The Best Backyard Games for a Fun Summer

Top games to play at your next BBQ

Summer is in full-swing and we’re all looking for any excuse to spend more time outside. Why not channel your inner-kid and have some fun with a back yard game at your next barbeque or during the next sunny day?

If you need some inspiration, we’ve come up with a list of five great games that anyone can play and enjoy. These games don’t require too much planning or equipment, but they are a ton of fun. Check out this list and add a little fun to your summer.

Giant Jenga
Take this miniature board game, make it life-size and bring it outside for nail-biting thrills that everyone will love. The game comes in a few different sizes, ranging from boards you can fit on your table top to ones that sit on the ground and pile up to eight feet high. You can either buy a set on Jenga’s website or you can make one yourself from a few pre-cut boards.


Flickr/ Kevin Dinkel
licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

This classic backyard game only requires a bit of equipment, has virtually no learning curve and you only need one hand free to play so you can hang on to your burger or beer. Particularly popular at tailgates, Cornhole is played with two wooden boards and bean bags. Once the boards are set about 27 feet apart, opponents or teams will throw bean bags, attempting to land them in the hole (three points) or at least on the board (one point). The points are counted at the end of the round and the team with the most points wins the round. For more information on official scoring and rules, see the American Cornhole Association’s website.


Game instructions courtesy of Kan-Jam

One of the newer backyard games around, Kan-Jam has become a huge hit on college campuses and lawns around the country. Played with two teams of two (or one-on-one), the object of the game is to get the disc into the can, or at least to hit it.

Lawn Twister
Another board game from your youth that can take on a new life at your next barbeque is Twister. A few cans of ground marking spray allow you to mark up the lawn (don’t worry, it grows out) and create a board as big as you want. It’s recommended that you use wooden stakes and string to make sure the dots are even and then all you need is the spinner from the original game (which is probably gathering dust in your basement).


Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

At first glance, this game looks incredibly easy—after all, the only object is to get your ball as close to the tiny ball as possible—but after a game with a seasoned player, you’ll realize it’s a lot more serious than it looks. The game is typically played on a court, but a yard will work too. All you need is a set of bocce balls and to learn a few rules.

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