20 Traditional Games For Your Next Village Fete

Whether you want to raise funds for a charity event, arrange a fun day for school children, or celebrate a community, a village fete is a wonderfully Great British choice of pastime. 

It’s also a great way to bring the community together.  In times where people more and more seem to limit their leisure time and activities to the boundaries of their homes, stuck looking at mobile devices, and often don’t even know their neighbours let alone interact with them, village fete games are needed more than ever. 

However sociable or not people are in your village, good old-fashioned and fun pastimes in the sunshine at a budget-friendly price is something the whole family can enjoy. Village fetes with their array of entertainment offer just that! 

What Can You Do at a Fete?

A village fete is a chance for everyone, whatever their age, to frolic around, participating in numerous games and competitions, eating and drinking their fill from numerous handmade produce stalls. 

village fete games
Skittles at a village fete
cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Philip Halling – geograph.org.uk/p/5519995

While competitions, food and drink stalls, and the selling of different tabletop or carboot items are all there to please the attendees, the traditional fete games are what can really stand out. 

There are numerous variations and types of such games available, and despite many being around for years,  whole generations continue to enjoy them. 

Let’s have a look at what these school fete games ideas are and what makes them so well-loved. 

Traditional Fete Games

Let’s take a look at some of the most loved, traditional fete games ideas:

1. The Hoopla 

Gamez Galore Large Rope Quoits / Hoopla

Perhaps a must-have at any fete, the hoopla is among the most common of fete games. It is a simple test of how accurately the punters throw.

Posts are arranged either horizontally on blocks at a table or the ground or vertically on a board and players throw rings at them. 

Sometimes the posts have prizes attached and the hoop must go over them to make you eligible for the reward.

2. Pin the Tail on the Donkey

Unique Party 25032 - Deluxe Pin the Tail on the Donkey Game for 8

Everybody remembers this from their childhood. It should need no introduction. While blindfolded you need to have to pin the tail closest to where it should be on the donkey’s bottom.

3. Guess How Many Sweets in A Jar

Another game that people love taking a shot at, that is a good fundraiser.

sweets in a jar

4. Name the Doll/Cuddly Toy

Pick a name for the cuddly toy from a list of the names on a sheet. Easy for anyone to have a go at and a popular fundraiser.

5. The Raffle and/or Tombola

If you want your fete to be a success, don’t forget the raffle! A hit with the adults, especially the elderly, participants buy tickets with certain numbers on them.

The copies of these tickets are held in a container, from where the tickets are drawn at random. Each ticket is attributed to a particular item, and the winner with the matching ticket gets the prize.

Here’s a great option to get started with:

The Laser Factory Clear Tombola Raffle Ticket Spinner Drum Draw Machine Box - Great For Tombola, Bingo, Lotto, Raffle

Tombola is more of a slow-burner but has a more immediate conclusion. You will know straight away if you’ve won or not rather than having to wait for the raffle to be drawn.

Most fetes will have both tombolas and raffles, the tombola normally being reserved for smaller prizes.

6. Hook the Duck

RMS Hook That Duck Game

Identical plastic ducks float in an inflatable paddling pool. Each has a unique number written on their underside. Those who hook the correctly numbered duck, win a prize.

7. The Giants

What we mean by giants here is a group of normal board or card games but at a large scale and spread across the ground. Different variations of these include the giant snake and ladders, giant cards, giant Jenga, giant chess and more.

What can be better than enjoying your favourite household game but in a more interactive manner?

Here’s an example of a favourite of ours – giant chess:

alldoro 60080 Garden Chess Set, Multi Colour

8. Steady Hand

You have to guide a hoop around a wire obstacle course without your hand or the hoop brushing against the side and causing it to buzz. Harder than it looks, it requires a very steady hand.

9. Tin Can Alley

Quickdraw Tin Can Alley Outdoor Garden Hit The Can Family Fun Kids Fairground Target Throwing Game

Tin can alley is a shooting game, quite popular at fetes. It is a children’s activity but many adults partake in it too. The idea is to aim at a certain mark on the small wall balancing the cans on top of it.

