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What To Do This Summer - Night Games

Updated on June 7, 2012

"Ready or not, here I come!"

If you thought childhood was the only time you'd hear those words before ducking into a cramped hiding spot, think again. If you're looking for something to do with your summer nights, Hide-and-Seek, among other 'night games', may be just the thing for you.

Night games may seem childish, but, if played with the right attitude and the right people, they are anything but. 'Capture the Flag' will call upon all your tactical wit, and 'Fugitive' will have your blood pumping the moment you race off.

Don't know the rules for these games? Already know these games, and are looking for more? Keep reading--but first, some tips to make the night a success.

Make Night Games Successful

The great thing about night games is that little preparation or money are needed. Once a game is chosen, it's just a matter of playing it. But before the games begin, there are some things you can do to make sure the night is one to remember:

  • Bring everyone! Having a large group of people is critical for night games, so spread the word to everyone and anyone. Text messaging and Facebook are great ways to get the plan out to a large number of people.
  • Blend in. Showing up to a round of night games in your white t-shirt or neon green short shorts is a sure way to make sure everybody knows where you are for the rest of the night. How many deer do you see wearing orange hunting jackets? The object of most games is to hide, so wear the darkest clothing you own.
  • Bigger is better. Be sure to play your games in a large area, with plenty of room to run and hide. High school or college campuses, parks, and entire neighborhoods are a few of the places where night games work best.
  • Participate. Don't be among the group of half-committed people who spend more time text messaging than they do interacting with those people who are present. Find your inner-child and give the games all you've got!
  • Safety first. Keep in mind that night games are played in the, well, um, in the night. Crossing cars, running people, and objects on the ground are all things to watch out for when playing. Be careful out there, kids. A trip to the hospital doesn't necessarily make the night a success.

The Top 5 'Night Games'

Below are the top 5 night games and how to play. Have night games of your own? Be sure to comment!

1. Fugitive

Object of the game: Get from point A to point B without being captured by the 'cops'.

How to play: Out of all night games, Fugitive requires the most space; 2-5 miles is ideal. Before starting the game, choose two drivers to be the 'cops'. Starting at point A, the 'cops' give the rest of the players (the fugitives) a minute's head start to start their way, on foot, to a predetermined destination. The cops are equipped with flashlights and roam the streets searching for the fugitives as they run and hide their way to point B. If a fugitive is captured by the cops, they then aid in the search for the remaining fugitives. As far as boundaries, playing in teams or not, whether or not cops can leave the car or not, and if a time limit is enforced are rules decided by the players, and can make the game more interesting.

How to win: Be the first fugitive(s) to arrive at point B.

2. Sardines

Object of the game: Find where a sole person has hidden and hide with them

How to play: Sardines is essentially the reverse of Hide-and-Seek. Instead of everybody hiding and having one person search for them, only one person hides while the rest of the group searches for that one person. The hiding person gets a minute to find a hiding spot before the rest of the group begins to looking for them. Searching is done independently, not as a group. When you find the hidden player, do not announce it--just hide with them. The name 'Sardines' is a good one: hiding spots can get quite cramped, like a can of sardines. The game ends when the last seeker has found the group of hidden players.

How to win: Be the first person to find the hidden player. The winner becomes the person who hides in the next round.

3. Kick-the-Can

Object of the game: Need I say it? The object of Kick-the-Can is to kick the can.

How to play: Before beginning, a 'defender' of the can is chosen. The defender closes their eyes and counts to 60 as the other players spread out and hide away from the can. The goal is for the other players to somehow sneak up and kick the can without getting tagged by the defender. If tagged, you become a defender. Diversions seem to work best in this game!

How to win: The person who first kicks the can is the winner.

4. Capture the Flag

Object of the game: Sneak into enemy territory, then find and steal their flag.

How to play: Split into two equal teams. Split your playing area (bigger is better!) into half. Each half belongs to a team. With your own team and on your own half, hide your flag (rags and socks work perfectly) in a place where the opposing team will have difficulty finding it. Once this is done by both teams, the game begins. Any time you enter your enemy's territory in search for their hidden flag, they are able to defend their side by tagging you. If tagged, sit where you were tagged and wait for a teammate to tag you back in. It's always wise to leave a defender in your own territory, so your flag isn't as vulnerable.

How to win: Be the first team to find the opposing teams flag

5. Not-so-intense "Hunger Games'

Object of the game: Eliminate all other players (bow and arrow not allowed)

How to play: Each player is armed with a glow-in-the-dark Frisbee. This is your weapon! Use it to 'eliminate' your opponents and by throwing it at them or tagging them with it. Use all your wits to stay alive! Keep your Frisbee in your shirt to hide the glow, kill time in a tree, and slowly but surely take out opponents. Once hit, you are out of the game. May the odds be ever in your favor!

How to win: Be the last person standing. If you find the games are going too quickly, give each person x amount of 'lives'. For every hit, one live is taken away.


Looking for other ways to spend your summer? Check out this list of 44 Things to Do This Summer!

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