When the weather starts to warm up, it means it’s time to spend time with some great outdoor activities. What’s more fun than gathering with some friends for some fun yard games?! Here are the best outdoor games for adults that everyone will love that you can play in your own backyard(kids can join in easily, too!)
We love having a backyard party with family and friends during the summer – we often have a BBQ, start a bonfire, and then play games with the whole family. Over the years, I’ve found the best lawn games that adults all seem to love. There are really so many fun options, and it’s a great way to bring a little competition and fun to your outdoor gatherings.
The Best Outdoor Yard Games
One of the things we love most about having our own house and a big backyard is being able to host parties.
We love inviting over friends and family – especially during the summer when the weather is great and darkness falls just a little bit later.
While we love eating good food and visiting, Forrest and I think that having some fun outdoor games is also key to an enjoyable get-together. WE’ve gathered together some awesome outdoor games that you will LOVE to have at your next party. These are some of the best yard games around – and even if you have little kids hanging around – people of all ages can enjoy them. But they are especially adult-approved (no duck, duck goose here)
- The Best Outdoor Yard Games
- Classic Outdoor Games
- Active Outdoor Games
- Competitive Outdoor Games
- Giant Board Games
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I also took to Facebook to ask my friends for their favorite games. The good news is – many of them validated my favorites while introducing some new ones. Be sure to read through this whole list to find the perfect game for your next backyard barbecue.
Classic Outdoor Games
Water balloon volleyball
Water balloon volleyball is a great game to play to cool off! You just need a volleyball net, some beach towels, and some water balloons. We really LOVE getting Buncho-Balloons – they are really fantastic for filling up balloons quickly. You can keep all the water balloons in a cooler filled with water or an inflatable pool filled with water.
And if you have some leftovers, you can have an epic water balloon fight afterward! Here are the rules for water balloon volleyball.
This game can be played with two to four people! You set the racks up on opposite sides 15ft apart. You have one member of each team stand opposite each other. For example, there are two teams, red and blue. A member of the red team and the blue team will stand together at one rack.
The other member of the red team and the blue team will stand at the other rack facing each other. From there you take turns throwing the golf balls at the opposite rack. The goal is to get 21 points, each color it lands on has a certain amount of points. Here are the point values:
- The top rack is three points
- The second rack is 2 points
- The bottom rack is 1 point.
One person starts and throws all three, after that the person on the opposite team throws their three as well. Repeat this back and forth until they reach 21 points.
Bean Bag Toss
This may seem a bit childish – but it can be a lot of fun for adults as well! It’s a VERY simple game that can be set up and played in a jiffy. Check out some bean bag sets here.
Is it really summer without a game of horseshoes? I think not! I feel like this is a classic for family vacations – like family reunions. I like to find pits that are already set up, but you can buy a set here to make your own horseshoe pit!
Another super simple game that can be a lot of fun! A great one for adults and children.
Classic corn hole is a great game for all skill levels and players of all ages. Easy to make on your own, get yourself, two slanted boards, with a hole at the top.
- Get yourself 6 bean bags, 3 one color and 3 another color.
- Grab two teams of two and have each person stand opposite of each other with one member of each team on one board and the other two on another board.
- The goal is to get the bean bag into the hole.
- A game of cornhole is a classic game everyone will enjoy!
You can make your own corn hole board using our tutorial – Easy DIY Cornhole Board Tutorial
I grew up playing croquet, and it’s one of those games people can hardly resist when they see it pulled out! Very leisurely and great for smaller groups.
Active Outdoor Games
This is a great and easy game for a larger group of people.
- Create two to three teams of 5 or more and get a frisbee.
- The name of the game is to pass the frisbee to each of your teammates without the other team(s) interfering.
- Much like football or soccer, you run around the field to try and pass to your team member without an opposing member grabbing the frisbee.
- Once the frisbee touches the ground, the play is over. If an opposing team member grabs the frisbee mid toss, it is their team’s point.
Be sure to grab a glow-in-the-dark frisbee for those later parties!
Volleyball is an all-time favorite sport and game to play amongst friends. If you don’t have a setup, you can purchase a set on Amazon for a reasonable price.
This is my personal favorite! I can never get enough badminton, that’s for sure. Similar to the game tennis, you take two rackets and two opposing players. You get on opposite sides of the net and take the shuttle. You serve the shuttle and try to have the shuttle hit the ground on the opposing side. The shuttle can only be hit once per side and the game ends once the shuttle hits the floor.
