Given that I love croquet so much, and am a member of the New York Croquet Club, I will teach you how to play twice a month from June to August! This is part of the club's ongoing clinic program which I previously chaired from 2007 through 2010. I think attendees usually have a fun time!
Croquet is a strategic game that combines tactics similar to chess and hand eye coordination like pool (billiards) into one exciting game. It is also one of the most misunderstood games, where it is commonly confused with cricket and polo (among 7 year olds). Around the corner from Le Pain Quotidien (at Mineral Springs) is the Central Park Lawn Sports Center where croquet and lawn bowling is played. This is home of the New York Croquet Club. The shortest route from the street is to enter at the 69th st pedestrian entrance at Central Park West. Head directly east, and you can't miss it!
At 6pm on Mondays (it's okay to come late!), the club holds free introductory sessions (clinic) for the public. Come in flat soled shoes, and the club will provide a mallet for your use. White clothing is encouraged, but not required for these sessions.The clinic will last about 2.5 hours and will cover the basics for how to play. A short game will be played at the conclusion of the session.
More info on the location of the club: http://www.newyorkcroquetclub.com/Location_Map.html
For more information about croquet, and the New York Croquet Club, watch this short video from CBS News: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7414940n&tag=showDoorFlexGridRight;flexGridModule
Following the session (~8:30pm), we will convene at the NEW Tavern on the Green
or Shalel, my favorite UWS hole in the wall