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Nothing says ~~SUMMER!!~~ like a day or evening with good friends, good food and fun backyard games! My husband and I love getting together with friends and neighbors for a
super competitive friendly game of bean bags and a few beers while the grill heats up. Since we live on a lake, we always have visitors and we are always looking for fun things we can do in the yard. This summer has been no different and we are in need of some variety! I thought I would share my findings with you guys, in case you want to add some overly competitive afternoons and evenings to your summer weekend lineup. We are just a *touch* competitive. 😉
For Father’s Day I put together a little grilling themed gift for my husband. He is kind of hard to buy for lately because he doesn’t really need anything, but our grill area was in need of some organization and beer is always a good choice for my husband, so I figured I’d combine the two into a “Grillin’ and Chillin'” gift basket. I made him this “Grillin’ & Chillin'” sign, complete with old railroad nails to hang the grill tools on and a handy bottle opener, so he can enjoy a cold one while he grills.
Like I said, we are super competitive, so I also purchased this Tiki Toss game that we mounted on a post by the grill. Now he and the guys can play Tiki Toss while they stand around waiting for the burgers to be done. My husband works in IL Monday-Friday, and little does he know that I have been practicing my Tiki Toss skills while the dogs eat al fresco for the past two weeks. I am going to kick his butt this weekend, and he will think I’m a natural. <evil laugh>
Backyard Games for a Summer of FUN!
If you don’t have a set of bean bags (or corn hole, as some call it,) you are missing out on some serious fun. This backyard game is great for all skill levels because you pretty much just have to get your bag on the board to get points. Extra points come with getting it in the hole. Kids, teens and adults love this game, and it is really easy to put together a last-minute tournament if time allows.
Two teams of two people play at once, standing across the field from their partners. The boards are placed about 20 feet apart. You get one point for a clean landing on the board, three points for getting the bag in the hole. If you get three on the board and the other team gets one in the hole the points cancel each other out. Playing to 21 points can take 10 minutes or even longer if both teams are really good!
The other backyard game we really love playing with our friends is volleyball! We play on a co-ed team all fall and winter, so naturally playing in the summer is fun for us and our group. This set is really nice (and priced really well at $77 when this was written! reg. $189) and has everything you need for a quick set up at home or at the beach. Volleyball is fun because you can play with two people or up to eight people on a team, so this is great for groups of all sizes.
The newest addition to our yard is horseshoes– a game I had never played before until recently. I lucked out and found a set at a yard sale for $5 and knew right away it was coming home with me. This set on Amazon is identical, and for $22 (at the time this was written) you can save yourself the time of yard sale shopping!
So far, those are the extent of our backyard games, so it is time to kick it up a notch. One of our favorite activities is taking a leisurely boat ride around the lake. We do this morning, noon and night, and we always see people playing ladder ball! I swear, every other lake house has this set up in their yards. The time has come for us to give it a try. I’ve settled on this set for three reasons: 1) it is powder-coated steel, so it will hold up, 2) it comes with a bag, so I can store it easily, and 3) it’s not terribly expensive, considering it is not plastic and it has great reviews. I have no idea how to play this, but it sure looks like a fun game!
Remember Yahtzee? Well here’s a spinoff for the yard- Rollzee! So. Much. Fun! This set comes with extra large wooden dice, a dry erase scoreboard, and a carry bag, so you can be the hit of yard parties you’re invited to as well. There are lots of DIY options on Pinterest, too!
Have you ever heard of Kubb? (I think it’s pronounced “koob,” but don’t hold me to that!) I saw this great DIY on Pinterest and was intrigued enough to check it out. It’s apparently a combination of bowling & horseshoes, so it sounds like a blast! The objective is to knock over the wooden blocks with the spindles and then the king block to win. I think. Full rules can be found here. This looks like a fun game because it can be played with large teams of 6 or more players, and since we often have a crowd we’re looking for large group backyard games! The set below has everything you need and a handy carry bag as well
Oh my. We are HUGE Jenga fans because it is a great party game for adults. How you say? Well, by writing on the tiles, of course! Fun things like “finish your drink,” “do a shot,” “make someone drink,” “replenish the snacks,” and “load the dishwasher,” because let’s face it, no host wants to wake up to a sink full of dishes, lol! We also have “speak with an accent until your next turn,” “do the hokey pokey,” and other fun tiles like that. When playing lake or pool side you could include “go jump in the lake,” “do a cannonball” and “best swan dive” for some hysterical entertainment!
This set grows up to 5 feet tall and comes with a case. You’ll need to provide your own “dares” for the tiles. We have three regular sets for different groups: neighbors, our very good couple friends, and softball families left from previous tournament days with our kids. We just love Jenga! I can see this would quickly become one of our favorite backyard games.
I completely forgot about this game- Spike ball or Slammo. I saw it last winter when we were in Florida and totally forgot to order it. It is like a 2-on-2 volleyball on a trampoline-type net on the ground where each team has three passes and then hits the ball into the net for the other team to return. There is a video in the link so you can see that it looks like a total blast! Our neighbors have this and it looks like so much fun!
Does anyone remember Jarts? The lawn darts that were actual giant darts, complete with metal tips, that you flung in the air across your yard trying to get the jart into the circular target on the ground? They were super fun, and SUPER dangerous. Like people were seriously injured or killed by flying jarts and they were off the market pretty quickly. (Here’s a video– they have been banned in the US, and I keep seeing old sets at yard sales!) Anyway, they are back in a MUCH safer form without the giant metal dart coming out of the end. If you have the old set still, please refrain from dusting it off and getting it out for a weekend game of tragedy. Your children and puppy thank you in advance.
Have you guys heard of Kan Jam? I hadn’t until my search! It looks like a lot of fun, though! Kind of like disc golf, maybe, but with teammates who can assist? This set comes with the cans and the discs, and is made in the USA- which is always a good thing!
And finally, how awesome is this scorecard/ drink holder?! This would be perfect for so many backyard games, especially volleyball and bean bags! I am putting this in my cart now as a gift reminder for my husband- this is great! We are always getting distracted and forgetting the score, lol!
Did I miss any backyard games that should be on the list? If you have any fun backyard games that are not on my list- or any tips for the ones that are on the list!- let me know in the comments. It’s a long summer and we are always looking for new ways to have fun!