Infrared electronic guns are used for the shooting. If you strike accurately, the can ‘pops off’ earning you a reward.

10. Wheel of Fortune

This is a familiar name for anyone with even the least interest in games. Multiple TV reality shows have aired using this concept, and it is an essential part of many virtual games. 

A giant wheel with different incentives written on it is usually set, and an arrow is fixed at a point above it.

Players spin the wheel and win the prize mentioned on the section stopping at the arrow. So, no skills involved, only good fortune required – hence the name.

11. Coconut Shy

Masters Traditional Games Set of 5 coconut shy posts

A coconut shy is a common funfair game. In this activity, punters fling balls or beanbags at a row of coconuts, arranged on a post. Usually, one round gets you three balls (chances) to hit the coconut off the post and win a prize.

12. Treasure Hunt

This is usually a children’s game, but adults can indulge in it too. You can hide different items at different stalls or locations across the fete area and ask the children to find them.

Each returned item can have a pre-defined gift for it. You can also make it a scavenger hunt.

13. Sock Game

This is a variant of ‘guess the item’ type activity. Socks are hung on a washing line, with each sock containing a different item. Players are asked to guess which sock holds what item.

The winner gets the prize.

14. Hit the Hammer

This game is a test of the player’s strength. You hit the button with a rubber hammer, using all your strength. It sends the indicator on the striker up – the height depends on the force you applied.

A typical high striker stands at the height of 10 ft. Install this activity in your village fete to bring out the Thors of your community.

15. Splat a Rat

Splat a rat tests the player’s focus and coordination. The game’s setup includes a tube inclined vertically and mounted on a board. Both sides of the tube are open.

Now an object (usually shaped like a rat) is introduced in the pipe through the upper end, the player has to hit the object with a stick or a bat before it falls on the ground. It is quite a popular stall at most fetes.

16. Climb the Wall

This activity is a relatively new addition to the world of fetes, and so, not strictly traditional. However, it is quite challenging with different difficulty levels.

The activity consists of a wall to be climbed using different hooks and grabs.

Now the simple task can be made a challenge by introducing certain boundaries, which must not be crossed during the climbing. These boundaries are usually made using electronic lights.

If you cross one of the thresholds, you get disqualified.

To keep it safe, the ground beneath the wall is typically covered with a soft foam or mattress. Sometimes, the supports are made slippery on purpose to make the activity harder to complete.

climb the wall

17. Pétanque

Big Game Hunters 8 Boules Set with Rust-Free Protection and Luxury Canvas Carry Bag – Durable 8 Petanque Set Polished and Engraved Official Size Bowls

In pétanque, players score points for throwing boules closest to the target ball called a jack. You can either aim the target ball or hit the boules of your opponents away from it.

All players must stand inside the designated circle when they throw their boules.

18. Beat the Goalie

Get one past the goalie and win a prize.

Samba 8 x 6ft Fun Goal - Portable Garden Football Goal Post

19. Welly Throwing

The one who can chuck a wellington boot the farthest wins. Make sure you find a safe part of the field to do this!

20. Lucky Squares

Draw a map of a desert island and then create a series of grid squares across it. Decide which square your buried treasure is at and invite people to guess.

Games For School Fete

This concludes our list of the most popular traditional village fete games. When organising your village fete or if its for your local school, you can take your pick or create your own versions with slight variations of these fun summer fete games.

While these are traditionally outdoor activities, many can be customised for indoors. (And it’s always a good idea to have wet weather back up).

Therefore, you can use them as birthday activities for the kids.

Besides the traditional games, village fetes can have a lot more to engage the crowd, than the historic village idiot.

Pet shows, morris dancing, fancy dress, arts and crafts activities, produce shows, puppet & magic shows, and tug of war are all fun fete activities, to name but a few. 

It’s also a great idea to run a fete in combination with a table top sale or car boot sale to maximise the fun and the crowd.