most popular outdoor games lifting log

5 Most popular outdoor games in Sweden

Natural playgrounds and family fun

About the article

Author: Eva Oscarsson writing personal stories on GoNatureTrip


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Description: Family fun and outdoor games Sweden

As a Swede, for me there are few opportunities to enjoy traditional Swedish outdoor fun and games, as my kids are becoming young adults. But I remember how I laughed so hard and filled with happiness when I arranged a “dress-up relay” for my son’s soccer club many years ago. An upbringing  with a lot of outdoor play is a premium childhood. That’s why I will share the 5 most popular outdoor games in Sweden that I and many others have played at some point in our lives. I still remember my childhood playing fields.

A childhood outdoors

Swedes still like their children to be outdoors. It is getting harder and harder as many children today prefer to stay in-front of the computer. But most parents put up a fight, at least as long as we are from the generation that can still remember how much fun it was to spend time with your friends outdoors. Luckily, the younger generation of parents are also making the effort to get their kids outside.

As a kid, I lived in a neighborhood with a lot of other kids. We played outside most of the time. During winter we skied or took the sledge down the slope behind the houses. I found the below photo among my parents’ photo albums. It is always nice when the memories are enforced by proof.

I would rather take my kids to a close-by outdoor recreational area, such as IKHP in the Nature Reserve in Huskvarna where we live, where they have ski tracks, MTB, and downhill skiing, than my kids staying inside all day.


In the summer time, the playgrounds and green areas provided a place for never-ending games that we would keep on going for days.

1. Relay competitions

Swedes do enjoy a good rely competition. It is so much fun. Some of my favorites is running with water, the dress up relay, the cartwheel relay, which is good exercise, or like wise the “hoppa säck”/Jumping sack. Jumping in a sack is not that easy, it takes a lot of coordination and strength.

Bringing the fun to folk events

Traditions, such as midsummer celebration constitute a perfect setting for Swedish families and neighborhoods coming together to sing, dance and play games.

Go join a celebration somewhere in Sweden. Do like the Swedes and take along some of the more popular family fun outdoor games. You can usually buy the equipment at petrol stations or one of the bigger ” we have it all”  stores, such as Biltema, Rusta or Jula. You can find these stores in almost all commercial centers around Sweden.

2. Lawn games: Boccia, Croquet, and Kubb

Most Swedish families would have a set of boccia balls or a set of Kubb wooden pieces stored in their house. They are precision throwing games and you can find a beach version set for a very reasonable price.

In Kubb, you have several wooden blocks that are called Kubbar in Swedish. You throw a wooden baton at them to try to knock them down. This can be played on grass, sand and even snow.

Boccia is also a boule game that is fun to play and it is easy to carry with you the smaller plastic set when you go for a picnic or to a recreational swimming area. The rules are similar to boule, where you throw your ball as close to the target ball as possible.


3. Varpa: An old game, all the way back to the Vikings

“Varpa” is an old word that means to throw. In modern Swedish the word for throw is “Kasta”.

“Kasta Varpa” is similar to boule or throwing a horseshoe sport. This sport has a long history, namely back to the Viking times. It is extremely popular on the island of Gotland. I remember my father played it with his friends in summer time.

The so called Varpas are either stones, flat and round, or nowadays aluminum disks, which is more popular. The goal of the game is to throw the varpa as close to the stick as possible.

If you cannot find a a flat round stone, you could use really anything that can be thrown, including ordinary balls, toys, or even garden tools. Just make sure that nobody gets hurt.

To find out more about Varpa, check out the Swedish Varpa federation (Svenska varpaförbundet).

Outdoor sport facilities and nature sites in Sweden

In Sweden, you will find many outdoor sport and training facilities. You can find sport centers, such as Skatås (see below), boule pitches and frisbee golf courses. Close to, or in my municipality of Mölndal, you can find it all. Nature and natural sites are always around the corner. I love the kids enjoy playing in nature.


4. Frisbee golf

When I was a kid, we did play with a frisbee. We did everything from just throwing it to each other, to more elaborate catching games, such as who could throw it the longest or reach a certain goal. The stranger game was to throw the frisbee up in a tree to see if it would come down again.

Today the all around Sweden you can find courses for frisbee golf.  It is without a doubt one of the top 5 most popular outdoor games in Sweden. It is a fun and easy sport with similar rules to traditional golf. However, you play with frisbees instead of balls and clubs. On the pages of local Swedish frisbee golf associations, you can read about the rules and how to play on their courses. Some websites are in English.

Frisbee golf courses in Gothenburg

I love to go to Skatås in my free time. It is an indoor and outdoor recreation area in Gothenburg. Here you can run on well kept paths for either 2.5 km, 5 km, or 8 km,  play beach volleyball, enjoy mini-golf, and try out the outdoor exercise gym. The sport and recreational center also host two frisbee golf courses. One have 18 holes and the other one 9 holes.

Close to Mölndal in the centric park Slottsskogen, you can find two more frisbee golf courses.  For prices and information please see Göteborgs Discogolfklubb.

Frisbee golf courses in Jönköping

During the off season, we have our motorhomes in Jönköping. We run our sales business from here. In this relatively small city and narrow surroundings, you can find an amazing total of 41 frisbee golf courses. Jönköping is a city by the lake Vättern with stunning nature.

One popular course is in Huskvarna in the park, Åparken and another one in the center of Jönköping, in the park Knektaparken at the lake Rocksjön.

Frisbee golf courses in Åkersberga (Greater Stockholm region)

We have one of our motorhome rental stations in the costal town Åkersberga in Roslagen. It is in the greater Stockholm region. Åkersberga is s actually the town of my childhood (where I learned how to ski). There is a frisbee golf course in Hacksta. This is a part of Åkersberga that I know well. I used to go to school there and I spent many hours there, skiing and running around the outdoor recreational and sport area.

Beautiful frisbee golf and golf courses in Furudal, Dalarna

In the small village of Furudal you can play both golf and frisbee golf at Furudal Bruk. It is a great place where you can enjoy all kinds of sports, and the golf lovers love this place. Furudal also attracts ice hockey youth teams and hikers. There are plenty amazing nature sites to hike. So here you can enjoy the nature, the forest and the Ore lake.

5. Playgrounds and natural playgrounds

All over Sweden you find playgrounds. The standards are high to assure safety. I loved taking my kids to playgrounds when they are small. Nevertheless, sometimes I preferred to take risk and let them climb a mountain or a tree, or their favorite activity would definitely be to jump from the local diving tower.