Cottage Games

22 March 2011 At Your Leisure

Top Cottage Games

Whether it’s bocce ball, badminton, cards or croque, nothing symbolizes life at the lake more than cottage games.

Outdoor Games for the Cottage

Bocce Ball, Ladder Ball, Frisbee Knock (Frisnoc), Horseshoes, and Croquet are just some of the traditional favourites and latest new games being played at cottages and cabins this season. For events with big groups, we have some unique and fun ideas for the entire gang.

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How to Play Bocce Ball

This is a simple game that cottagers play anywhere they have a reasonably flat area of grass that runs at least 15 feet. There are two teams. The object is similar to curling. You throw a marker ball somewhere ahead of you in the grass. Each team then takes turns throwing the larger balls towards the marker ball.

The closest team to the ball wins the round and gets a point. If the same team has the two closest balls to the marker they get two points, etc. The first team to reach a predetermined number of points wins the game.

This is a fantastic tournament game for reunions and big gatherings. Be sure to have a tape measure or a piece of string handy to get an accurate measurement when the distances are too close to tell.

A good Bocce Ball Kit for the cabin:

How to Play Ladderball

This a popular game for the yard, shoreline or beach. It is a simple set-up of a wooden or plastic 3 rung ladder and two sets of three bolos which are essentially strings with two golf balls attached. The game is usually played with two teams of two players.

A player from each team takes alternating turns tossing the bolos at the ladder with the objective of having the bolos wrap themselves around a rung of the ladder. The higher the rung on the ladder, the more points you get – usually 3 points for the top run, 2 for the middle, and 1 for the bottom. The first team to reach the agreed upon number of points wins the game.

Normally the points that each team gets in each round will cancel each other out. So if team A gets 3 points and team B gets 1 point then team A wins the round with 2 points. So, the best you can do in one round is 9 points meaning you landed all 3 bolos on the top rung and the other team didn’t hit the ladder at all.

Different people have different rules and even different names for this game. The great thing about cottage games is you can make the rules. Ladderball is perfect for all ages and can be played almost anywhere you have a bit of open space.

How to Play Frisbee Knock or “Frisnoc”

Often called Frisnoc or a number of other variations of the same idea, this game is a favourite with adults. Two stakes are placed in the ground opposite each other at a distance of about 20 or 25 feet. A bottle is then balanced on top of each stake.

A team of two players stands at each end behind their respective stake. Each team takes alternate turns trying to knock the bottle off the other team’s stake using a frisbee.

The defending team must stand behind the stake and bottle. If the frisbee hits the stake or bottle the defending team must try to catch both the frisbee and the bottle before they reach the ground. If both the bottle and the frisbee are caught before they hit the ground then no points are awarded to the throwing team. Otherwise the team throwing the frisbee gets one point for a dropped frisbee and one point for a dropped bottle.

If the frisbee misses the stake and bottle completely, then the turn is simply wasted. In some variations of the game, the receiving team has to catch a “reasonable” throw that misses the target. If they drop the frisbee, the throwing team gets another turn.

The first team to reach an agreed upon number of points wins the match. Again, this is a great tournament game.

Frisbee Golf for Kids

Here is a junior version of the game that is great for the youngsters to play.

Kan Jam

This is another fun game for cottage or cabin weekends with friends and family. It is easy to play and you can modify the rules as you see fit. Teams take opposite turns throwing disks at the goal and score points based on whether they hit the target, land on it, or manage to place the disk directly in it. It is a great game for people of all ages and perfect for sunny afternoons at the cottage.

Outdoor Dice

A set of outdoor dice allows you to play your favourite cottage dice games in the yard.

Ring Toss Travel Kit

A classic ring toss game for the cabin comes in a durable and compact travel kit. This is a perfect game to take to the cottage as a guest.

Ideal Cottage Cooler For Outdoor Games

A portable cooler with built-in speakers is a perfect idea for the cottage. Whether you are an owner or a guest, it is especially handy when playing outdoor games.

Outdoor scorecard with drink holder

How often have you set your drink down on the lawn when playing an outdoor game at the cabin and accidentally knocked it over? This little invention is possibly the best idea ever to go with outdoor games at the cottage.

Outdoor Games for Big Groups

When you have a lot of people visiting for a long weekend consider organizing the guests into teams and have your own version of Amazing Race at the Cottage.

Here are a few event ideas:
Canoe, kayak, paddle boat relays.
Cherry pit or watermelon seed spitting contests.
Family Feud.
Card tournaments.
Fishing lure casting competition.
Scavenger hunt.
Wood cutting competition. (With bow saws, not axes)

Special Tip: Try to diversify the games enough that every person can find an event that caters to his or her individual talents. Nobody should feel like the weak link on the team.


If you have enough property, people, and the basic equipment, you can set up a cabin geocache game. It is great fun for the entire family, friends, or even the entire cottage community.
Go to the Geocaching Tips page for all the details.

Indoor Games to Play at the Cabin

Cribbage, Scrabble, Yahtzee, classic card games and the latest board games are all fantastic ideas for a rainy afternoon or a fun evening at the cabin. With big groups you can have tournaments. Always try to plan games that everyone will be able to enjoy.

Here are three popular games this year:

Go to the Gift Ideas page.
Check out the Being a Good Guest page.
Visit the Cabin Activities page.