boy holding croquet ball
Photo: Keller and Keller

Go Outside and Play

Give guests a buffet of playtime options and they will make your home the season's hottest destination. They'll arrive early, stay late, bring treats, and call you the greatest host since Jay Gatsby. All it takes is a backyard filled with games suited to all ages and abilities, a place where family and friends can gather to face off—whether it be for an innocent competition or a heated grudge match. In other words: If you build it, they will come.

But to effect this kind of leisure-time loyalty, you need some sophisticated games. We're not talking about staid badminton or weak-willed Wiffle ball. You need games of skill and strategy, games once played by warriors and kings—games like bocce, horseshoes, and croquet.
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