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Into the Box: Crazy Bocce and outdoor games

When I do play bocce, it’s definitely all about keeping score and being competitive.

Nothing says summertime like packing along your bocce ball or croquet set when you take a day trip to the lake.

Well, this year, it’s more apt to say nothing says summertime like 40 degree heat in which you are endlessly exhausted and can’t even think about moving, much less playing a game that requires you to move and throw objects.  

Luckily, the heat wave is leaving us just in time for Canada Day, with normal, plus-26 degree weather remaining. This weekend will be the perfect time to head to your favourite lake or park, and gather the family for your crew’s favourite game.   My favourite is definitely bocce ball, and primarily because of my Italian heritage. I have fond memories of watching my Nonno and all the other uncles stand out in the field during a picnic, playing a game of bocce.

They never seemed to be keeping score, and it’s hard to tell if they were even having fun, but they were definitely happy to be gathered together and enjoying each other’s company.  

However, when I do play bocce, it’s definitely all about keeping score and being competitive. That’s why a new game I got, Crazy Bocce, is so much fun. It’s basically regular bocce, but with wooden cubes. Unlike normal bocce, you can usually tell where the ball is going to go based on a bounce, it just depends how hard you throw it.

However, with Crazy Bocce, things do get, well, crazy. No matter where you throw it, or how hard, I swear those cubes bounce in every possible way. If you are playing to win, this will drive you … insane.   No matter if you’re playing for fun, to win, or just to be doing something together as a family or group of friends, Crazy Bocce and most of these types of activities will serve your purpose.  

Other favourites of mine are ladder ball and croquet. I like croquet because it feels like more of a sport, and you can blast your opponent’s ball as far away as you want and nobody can say anything about it because it’s literally in the rules.  

I remember the first time I ever saw someone play ladder ball I thought it was the coolest thing, even though in theory it’s not a whole lot different than horse shoes or bocce ball, but that’s why I love these games. There are endless variations — like bocce ball or Crazy Bocce — and they all require a slightly different skill.  

So, this Canada Day and beyond, don’t forget to pack your favourite game or two, and I’ll see you at the park.   Crazy Bocce and other games are available for purchase at The Northern Toybox.