It’s that time of year again when we’re all looking for ways to spend more time outdoors together and enjoy the beautiful, warm weather. But finding backyard games that the whole family will love can be tricky.
As outdoor living experts, we have done the hard yards for you and compiled a tried-and-tested list of 25 fun, family-friendly backyard activities that are sure to please.
We’re confident you’ll find the perfect outdoor activity to enjoy as a family in our list below. From obstacle courses to lawn Twister, backyard movie nights to flashlight hide and seek, it’s all covered here!
25 Fun Backyard Games For The Whole Family
Kicking off our list is a family favorite: mini-golf!
Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly DIY project or wanting a ready-made option to dive straight into, a round or two of mini-golf is sure to keep the laughs coming as your family members battle it out to be crowned champion.
If you’re good at using power tools, try making some traditional mini-golf obstacles using plywood cutouts and then painting fun designs on them.
If you’re looking for something a little more simple, overturned cups and other household items make for easy golf course fun.
2) Bocce Ball
Bocce ball is usually played in teams of two and involves rolling a small, white ball (called a pallina or a jack) into a marked area of your lawn.
From there, the teams will take turns each rolling four larger balls toward the target ball. Whichever team is closest wins!
This is a simple game that kids both big and small can pick up quickly. It can be played for many rounds, making it an ideal activity to kick off a tournament of backyard games.
3) Ring Toss
Another classic backyard game that’s loved by young and old alike is ring toss. Easy to learn and fun to play, this activity is great to include in a fun-filled afternoon of lawn games.
There are a ton of ring toss variations on the market these days. If none of them suit your fancy, you could easily pull one together yourself using soda bottles for pegs and pipe cleaners for rings as a creative way to get little ones involved before the games begin.
4) Backyard Camping
One of our favorite outdoor activities to enjoy with the family is backyard camping. It’s easy to set up and always brings lots of laughs and happy memories.
Keep it traditional with a tent, or, if the weather is particularly nice, build your own DIY fort using tarps or sheets. Pack your sleeping area with extra pillows, blankets, and sleeping bags to make sure you’re comfortable throughout the night.
To create the ultimate backyard camping setup, you’ll need a few family favorite board games, flashlights for telling spooky stories, and a fire pit to keep things cozy. You could even combine your backyard camping with an outdoor movie night (more on that below!).
And, of course, no backyard camping experience is complete without a ton of snacks, so be sure to have all the fixings for s’mores on hand, as well as your favorite candy and drinks.
5) Outdoor Movie Night
Whether you already have an outdoor TV ready to go or you’re wanting to create your own outdoor movie night setup using a sheet and a projector, this backyard activity is always a crowd-pleaser.
Once you’ve figured out your technical setup of choice and chosen your movies for the night, it’s time to get comfy in preparation for the big screening. We recommend starting with a soft foundation using an outdoor rug from our range of Eco-Friendly Rugs.
Not only are they comfortable and stylish, but they’re also durable and easy to clean, so post-movie clean-ups are a breeze. You can rest assured Outer rugs will last you for many more outdoor movie nights to come!
For outdoor seating that’s durable enough to withstand harsh weather conditions but comfortable enough that you feel like you’re sitting on a premium mattress, check out our range of stylish wicker, teak, and aluminum furniture pieces.
Grab the snacks and cuddle up for the ultimate outdoor movie night with Outer!
6) Backyard Fort
When was the last time you built a backyard fort? If you can’t remember, it’s been too long.
This backyard activity is a real bonding experience for the family, and you get to enjoy the finished product by spending time reading, playing board or card games, or just hanging out inside the fort.
Forts can come in all shapes and sizes — from heavy-duty structures built out of wood to simple sheet and rope creations. Whatever style of fort you choose to create together as a family, we’re sure you’ll have the best time doing it!
7) Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are so much fun because you can get really creative and make them as simple or as tricky as you want.
Whether you have a group of kids that need to be entertained or some adults up for a challenge, a scavenger hunt is the way to go.
Start by choosing your items to be collected — everything from natural objects, like a certain type of leaf, to man-made items, like colored balls hidden around the backyard. Create your checklist of items for each player or team and you’re ready to go.
Scavenger hunts are fairly quick to set up, and they can make for potentially hours of fun, depending on just how difficult you choose to make it.
