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The Art of Petanque

Round out your outdoor activity repertoire with a truly international pastime.

Category: Family Fun, Get Outdoors, Learn

Time to wrap your head around the rules and wrap your hands around a metal ball during a rousing game of pétanque.
Nothing beats learning a new game, especially when it’s one that people have been playing for generations all around the world. In fact, you may have seen this one if you’ve ever visited France. Characterized by a player standing inside a starting circle and tossing a hollow metal ball as close as possible to a wooden ball further down the field, pétanque is similar to bocce ball and even has some likenesses to horseshoes or shuffleboard.
Over yonder in Europe, this delightful game is often referred to as boules, but the proper name is pétanque. And now, courtesy of your host David Keil, it’s here at home in Colorado. Pétanque is widely unknown in America even though it is one of the world’s fastest growing games (guess we’ve been a little slow to jump on the bandwagon), so during this experience, you will learn the rules of play, get insight into the game’s history and maybe even drum up some healthy competition with some new friends.  
What’s even cooler is that pétanque is not only very easy to learn, but it’s also an incredibly inexpensive habit. All you need are some boules (the hollow metal balls), a cochonnet (the wooden “target” ball, also called the jack), and a patch of dirt, gravel or grass to play on. Fun, cheap AND easy? That’s the kind of game we can get into.

Important Stuff!

Don’t Forget
  • Your game clothes: Wear weather-appropriate clothes that are comfortable enough to play in outside. Kind of makes it sound like we’re sending you off to recess…
  • Your game face: All game equipment is provided, so just come ready to have some fun.
  • Quarters: If it is Sunday, parking is free but can be crowded. Any other day, parking is metered, so bring your coin purse.

David Keil


Francophile and Passionate Petanque Player

David is a French teacher who was introduced to the game of pétanque while living abroad in France. His father-in-law, a regional champion in the game, taught David how to play, and this simple, yet masterful game been a winning passion of his ever since.

Since first being introduced to the game, David has successfully run an ever-expanding pétanque league in Colorado in an effort to promote awareness and participation in the sport. He has also recently established and become president of the newly formed Mile High Pétanque Club (MHPC), which brings pétanque to the masses through free, scheduled play on public terrains around Denver. Anyone and everyone are welcome to join the club and have a go at this worldly sport, and through MHPC, David aims to grow the pétanque community through education and, of course, plenty of play.

Next date: Sunday, September 15, 2013 4:00PM

For groups of 2-12

Sunday, September 15, 2013 4:00PM 12 spots left

Experience Details

Location: Centennial Gardens

Address: 1101 Little Raven St Denver, CO 80238
Come through the southwest gate. Everybody will be at the west side of the park towards Elitch Gardens.

People: 2-12

Length: 2 hours

Book 24 hours in advance

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