In The Magazine

More Games to Cap Off Summer

Wednesday, August 31, 2016
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Labor Day is upon us, and with summer’s fleeting sunshine comes that seasonal rite of passage: the family vacation. Kids. Spouses. In-laws. Maybe even a second cousin twice removed. All packed into the same town. Or, if you’re slightly less lucky, the same house. With endless time on your hands, it pays to be prudent and plan ahead with games for the little ones and—after they’ve gone to bed—some adult activities to make hanging out with Uncle Charles’ fourth wife much more entertaining.


For when the little ones have you counting down the days until school starts again…

Hot Potato Camera Game

Small Point and Shoot Digital Camera

Number of Players: Unlimited

Materials: A camera with a timer

How-To: Sit in a circle. Grab a camera or smartphone, turn on the timer and face the lens toward you. Hold the camera at arm’s length, and then pass around the circle. Whoever’s mug is captured when the timer goes off is out! Bonus: You get to laugh at all the great selfies captured.


Frozen T-Shirt Race

Number of Players: Unlimited

Materials: A T-shirt for each player,

water, freezer

How-To: Soak each T-shirt in water. Freeze overnight. On the count of three, players try to “defrost” and put on their T-shirt the quickest. Whoever gets it on first is the winner. Perfect for those hot, hazy Hamptons days!


Sharks and Minnows

how YOU doing?

Number of Players: Unlimited

Materials: A swimming pool

How-To: A game for older kids who know how to swim! One person is the shark. All others are minnows. The minnows line up along one wall at the shallow end. The shark situates himself in the middle of the pool, closes his eyes and paces or swims back and fourth through the water. The minnows have to try to quietly reach the wall on the other side without disturbing the shark. If they make a noise, the shark can open his eyes and try to tag the minnows. The first minnow tagged is the shark in the next round.



Group games for after you’ve successfully achieved that perfect tan.

Beach Flags

Summer beach

Number of Players: Unlimited participants, 1 Beach Keeper

Materials: Sandals

How-To: A classic game played at lifeguarding competitions. Line up sandals upright in the sand, with one less sandal than the number of players. Participants lie on their stomachs on the sand. The Beach Keeper announces, “I am the Beach Keeper. Chin Up. Chin Down. Go!” Participants race to pick up a sandal, keeping in mind that they don’t have to pick up their own. The person who does not get a shoe is out of the game, and the game continues, with a flip-flop removed each round, until there is only one person left. At the end of the game, all participants clean the sand off themselves by jumping in the ocean!



Cornhole Board and Bags with Tournament Sign

Number of Players: 4

Materials: Two cornhole boards; eight beanbags, four in each color

How-To: If you went to college in the South or have tailgated at a big sporting event, skip this paragraph and get out and play! For the rest of us, here are the rules: Place the cornhole boards 27 feet apart. You and your teammate stand behind opposite boards. The game is played in rounds, with the two players from opposite teams taking turns tossing the beanbags at the boards. A player achieves one point for each beanbag that lands on the board; and three points for each bean bag that lands in the hole. After each player tosses all four of his/her beanbags at the end of the round, the net number of points scored is tallied. Opponents’ beanbags cancel each other out. Then, the other two players play. The game continues until one team reaches 21 points.



When the kids are tucked away, the parents will play.

High-Society Drinking Game

Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Number of Players: Unlimited

Materials: Society Books

How-To: The host picks one of the below books from

the library, flips to a random page and starts reading.

The game proceeds as follows:

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: Drink anytime the green light is referenced.

The Social Climber’s Bible by Dirk Wittenborn and Jazz Johnson: Divide friends into “swans” and “turtles.” Give reasons why. Whoever has the best reason as determined by group vote “gives” a drink to someone in the room.

Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin: Drink anytime the Birkin bag is mentioned.

Reversal of Fortune by Alan Dershowitz: Drink if you don’t have a home in the Hamptons.

Philistines at the Hedgerow: Passion and Property in the Hamptons by Steven Gaines: Drink if you or your friend married into one of the families described.

The Two Mrs. Grenvilles by Dominick Dunne: Drink if your mother-in-law has ever used her influence to bail you out of a bad situation.

The Blue Book of the Hamptons: Drink once if you’re in it. Drink twice if you’re not. Drink three times if your host doesn’t have a copy.



Lots of Shots

Number of Players: Unlimited

Materials: None

How-To: Get your thinking caps on! Each player goes around in a circle counting off sequential numbers until a person reaches a number that is divisible by 7 or one that has the number 7 in it (e.g., 17). That person must then say “Buzz,” rather than the number. For a harder variation, players should also say “Bizz” when they reach a number divisible by 5 or with a 5 in it. If a number is divisible by both 5 and 7, or has a 5 and a 7 in it, the player must say “BizzBuzz.” Drink

whenever you mess up!


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