8) Obstacle Course
Who doesn’t love a classic obstacle course? The beauty of this backyard activity is that it’s easy (and fun) to set up, plus you can use just about anything to create obstacles — it’s time to let your creativity shine.
Try using everyday items, like chairs, rope, buckets, and toys (think hula hoops and pool noodles) to put together an obstacle course that requires running, balancing, army crawling, hopping, skipping, or anything else to make it challenging.
You could even throw in team-building activities, like an egg and spoon race or a three-legged race, to crown the fastest team the winner.
9) Lawn Twister
The next in our list of backyard games is simple. It’s just like regular Twister, only you’re enjoying the sunshine outdoors while you play.
All you need for a fun game of lawn Twister is spray paint or spray-on chalk in four different colors (traditionally, Twister uses red, blue, yellow, and green, but feel free to switch things up!).
You can easily DIY a Twister spinner or download an app that does it all for you. Spray circles of your colors in a four-by-six square formation on your lawn just like a Twister mat, wait for them to dry, and you’re all set for a fun-filled afternoon in the backyard!
10) Flashlight Hide-And-Seek
We love pairing this activity with backyard camping to tire everyone out before winding down for bed.
With a few flashlights and a backyard with plenty of hiding places, you can pull off the ultimate flashlight hide-and-seek after dark.
Try changing up your nighttime games by playing flashlight tag or having a flashlight treasure hunt using reflective materials to gather (even simple aluminum foil will do if you’re in a pinch!).
Simple, inexpensive, and the perfect game to play with teams, cornhole is the go-to activity for every backyard gathering. Whether it’s a graduation party or a small cook-out, there are sure to be people testing their skills in a game of cornhole.
Moving the targets farther apart or closer together is a great way to accommodate different skill levels. The adults can make it a bit more challenging while the kids practice their aim.
12) Capture The Flag
Ready to up the ante? Choose your teams, get two different colored flags, define your battleground, and create a line through the middle of your course. Now, get the other team’s flag at all costs!
Capture the flag combines speed, strategy, and good old-fashioned tag to retrieve the other team’s flag and bring it back over to your side. Just don’t get tagged once you cross over that dividing line.
13) Sack Races
Who says sack races have to be exclusive to summer camp? This easy and exciting game determines who can hop their way to victory the fastest. Plus, the visuals of hopping across the lawn in a potato sack are enough to make the whole family burst into laughter.
Don’t have any spare potato sacks lying around the house? The same outcome can be achieved by tying some string around the contestants’ ankles.
You can even make it a hopping race without any sacks or strings. Just make sure you keep your feet together at all times — no cheating!
14) Ladder Toss
Another backyard staple for big parties and small events alike is ladder toss. This classic game uses three evenly spaced horizontal poles as the target.
Your mission is to get your bola (two golf balls attached by a nylon rope) to wrap around one of the three ladder poles. If you’re looking to get the most points possible, aim for the three-point pole at the top.
15) Backyard Bowling
Most people try to avoid strikes when they’re playing backyard ball games, but that all changes when you bring the fun of a bowling alley right into your own outdoor space.
First, let’s talk pins. If you don’t have a few spare bowling pins to set up, then all you need are about six to 10 two-liter soda bottles. Fill them with some water for a bit of weight, then set them somewhere you’ll have at least 30 feet of rolling room.
For the ball, any sports ball with a good grip will work just fine. Soccer balls and volleyballs are ideal, but you can scale everything down and use tennis balls with smaller bottles for mini-bowling, too.
16) Slip ‘N Slide
Hot and humid summers have you wishing you could cool off without having to go indoors? Slip ‘n slides make for exhilarating entertainment for everyone to beat the heat.
The beauty of a homemade slip ‘n slide is that you can make it as long or as intricate as you want. All you need is one tarp (or a few) and a hose for a constant stream of water.
Here are some tips on how you can take your creation to the next level:
- If your backyard has any sort of small hill or subtle decline, then placing your tarp here will make it even easier to slide down.
- To keep anyone from slipping off onto the grass, tape some pool noodles down each side for makeshift bumpers. (You can even reuse these as bumpers for your next round of bowling!)
- Instead of just using the stream of a hose, try attaching a sprinkler for more even water distribution across the tarp.
