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The 10 Best Backyard Games for Parties and Outdoor Fun

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Image Credit: Austin Distel/Unsplash

Backyard games aren’t just for kids. Adults can have just as much fun working together (or against each other) to achieve victory.

Since no outdoor party is complete without a backyard game, make sure you have a few on hand. These backyard games will provide you and your friends with hours of quirky and competitive fun.

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1. Giant Jenga

You’ve played regular Jenga, but have you ever played giant Jenga? Giant Jenga takes Jenga to a whole new level. Instead of using puny blocks to build a wobbly tower, you get to use blocks over eight times the size of the original blocks.

If you’re not familiar with the game, you have to start by building a tower. With the giant blocks, the tower will stand over four feet tall. After that, each player takes turns removing a block from the tower. The first person to tip the tower loses!

2. Cornhole

Cornhole, otherwise known as “bean bag toss,” is a favorite among outdoor game lovers. Set up both cornhole boards 27-feet apart (or closer if you want to make it a little easier), and make sure they face each other.

Split your party into two teams. Each player will take turns tossing their bean bag to the board across from them. You’ll earn one point for bags that land on the board, and three points for bags that go through the hole. The team that reaches 21 points first wins.

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3. Giant Four in a Row

Bigger is always better, and that remains true with Giant Four in a Row. You probably remember playing Connect Four as a child, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play it as an adult!

Set up the three-foot Connect Four board, and slide the four-inch discs into the slot of your choice. Whoever manages to get four discs of the same color in a row wins the game.

4. Ladder Toss

Gather up to four friends or family members for a game of Ladder Toss. Place the two ladders about 15 feet from each other, and take turns throwing bolas (the balls attached to the rope).

If your bola wraps around the bottom rung, you get one point. The middle wrung gives you two points and the top wrung is worth three. As you and your opponents toss the bolas, feel free to use your bolas to knock your opponents’ bolas off the ladder. To win, you have to reach an exact score of 21—go over, and none of your throws from that round count.

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5. Croquet

When you think of croquet, you probably think of that scene in Alice in Wonderland where the Red Queen uses flamingos as her mallets. However, you don’t have to be prim and proper to play this game.

The basics of croquet are easy to learn—you have to plant the nine wickets in a double diamond shape, with one stake at the top of the diamond, and one at the bottom. The overall goal is to hit the ball through as many wickets as you can. For more specifics, you’ll probably want to read the official rules of croquet before starting a serious game.

6. Giant Yard Pong

If you’re a fan of beer pong, you’re used to playing with red plastic cups. Instead of using small cups and ping pong balls, why not use big buckets? Simply fill up the buckets with water, sand, or even beer, and divide them evenly between two teams.

Arrange the buckets in a pyramid shape on both sides, and take turns throwing the balls into the buckets of the opposing team. When your opponent lands a ball in your bucket, you must pour out (or drink) the contents. Once all the cups on one side are empty, the opposing team wins.

7. Ring Toss

Ring toss is simple to set up, and even easier to play. Just place the X-shaped board on the grass, and grab the included throwing rings.

Each peg has a different score, and your job is to aim your ring for the peg with the highest amount of points. Whoever scores the most points wins.

8. Knockoff Frisbee Toss

This unique backyard game only requires two poles, a frisbee, and two water bottles. Set up the two poles 20 to 40 feet apart, and split into two teams with two people on each side.

Once you decide who goes first, one player will have to toss the frisbee towards the opposing team’s pole. Their goal is to knock the bottle off of the pole. The other team must try to catch the frisbee and the bottle before they touch the ground. If the bottle falls, the frisbee-throwers earn two points, if the frisbee hits the ground, they earn one point. The game ends when one team earns 21 points.

9. Badminton and Volleyball

What’s a backyard party without a wholesome game of badminton? This nerdy sport is a backyard party essential, as the rules are quite flexible. If you don’t care about playing the game seriously, you can have as many people as you want on each side of the net. Decide how many points equals a victory, and you can start playing.

The best part about setting up a badminton net is that you can also use it for volleyball. You can play volleyball with the same lenient rule system as well.

10. Capture the Flag

This capture the flag set puts a fun spin on the classic game. Instead of using a rag as your flag, you use a glow-in-the-dark orb. You can also use the other glow-in-the-dark equipment to mark jails and territories. Play this game at nighttime for the ultimate amount of fun.

To start, you’ll have to split your group into two teams, and figure out territories. Once each team hides their own orb, you have to find the opposite team’s orb before you get caught.

Add More Fun to Your Outdoor Parties

If most of your parties revolve around chatting and drinking, it’s time for a change. Play one of these games and your party will be a huge hit!

Want even more ideas for things to do in your spare time? Check out these geeky hobbies that haven’t gone mainstream yet.

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