There are few better ways to spend a lazy Sunday than playing archery games with family and friends. You see, everybody who’s tried archery loves it, right? Right? And how could they not? It’s a sport that combines strength, finely-tuned skills, zen like calmness, and— last but not least— the thrill of competing against yourself (and your friends!), pushing yourself to the limit. What’s not to love?
But as with many sports, when you’ve already been training for a while, you might begin to feel the monotony of practicing the same type of shot. Maybe you feel like you might need to shake up the old routine and try something new. We hear you!
There’s are few things that are more exciting than taking what you like doing and tweaking it into a new, different game. Doing this means you get to discover new possibilities and unexpected talents, while possibly spotting technical problems that you don’t perceive in your regular practice. And, by making sure you don’t get bored, you get to keep your love for archery alive.
So, if you want to raise the bar and come up with new archery games to entertain yourself and your friends, you’re in the right place. We’ve compiled some fun ideas to make shooting arrows better than ever!
The 7 Best Archery Games to Play with Family and Friends
#7 – The Candy Shooting
This one is simple. See that perfectly normal bull’s eye target over there? Well, we’re getting rid of that. Instead of aiming at painted lines, you’ll be shooting at sweets!
Choose differently sized pieces of candy (the smaller it is, the harder it’ll be to get), and stick them to your usual target block, making sure they’re visible. Then, step back to the firing line and fire away.
The best part? Whoever manages to successfully shoot a piece of candy gets to eat it, no sharing. Let the sweet-tooth battle begin!
#6 – Arrow Splitting Arrow
If you’re somewhat crafty, you’ll love this game. It requires a bull’s eye target, a block, a sturdy cardboard tube (easy to find at your local crafts store), and a bit of colorful paper.
First, set up your target as usual. Then, take the cardboard tube and make it into a hollow “arrow”. This means painting the tube and/or attaching paper “feathers” to it to resemble the fletchings. Or, if you want to play without the crafting bit, just use the plain cardboard tube.
Stick it to the center of the bull’s eye (you can use superglue) and aim to shoot your arrows into the hollow center, “splitting” it.
#5 – The Balloon Pop
Nothing says “I’m here to have fun” like some colorful balloons. Which is why you can use them to transform your everyday archery practice into something unexpectedly thrilling. This game is perfect for parties, trust me!
So, how to add fun balloons to your shooting session for some extra pizzazz? Just get some balloons in your favorite colors and blow them up, making sure they are not too big, mind you! Aim for the equivalent of two or three closed fists. Then, grab some tape and cover the whole target with the inflated balloons. Fire away!
#4 – William Tell’s Apple
Everyone knows the story of William Tell— good man targeted by an evil noble, forced to use his archery skills to shoot an arrow through an apple… that was on his own son’s head.
This game takes that basic premise— shooting a red fruit— and makes it a lot less stressful. No shooting arrows at, nor in the general direction of, people, please! How to play?
Choose your fruit— this will be your target, so size matters: it’s much easier, say, to take aim at a large pumpkin than at a modest apple or kiwifruit. After you’ve found your target, set a stick or thin metal rod on the ground and insert it into the lower bit of your fruit. Voilá! For a challenge, try stacking smaller fruit on top of your first one.
#3 – The Color Pop
Remember the balloon game? Well, this is sort of like that one, only adding color! And art, and explosions! What’s more fun than that?
You’ll need balloons, food coloring or water-based paint, water, and a large piece of white paper. First, mix the water and the coloring or paint in a bottle. Then, fill the balloons with the blend— it’s even better if you use different colors in different balloons. You can even vary the size to change the effect.
How to set it up? Hang some balloons from an arrow and stick it into your target. On the ground beneath the arrow, lay your piece of paper. When you fire at the color-filled balloons, the explosion will create a work of art. You can add layers by firing multiple shots.
#2 – Glitter Bombs
Again, filling balloons and making them pop. This time, fill them with glitter and air, and hang them from an arrow sticking out from the target stack.
When you hit the balloon, the dazzling glitter explosion will be everywhere! It’s most fun if you set up a camera to the side to catch the action in slo-mo. Go ahead and post it on social media!
#1 – Time for Fiesta!
Typically, a piñata will be shattered by a stumbling bat in the hands of a dizzy, blindfolded seven-year-old. However, there can be a higher destiny for this colorful party ornament.
Just hang it from a branch or string (away from any guests or stragglers) and fire at it from far away, sending candy and confetti all around. Just, we beg you, don’t use a blindfold!
After reading this list of pumped up archery games, are you ready to try some of them out yourself?
Switching up the elements of your shooting practice is, of course, fun (as shown above). But it also develops your abilities by exercising them in unusual ways. Plus, you get that sweet mental state of flow: by doing something innovative, you make sure your brain stays in the moment.
The next time you head out to the shooting range, get your stuff together and try out one of these games. Or, if you can set it all up in your backyard and invite over some archery-crazed friends, all the better! You’ll be making up your own activities in no time.
Whatever you do with these, remember what matters: keeping the spark of passion alive, and challenging yourself every day. Have fun!