We might sound like a broken record, but we think the scenery on San Juan Island rivals just about anywhere.  We have forests to hike, coastlines to walk, and hundreds of species of wildlife to observe.  Our weather is mild to boot!  With so much awesomeness surrounding us, it is no wonder we spend the majority of our days outside! Outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling and kayaking are amazing, but sometimes we just want to grab a beer, relax and soak up the sun.  That sounds nice right about now, doesn’t it?
That’s right, it’s almost summer time, and for us that means beverage in one hand, bean bag or horseshoe in the other!  For us, playing outdoor games is the perfect mix of relaxation and fun with our friends and family.  A good outdoor game is one of those rare activities which can easily appeal to a broad range of ages and skills.  Adults love games, younger kids have a blast learning and playing them, and you might even convince a teenager to put down their mobile device long enough to enjoy a game.  Shocking…trust us, we know!  Ok, we don’t want to make fun of the teenagers too much, but like any parent knows, it’s tougher to capture their attention these days, and we’ve found games a successful way to do so. 

Here’s a short list of some of our favorite outdoor games: 

Horseshoes:  This time-tested classic is a game of skill. There is a learning curve in Horseshoes, but what is less complicated than tossing a horseshoe at a metal post in the ground?  You know how the saying goes, so relax and remember that a game of Horseshoes is one of only a few things in life where “almost” actually counts! 


Cornhole:  Also known as Bean Bag Toss, if you enjoy Horseshoes then you’ll probably love Cornhole.  You have a bean bag in your hand…there’s a board over there with a hole in it…try to toss the bean bag into that hole…keep score…and repeat.  Phew life is hard, let’s take a break!  Cornhole is our Campground Supervisor’s favorite game, which means the rest of us haven’t won a single game in almost ten years.  Up for a challenge?  Ask for Kelly the next time you’re here at Lakedale.   

Bocce (Bocce Ball):  This is a bit more complex than the games above, but you’ll use many of the same skills.  The game starts by throwing the ‘pallino’, or target ball, onto the court, then both sides try to bowl or toss their balls to get them as close as possible to the pallino.  The closer your balls end up to the pallino, the higher your score.  The concept is simple enough to start with, but the real fun happens when you realize that you can toss your balls to knock your opponent’s balls out of the way, or even the pallino itself, to manipulate the scoring.  People who like strategy, or just want to mess with their friends will love this game! 

And now let’s get a little more exotic with our all-time favorite games: 

Mölkky:  Here’s a fun game from Finland that’s a bit like bowling with a side of math.  No seriously, it’s an absolutely fantastic way for young kids to learn or hone their math skills while playing a fun game.  It’s like darts without the danger!  Mölkky starts with 12 small wooden pins (think short, thick dowels with the numbers 1-12 painted on them) set up like a rack of bowling pins or billiard balls, and another wooden pin for tossing.  Participants take turns tossing the pin to knock over the numbered dowels to score points.  The first person to hit fifty wins, but don’t go over fifty because you’ll have to go all the way back to twenty-five!  It’s a fun and super easy to play.  In fact, the hardest part of Mölkky for folks not from Finland, is figuring out how to pronounce it properly.  The most reliable sources we can find tell us it sounds sort of like “Meul-kuu”, or “Meul-kii”.  Don’t worry though, if you ask Kelly to show you how to play “Mole-Key”, he’ll know exactly what you’re talking about! 

Kubb:  This Swedish game is fortunately a lot easier to pronounce: “Koob”.  For this game we start with a big, invisible rectangle on the ground to make our court.  Let’s not do metric conversions and say it’s 15 feet by 25 feet.  We split into two teams, and place 5 wooden blocks, spaced evenly along each end of the court, with a larger wooden block, “the king”, in the center of the court.  Teams alternate throwing wooden batons from their own end of the court to try to knock over the wooden blocks on the other team’s end of the court.  Knock down all the wooden blocks first, then knock the king down, and yell “KUBB!!” because you’ve won.  This game is unpredictable, and we’ve seen matches last five minutes or an hour and a half.  If you’re playing Kubb, you’re at the mercy of physics. When you’re tossing cylindrical batons (they’re required to be lobbed underhanded, and end-over-end) at rectangular blocks, so there are usually a ton of near-misses and “How did that throw skip diagonally through 4 blocks and miss them ALL?!?!?!?”  Kubb is easily the most entertaining outdoor game we know, and easily our favorite of the bunch! 

There’s one thing all these games have in common: they can all be found right here at Lakedale!  Add in giant chess and checkers, ping pong, tetherball, beach volleyball, Jenga and connect-four, and we’ve got you covered when it comes to outdoor games. The use of all of Lakedale’s games is free for guests, and the only thing between you and some outdoor fun is a short walk to the General Store! 

We’re always on the lookout for the next addition to our games collection. If you have a suggestion, feel free to drop us a line and let us know what you are loving to play these days. In our book, the more unique the better!  For now, relax, enjoy the sunshine, and have fun playing games, regardless of your skill level, because the worst day of playing outdoor games is better than the best day at work, right?  See you soon!  



Call now: 800-617-2267
4313 Roche Harbor Rd,
Friday Harbor, WA