Fun social games for adults?
August 28, 2007 11:40 AM   Subscribe

What are some fun, social, outdoor games that adults might like to play? I'm thinking games like Capture the Flag, or any of the new crop of "urban games" like city-wide tag. I'd like to organize some events for friends--anywhere from just a few people to dozens. Anything you particularly think is a blast?
posted by Ollie to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (35 answers total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
posted by knowles at 11:41 AM on August 28, 2007

My friends in college used to love to play kick the can, after dark, in a big sculpture and trees area.
posted by you're a kitty! at 11:48 AM on August 28, 2007

I happen to love hide and seek and sardines. We used to play around the neighborhood, at night, which always felt so illicit. The only rule was no backyards.

Red Rover is still a lot of fun, but I've seen some injuries.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:50 AM on August 28, 2007

Ultimate frisbee and frisbee golf.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 11:58 AM on August 28, 2007

posted by jozxyqk at 11:59 AM on August 28, 2007

Bocce Ball
posted by ijoyner at 12:13 PM on August 28, 2007

Treasure hunts or some sort of scavenger hunt.
I used to go to parties at a house where they had 2 or 3 croquet sets arranged so that the game started in one persons backyard, went around the house to the front yard, across the street to a neighbor's house and into their back yard. Getting across the street was usually pretty hysterical.
posted by BoscosMom at 12:37 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Ooh, thanks for these. Does anyone know anything like paintball, but less painful?
posted by Ollie at 12:38 PM on August 28, 2007

Ooh, thanks for these. Does anyone know anything like paintball, but less painful?

Nerf ?

My friends and I like to play touch (tackle in the snow) football - easy enough to start a game, and little equipment is needed.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:44 PM on August 28, 2007

I've had some great times playing kick the can at a friend's house out in the sticks; we played at night with a glowing nerf ball. Also video/photo scavenger hunts can be fun if you're up to doing something that organized (though now that pretty much everyone's got a digital camera or a cell phone that can do photos or video, it's not too much hassle).
posted by AV at 12:46 PM on August 28, 2007

posted by inigo2 at 12:47 PM on August 28, 2007

posted by Mayor West at 12:53 PM on August 28, 2007

posted by lekvar at 12:58 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

we used to play paintball in the woods, but using wristrockets (slingshots) instead of paintball guns- much less pain, much more finesse, just as painty. Also less likely to get you shot by a cop. Make sure you wear eye protection, but more padding than a heavy sweatshirt wasn't really necessary.
posted by jenkinsEar at 1:07 PM on August 28, 2007

Frisbee golf: Drink some beers. Hit things with frisbees. Sweet.
posted by devilsbrigade at 1:07 PM on August 28, 2007

posted by jaimev at 1:10 PM on August 28, 2007

Like Paintball, but much less painful: Killer, AKA Assassin, etc. Just make sure you don't run into any paranoid law enforcement authorities.
posted by wintersweet at 1:11 PM on August 28, 2007

Oops, jaimev. Guess I was still typing as you were clicking "Post Comment."
posted by wintersweet at 1:11 PM on August 28, 2007

Response by poster: jenkinsEar: the "wristrockets" contain paint?
posted by Ollie at 1:27 PM on August 28, 2007

Best answer: ?My friends play Manhunt weekly.
posted by loiseau at 1:29 PM on August 28, 2007


Awesome game, I made a set for my father to bring to tailgates and they are always a hit. Now, he brings them everywhere, including non-tailgating parties and all his friends love it.
posted by CAnneDC at 1:32 PM on August 28, 2007

I've been organizing a weekly event in Denver where we go out and play games in the park and then go out and have a couple of beers and burgers in the nearby bars. Co-ed, of course. Ages are between 21-31. Some games that have worked for us:
Kings and Queens (this is a lot of fun!)

When it rains we go bowling.

I'd like some more suggestions as well
posted by kookywon at 1:56 PM on August 28, 2007

Scavenger hunts are great, especially if people have digital cameras. This works even better if you have a system where you can display the photos on a big screen at the end of the competition - we usually download everything to a laptop while the participants collaborate on cooking a post-hunt meal, and then show the photos & videos on a tv hooked up to the laptop.