Once you’ve decided on the ideal length for the tarp, you and your family will be taking turns sliding across the yard until the sun goes down. Take that, humidity!
17) Sidewalk Chalk
Maybe you need something even easier that lets everyone tap into their creativity. Pavement and sidewalk chalk are a match made in backyard heaven.
For the ultimate sidewalk chalk experience, get more than just the basic white option. Add some color to your yard with blues, pinks, greens, purples, and every other color of the rainbow.
Even if the final results aren’t gallery-worthy, you’ll still have loads of fun getting creative with the family. Plus, it all comes off with the next rainfall or a light spray with the house.
If you’ve always preferred soccer over mini-golf, then you’ll love the combination of these two iconic games.
Footgolf takes the objective of golf but adds a soccer ball, replaces the hole with a slightly bigger target, and ditches the club for a swift kick with your foot.
This game is perfect for larger backyards, but it’s also just as fun with smaller areas, too. Spread a few buckets across the yard for the target, put your footwork abilities to the test, and find out which family member can kick their way to a hole in one.
19) Water Balloon Fight
Some of the best games don’t have winners or losers. With a water balloon fight, the only goal is to see how many people you can soak with your collection of water-filled balloons.
This game is another ideal choice for hot and muggy days. It’s as easy as changing into your swimsuit, filling balloons, and taking your aim.
For a more tame version of this, you can also have a water balloon toss. Get in pairs and choose a starting point that lets everyone be close to their partner.
With each toss back and forth, take another step back until all teams but one drop their balloons.
20) Lawn Scrabble
With some recycled cardboard and a bit of imagination, you’re ready to play a supersized game of Scrabble right in your backyard.
Cut your cardboard into squares, and write a different letter on each one. Include fewer letters that are rarely used like X and Q, and put in multiple common letters like A, S, and T. Once you’ve tallied up the points, you’ll find out who’s really the word nerd of the family.
You can also play variations, like Bananagrams or Hangman, with the letters you’ve already made.
21) Giant Tic Tac Toe
When your Scrabble game ends, there’s no need to get rid of the letters. Flip the cardboard squares over and mark each blank side with an O or an X.
After that, just arrange a few long sticks into a big hashtag shape so you can place your squares in the negative space. Voila! You’ve found an eco-conscious and multi-purpose function for your old cardboard that can be used again and again.
22) Musical Chairs
You don’t need an excuse to sit down and relax in an Outdoor Armless Chair, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a game out of it.
A family of five only needs four chairs paired back to back and some music for an intense game of musical chairs. And once the game is over, everyone lounging on premium comfort can be considered a winner.
23) S’mores Contest
The only problem with most games is that there aren’t enough tasty treats involved. Having a s’mores contest makes it so everyone can enjoy their campfire creations while satisfying their hunger at the same time.
Here’s how it works: Pick someone to judge each contestant’s creativity, roast a few marshmallows over your Fire Pit, then bring out plenty of exciting, interesting, and even a few absurd ingredients to make innovative s’mores.
From the basic chocolate and marshmallows to peanut butter cups, fruit, caramel, candied bacon, coconut flakes, pretzels, and so much more, there’s no telling what delicious masterpieces your family will whip up.
24) Backyard Skeeball
Want to bring the arcade a little closer to home? Set up an outdoor skeeball ramp.
You can purchase an existing skeeball set or build one of your own with a raised piece of plywood for the ramp, a few buckets, and a tennis ball.
All that’s left to do is place the buckets in different locations with different point values and see who will reign as the ticket-wielding champion.
25) Red Light, Green Light
When you want to keep the equipment to a bare minimum, it doesn’t get easier than red light, green light.
Choose a finish line and a starting line for everyone except the person who will call “red light” or “green light.” If anyone is still moving when “red light” is called, then they head back to the starting line to begin all over again. The first one to the finish line wins!
Bring Life Outside With Outer
So many fun backyard games, so little time!
We hope you enjoyed our list of family-friendly outdoor activities to help bring life back outside. It can be hard to choose a favorite, so we recommend trying out all the activities, just to be sure.
Between our range of Eco-Friendly Rugs to create a soft foundation for your backyard games to our seating options, like the 6-Seater Aluminum Outdoor U Sectional, Outer has you covered when it comes to making sure your outdoor space is all set for whatever activities lie ahead.