Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Lawn Games

A view of the President Woodrow Wilson House garden
As the weather starts to warm 
up for spring, The President Woodrow Wilson House is starting to move outdoors and into our garden! Historically,
lawn games were a popular outdoor recreational activity for families in the middle class 
during the 1910s. Many games were introduced to the American lifestyle by immigrants from Europe, specifically England 
and Scotland. With the invention of the lawn mower in 1830, people began to look for games that required a short mown lawn for play. By the 1900s, white-collar workers and professionals had the time and money to spend on leisurely pursuits. They favored the idea that, in sports, the best player was based on skill rather than social advantages. For the first time this year, the Woodrow Wilson House will be opening up our garden for lawn games at Vintage Game Night! Check out these featured games below:

Croquet gave women the chance to play outdoors with the
company of men, Credit: Library of Congress 
Croquet - Introduced to the United States in the early 1870s, croquet quickly became a staple for outdoor recreation as it was not only played in private backyards but also in public parks.  The game was often seen at garden parties, outdoor social events and fundraisers, and family gatherings. Popular with both men and women, croquet was the first game played by both sexes and still continues to be the only sport where handicap rules are the same for both. The game is played by hitting balls through a series of hoops that have been set in a predetermined pattern. The winner of the game is the first player or team to complete their sequence of hoops and to hit the center peg.

The US Lawn Bowling Association was established in 1915
Credit: Library of Congress
Lawn bowling - The history of lawn bowling can be traced all the way back to the ancient Egyptians, but it was first played in the United States in the early 1600s. There are even records that show President George Washington playing this lawn game at his estate. Many of the present day rules and code of laws were developed in Scotland, where it is now one of the most popular games to play besides golf.  Lawn bowling is played by two teams ranging from two players to four players each. The teams alternate in turn as players bowl their ball down the area of play. The winner of the game is the team that has the closest bowl to the jack, which is a white round ball that is the first to be bowled by the leader. 

Vintage Game Nights are held the first
Wednesday of every month! 
Our next Vintage Game Night is on May 7th from 5:30pm to 8pm. In addition to croquet and lawn bowling, guests can also play card games and vintage board games. Tickets are $15 which includes entrance to the museum, 2 drink vouchers, gaming munchies, and all-you-can-play vintage board games; they can be ordered here. We hope to see you there!

-Catherine Yuan


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