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  • Writer's pictureMichael Ireland

Play Outside: Outdoor Kits and Games

You may not know it by looking at me, but I’m not much of an athlete. People assume I’m good at basketball due to my height, but there is no correlation between distance from the ground and actual athleticism. However, there are some sporty pastimes that I do enjoy with friends and family. And, now that the weather has taken a turn for the better, I’m looking forward to some fun in the sun! Since my brain is floating on a summer breeze, I’d like to share what the Caldwell Public Library has to offer for those seeking some recreation.

Tennis racquet, tennis ball, tennis court

Our wide range of outdoor kits feature your standard sporting gear such as a football, basketball, and volleyball, but the fun doesn’t end there. We also offer fishing gear, horseshoes and other casual yard games for those seeking a more laid-back outing. Here are a few of my favorite outdoor activities, all of which are available from the Caldwell Public Library for free with your library card.


Pickleball: I love pickleball. All the fun of tennis, half the running! If you’ve never heard of this game the best way I can describe it is as a hybrid of tennis and ping pong. Played with what appears to be an oversized ping pong paddle and a plastic ball, pickleball can be played singles or doubles. Many of the Tennis courts in the area have markings for Pickleball play and Midway Park just outside of town, has dedicated courts. The sound of the ball making contact is intensely satisfying and sure to provide hours of entertainment to young and old alike.

disc golf hole

Disc Golf: Go for a walk, throw a disc. Simple and fun. The real challenge is your throwing technique. But don’t be discouraged if it takes you a few more throws than you have fingers to make it to the hole, who’s keeping score anyway? Our kit includes the three most common types of discs, a driver, mid range, and putter in a handy carrying bag. While Caldwell may only boast of one disc golf course at Mallard park, there are several more located right next door in Nampa. I would recommend the course at West park, but all of them offer a different and exciting challenge.

croquet set

Croquet: The predecessor to many billiards games such as pool. Fantastic opportunities to infuriate your opponents and annoy your friends! While the concept of hitting a ball around on the grass through little metal goals may seem simple, it requires quite a bit of control and technique. A fantastic game that no one will be good at the first time they try. Best played on well maintained grass, so pack a lunch and hit the park.

Kickball: Kick, run, take a break. The best version of baseball for those that couldn’t hit the air with a bat or catch anything smaller than a cantaloupe. A classic game that anyone can jump right into, kickball is a staple of summertime fun. Great for keeping everyone at a large family gathering busy!

badminton racquet and shuttlecock

Badminton: A timeless racquet sport guaranteed to keep you on your toes. Badminton is a super fun and quick game for two to four. Play can be as intense or as casual as players see fit. I keep losing because the sun gets in my eyes, but I’m sure you’ve got some shades.

So why clutter your garage with games you’ll only play once a year when your local library has everything you need to keep the kids occupied and force the adults to get some exercise. Make your next BBQ, trip to the park, or family get together a blast with outdoor gear and games from your library! Let us know what your favorite summertime game is, or if you’ve tried something new from one of the kits we provide.

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