Party Games and Outdoor Activities

Keeping the Group Entertained in Your Yard

Think of a backyard or outdoor space as your very own private park. Whether it's a large expanse of fresh, green lawn or an outdoor room on a city rooftop, you have the perfect setting for a party or casual gathering. Entertain friends, family and neighbors of all ages by setting up a game or two, like bocce, badminton or croquet. All you need are willing participants, food and beverages, a place to relax and room to play. Then, let the backyard games begin!
  • 01 of 05


    A backyard game of badminton. &copy Andrew Malone, flickr
    The British brought the game over from India in the 19th century, and it quickly caught on throughout the world. Badminton can be played with two or more players, a net, racquets and a shuttlecock.
  • 02 of 05
    Bocce ball is played on an expanse of lawn. &copy Benny Mazur, flickr user benimoto
    Bocce ball is basically Italian lawn bowling, although a form of the game has probably been played in every culture since ancient civilization. The modern version uses balls in place of cabbages, fruits or other round objects, and is a fun team sport.
  • 03 of 05
    Croquet set. &copy wharman, flickr
    Such a civilized game, croquet. The sort of game that Jay Gatsby would make sure his guests were playing at his lavish garden parties, before moving on to dining, dancing and debauchery by moonlight. Think of croquet as your own miniature golf set, sans all of the tricky sandpits, castles and windmills. High brow or not, it really is quite fun. Really.
  • 04 of 05
    Children play a game of horseshoes, Sainte-Adèle, Quebec, 1954. Library and Archives Canada (LAC), flickr, creative commons
    A game of horseshoes involves an even surface, some stakes, and horseshoes. If younger children play, make sure they are away from the line of fire, or misfire, in case someone has less-than-perfect aim. Better yet, show them how to do it!
    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05
    beer pong
    Friends play beer pong at a backyard party. Hero Images/Getty Images

    It's the drinking game that everyone likes to play if there's a ping pong table in the yard. But how, exactly, do you play beer pong? We explain it to you in simple-to-understand terms that should get you up and playing in no time. All that's needed is the above-mentioned ping pong table, some plastic solo cups, and a beverage--frequently beer, but something non-alcoholic can be used in its place.

    The game requires teams, a certain level of enthusiasm, and liquid refreshments....MORE Encourage your players to have fun and to not take the game too seriously.