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Sitting outside when the weather is nice is a pleasure that should be savored. But after several weeks of blissful contemplation, all that fresh air can get a little stale.
Get things moving again and add some fun and whimsy to your time outside with lawn games. Many outdoor games are kid-friendly, but most are designed to keep adults busy as well. We’ve found that family game night gets an instant upgrade when you’re outside. Adult parties and barbecues are also more of a hit when a little innocent competition is added to the mix.
There are a number of fantastic lawn play options out there, so we’ve decided to make things easier by narrowing things down for you. Continue to play!
The best lawn games
What to consider
Choosing the perfect turf game for you and your crew depends on the age and activity level of the players, as well as the number of players and the location where the game is being played. Some of our selections (such as Checkers and Ring Toss) will appeal to the younger members of the family first, while others will appeal to the elderly first (Bocce Ball).
Where relevant, we mention appropriate age ranges for players. Games like badminton, capture the flag, and spikeball require more physical exertion and hand-eye coordination than others. Classic lawn games such as boccia and croquet require more space than, for example, a game of cornhole. But many of the games we cover come with tote bags so you can take them to the park, to the beach, or to a big BBQ in the backyard.
As we have chosen
Our selection includes a wide range of the most popular lawn games for adults and children, all with average customer ratings of 4 stars or more. We collect expert and consumer reviews for every game we write about, and the games span multiple price points, from under $20 for an oversized chess board to $150 for a spikeball set.
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Best in plus size
Jumbo 3-in-1 board game
This oversized, two-sided game board features Checkers on one side and two versions of Tic Tac Toe on the other. The 2.5ft square woven rug is machine washable and comes with 24 jumbo checks: 12 red and 12 black.
The game is light enough to take with you on the go for park picnics or parties and is a big hit at game nights, BBQs and birthday parties. Reviewers love the size for teaching young children strategy in checkers, which – fun fact – has been around since 3,000 BC
Best Glow in the Dark Game
Capture the Flag Redux
Capture the Flag is taken to the next level with this set, which includes 25 glow-in-the-dark play pieces to keep you playing after the sun goes down.
This updated version of the ancient game, based on Civil War battlefield tactics, is suitable for four to eight players, but you can expand teams up to 20 players by downloading other variants.
The game is recommended for ages 8+ and comes with 8 light-up bracelets, 8 prison markers, 5 area lights and 2 light-up “flag” balls and batteries.
Best classic lawn game
Croquet set with carrying case
Modern croquet is a lawn game that gained popularity in England in the mid-19th century and made its way to the United States around the same time. While there are variations on the classic game, traditionally in garden croquet players on two teams will hit balls through a series of hoops (also known as wickets) one at a time with wooden mallets.
This official set includes six 26″ long solid wood mallets, six 3″ croquet balls, two solid wood stakes, nine wickets and a carry case to take with you wherever you go when needed. Recommended for players aged 6+.
Best Building Game
Huge falling wooden tower
This huge tumbling tower resembles a full-scale version of Jenga, where players take turns adding blocks of wood to the structure until it becomes unstable and collapses. You start with a 2.5ft base, and if all the architectural skills are on point, the tower is 5ft tall.
The high-quality set includes 54 giant blocks of sanded, knot-free pine, a dry-erase board for creating your own optional (silly or serious) rules, and a handy carrying case so you can take it to game night at a friend’s house. When children under 12 play, adult supervision is recommended.
Best bocce set
Backyard bocce ball set
The Italian bowling game, which is similar to bowling (England) and boules (France), actually dates back to ancient Egypt. It arrived around 600 BC. to Rome and is now enjoying renewed popularity in North America.
This bocce ball set contains eight 3.5 inch balls (two red, two green, two blue, and two yellow) made from polyresin, which gives them the perfect weight and bounce, and makes a satisfying “thump” sound when they meet other. Also included in the set is a pallino (the little white ball that serves as a target), a range finder and a carrying case.
You can choose between hard or soft balls; hard balls are recommended for players aged 12 and over for playing on bocce courts, grass or clay. Soft balls are better for younger children.
Best badminton set
Portable badminton set
Badminton didn’t develop into its current form until India formalized the rules of the game in the late 19th century, but it dates back about 2,000 years to ancient Greece.
Now countries all over the world are playing the game which requires some level of skill and physical activity. This set consists of a 10ft net, two steel badminton rackets, two shuttlecocks and a storage box.
It is easy to set up and suitable for individual or larger group games. You can also use it to play volleyball. The set is easy to transport and when packed in the box it easily fits in the trunk of a car.
Best Party Game
Spikeball Pro Kit
If you need a fast-paced game for all ages, Spikeball is for you. Ideally suited for four players, the fun, active and competitive game is played with rules similar to volleyball. (A rule book is included in the set).
The durable 45-inch net provides a stable playing surface, and the textured pro balls add spin and control to your game. Spikeball is suitable for all ages and can be modified for any fitness level.
This is a great buy if you want an active game but don’t have a lot of space. The set comes with a carry bag for easy portability and storage.
Best Ring Toss
ring toss game
Ring Toss is the kind of mindless, repetitive game that can (counterintuitively) keep people of all ages occupied for hours. This set can be used indoors – it’s a great support for restless kids on rainy days – or outdoors, by one player or a large group.
Setup is intuitive and the footprint is minimal. The set includes three sets of rings (three red, three blue, and three rope), a wooden peg base, and a carrying case, and is a customer favorite, averaging 4.5 stars from nearly 10,000 reviewers.
Best cornhole set
Classic cornhole set
Cornhole appears to be a distinctly American invention, but some trace it back to a 14th-century German carpenter who invented the game after seeing children throw stones into a hole at one another. Others insist that a Kentucky farmer invented the game in the 19th century.
Whatever the case, Cornhole is now a classic American lawn game that’s as addicting as it is simple. This set includes two 3′ x 2′ rustic wooden planks that come in two sizes and six designs, eight bean bags and a tote bag.
Best Ladder Throw
Ladder Toss Game Set
This oversized ladder toss game is twice the size of the standard game. It can be set up and taken down in seconds, making it a great option for tailgating, beach parties and fun in the park.
Standing over 4 feet tall, the set is made from durable PVC and includes tennis ball bolos (three red, three blue), two giant targets with scorers, a carrying bag and game rules.
Ladder Toss is an easy-to-learn game for two to six people and can be played individually or in teams with children or adults. Reviewers love how robust this set is compared to similar competitor options.
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