Feel Like a Kid Again With These Six Totally Grown-Up Lawn Games
(Bloomberg Businessweek) -- Grass is always greener when you get out and enjoy it, a fact gambolers of yore sensed as clearly as morning dew underfoot. At the Biltmore in Asheville, N.C., “lawn games were taken into account from the very beginning,” says the house museum’s associate curator, Lauren Henry. Frederick Law Olmsted’s original plans for the grounds that served as George Washington Vanderbilt’s Gilded Age retreat “included two courts for lawn tennis” and a bowling green on the south terrace.
Today, with the frolicsome post-lockdown vibe, lawn games such as croquet, bocce, and ladder toss are resurgent. “In the days since we opened for the 2021 season on May 15, we’ve noticed almost every single one of our guests partake in at least one of these activities with their families and friends,” says Caitlyn Pyzdrowski, sales and catering manager at Maine’s Chebeague Island Inn. Here, a few of our favorites to employ on your own plot.
STRIKE SKITTLE SET
Try a posher version of lawn bowling with this Hermès skittle set in ash wood and the brand’s bridle leather. It’s lavish (and made in France) but hardy enough for outdoor bowling with “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski. $2,425; hermes.com
LADDER GOLF DUO
Take a break from climbing the corporate rungs with this acacia wood pair of ladders in an all-business color palette of black and white. Some call the game “cowboy golf,” but here, there’s no pressure for a hole-in-one. $279; potterybarn.com
Fun fact: This sport was deemed so uproariously fun in the 14th century that only the nobility could play, lest lesser mortals forget their duties. This procrastination set has eight resin balls and a jack (target) tucked into a birch case. $348; serenaandlily.com
TUMBLING TOWER GAME
Jenga—the tumbledown legend introduced at the 1983 London Toy Fair—has led to lots of lookalikes, including this Brobdingnagian set hewn of New Zealand pine. A canvas carrier makes it picnic-ready, too. $150; crateandbarrel.com
VINTAGE CROQUET SET
You could opt for a mass-market set, but an antique version “hits different,” to use the parlance of the internet. This one by John Jaques & Son, which popularized the sport in 19th century England, has the heft of history. $3,033; 1stdibs.com
KATAHDIN BEAN TOSS
Don’t call this game cornhole unless you want to sound as if you’re back in college. But even those players without fraternity bros will feel like a kid again throwing these square bags. Helpfully, the classic L.L. Bean logo lends an air of maturity. $199; llbean.com
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