Backyard Fun & Games

Whether you're planning a garden party or considering constructing a putting green, these articles will help you create family fun in the backyard.

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Forget the lap pool. Forget the bocce court. Your kingdom needs lawn chess, and we're going to help you get it. Maybe even this weekend.

By John Perritano

How can you play a game of baseball in your backyard and ensure you don't hit your neighbor's Mercedes? We've got five safety tips for you.

By Dave Roos

Ever heard the expression, "Almost only counts in horseshoes"? It refers to scoring in the game, but it could apply to building a horseshoe pit in your backyard. You can have something almost as good as a professional court with little effort.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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Not all lawn games need to come from a box! Many can be built from scratch easily and will look a lot better than the store-bought ones. We'll tell you how.

By Laurie L. Dove

A treasure hunt in your own backyard or house will liven up your child's birthday party and keep the guests busy long enough for you to set out the refreshments. You could even craft one just to amuse your kids on a rainy day.

By Julia Layton

Yeah, swings are OK. But they're a whole lot more fun when they're paired with a replica of the Ghostbusters station. Or they hang from a tree house that puts the Swiss Family Robinson one to shame. Come see.

By Kate Kershner

The great outdoors is like a blank canvas when it comes to crafts. Spark your kids' creativity (plus provide opportunities for learning about science and nature) and get away from vegetating indoors.

By Bernadette Johnson

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Turning your yard into a mini movie theater is a great way to entertain friends and enjoy the outdoors. But to put together the perfect cinematic soiree, you want to make sure everything's just right.

By Maria Trimarchi

During the long hot summer, water games rule. Everyone wins because everyone gets wet! We've got five of the wettest, most fun games you can play.

By Laurie L. Dove

What new game is popping up all over college campuses, beaches and parks, and according to its co-founder, will increase your attractiveness by 48 percent? That would be Spikeball! Never heard of it? We'll give you a primer.

By Julia Layton

Tent living doesn't have to mean using leaves as TP or hoisting your food into a tree to prevent critters from eating it. Nope, camping with the family is as easy as pitching a tent in the yard and pretending that your iPad isn't within 10 strides.

By Kate Kershner

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Hot summer days beg for a dip in the pool. But if you don't have access to one (or don't want to drive anywhere), you can cool off in your backyard with these fun water games.

By Laurie L. Dove

Backyard putting greens are not only for the wealthy. If you're willing to do the work yourself, you can build one for a few thousand dollars. We'll show you how.

By Patrick J. Kiger

Hitting a ball at a fake volcano is way more fun than just at a hole; that's part of the appeal of miniature golf. And you can build your own course for your backyard with your own obstacles.

By Dave Roos

You may never have heard of Viking chess, but fans sing its praises while warning newcomers of the addictive nature of the game. Where did kubb really come from, and how do you play?

By Nathan Chandler

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Remember how much fun you had as a kid swimming in the pool with your friends and playing Marco Polo or sharks and minnows? Do you remember the rules? What are some other classic pool games out there?

By Dave Roos

Ladder ball is a fun game for a family reunion or a barbecue with friends. Best of all, you don't have to put down your beer can to play!

By Julia Layton

Although bean bag toss has been a familiar part of school carnivals and family reunions for years, for some enthusiasts it is so much more. From serious competition to science lessons, the game has taken on a life of its own.

By Laurie L. Dove

Summer days are perfect for little-to-no-skill–needed lawn games with family and friends in the backyard. We have 10 easy, do-it-yourself game suggestions from pickleball to crazy croquet.

By Maria Trimarchi

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With lawn darts still outlawed, what's an outdoor competitive spirit to do? Get ready for some summer games that come with only a tiny chance of a visit to the emergency room.

By Kate Kershner

Home sweet home, your own safe sanctum -- though your very own yard might be out to get you. Don't sweat it -- just set things right and enjoy your backyard without fear.

By Nathan Chandler

During those long days of summer when the kids are bored of playing with their expensive toys and video games, why not entertain them by creating an obstacle course using household items you already have?

By Dave Roos

Adults of a certain age have fond childhood memories of whizzing down a slippery wet piece of plastic in the backyard, called a Slip 'N Slide. They may even want to recreate those good times in the here and now. But should they?

By Laurie L. Dove

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Swingsets – which can include, swings, slides and seesaws – are, like most children's toys, a compromise between the coolness level of the product and the amount of money a parent wants to pay. How do you find that sweet spot?

By Dave Roos

In the world of casual playground games, hopscotch rules. Did it really start out as Roman military training, and does everyone play the same version?

By Maria Trimarchi

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