This is essentially foursquare volleyball, and it’s a blast! It’s very active and a lot of fun! It is a bit pricier than some games, though.
I love a good game of Ping Pong – and it can be quite the workout! We recently purchased a 3/4 size ping pong table that is suitable for the outdoors, and we love it. This is the one we bought.
Nothing says active and competition more than a good ol’ obstacle course! You can come up with your own setup, or use a fun set from online.
Capture the Flag
This game is classic, active, and competitive! To make it even more fun and play after the kids go to sleep, you could use some glow sticks in different colors. We actually have a Glow in the Dark capture the flag set that is really fun!
Here are the rules for playing capture the flag.
Competitive Outdoor Games
I used to call this game “Four Square Volleyball”, but the official name is Spike Ball. We love it! You play with four people (two people on each team). The rules are adapted from volleyball – you have a bouncy, free-standing net and you have to hit the ball in the center against your opponents. Here are the official rules. It’s a lot of fun! This is a great game for the beach.
This game is so much fun. It typically has rubber balls that are weighted and you can play 1 versus 1, or on teams. Typically it comes in a convenient carrying case, which makes for easy portability. You start by throwing a ball in the yard and that becomes the target. You want to get as close as possible to the ball. You can read more about the basic rules here.
Simple yet a lot of fun! Great for all ages.
This is a game we got a few years ago, and it’s a really fun game. You get points from throwing your flying discs into an opening in a trash can-like apparatus. I don’t recommend this one when there is wind in the forecast, though, if you get a version that has flimsier cans!
This game is designed for children, but it’s hilarious and awesome for adults, too. Very little setup and can be super competitive.
Rollors Lawn Game
This game combines the classics – horseshoes, bocce ball, and outdoor bowling. It has fantastic reviews! You roll discs, get points for getting close to the goal, and it’s the perfect combination of skill and luck.
Giant Yard Pong
Pong can be a great game, especially for adults. Giant Yard Pong kicks this classic game up a notch!
Giant Board Games
I don’t know about you, but I love playing giant versions of my favorite indoor games. There are so many great games out there that have been adapted for the outdoors, and they make for great party games. The outdoor versions of these games can be purchased or if you are up for a DIY project, you can make them yourself. I’ve included links to both options below.
I couldn’t find a version specifically made for outside, but you can easily make your own! We did this at a youth conference years ago, and it was a blast. Here is the DIY version! If you’d rather not paint the grass, you could get a big drop cloth and paint it directly on there!
You could get a large dry erase board and move this classic game outdoors!
This is always a popular game, and it’s pretty easy to put together!
DIY Yard Jenga / Buy Outdoor Jenga On Amazon
Who doesn’t enjoy a game of checkers? You could buy an outdoor checker set or make one yourself pretty easily!
Buy on Amazon / Buy on Etsy / DIY Version
Wooden Four in a Row
One of my favorite games! You can make these wooden boards yourself or easily find a version on Etsy or Amazon.
I haven’t played Yahtzee in years, but I think the yard version sounds like a blast.
Yard Tic Tac Toe
Classic game – easy to create and play!
There are so many great backyard game options that are easy to set up, provide competitive games, and make for a great way to enjoy warm weather at an outdoor party. It’s an easy way to connect with others and have a lot of fun! Let us know what your favorite card games are in the comments!
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Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is currently training to be a Certified Lactation Educator. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.
William McGruder says
Spike Ball is actually the best known (and apparently the most popular) provider of equipment for the new(ish) sport officially known as Roundnet
Jenjo Games says
We call it smash ball, it is a great outdoor game and can be so much fun when played with family and friends. It is one of the popular games at jenjogames too. Games become more fun when its bit competitive and looks like you guys had lots of fun with it!
Addy Brown says
Soak a bunch of t-shirts in water, place them in plastic bags, and then stick them in the freezer overnight. The next day, hold a race to see who can “defrost” and pull on a frozen t-shirt the quickest. This is a great choice to play on a sweltering day–you’ll want to keep the chilly t-shirt on even after the race is over.
So much fun!!
Chelsea @ Life With My Littles says
We love badminton! We played it all the time after high school. These are awesome suggestions!
Badminton is my favorite. I even took a class at BYU (and then failed it because I missed too many classes…that was a bad semester – the one I was engaged hahah).