Food & Drink

Go play outside!

You got game? We sure do! Whether it’s a backyard barbecue or an al fresco tapas tasting, this list includes some tried-and-true games that’ll attract both young and old. Toss the tablet computer and head to the great outdoors for a game-changing get-together with some good ol’ fashioned outdoor fun.


Hotter than hoops, Smak-A-Ball is suitable for ages 6 to 60, of all abilities. Hold the hoop and head to the ball where you can catch it with ease – or simply smack it back. Younger players can steal the show with the simplicity of the sport. Ball with two rings: $24.99; additional rings can be purchased separately.

Toys & Co., 242 S. Sharon Amity Road; 704-365-7890;

Skylight Rocket

Fire up the fun with air-powered rockets that are activated with a leap onto the launch pad. Guests will be over the moon with these high-flying rockets; get extra exercise while retrieving. Lighted rockets are just right for night, and nonlighted ones (also included) are a definite for daytime. $19.99.

Brilliant Sky Toys & Books, 9882 Rea Road; 704-542-5145;

Pocket Disc

Pocket Discs are the perfect pick instead of plastic Frisbees. Hand-crocheted under fair trade principles, disks display dozen of uses. Stack your cans and break out a game of bowling. Pocket Disc golf or a classic game of catch are also cool. And it doubles as a potholder. Classic version, $9.99; Sports Edition, $16.99.

Brilliant Sky Toys & Books, 9882 Rea Road; 704-542-5145;

Stone Skipping and more

Remember red rover, rummy and relay races? Avoid the apps and wave goodbye to the Wii. “The Art of Stone Skipping and Other Old-Time Games” brings back basics. Think jacks and marbles, H-O-R-S-E and sack races. Tried-and-true, easy entertainment. The Greenville, S.C., author will have you skipping down memory lane. $14.95.

Brilliant Sky Toys & Books, 9882 Rea Road; 704-542-5145;


For a game of catch that’s off the hook, look no further than Djubi. Tricky name; simple game. Aim, pull and release your ball up to 100 feet. A play of sorts combining slingshot, ball and net, this one is a hook, line and sinker that actually delivers. Recommended for ages 8 to 15. $24.99.

Toys & Co., 242 S. Sharon Amity Road; 704-365-7890;


Hit a home run with the Swingball by Mookie. Instead of smacking that grating guest at your party, take a swing at the tennis ball; it can’t go far. Handy for helping hand-eye coordination, play Swingball in the grass, on concrete, or even at the beach. Good for ages 6 months and up. $79.99.

Toys & Co., 242 S. Sharon Amity Road; 704-365-7890;


Don’t go wrong-o; instead, get Blongo. A cool combination of bocce, horseshoes, croquet and others, a winning outdoor game is just a BlongoBall away. Two small spheres attached by a thin rope are thrown towards the “BlonGoal” with a aim of wrapping it around the bar. For a fun twist, block your opponent by knocking off his ball. $69.95.

Nite Ize

The Nite Ize Flashflight is a lighted flying disc that makes evening endeavors effortless. Down goes the sun, and out comes the fun with a simple push button that turns the 10.5-inch diameter disc on and off. Suitable for kids or grown-ups. Available in four LED colors. $25.


We didn’t botch the name – it’s Boochie, not bocce. Though the name may sound the same, it really is a whole new game. You still aim for the Boochie, but a wrist tracker tells you to launch your ball in various ways each turn. Think eyes closed, between the legs and other silly stances. Have a ball with the game that has won numerous awards. Suitable for kids 8 and up. $34.95.

Snipe Game

Hide and hunt the sneaky snipes, a game of searching that bringing squeals of delight. Two teams compete to hide their snipes and search for the other team’s. Return your opposing team’s snipe to its nest before chirping clues and flashing eyes signal signs of secret hiding places. Fun for the whole family, both indoors and outdoors. $24.99.