5 Toys for Grown-Ups
Games and activities that don't make you act your age.
Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
Slip ‘N Slide. Four square. Twister. Sometimes it can seem like kids have all the fun. But some companies are making toys for grown-ups, and we’re not talking about full-suspension fat bikes or custom-built powder boards.
No, the following five games and activities were designed for adults looking to harness their inner child. Remember: Just because you have a job doesn’t mean you can’t take recess.
Big Wheel Rally High Roller
If you think your days on a Big Wheel are over, you’re wrong. From Big Wheel Rally comes the bike that will save you from ever growing up: the High Roller, an adult-sized Big Wheel. Built to perform, this metallic candy-apple-red bike is crafted from heavy-duty steel and can hold passengers who weigh up to 275 pounds.
The molded-plastic 14-inch rear wheels are designed for optimal power sliding—check out this nail-biting race between comedian Jimmy Fallon and Nascar champion Jimmie Johnson on the Late Show to see what we mean. The 26-inch front wheel has an aluminum alloy rim with a rubber tire. It’s engineered for maximum traction and high-speed coasting with a freewheel hub. Don’t worry—Big Wheel Rally doesn’t skimp on details. The adult Big Wheel comes standard with an adjustable padded seat, bell, and bar tassels.
Slacklining, or the act of balancing along a narrow, flexible, low-to-the-ground piece of webbing, was initially conceived in Yosemite in the 1970s by rock climbers who found it improved their balance, focus, and core stablity.
While you don’t need to be a climber to set up a slackline, you will need persistence and a willingness to fail. A lot. Start easy with a two-inch-wide webbing line like the one in Gibbon’s Red Classic Kit, which also has ratcheting buckles for easy setup. Once you improve, opt for a one-inch-wide piece or try a trampoline line, such as Gibbon’s Surfer. Made for jumping, flipping, and other tricks, trampoline lines are extra-long and extra-springy.
DIY Foam Pit
Sure, you can go to a parkour gym, trampoline park, or freestyle facility to practice your tricks, but nothing beats the convenience of an at-home training center.
A foam pit can be as small or as large as you want it. Build a frame with two-by-fours or use a shipping container. The frame is less critical than the filling, and the size depends on whether you’re hucking yourself off a jump on a skateboard or a bike. Once you have your structure, use Speedy Pit’s foam-block calculator to figure out how many blocks you need. Specify size and color, or be cheap and buy scrap.
From $0.75 per six-inch block, SpeedyFoam.com
Popular at backyard barbecues, cornhole is the low-risk, low-output activity you can play with a beer in hand. Cornhole—presumably by another name—allegedly originated in Germany in the 14th century, waned in popularity, and was then rediscovered in Kentucky a century ago.
According to the official rules of the American Cornhole Association, the game is played by tossing a corn-filled bag 27 feet into a hole in a slanted board. You get one point for hitting the platform, and three for getting the sack in the hole. First to reach 21 points wins, which often means that if you’re 21 or older, you have to chug. Or everyone else has to chug.
Get a scoreboard and an “I Heart Cornhole” coozie and drink holder from the ACA. For board and bags, you can make your own at Hayneedle. Go minimalist with a simple maple board and eight filled bags, or show your colors with the stars and stripes.
From $60, Hayneedle.com
Cards Against Humanity
Next time you go camping, leave the regular deck of cards at home. Cards Against Humanity, the adult version of Apples to Apples, is a self-proclaimed “party game for horrible people.” The game is played with two decks of cards—one set with questions, and one with answers. In each round, one player draws a question card and reads it out loud. Other players offer their funniest/most outrageous/most offensive answer with a phrase from a white card.
According to the New York Times, Cards Against Humanity and its four expansion card packs have been the top five best sellers in Amazon’s toys and games section since the game debuted in 2011.