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When the weather warms up, it’s time for some great outdoor activities. What’s more fun than meeting up with some friends for fun garden games ?! Here are the best adult outdoor games that everyone will love and that you can play in your own backyard (kids can join in easily, too!)
We love to have a garden party with family and friends in the summer – we often grill, make a campfire and then play with the whole family. Over the years I have found the best lawn games that all adults seem to love. There really are so many fun options out there, and it’s a great way to add a little competition and fun to your outdoor get-togethers.
The best outdoor garden games
One of the things we love most about our own home and large garden is the ability to host parties.
We love inviting friends and family – especially in summer when the weather is nice and darkness falls a little later.
We love good food and we like to visit, but Forrest and I believe that having some fun outdoor games is also the key to being together. WE have put together some great outdoor games that you will LOVE at your next party. These are some of the best garden games out there – and even if you have young children hanging around – people of all ages can enjoy them. But they are specially approved for adults (no duck, duck goose here)
I also went to Facebook to ask my friends about their favorite games. The good news is – a lot of them confirmed my favorites and introduced a few new ones. Make sure to read through this entire list to find the perfect game for your next garden barbeque.
Classic outdoor games
Volleyball with water balloon
Water balloon volleyball is a great game to cool off! All you need is a volleyball net, some beach towels, and some water balloons. We really LOVE getting Buncho balloons – they are really awesome for filling up balloons quickly. You can store all of the water balloons in a water-filled cooler box or a water-filled inflatable pool.
And if you have something left over, you can have an epic water balloon fight afterwards! Here are the rules for water balloon volleyball.
Head of Tus
This game can be played with two to four people! You will place the racks on opposite sides 15 feet apart. One member of each team faces each other. For example there are two teams, red and blue. A member of the red team and the blue team stand together on a rack.
The other member of the red team and the blue team face each other at the other frame. From there, take turns throwing the ball at the opposite rack. The goal is to get 21 points, each color it lands on has a certain number of points. The top rack has three points, the second rack is 2 points, and the bottom rack is 1 point.
One person starts and throws all three, then the person on the opposing team also throws their three. Repeat this back and forth until you reach 21 points. Point value of the golf balls
This may seem a little childish – but it can be great fun for adults too! It’s a VERY simple game that can be set up and played in a snap. Check out some beanbag sets here.
Is it really summer without a horseshoe game? I do not think so! I think this is a classic for family vacations – like family reunions. I like to find pits already set up, but you can buy a kit here to build your own horseshoe pit!
Another super simple game that can be great fun!
Corn Hole is a great game for all skill levels and players of all ages. Easy to do yourself, get two sloping boards with a hole on top. Get 6 bean bags, 3 one color and 3 another color. Grab two teams of two and have each person stand facing each other, with one member of each team standing on one board and the other two on a different board. The goal is to get the beanbag into the hole. A Cornhole Game is a glass game that everyone will enjoy! classic cornhole
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 that people can hardly resist when they see it pulled out! Very cozy and ideal for smaller groups.
Active outdoor games
This is a great and easy game for a larger group of people. Form two to three teams of 5 or more and receive a Frisbee. The name of the game is to pass the frisbee on to each of your teammates without the other team interfering. Similar to soccer or football, you run across the field trying to match your team member without an opposing member grabbing the frisbee. As soon as the Frisbee hits the ground, it’s game over. If an opposing team member grabs the frisbee in the middle of the throw, it is his team’s point.
Be sure to get a glow-in-the-dark frisbee for the parties later!
Volleyball is an all-time favorite sport and a popular game to play with friends. If you don’t have a setup, you can buy a set for a reasonable price on Amazon.
This is my personal favorite! I can never get enough badminton, that’s for sure. Similar to tennis, you take two rackets and two opposing players. You get to opposite sides of the network and take the shuttle. You operate the shuttle and try to make the shuttle hit the ground on the opposite side. The shuttle can only be hit once per side and the game ends as soon as the shuttle hits the ground.
This is essentially Foursquare volleyball, and it is a blast! It’s very active and great fun! However, it is a little more expensive than some games.
I love a good game of ping pong – and it can be quite a workout! We recently purchased a 3/4 size table tennis table suitable for outside and we love it. This is the one we bought.
Nothing says more active and competitive than a good old obstacle course! You can create your own setup or use a fun set from the internet.
Capture the flag
This game is classic, active, and competitive! To make it even more fun and playful after the children fall asleep, you can 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.
Outdoor competitive 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 springy, free-standing net and you have to hit the ball in the middle against your opponent. Here are the official rules. It makes a lot of fun! This is a great game for the beach.
This game is so much fun. It usually has rubber balls that are weighted and you can play 1 on 1 or in teams. It usually comes in a handy carry bag that is easy to transport. You start by throwing a ball in the courtyard and it becomes the target. You want to get as close to the ball as possible. You can find more information about the basic rules here.
Simple but great fun! Great for all ages.
This is a game that we got a few years ago and it’s a really fun game. You will earn points if you throw your flying disks into an opening in a garbage can-like device. However, I don’t recommend these if there is wind in the weather forecast when you can get a version with thinner doses!
This game is designed for kids but is hilarious and awesome for adults too. Very little setup and can be super competitive.
Rollors lawn game
This game combines the classics – horseshoes, bocce and bowling outdoors. It has fantastic reviews! You roll the dice, get points when you get 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 brings this classic game up to date!
Giant board games
I don’t know about you, but I love playing huge versions of my favorite indoor games. There are so many great games out there that have been adapted for the outdoors and they are great party games. The outdoor versions of these games can be purchased or if you are planning a DIY project you can make them yourself. I’ve included links to both options below.
I couldn’t find a version made specifically for the outdoors, but you can easily make your own! We did this years ago at a youth conference and it was great fun. Here is the DIY version! If you don’t want to paint the grass, you can get a large cloth and paint it right on it!
Buy DIY Yard Jenga / Outdoor Jenga from Amazon
Buy from Amazon / Buy from Etsy / DIY version
Four in a row made of wood
One of my favorite games! You can make these wooden boards yourself or you can easily find a version on Etsy or Amazon.
Amazon / Etsy / DIY
Yard tic tac toe
Amazon / Etsy / DIY
There are so many great backyard gaming options that are easy to set up, have competitive gaming, and are a great way to enjoy warm weather at an outdoor party. It’s an easy way to connect with others and have great fun!