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Summer Game Nights: 5 Tips For Playing Board Games Outside - Antsy Labs

Summer Game Nights: 5 Tips For Playing Board Games Outside

Game nights are a delightful reason to have friends come pack into an apartment and unpack a game together. 

During the warmer months, though, that same fun night inside playing Dungeons & Dragons can feel like descending into some dragon’s lair, especially if there’s no air conditioning.

Speaking from the painful, sweaty experiences of one-too-many game night gatherings in July and August, it’s high time to consider bringing the tabletop game night outside.

While the Great Outdoors has always held its own as far as games are concerned, with lawn bowling, cornhole, frisbee, and others being great excuses to gather friends, there’s no reason indoor games can’t also come out every now and then.

With the proper precautions and planning (and what is a game night if not a night for a bunch of rule followers to get together?), you may find you don’t need your Dungeon Master to tell you about the gentle breeze you feel. Instead, you can experience it for yourself by playing games at your local park.

Five Tips For Bringing Your Favorite Board Games Outside

  • Windy days and breezy nights - You know that feeling of having an oscillating fan disturbing the papers on your desk at home? Then you’ll know all too well the trick of trying to play board games outside with small pieces and cards. Plan ahead by bringing games with heavier, thicker pieces (or fewer pieces), or commit to smaller ones by bringing additional items that can be used to weigh the game pieces down.

  • Light the way - Who among us hasn’t gotten carried away at a game night, only to look up at the clock (or down at the phone) to realize it’s 3am? When playing board games outside, you’ll be acutely aware of when night starts. Ensure your game night success by scouting out the spot before and seeing if there are lamps or lights, then supplement with a camping night light you can leave perched on the table.

  • Lay it flat - Your game night surely has a designated table or floor for everyone to gather around. The trick to finding a good spot to play board games outside is a flat space that can accommodate your whole party. Many parks have tables that can sit six or eight, making them a great option (be sure to bring wipes!). Gaming while camping may be trickier in that regard, so opt for game boards that take up less real estate.
  • Sweat the small stuff - While the individual troops in Risk make for a commanding scene inside, they can become a disaster outside as one bump of the board can send a whole battalion into tall blades of grass. Keep in mind that not every playing environment is suitable to every type of game and adjust accordingly.

  • Clean up - Though game nights themselves aren’t completely sterile (I see you double-dipping your chips!), the outside environment can be even less so. Keep in mind that your pieces have likely touched the table or the ground, and give them a wipe down before you store them back in the box.
What about you? Have you ever tried planning an outdoors game night? Share your secrets for success below!
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