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    6 socially acceptable park activities for grown ups

    With summer semi here, it’s time for anyone below retirement age to head to the nearest patch of common grassland with a couple of bottles of mid-priced sparkling wine and start throwing a Frisbee around. Or kicking a ball. Or… 

    Well, what park activities are socially acceptable? And what are the caveats? 

    • Boules is obviously a no-brainer, especially if you know the rules, but only if you have a proper metal set (bonus points if brought back from holiday in France), not one of the coloured plastic kids’ ones. This applies even if you are a kid.
    • Softball also gets a tick, though we prefer to call it rounders and play the way we were taught at school. Which seems to be remembered slightly differently by everyone so you will spend most of your time arguing over the rules and very little of it actually playing sport. We don’t mind what you use for a bat (improvise with found bits of wood if necessary) but make sure the ball is not one the dog has chewed.
    • Cricket is still the failsafe father/son bonding activity (you will have bought little Theo his first set of stumps not long after you started him on solids). Please try not to be too competitive. Don’t have a tantrum when he bowls you out, and don’t hit the ball out of the park. After all, Theo is only 5.
    • If you are over 25, avoid anything with wheels that isn’t a bike. We’re talking skateboards, casterboards, scooters, rollerblades… Unless you are really good at it and wearing a cool brand of skate shoe, you will look like you are having a midlife crisis. Which you probably are. Oh, and an amendment to the earlier bikes rule – no BMXing.
    • Traditional wooden garden games are always worth considering if you are having a picnic. Think quoits, skittles, Aunt Sally… these transcend time so can be played by all ages. Keep games like giant Twister for the back garden though. No one wants to see that sort of thing in public.

    And finally… 

    • Croquet. Middle class, or best left to those with their own croquet lawns? We recently spotted a group of men in deck shoes running some hoops on a certain South London patch more commonly associated with riots, market traders called Del Boy and inter-gang warfare. Which can’t be right. 
    Flickr: Janii (: 

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