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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Before there was Pokemon, there were POGs. This little round disc game was all the rage on playgrounds across the globe. Even Bart Simpson played. Did you?

By Mark Mancini

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

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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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

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

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

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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

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

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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

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

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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

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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The game of horseshoes is believed to date all the way back to the ancient Greeks, and has endured through the ages and remained a popular sport. How exactly do you throw a horseshoe, and what's a dead ringer?

By Maria Trimarchi

Whether it's a leisurely spar in the backyard or an intense match on the Olympic stage, badminton remains one of the world's most well-loved sports. How did a child's game evolve into the sport we play and watch today?

By Laurie L. Dove

Bocce ball is a game of skill and strategy for both serious athletes and amateur enthusiasts. Here's how you play.

By Terri Briseno

Basketball is an American pastime that has turned into one of the world's most popular sports. Yet people still find new and different ways to put the ball and hoop to good use.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

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Your teenage skate junkie just begged you to build a skate park in your backyard. Before you acquiesce and starting working on halfpipes, there are a few additional steps you should take.

By Dave Roos

The classic game of soccer has many fans. But even if you're a purist, you'll probably enjoy some of these quirky (and sometimes messy) variations. Try them out in your own backyard!

By Kate Kershner