Enjoying some fun in the sun is not a general thing – whether you were born in the 50's or since the turn of the millennium, spending time playing games outside has remained a constant. What has not remained a constant, however, is the games that are enjoyed outdoors. So how have outdoor games changed?
"Then" is a general term, but for the most part we'll accept "then" as referring to some time before 1975-1980. As for more typical outdoor games of the time, horseshoes and croquet are those games that always leap to mind and are regularly shown in images and video that's supposedly to evoke thoughts and sentimentality of what's perceived as a "simpler" time.
Also popular games of the time were badminton and volleyball. While volleyball continues to be popular, badminton is definitely a game that has seen a level of decline in recent years. Speaking of recent years, what qualifies as popular outdoor games in the "now"?
Much like "then", "now" is a general term, but for now we'll accept that "now" is pretty much any time after 1990. In the "now" we're seeing a trend of both new games and classic games from before "then" reemerging.
Bounce houses have been around for years, but it's only recently that instead of being forced to play in one at a county fair or rent one that you own one yourself for a reasonable price. These are a great favorite among young children, and the newer ones even have optional water features to make them even more fun in the summer.
Bean bag toss games, commonly referred to as cornhole, are increasingly popular, especially during group events like cook-outs and tailgating parties. The ease of transport and the small learning curve makes this an attractive game for players of all age groups.
A classic game that's been seeing a resurgence is bocce ball. Developed in its current form in Italy, the game has spread through Europe and has finally made its way to US shores. With elements of bowling and shuffleboard, Bocce requires more planning and strategy than your standard lawn game, making it appealing to those that like in-depth games.
Then vs Now
Once time had the "better" games, and in another 20 years it's fair to assume that the landscape of casual outdoor games and entertainment will change even more, but no matter what's popular, it's always popular to be outside enjoying fun and games with friends and family.