Summer is a time to gather friends and family while enjoying grilled meat, crisp salads, and tasty beverages. While the eating, drinking, and socializing is well and good, there is another element to summer gathering that isn’t quite as tranquil. It’s the competition.

I love backyard games and the way they bring people together while fostering friendly smack talk. There is a bounty of games to choose from. A few of my favorites include horseshoes, bocce ball, bottle bash, and badminton.

Still, there are two backyard games that stand above the rest, and both have epic events pushing them to the big time in Indy this summer: Croquet and Cornhole. One event proudly carries on a longstanding tradition while another blazes a trail with hopes of becoming the city’s next can’t-miss summer competition. The best part is that both are open to competitive and casual players.

Wicket World of Croquet

When: Saturday, August 12, 10 am-4:30 pm | Where: Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site

The 29th Annual Wicket World of Croquet promises to take this treasured competition to another level. The biggest reason to get excited about this year’s event is a major transformation to the grounds of the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site. A recent capital campaign was completed, and the result is a property with major enhancements. A stunning promenade now runs through the lawn and connects the historic home with the new Citizenship Plaza. For players, the biggest change is the turf. A new irrigation system and two years of tending has resulted in a lush lawn ideal for play.

Get your dress whites ready and prepare for a day of food, drink, and fellowship as your team competes in either the competitive or leisure tournament. If you don’t want to play, but would like be part of the fun, there are porch party tickets available.



Wicket World of Croquet

Indy Cornhole Classic

When: Saturday, August 19, 2-6 pm | Where: American Legion Mall

The inaugural Indy Cornhole Classic promises to be the largest single-day cornhole tournament in the country. Hundreds of players will gather on downtown’s American Legion Mall to test their skills. The mall is an exceedingly patriotic venue as it sits in the heart of the Indiana War Memorial Historic District. All funds raised from this tournament will support veterans and the city’s impressive collection of monuments and memorials that honor those who gave their lives for our country.

Like the Wicket World of Croquet, there is both a competitive and recreational tournament. North Street will be lined with food trucks and beer vendors to help fuel the fun. Veterans Memorial Plaza will be transformed into a fun zone with games and activations to entertain. Plus, you’ll be able to test your cornhole skills against IndyCar drivers, local sports mascots, and more.



Corn Hole on Mall


This summer, let’s see if your backyard skills translate to the big time by enjoying a summer day of fun and competition at either (or both in my case) the Wicket World of Croquet or the Indy Cornhole Classic. I hope to see you on the field of play!