Our basic urban scavenger hunt formula includes the following categories:

- photos of weird things (e.g. a teepee, a clown)
- local trivia clues that require the teams to figure out the answer and then get a photo of themselves in the location referred to in the clue
- actual objects (a stranger's business card, a ticket stub, a feather)
- photos/videos of the team doing weird/embarrassing things
- choose a creative team name (helps build team spirit!)
- write (and perform after dinner) a one-act play involving [a list of 4-6 unrelated celebrities, objects, philosophical concepts, or whatever]

We typically blindfold the teams, then drive them to an undisclosed location across the city and leave them without transportation. They race back to the starting point, collecting stuff from the list along their way. I'm always amazed at how resourceful people are in finding transportation, and I think that's probably one of the biggest bonding elements of the game.
posted by vytae at 2:03 PM on August 28, 2007 [2 favorites]

Kickball. Great with beer! Plus, the bigger the ball, the better, 'cuz guys can't bomb it out of the park when they're playing offense. And when they're playing D, they don't have the ability to heave the beast all the way over to first base. Makes it an equitable game for both sexes.
posted by diastematic at 2:54 PM on August 28, 2007

Capture the flag can be oodles of fun in the right environment. In college, we played at night on two decent-sized grass malls.
In the mall, there were a lot of trees to hide in and building to scale. A key element was having a huge building dividing the playing field so we couldn't see opposition was up to. If it's raining, play tackle CTF for massive entertainment value. Almost as important was being within walking distance of 24/7 diners.
posted by jmd82 at 3:53 PM on August 28, 2007

Ultimate Frisbee.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 5:41 PM on August 28, 2007

posted by grateful at 6:05 PM on August 28, 2007

Hash House Harriers
posted by kjs4 at 6:09 PM on August 28, 2007

Laser tag.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:03 PM on August 28, 2007

Massively Multiplayer Rock Paper Scissors.
posted by jbushnell at 7:28 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

This sounds goofy as all get out, but a cousin rigged up a croquet game on a gargantuan scale, with obnoxiously huge playground balls, "mallets" made of PVC pipe, and wickets out of god knows what. The wickets were tall enough for someone of average height to walk through without ducking too much. It was unexpectedly fun and hilarious.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 7:29 PM on August 28, 2007

MMRPS is really good with a super-large group. The rules are simple: everyone stands up and mills about, and finds the nearest opponent. A round of Rock Paper Scissors is played, the loser sits on the ground, and is "out." Standing survivors find the nearest standing opponent. This game goes fast.
posted by jbushnell at 7:32 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

Ooh, thanks for these. Does anyone know anything like paintball, but less painful?

Laser tag. My buddies and I bought a few sets from Toys R Us and had a blast.

And nthing ultimate frisbee.
posted by exhilaration at 10:42 AM on August 29, 2007

Best answer: Ultimate Team Cardboard Fortress Battle

Capture the flag, but with forts built out of cardboard.

posted by shoseph at 1:44 PM on August 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

Fireball is the most exhilarating game I've ever played.

How: Take a roll of toilet paper. Wrap a thin steel wire around it once, real tight. Soak it in some flammable liquid (NOT gasoline, use the kind you'd light a barbeque with).

Then gather your buddies around in a circle, put the roll of toilet paper on the ground, and put it on fire. When it's burning well, grab it, throw it into the air, and pass it to one of your friends like a volleyball. Pass it around, and keep it in the air. Enjoy the feeling of being a hardcore goddamn johnny knoxville.

Thing is, you won't get burned, or even get hot, cause you're only in contact with the ball in a split second. (The ball will however explode a little when it hits your hands, because of the gasses that squeezed out of it.) The purpose of the wire is to keep the roll sticking together as it gets dissolved in the fire.

Play near a water source.
Do not wear clothes that are easily flammable. (Playing topless is way better than wearing that fleece sweater.)

Go play fireball. You will not regret it.
posted by cheerleaders_to_your_funeral at 2:23 PM on August 29, 2007 [4 favorites]

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