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The 25 Best Outdoor Games for Your Next Barbecue

written by KATHERINE BALLESTA-ROSEN

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table backgammon, bocce and hand holding ball"
table backgammon, bocce and hand holding ball
Graphics by: Caitlin Schneider
Graphics by: Caitlin Schneider

As you’re savoring outdoor time and firing up your grills, no festivity would be complete without embracing the pleasure of outdoor games. Like the seasonings you sprinkle on your go-to grilled recipes, offering your guests a source of entertainment is a great way to add some flavor to your get-together. As catalysts for laughs, friendly (or sometimes not-so-friendly!) competition, and memorable moments, the best outdoor games present the perfect possibility for animating a group.

And if you’re trying to get beyond the usual backyard games like cornhole, badminton, and throwing around a football or Frisbee, you’re in luck—there’s indeed a diverse assortment to choose from if you know where to look. Below, we’ve collected 25 of the best outdoor games to enhance your next backyard barbecue get-together. Let the games begin!

best outdoor games
Target | Hearth & Hand with Magnolia
Bocce Ball Lawn Game

For a little Italian-influenced fun, Bocce’s the way to go. Toss or roll your ball towards the target and get yours closest to earn a win. This game allows for friendly competition and side conversations, making it the perfect option for any party.

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best outdoor games
Etsy | Swooc Games
Wooden Ladder Ball Game

If you want an amusing game that involves some hand-eye coordination, this is it. Lovingly known as "Ladder Golf," this game is played by landing the ball-string duo on the ladder rungs for points. First person to 21 points wins!

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best outdoor games
Mark & Graham
Battlechip Golf Game Set

You don’t have to be a golfer to enjoy the satisfaction of a chip shot! This set can also be transformed into a game of cornhole making it a versatile option if you're tight on storage space.

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best outdoor games
Target | Hearth & Hand with Magnolia
Lawn Bowling

Bring the alley to your backyard and strike a chord with this lawn bowling set. This one comes with a cute travel bag making cleanup and transport easier than ever.

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best outdoor games
Target | KanJam
KanJam

Disc golf takes on a competitive edge with KanJam, a fast-paced game that will take your Frisbee pastime up a notch. Aim your disc into the slot to score points and deflect your opponent's to earn bragging rights for the night.

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best outdoor games
Amazon | Giantville
Giant Tumbling Timbers

Life-sized Jenga is always a crowd-pleaser. This version’s tower can grow to over four feet while you play! If you’re looking to get extra creative, you can paint or draw on the pieces to give them a colorful, personal touch.

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best outdoor games
Target | Hearth & Hand with Magnolia
Croquet Lawn Game Set

One of the quintessential outdoor games, we love that croquet has recently been brought back in pop culture thanks to Season 2 of Bridgerton.

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best outdoor games
Etsy | Cornhole Worldwide
Custom Family Name Cornhole Boards

If you’re going to go classic with playing cornhole, why not jazz it up by making your gathering’s boards more personal? In addition to personalizing your boards’ text, this cornhole set has many beanbag colors for you to choose from, too!

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best outdoor games
Target | Hey! Play!
Yard Dice

Because you can never have enough giant versions of beloved games, initiate your favorite dice games on the lawn with these larger-than-life wooden dice.

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best outdoor games
Target | Monoprice
Giant Four-in-a-Row

Connect 4 fans, rejoice: This old-school board game is coming to a backyard near you in a mega way. Plus, with frame legs that slide off easily, it's easy to store and transport.

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best outdoor games
Amazon | SWOOC
Giant Tic Tac Toe

For something simple yet entertaining, try this yard-friendly tic tac toe setup which beats drawing on a napkin and is sure to get the party going.

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best outdoor games
Mark & Graham
Cabana Stripe Laquered Bean Bag Toss

A cornhole set for the lover of all-things chic and preppy. You also have the option of monogramming it or creating a short personalization.

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best outdoor games
Amazon | Sun Nordic
Kubb Yard Game

Channel some Scandinavian entertainment and try Kubb–a game mystically attributed to the Vikings. Part bowling and part chess, the goal is to knock down all of your opponent’s blocks—and, ultimately, the King.

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best outdoor games
Amazon | Spikeball
Spikeball

The OG set for ball bouncing, smashing, and nothing-but-net action. If you've never played Spikeball, consider this your sign to do so!

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best outdoor games
Mark & Graham
Backgammon Wine Picnic Table

If you’re trying to keep things a little more relaxed and stationary, we love that this backgammon board includes a place to hold your glass of wine!

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best outdoor games
L.L. Bean
Horseshoes

Straight out of a country western movie, this game of tossing horseshoes will have you hootin’ and hollerin’ in no time.

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best outdoor games
Dick's Sporting Goods
Badminton Set

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced player, badminton is one of the most underrated activities in the game. With this kit that'll help you set up the ultimate playing ground right in your backyard, you'll have your eyes on the shuttle for hours on end.

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disc golf set
Amazon | GOOSO Store
Disc Golf Set

If you’re hoping to get your group in on some disc golf action, this is a great starter set of discs to get your game going right. And if you’re seeking a chain basket target, you can try this one!

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best outdoor games
Amazon | Tactic
Mölkky

A game with roots in Finland, Mölkky is all about scoring *exactly* 50 points to win, by knocking down the correct arrangement of numbered wooden pins. If you like games that invite coordination and a precise objective, this one’s for you!

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best outdoor games
Kohl's | Gener8
Lawn Darts

The lawn becomes your dartboard in this twist on a classic bar game—and instead of tiny darts, you’re armed with pieces that give your hand a bit more surface area to work with.

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best outdoor games
Target | KanJam
KanJam Disc Golf Toss

Kick KanJam up a notch with this netted adaptation to disc golf, where you’re required to land differently-weighted discs in the baskets. It’s up to you if you want to make it more challenging by allowing opponent deflections!

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best outdoor games
Etsy | Swooc Games
Hook & Ring 2-Player Game

Another welcomed game if you’re looking to take a seat and have a hand at something where you have to be nimble. Swap out the scorekeeper piece for a shot glass for some adult antics!

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best outdoor games
Good Sport
Smash Net

In a similar class as Spikeball, Smash Net will get you coordinating passes with your teammates for the ultimate smash, alongside a little bit of tennis’s essence.

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best outdoor games
Wayfair
Megachess

On the flipside, if you want something cerebrally and strategically fantastic, allow yourselves to become immersed in this XL game of chess.

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best outdoor games
Etsy | Tailgating Pros
Cornhole Boards with Carrying Case

Not only are these cornhole boards eye-catching, but they also have the option of including various lights so you can play at night!

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