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The right lawn games can make your time in the fresh air even more enjoyable, whether at the beach or in your own backyard.
"When choosing a lawn game, the major factors are going to be age of players, size, and portability," says Gordon Buchanan, founder of Triangle Lawn Games. After hours of research, our top picks include the Spikeball Pro Kit, the Uncommon Goods Kingdoms Lawn Game, and the Kan Jam Original Disc Toss Game.
Here, the best lawn games to play for outdoor fun.
Spikeball Pro Kit
This fun, fast-paced game is a combination of four square and volleyball. To play, you slam one of the balls down onto the net, sending it soaring back up to your opponents. If the other team misses the ball, your team scores a point. The first team to 21 points wins the game. Because it's designed for four players, this game is great for groups.
The Pro Kit is an upgrade to the classic Spikeball set, thanks to added texture on the Pro Balls and stronger rims and legs. According to users, the sturdier materials make for much better play (stronger hits) and easier fold and portability.
Bucket Ball Outdoor Game
Comes with convenient storage bag
Can add in your own rules as you go
May need to weigh down the buckets with sand or water to play
You don't need to drink alcohol to enjoy this oversized version of the classic drinking game, beer pong (though you certainly can). The rules are similar: aim the ball into the buckets to remove buckets for your team. The buckets are sturdy, but weighing them down with sand or water ensure they won't tip over. You can incorporate your own beer pong rules into the game for a perfect beach day or park picnic activity.
Himal Collapsible Portable Corn Hole Boards
Easy to care for
Easy to learn
A little flimsy
This family favorite is a barbecue staple for a reason. The game, which includes two cornhole boards, eight bean bags, and a convenient carrying case, is easy for players of all ages to figure out. You simply try to toss the bags into the hole on the board. The team with the most points wins. If you have kids, you’ll love that this set is made of PVC and polyester fabric as opposed to wood, since it makes it easier to care for and easier to travel with.
Uncommon Goods Kingdoms Lawn Game
Suitable for large groups
Easy to understand directions
Some found the paint began to chip after use
Ditch standard lawn games for one that prioritizes scheming and strategy. Kingdoms allows players to build their own territory with special abilities while trying to claim the most land and defeat enemies. The wooden pieces represent castles, armies, and terrain markers to complete campaigns and eventually come out victorious.
Hey! Play! Six-Player Croquet Set with Carrying Case
Comes with carrying case
Six player game
Plastic mallet covers tend to fall off
This classic game is one that both kids and adults will love. And, like other great lawn games, it’s easy to set up and play. To do so, place the wickets into the ground to create your unique playing field. Once everything is set up, you use the mallets to knock the hard balls through the arches. This colorful set comes with enough mallets for six people to play—perfect for a crowd—and has a convenient carrying case, so you can use the game outside of your backyard (like the park or a friend's house).
GoSports Premium Metal Ladder Toss Game Set
Easy to assemble
Suitable for various ages
Some users saw wear and tear after a while
The idea of Ladder Toss is simple: Throw bolos (string with rubber balls each end) at the three pronged ladder 15 feet away, and try to make them wrap around one of the levels. Each level has a different point-value and you play to a certain number, usually 21 like KanJam. The rubber balls are suitable for kids, making this a great pick for all ages.
GoSports Giant Wooden Toppling Tower
Included carrying case
Some might not like the constant collapsing and rebuilding
This GoSports Giant Wooden Toppling Tower is a backyard version of the classic family favorite called Jenga. Play is simple: Stack the rectangle blocks in alternating directions, then let each player take turns pulling a block from the tower and placing it back on top. If the tower knocks over during your turn, you lose the game. It’s a fun and exciting activity that’ll have everyone on the edge of their seats.
Mark & Graham Lawn Bowling Set
Easy to clean
For a stylish lawn game that the whole family can enjoy, opt for a minimalistic bowling set designed for grass. The game works the same as traditional bowling but with four smaller bowling balls to knock over the 10 pins. Best of all, this set comes in a handsome canvas carrying case that can be monogrammed, making this a perfect gift for outdoor lovers.
Kan Jam Original Disc Toss Game
A little difficult to transport
KanJam is another very easy and family-friendly lawn game that’ll get participants moving. Think of it as a more fast-paced version of horseshoes, but with frisbees and cans as opposed to horseshoes and targets. In two teams of two players, each participant takes a turn throwing the flying disc into the can and deflecting the disc. The first team to score 21 points wins.
Tactic Games Molkky
Suitable for various ages
High replay value
Great on grass or sand
Some were disappointed with the quality of the pieces
Players of all ages will love tossing the wooden Molkky pin across their yard or across the beach to try and accumulate points. Aim at the "skittles" which each have a number on them. Add all the values of the pins you knocked down on your turn for your score. You have to earn exactly 50 points to win, but be careful not to go over!
Uncommon Goods Personalized Four Across Lawn Game
Requires extra care
A fun and personalized twist on the classic Connect Four game is perfect for special events and outdoor parties—even weddings. And when the event is over? You’ll love having this lasting memory of it in your backyard. The oversized game is handmade, making it extra special. It’s machine cut from attractive heirloom-quality maple wood. To make it your own, personalize up to four lines (seven characters each) with your names, anniversary date, or a sweet message for a loved one.
Poolmaster Badminton Pop-Up Game
Easy to set up
Suitable for various ages
Rackets may be a bit flimsy
Avoid the hassle of setting up a badminton net in your backyard every season and the eyesore that a sport's net can often create in your outdoor space. This set from Poolmaster makes it easy to play a game of badminton wherever and whenever you want. Simply pop up the net with the two poles and get to playing with the four included rackets and birdies.
