Looking for outdoor games for adults or outdoor games for kids? These are some of the most fun outdoor games you’ll ever find! Everything from classic outdoor games like capture the flag to giant outdoor games like Jenga, yard Twister, and more!
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Is there anything better than playing outdoor games with your friends and family on a nice day? Getting all hot and sweaty from some good clean fun followed by refreshing popsicles like these blue lemonade popsicles? For me, there’s not. Some of my best memories are playing games outside with my family while we were at home or on vacation. Somehow we always got outside playing sports, games, or really pretty much anything we could come up with.
I’ve put together a collection of my absolute favorite outdoor games for kids, for adults, and for anyone in between. They are a combination of outdoor yard games, outdoor games you’ve probably been playing all your life, and a few of my family’s favorites that you may not have heard of before!
If you have games to add to this list, leave me a comment with how to play and I’ll make sure to try it out!
Fun Outdoor Games for All Ages
I’ve broken this list of outdoor games into a couple of different categories.
- Outdoor Party Games (games with points, prizes, winners)
- Giant Outdoor Games (you can either DIY or buy)
- Other Outdoor games (games that don’t fit either of the first two categories)
12 Outdoor Party Games
These games are ones that make the most sense as party games rather than outdoor games you play on a random day. They either are ones that keep score, win prizes, or are just more fit for a party atmosphere. You could really play any of these minute to win it games as well, just play them outside!
For this game, you’ll need three different balloons (all the same color or not, doesn’t matter) blown up with helium and tied to some sort of balloon weight. Use red white and blue balloons if you’re playing one of these patriotic party games!
Use a permanent marker to write point values on the three balloons. I did 25, 50, and 100 to use round numbers but you could easily do something like 1, 5, and 10 as well. Tape a line one one side of the yard then place the balloons about 10-15 feet away (more if you’re playing with only adults). Put the lowest scoring balloon closest, the next highest scoring balloon next, and so on.
Next to the tape, place a bucket of small footballs like these ones. You want to make sure they’re heavy enough that they can be tossed across the yard.
To play, players have five football tosses to try and hit as many balloons as possible. If they hit a balloon, they score the points. Person who scores the most points wins (or just give anyone who gets a certain number of points a prize).
Whether you make your own DIY ring toss like I did for 4th of July last year or buy one of these already made sets, ring toss is a party game that works for all ages! Simply move your guests a bit further away from the objects they’re trying to ring – further away the older they get!
Midway Mania Carnival Games
While you may not want to host a full carnival, carnival games make great outdoor party games! We did some Toy Story inspired Midway Mania carnival games at my son’s birthday party last year, and they were a total hit! Try any of those games with your own theme or any of these Halloween carnival games (just switch out the colors + prizes for a different theme).
Other Outdoor Party Games
- DIY Plinko (like on the Price is Right)
- Bean Bag Ladder Toss
- DIY Ladder Golf
- Pool Prize Search
- Humana Piñata Chase
- Outdoor Pictionary (with this massive DIY chalkboard)
- Hit the Can DIY Game
- Outdoor Bean Bag Toss
- Bucket Ball Toss (using ping pong balls could be really fun!)
12 Giant Outdoor Games
These are the games that seem to be everywhere right now – giant versions of the games we all played inside as kids. And last weekend. My sister had giant Jenga at her bohemian wedding reception but I’ve seen all sorts of large scale games to play in your backyard! Here are some of the best tutorials to DIY these games and buy them!
- Life-sized Angry Birds Game
- Backyard Kerplunk or buy it here
- DIY Backyard Dominoes or buy them here
- DIY LCR Dice Game (it’s like a giant version of this gift exchange game except without the gifts)
- DIY Lawn Twister or buy the big mat version here
- DIY Yard Yahtzee or buy it here
- DIY Jenga Game or buy it here
- Giant Bananagrams
- Giant Lawn Matching Game
- Giant Scrabble Game
- Giant Pick Up Sticks or buy it here
- Backyard Giant Board Game
12 Outdoor Yard Games & Other Outdoor Games
These games are ones that you can play outside but aren’t necessarily party games or giant size games of games you play inside. They’re just fun outdoor games you can play with your family for family night or invite a bunch of kids or teens to come over and play to burn off some of that crazy energy. These are some of my favorite games and ones I grew up playing as a kid! These and of course the water games I already wrote about!
