I walked on to a community tennis court the other day (suspend your judgment), and was greeted with not only the familiar lines for doubles alleys and baselines, but an obnoxious yellow grid. 

I was told this new set of lines was for pickleball. Yes, like the fermented cucumber. Pickleball. Within days, it seemed like I was noticing ads for pick-up pickleball, pickleball tournaments and pickleball fundraisers. 

Wondering if this was how people felt when basketball was first invented, I decided I should educate myself on this new-fangled game and add it to my repertoire of outdoor activities this summer. 

We all love cornhole, Frisbee, and bocce ball, but if you’re headed to the beach or the park anytime soon, keep these under-the-mainstream summer games in mind for a fun time with friends.


It was pitched to me as “tennis meets ping pong,” which seemed both redundant and intriguing. The game involves a paddle, a plastic ball, and a small tennis-court-style playing area. 

Check out the Early Show’s piece on this wildly popular game being called one of the “fastest growing sports in America.”


The gentlemen of Sigma Chi moved piled on to the beach. The pledges were carrying a ring with a net stretched across it, which was placed ceremonially on the snad. A crew of hulking dudes who were—you guessed it—spiking a small ball into the middle of this trampoline jeered rowdily at one another.  

The game of spikeball is a fast-paced outdoor sport that will have you ducking, diving and jumping to slam the ball onto the net’s surface for maximum bounce. It’s like volleyball with a slightly extreme twist. 

Here’s a crash course on how you can play this sport that’s covering the coasts!

Beach Mini Golf

If you have some serious sand to play with, a mini-golf course of your creation can be a relaxing and competitive way to spend the day with family and friends. Build sand mounds, create dunes and dig your own holes. All you need are putters and golf balls, and you’ve brought the country club to the casual coast. 

Have some other suggestions? Leave a comment and let us know about your favorite summer games.