Elite Sportz Ring Toss Game
Easy to assemble
Comes with carry case
A bit small for older kids
Keeping the kids entertained requires a delicate balance of simplicity and intrigue. This ring toss game toes the line perfectly. Though easy to set up and play, the game (a classic!) teaches kids hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and simple math. To play, kids take turns tossing the colored rings onto the target. Each peg denotes a different amount of points, and the first player to reach the agreed upon amount of points wins.
Exploding Kittens Throw Throw Burrito Game
Easy to learn
Can be played indoors or outdoors
Some may find the content inappropriate for younger kids
The makers of the popular card game, Exploding Kittens, created a new game perfect for the outdoors. Collect and trade the oversized cards, but look out for the three-foot inflatable burrito that is thrown around as the game goes on. When not inflated, this game is portable and perfect for taking on trips for hours of hilarious fun.
Yard Games Kubb Regulation Size Outdoor Tossing Game with Carrying Case
Easy to play
This Nordic lawn game, sometimes called Viking Chess, is quickly gaining popularity in the United States. It makes for a great BBQ game, because the game has a very low learning curve. To play, participants divide up into two teams. During game play, each player attempts to knock down the other team’s kubbs, or wooden stakes. When all the kubbs are knocked down, you must knock the king kubb down to win the game.
Bottle Bash Game Set
Included score keeper
Can adjust difficulty level
Portable and easy to set-up
Some had issues with the bottles breaking over time
The best part about Bottle Bash is that the difficulty can be adjusted, so every player of every skill level can enjoy it. Setup takes just a few minutes. Simply set up the adjustable aluminum poles and place the indestructible bottles on top. One team attempts to knock off the bottle with the included frisbee while the other tries to catch both the frisbee and the bottle before they touch the ground. Move the poles farther away for an added challenge.
Best Portable: L.L.Bean Bocce
Easy to play
Bocce ball is undoubtedly one of the most popular portable lawn games available. The set of nine balls (eight larger ones and one smaller one) comes nestled inside an attractive zippered carry case made from rugged canvas that can be personalized with a monogram or name up to 10 characters long. The game is simple to play, making it extremely family-friendly. You simply divide your group into two teams and play on a designated court. Then, one player throws the small target ball. Each additional player then takes turns rolling the larger balls as close to the target ball as possible. Whichever team has a ball closest to the target wins that round. The game ends when one team scores the predetermined number of points, typically 12.
GoSports Giant Wooden Playing Dice Set
Comes with carrying case
Includes scoring board
High quality wood
Requires extra care
The whole family will have so much fun playing with an oversized set of dice. And we love the fact that the possibilities are really endless. You can use the 3.5-inch dice to play a classic game like Yahtzee (the set comes with dry erase boards for scoring this engaging, family-friendly game) or try your hand at another fun dice game.
Hakol Lawn Darts
Safe, soft darts
Can be used indoors or outdoors
Darts may bounce out of target on hard surfaces
Enjoy lawn games even after the sun goes down with these glow-in-the-dark lawn darts. Simply set up your target and launch the soft weighted missiles into the light-up circle. Whoever has the most darts in their target wins! Playing on soft surfaces like grass or even carpet ensures the darts won't bounce out of the target. The darts are a soft, safe material, making this game suitable for indoor and outdoor play around the clock.
Ayeboovi Toss and Catch Ball Game
Some found the velcro to peel off the paddles after use
If following strict rules is not your thing, opt for a fun and easy throw and catch game with endless possibilities. This set comes with two paddles equipped with velcro that the two included balls easily stick to, elevating a simple game of catch. Invent your own rules and challenges for hours of fun despite your age and skill level.
What To Look for in a Lawn Game
Though lawn games are most often played in our yards, sometimes we want to bring them other places too, like the beach or to a cookout. "It’s way easier to carry Kubb or Bocce down to the beach than a super heavy Jenga," says Buchanan. Look for games that are lightweight or can easily be stored and carried in a bag.
Lawn games are meant to be played by nearly everyone, whether they're 7 years old or 70. This often means there will be a variety of different skill levels playing your lawn game, so it shouldn't be too difficult. And with larger groups and parties especially, it's important to find a game that's quick and easy to learn.
A kid-friendly lawn game is one that's easy to learn and fun for the entire family. Be sure to check the age recommendation of the game before playing with kids.
"Some games, like giant connect four or Jenga, are really great for all ages, but games that might be more rigorously active or complex might be more suited to adults," says Buchanan. Considering these factors ensures you find the game that best fits your needs.
What is the best material for lawn games?
Being outdoor games, lawn games are exposed to elements and need to be quite durable. Plastic is a lawn game favorite that can stand up to moisture and sunshine. But for a more eco-friendly option, consider treated wood. Just make sure not to leave it in the rain. Buchanan explains that some games, like Connect Four, come in wooden and plastic versions.
What are the most popular lawn games?
The most popular lawn games are some of the oldest—horseshoes and bocce have been around for thousands of years and are still yard game favorites. A few more modern inventions have become classics too, like cornhole, Spikeball and KanJam.
How do you store lawn games?
This will depend on your available space and the type of lawn games that you own. Generally, a cool dry place is your best bet for storing wood and plastic lawn games during cold months. "But if you have a garage with space that’s the prime storage spot," Buchanan offers. "You might want to build shelves for smaller games or accessories, or a rack to hold up games if you had multiple sets."
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by by Julia Fields, a lifestyle writer for The Spruce, covering all things surrounding toys, gifts, crafts, and the holidays. She's also covered similar topics in other roles, including toy reviews, product roundups, expert-focused articles, and more. Additional reporting was done by Rabekah Henderson, a freelance design and decor writer whose work has appeared on MyDomaine, Atomic Ranch, Cary Magazine, and American Farmhouse Style.
Expert advice was provided by Gordon Buchanan, founder of Triangle Lawn Games.