park.

Getting supplies or props is not a problem.

posted by roaring beast to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Do you want everyone to be in the same game? Might be easier to have a few different games going, where people can join or leave a game as they want to without causing too much disruption.

Classic lawn games include:
Cornhole/beanbag toss
Croquet (a bit more explainy than the others, and kids will require more supervision)
Watermelon seed spitting (roll of kraft paper if you want to keep good track of leaders)

Nice things to have for impromptu games:
Frisbee or soft frisbee-substitute to throw around
Inflatable beachball (plus portable volleyball net, available at sporting goods stores)
Soft soccer ball to kick around
Hula hoops
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:58 PM on July 18, 2012 [2 favorites]

A situation tailor-made for New Games. Fun, silly, and really work for multi-age, multi-ability groups. Your library might have the book.
posted by Miko at 4:10 PM on July 18, 2012

Boules. Cheap sets available pretty much everywhere.

Also, frisbee. I am 53 and I would be damned offended if anyone even dared to think I wasn't fit enough to go haring around after a frisbee.
posted by Decani at 4:18 PM on July 18, 2012

Lots of games you can play with beanbags you can also play with eggs! Things like doing an egg toss where pairs of people toss an egg to each other across progressively larger distances, for example, are surprisingly fun!
posted by itsamermaid at 4:43 PM on July 18, 2012

Bocci = boules = petanque.
posted by maryr at 4:49 PM on July 18, 2012

If this is a family reunion, may I suggest Family Trivial Pursuit? We did this at a reunion once that was really fun, and in the process we learned a lot about family members. It requires a bit of prep ahead of time though, either via email before the event, or having writing supplies on hand.

Really simple: have everyone submit some unknown fact about themselves, like "My first job was a juggler in the circus" or whatever. Then someone reads the facts, and everyone tries to guess who it refers to.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 4:55 PM on July 18, 2012

Adding horse shoes to the list.
How about bringing kites? Not a game per se, but fun for all ages.
I like LobsterKitten's list because it has cornhole on it. Played it last month and had a great time chatting while playing.
posted by MuckWeh at 6:05 PM on July 18, 2012

Balloon pass . . . break your groups into evenish teams of equalish ages, blow up a balloon for each group. Pass the balloon through each team via knees or elbows or necks - just can't use hands.

Gift Grabbers - wrap a small present in a box, put in another box and wrap again, etc etc. (usually estimate 1 layer per person + 2 layers) First person puts on oven mitts and tries to open the present in 1 minute. Pass mitts and present down the line until someone can open it - that person keeps the small present.

If the weather cooperates (not too much wind) get a beach ball, tie a piece of string between two trees or poles and play volleyball. We used to run the string so one side was lower than the other & let the kids play on that end. The beach ball is less harmful than a regular especially if you have attendees who like to spike.

Jump Rope! Cat's Cradle! Chinese Jump Rope!

The attendees can check youtube for various cat's cradle and Chinese Jump Rope tricks and come prepared.

(we always end up playing cards at our parties - poker, euchre and pitch - or farkle. Pitch and Farkle are easy to learn and good for 2 to 8 people per group.)
posted by jaimystery at 6:31 PM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

I was recently at an outing where many people played Ninja. You stand in a circle and jump back, striking your best ninja pose. Each person attacks the person next to them and freezes in place when done. You can dodge if you're being attacked. Get hit and that hand is out, if both hands are hit you're out for good. Play until only one person is left standing.

Simple, uses no equipment, and a lot of fun! Here's a video of a game with two players remaning with some colorful commentary.
posted by beekept at 7:30 PM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

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