Capture the Flag
Capture the Flag is a one of the most classic games there is. They even played a game in Divergent (and a couple of these other books like Divergent). Most people have probably played it, but it’s often forgotten. Hence being on this list!
To play capture the flag, split your group into two (or more) teams. Give each team a flag or a cloth napkin like we did. Send each team to a different part of a park, forest, or large space. Each team should hide their flag the best they can so that the other team cannot find it. The only caveat is that at least part of the flag has to be visible so no hiding it under a rock completely or something like that.
When you say go, teams must race to try to find the other teams flag and bring it back to their side without getting caught by the other team.
Caught can be hit with a water balloon, tagged with two hands, or spotted with a flashlight (if you’re playing at night). If someone gets caught, they can either be out (not as fun) or put into a prison where they can be rescued by a team member who has to take them safely back to their side of the area without getting tagged to be “uncaught.”
You can find more detailed rules, instructions, and variations on how to play here.
This also makes one of the best swimming pool games as well, but it’s great in a backyard too. All you need is a football and some people to play.
Pick one person to be the thrower and everyone else will be playing. Have the thrower stand on one side of the yard holding the football and facing away from everything else. Have the rest of the group stand all together on the opposite side of the yard, facing the thrower.
To start, the thrower should say a number of points and “dead or alive.” For instance, 200 alive. Or 300 dead or alive. If they say alive, the ball must be caught in the air for the points to be scored. If they say dead or alive, the ball can either be caught on the ground or picked up off the ground.
Once they’ve named the score of the toss, they throw the ball behind their head toward the group of people. The group of people have to try to be the one to get the ball – either in the air (alive only) or off the ground (if the points are scored for dead). Whoever catches or ends up with the ball scores those points.
Continue tossing the football and scoring points until someone has 500 points. Whoever scores 500 points first gets to be the next tosser.
Make sure to set some ground rules before you play so that no one gets hurt. Unless you’re playing with teenage boys then by all means, go ahead and let them roughhouse.
Color by Corner
For this game, you’ll need to either place a flag, a colored balloon, or even just a colored piece of paper in all four corners of the yard – four different colors. Then pick one person to be the caller; everyone else will be runners.
To start the game, have the caller stand in the middle of the yard and close their eyes. Everyone else should stand around the perimeter of the yard. When the caller says “go,” all of the players must move around the yard among the four corners. When the caller yells stop (whenever they want), everyone needs to scramble to get to one of the corners with a particular color.
After the caller says stop, they should give runners about 10 seconds before next calling out one of the four corners represented in the colors. Whoever is standing in the corner that gets called is out of the game. Everyone else is in and should begin moving around again when the caller says go again.
Continue playing with portions of the group getting out every time the caller calls out a color. If you get down to less than four people still moving around the corners, the players have to all go to different colored corners.
The game ends when only one person is left standing in a corner. That person becomes the next caller, and you can play again.
If you’ve never played bocce ball, you’re missing out. This is a huge family favorite, and I can’t take credit for the game in any way shape or form. It’s a sport played all throughout Europe and the world, but it’s one of our favorite outdoor games, so it’s making this list.
Start by buying a set of bocce balls, which includes two colored balls per team and a small white ball. You can get a reasonably priced on one Amazon here or they typically sell them at places like Costco and Target as well during the summer.
Playing bocce ball is easy. Each person (or team) takes two colored balls. The person who goes first tosses a small white ball anywhere they want in the yard. Then the teams takes turns trying to get their colored ball the closest to the white ball, kind of like horseshoes. Whoever gets their ball closest to the white ball wins a point.
You can read the full rules in the set you buy or create your own house rules, but we normally play that whoever scored a point last tosses the ball. Then the person that goes next is the person who has the most points. Each player tosses one colored ball at a time (not both) so everyone has a fair shot at ending up closest to the white ball.
First player to a set number of points wins.
Other Outdoor Games
- Obstacle Courses
- Minute to Win It Games
- Frisbee Tic-Tac-Toe
- DIY Cornhole Game
- Slip N’ Slide Kickball
- Cannonball (or any of these other camping games)
- Giant Table Tennis
- Hose Head
- Ins and Outs (this one sounds so fast paced and fun!)
More Outdoor Games You Can Buy
Don’t want to make your own outdoor games? Buy them instead. I’ve rounded up the best places to buy any number of fun outdoor games to play all summer – outdoor party games, giant outdoor games, and yard games too!