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More and more, we’re seeing party hosts request interactive and entertaining activities for their guests. Everything from the ever-popular cornhole to the more involved game of croquet have been making appearances at events—even formal affairs! Setting out a selection of games can be a great ice-breaker for friends and families who may not know one another; plus, games can also transcend age and keep toddlers and grandparents alike busy and engaged.

At wedding receptions, games can be a welcome distraction for guests if the wedding couple is having a post-ceremony photo session or if there is a large time gap between the cocktail hour and dinner. Games don’t need to be expensive, either! Several types of games can be hand-made and customized, lending a personal touch to your affair.

Top Lawn Games

Some of the most popular games for events include giant Jenga, cornhole, ring toss, horseshoes, bocce and even lawn bowling. To make a giant Jenga set, you can head to your local home supply store and have wooden blocks cut to size. The same goes for cornhole—any home supply store can cut a hole in the right style board, which you can then paint or decorate to your heart’s delight (you can make or purchase bean bags to toss). You’ll need to buy horseshoes and bocce sets, but you can design your own lawn bowling game with thick, clear glass or clear plastic bottles. If you’re hosting an evening event, consider filling the bottles with glow sticks for a fun twist. Game are limited only by your imagination. Love Twister? Feel free to bring it out.

Location, Location, Location

If you are having your event at a venue, make sure there is an appropriate place for games, like a dedicated room or a wide hallway. Discuss any special items or setup you might need with the venue well in advance. If you’re hosting an event in your backyard, make sure there is a flat place on the property to set everything up. Pro tip: If the games aren’t in an obvious location, add themed signage so guests know where to find them. This is one more area where your creativity can shine.

Play Fair

Consider your type of event and your guests. If the party is a formal affair and guests are wearing long gowns and heels, and tuxes and Oxfords, you don’t want to pick games that will cause them to break out in a sweat. Badminton probably wouldn’t work, but Jenga would make sense.

Lawn games are usually a warm weather option, so make sure to have a water station set up for thirsty guests. It’s a thoughtful and smart move, especially if alcohol is also being served, which can dehydrate people. Everyone’s a winner when you add games to your party.

Ready to start planning? Schedule a consultation with one of our event managers today!

Robert Ryan Catering and Design plans and executes over 400 events each year, boasts a five-star rating on WeddingWire and has received WeddingWire’s Couple’s Choice/Bride’s Choice Award seven years in a row. Learn more about Robert Ryan Catering & Design and tour our venuesSubscribe to our e-newsletter for exclusive offers, up-to-date news and recipes from our executive chef.

Kim MacKinnon

Top and bottom photos: Olivia Rae Photography; middle photo: Daniel Fullam Photography