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Here in Ontario, we’re basking in the freedom allowed by step 1 of provincial reopening. We can gather with up to 10 friends at the park, enjoy a patio meal with a small group, and take the kids to an outdoor pool. After a long winter, and an even longer pandemic, the ability to do these things feels pretty darn good. Since it’s been shown that COVID-19 is much less transmissible outdoors, we’ve all been thinking about activities we can enjoy in nature. Thus, outdoor summer games are the focus of this blog. And don’t forget—now that non-essential retail has reopened, you can look for games at your local neighbourhood store.

Summer is Here

Innovation is often driven by demand, and over the course of the pandemic, people have been looking for things to do. Games have long been a big part of Kickstarter, and that category continued to flourish this year. Everything from board games to video games looked for financial support from crowdfunding. Campaigns for tabletop games and accessories made more than $233 million in 2020, which is an increase of more than $13 million from 2019.

You could always choose from a list of classics to satisfy your craving for an outdoor summer game. Engage friends and family in a game of ring toss or horseshoes. But there are so many new ideas out there, we want to explore some games that are less typical. When you find a winner, it just may become the new classic that you end up playing for years to come.

Board Games

A natural setting may not be the first thing that comes to mind in relation to board games, but times have changed. There are some great outdoor summer games that will make you feel like you’re part of nature.

  • Wingspan. Bird lovers will be atwitter about the chance to attract the best birds to their network of wildlife preserves. Listen to actual birds as you play this award-winning game full of beautiful birds and bird facts.
  • Hive. You can learn to appreciate the important pollinators sharing your park space with this two-player game. The object is to surround your opponent’s queen bee with the tiles that are solid enough to stay put even on windy days.
  • Photosynthesis. This game is sure to be a hit with tree planters and tree huggers. It’s essentially a forest management simulator that has participants cultivating trees through their life cycle. Check out the animation video explainer of the game below.

Go Big Without Going Home

If you’re going to enjoy an outdoor summer game, may as well take advantage of the extra space! Why play a regular version when you can go jumbo? Plus, kids love the novelty of anything extra large. There are a number of super-sized games on the market catering to consumers. Jump over your opponent with two-handed checkers or draw a line with a larger-than-life tic-tac-toe. Play any number of dice games with huge rocks that are more fun to roll than the standard version. And indulging in the giant version of Jenga raises the stakes.

large chess set
Not all outdoor games require running

Easy Does It

Some games are so chill, you can play them with a drink in one hand. If you’re looking for an outdoor summer game that isn’t taxing, consider something that’s easy to understand and easy to play. Of course, it’s also great if the game is lightweight and portable. May we suggest the ever-popular bean bag toss, also known as Cornhole? Or perhaps a bocce set—we’ve even seen options for light up LED balls and soft rubber balls. These games will make any park outing or family BBQ a little more lively while still remaining laid back.

Game On!

If you can’t decide on just one outdoor summer game, choose a combo set. This option combines several games and can contain badminton, frisbee, darts, ring toss, flip toss, horseshoes, etc. Choose whatever gets you outside for some fresh air, fun, and distanced play. And if you have an idea for a new game, one of the best ways to raise funds is through video. Show viewers how your game works and get them excited about investing. At Key West Video, we’ve made a number of crowdfunding videos to help our clients reach their goals. People are looking for ways to spend time outside this summer, so bring us your idea and let’s talk business!

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