When the days of winter seem to drag on, it can be hard to keep busy—and entertained—indoors. If you’re getting cabin fever, a good old-fashioned day of game playing could be the cure. Here are three games, all of which have Irish ties, to make the cold days of the season a bit more cheerful.
As popular in family homes as it is in pubs, rings is a game of skill—or perhaps more accurately, hand-eye coordination. According to the World Ringboard Academy, six rubber rings are thrown at a board, which has 13 hooks mounted on it. Points are awarded based on the number of rings that land on the board’s numbered hooks. If you don’t have a ring board of your own, consult the World Ringboard Academy for an image that could inspire you to create one.
Another bar favorite, darts is a long-beloved pastime for the Irish. Having originated in the United Kingdom, the popularity of this game has spread. In fact today, it may be as popular in the U.S. as it is in Irish pubs. One of its draws is that it can be played with a few as two people or it can accommodate larger groups who play on teams. Hang a dartboard in your garage, basement—or anywhere an errant dart won’t cause too much damage—and let the fun begin.
Touted as a game that is equal parts luck, strategy, and skill, Backgammon is one of the oldest board games known. Two players roll dice trying to move their checkers forward to the lowest-number point on his or her board and then off the board to win. While this game is thought to have originated in the Roman Empire, it has long been a favorite among the Irish. There is even an Irish variant in which you can bear off your pieces from a lower-numbered point on the board even if a higher point still has checkers in waiting on it; this is the portion of the game that differs from traditional backgammon rules.
If you need a classic fall back that never fails to disappoint (and is almost sure to incite a family squabble!), turn to Ireland-Opoly. Played in the same fashion as Monopoly, this version is a unique take that features landmarks of the Emerald Isle.