Who doesn't love a good game? Sure, there's the vicarious thrill of being a spectator at Fenway Park or watching the U.S. get clobbered in the World Cup. But actually playing a game, especially outdoors in glorious weather, can be joyful. You can get your game on every weekend through the end of September at the Sunday Parkland Games.

Presented by the Charles River Conservancy in partnership with the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation, the free program invites all comers to join in a variety of games including basketball, badminton, beanbag toss, and bocce (and those are just the ones that begin with "b"). Equipment and game instructions are provided by a professional games company. (Note to future self: In my next life, pursue a career as a professional games instructor.) The weekly event is held at a grassy area straddling the Charles River in Cambridge.

The term, "games," is loosely interpreted. Hula-hooping, while certainly joyful, isn't generally considered a competitive sport. And yoga is pretty much considered the antithesis of a competitive sport. Both, however, are included in the event.

Registration isn't necessary. Just show up at the appointed time and get ready to have some fun. Participants can range in age from as little as three years old up to adults. Older folks who love to win and are a bit sketchy when it comes to fair play shouldn't get any bright ideas such as challenging a three-year-old to a rigorous game of badminton. Instructors from the professional games company would put the kibosh on that.

Sunday Parkland Games
Sundays, 3:30 to 6 p.m., through September 28, 2014
Banks of the Charles River along Memorial Drive by the Weeks Footbridge, Cambridge

Photo: Charles River Conservancy