8 Favorite Outdoor-Themed Games
These staff recommended games are the perfect accompaniment to your shoulder-season adventures — or a fun way to stay busy while you wait out the highcountry snow. Not to mention, they'd also be great holiday gifts for the nature lovers in you life! (Feeling extra? Pair it with a gift donation to WTA or other great outdoor nonprofit.)
Is there anything better than cozying up inside with a game after a brisk winter hike?
Many WTA staffers gravitate toward outdoor-centric games this season — ones with stories and illustrations transport us to our favorite summer memories on trail. And as it turns out, there are a lot of games out there that do just that.
These staff recommended games are the perfect accompaniment to your shoulder-season adventures — or a fun way to stay busy while you wait out the highcountry snow. Not to mention, they'd also be great holiday gifts for the nature lovers in you life!
Bird, birb and borb lovers rejoice! This beautifully designed board game is a favorite among many WTA staffers — and for good reason. The illustrations are top notch, the gameplay is engaging and you'll find yourself picking it up time and time again. In Wingspan, you'll take on the role of a bird enthusiast (either a researcher, bird watcher, ornithologist or collector) and work to fill your wildlife preserve with the best set of avians. Team up with up to 5 players (or fly solo) and give this one on a spin at your next game night. Learn more at stonemaiergames.com.
This board game is like a walk in the park ... literally. In this competitive, 1-5 player game, you'll take on the role of two hikers trekking across trails and collecting 'memories' from all the places you visit. These memories — represented by mountain, forest and wildlife tokens — are your key to visiting the National Parks. In addition to the hiker-friendly story, the illustrations in PARKS are beyond beautiful. Learn more at keymastergames.com.
National Parks Trivial Pursuit
Trivial Pursuit is always a fan-favorite, but this National Park themed version is truly perfect for all hikers and park-lovers! With more than 600 questions and six categories to choose from — Natural Wonders, Battlefields and Historic Sites, Cultural Heritage, Science and Nature, Wildlife and Wildcard — you'll have plenty of opportunities to test your knowledge. Plus, this version is super portable and can easily be clipped onto a backpack or thrown into your camping bin. There's nothing quite like National Park trivia during a camping or backpacking trip in a National Park. Learn more at theop.games.
This single-player, first-person video game is straight up stunning. In Firewatch, you'll play as Henry — a fire lookout volunteer in the deep wilderness of Wyoming — investigating some odd occurrences and building friendships over a handheld radio. While the story itself is engaging, we really can't compliment the graphics enough! You'll feel instantly transported by the beautifully crafted scenery throughout the game. Firewatch can be played on Playstation, Xbox, Switch, Mac or PC. Learn more at firewatchgame.com
Trekking the National Parks
This award-winning, competitive board game can be played with 2-6 people and the premise is exactly what it sounds like — trekking through our country's stunning National Parks! Players will race around the map trying to visit parks first and collect valuable park cards and stones. Learn more and underdoggames.com.
CAMP BOARD GAME
Camp is a fun, educational, family-friendly board game that grows with the players. Part trivia, part board game, players will move around the board while answering increasingly difficult outdoor-related questions — starting from animal identification and moving up from there. Designed for 2-4 players and children 5+, this is a great game to pit kids vs. adults in a race to camp! Learn more at educationoutdoors.net.
Another family-friendly game, Enchanted Forest takes a new (and magical) spin on the classic memory matching game. Recommended for kiddos 4+, your group of fairy tale adventures can explore the forested board, seeking out hidden treasures hidden underneath the trees. Learn more at ravensburger.us.
Calling all mushroom lovers and budding mycologists! Morels is an easy-to-learn board game about collecting, cooking and selling mushrooms. The delightful, calming illustrations and laid-back gameplay will help even the most competitive of gamers enjoy this 2-person adventure. And don't let the name fool you, there are many more varieties of mushrooms to discover in Morels! Learn more at twolanterngames.com.
In addition to games, we thought up a few more gift-worthy ideas for you:
- Outdoor-themed books! Check our past book reviews to get some ideas.
- A photo book with memories from past hiking trips. This will be extra-easy if you already keep a record of your adventures in trip reports!
- DIY it! Some WTA staffers are making outdoor-friendly gifts that ship well — dehydrated meals, homemade fanny packs, paracord everything, etc.
- If you prefer experience gifts but aren't able to find one this year, consider giving a donation to an organization that represents that experience. (Are they a hiker? Consider gifting a WTA membership!)
Do you have a favorite outdoor-themed game or gift for the nature lovers in your life? We'd love to hear about it! Share you recommendations in the comments.