A scenic nature walk and a round of board games have something in common—both tear us away from screens and help us live in the moment. Why not merge these two together? Some of the best, most popular board games are set in nature. Collect birds, build beautiful arboretums, and forage for mushrooms all from the comfort of your home—or bring a travel-friendly set with you on a road trip or camping excursion.
We’ve chosen our favorite board games, set in nature, that are sure to be a hit.
Product 1: Wingspan Board Game – A Bird-Collection, Engine-Building Stonemaier Game for 1-5 Players, Ages 14+
Caption: An ornithologist’s dream
Badge: Best overall
Markdown: Wingspan is the perfect game for bird lovers and board game enthusiasts alike. Suitable for one to five players, this engine builder focuses on adding birds to an aviary. Each bird has a special ability—like laying eggs or gaining food—that help the player accrue victory points. Wingspan was created by bird-watcher Elizabeth Hargrave, who turned her massive birding spreadsheet into this Kenner Spiel des Jahres winning game, praised for its scientific accuracy and beautiful art style.
Product 2: Morels
Caption: Forage for mushrooms
Badge: Best two players
Markdown: Morels understands that some of our most fascinating ecosystems exist underfoot. This charming strategy game puts two players in the heart of the woods, where they must forage for the most delectable of mushrooms. Forage by day or by night, with the help of two separate decks that boast ten types of mushrooms, and additional items like baskets, pans, and butter. Gain victory points by deciding whether to cook or sell your morels. But watch out for the poisonous destroying angel—just like in real life, foraging for fungi can be high stakes.
Product 3: Renegade Game Studios Arboretum Strategy Card Game that Challenges 2-4 Players Aged 8 & Up to Create the Most Beautiful Garden
Caption: Pepper your path with maple, oak, and willow
Badge: Best for traveling
Markdown: There’s nothing more serene than ambling through a gorgeous arboretum in full bloom, trees shading your walkway. Strategy game Arboretum mirrors that experience. Up to four players compete to build the most beautiful path through a garden, choosing from a deck of 80 cards—ten tree varieties each marked from one to eight. Paths must begin and end with the same type of tree, and trees along the path must have numerical values in ascending value. This pocket-sized game requires a surprising amount of strategy, and is perfect for traveling.
Product 4: Starling Games: Everdell Board Game
Caption: Embrace your inner Snow White
Badge: Best world-building
Markdown: For nature-loving players who like a little more whimsy in their games, Everdell is the perfect choice. This worker placement game takes place in an animal-run woodland city, where critters like squirrels and hedgehogs run farms, general stores, universities, and chapels. Spend twigs, resin, pebbles, and berries on various amenities and victory points. The game boasts beautiful artwork and a 3d tree that sits at the heart of the board. Expansions introduce river communities, annual fairs, and even a mountaintop.
Product 5: Trekking The National Parks: The Award-Winning Family Board Game (Second Edition)
Caption: Visit them all
Badge: Best for kids
Markdown: Trekking The National Parks is perfect for the entire family—from the indoorsy game lovers to the REI aficionados. Two to six players race to visit the U.S. National Parks, trekking the trails that connect them. Each turn is a trade-off between making moves—like occupying a park or moving to another park—or drawing a card. Because cards are required to make moves, each turn becomes an assessment of tradeoffs. With an ages ten and above rating, this Mensa Select Award-winning game is perfect for the whole family.