THE BEST LAWN GAMES FOR YOUR NEXT BACKYARD PARTY



Ready for your next backyard party? No party is complete without its fair share of games. If you’re in a rut and unsure of what games to host, we’ve got you! We’ve compiled what are arguably the best lawn games for your next backyard party. We’ve got everything from classics to games you may have never heard of before. And the best part? Your backyard party is about to become a hit with the help of these games. So, what are you waiting for? Here are the 15 best lawn games anyone can play!

This post contains some partner links for various products.

1. CORNHOLE

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One of the most iconic lawn games that has gained so much popularity that it can even be watched on ESPN is Cornhole. Cornhole is super easy to play and is sure to get everyone at your backyard party amped up! You’ve probably seen this popular lawn game before played at bars, but this game is actually very easy to set up in your own backyard!

HOW TO PLAY CORNHOLE

Cornhole can be played 1V1 or in doubles, and the objective is simple: throw a bean bag across your yard and through the hole in the cornhole board. Each time your team’s beanbag goes through a hole you get a point! Before you start a game, decide how many points you are playing to (the most common points to play to are 21 and 11). First team to reach the point total wins!

Check out our complete cornhole rules guide for more on this!

2. BOCCE BALL

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Another fun lawn game that requires minimal equipment for maximum fun is bocce ball. Bocce ball was developed and popularized in Italy. While the types of balls, throwing styles, and acceptable terrains for these games may differ, your freshly cut lawn is a perfectly suitable place to play this game. Bocce ball is the perfect lawn game to get all generations involved, as it is accessible to even small children and senior citizens alike!

HOW TO PLAY BOCCE BALL

Bocce ball is an extremely simple lawn game that anyone can grasp. Basically, one player throws a small white ball (called the pallino). Then all the other players throw larger heavy balls, attempting to get their throw as close as possible to the pallino. You will then measure the distance between each ball and the pallino. The winning team then gets one point for each ball they have thrown closer to the pallino than the closest ball of the opposing team. 

Check out our detailed rundown of how to play bocce ball for more info on the rules.

3. SPIKE BALL

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Spikeball is the rebrand of a competitive lawn game called Roundnet. Invented in the 80s, Roundnet uses a plastic ball and a circular net stretched across a short trampoline-like structure. You use the net to bounce, spike, and hurtle the ball toward the opposing team. Spikeball is like a modified version of volleyball that can be played without a court and in smaller, grassy spaces. However, unlike volleyball, where teams are fixed to a single side, this game is played around the net. This full 360 degrees of play area makes Spikeball an exciting and eventful lawn game that is sure to get everyone sweating!

HOW TO PLAY SPIKEBALL

Spikeball is a lawn game played between 2 teams of 2 players. All 4 players stand around the bouncy net in the center of the yard and take turns serving. The server spikes the ball into the net and away from them. The goal is to serve it in a way so that the other team is unable to return the ball to the net. Every time a team fails to return the ball to the net, the other team scores a point. Spikeball games are generally played to 21, and the winning team must win by 2 points if the score is tied at 20. 

4. CROQUET

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Of course, no list of lawn games is complete without a mention of croquet! This famous backyard recreational sport uses mallets and plastic balls, which are hit through wickets. Croquet is thought to have been developed in the 17th century in France, bearing the name jeu de mail or paille-maille. There are many different versions of croquet, in the present day, but the most commonly played version is nine-wicket.

HOW TO PLAY CROQUET

While there are a few nuances to this game, the main objective of croquet is simple: get your ball around the lawn and hit it through each wicket and stake. There can be anywhere between two to six players, with two teams. Set up two stakes and nine wickets in a double diamond pattern. Each team or player takes turns hitting their ball, one shot at a time. A player may earn a bonus shot if they score the ball through the wicket, hit a stake, or hit another player’s ball with their own. The player or team to score all the wicket points and hit the 2 stakes wins!

The game of croquet is very intricate and can be confusing, so for a more detailed explanation of the game, check out our guide on how to play croquet.

5. LADDER TOSS

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Ladder toss, also sometimes called Norwegian golf or ladder golf is another entertaining lawn game that is super easy to play and set up! This fun game pits 2 teams against each other in a battle to make their bolas (2 golf balls attached by a string) land on their ladder. 

HOW TO PLAY LADDER TOSS

The gameplay of Norwegian Golf is fairly straight forward: toss your bolas at the ladder and try to hang your bolas on the steps of the ladder. Each rung, or step, on the ladder, corresponds to a certain number of points. The top rung is worth 3 points, the middle 2, and the bottom is worth only a single point. The first team to earn precisely 21 points wins! 

Check out our complete rules to ladder toss for a detailed breakdown of how to play.

6. GIANT JENGA

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Jenga is a classic indoor game that has been blown up in size to be a thrilling outdoor lawn game. Giant Jenga is a massive version of the classic Jenga that is played in the exact same way, except the pieces are much more, well… GIANT! One of the best parts about Giant Jenga is that there is really no limit to how many people can play. The game comes in 2 sizes, one with a 3-foot tower and one with a massive 5-foot tower!

HOW TO PLAY GIANT JENGA

Giant Jenga is simple. Just set up the tower in your yard2 (ideally far away from anything fragile). Then players start pulling out pieces one by one. The most important rule is that whatever block a player touches first is the block that they must remove. The game continues with players pulling out blocks and then placing them on top of the tower until the Jenga tower falls over.

7. PICKLEBALL

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Did you know that pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the USA? This racket sport has gained tons of popularity recently and is essentially a blend of tennis, badminton, and ping pong. While it likely isn’t feasible to install a full pickleball court in your yard. There are plenty of basic pickleball sets that make for a perfect lawn game.

Looking for some top-notch pickleball paddles? Head over to our post on the topic.

HOW TO PLAY PICKLEBALL

Pickleball is a racket sport played similar to tennis. The game can either be played 1V1 or in doubles. The goal of the game is to score points by hitting the ball over the net with your paddle and preventing the opposing team from returning it. Points can only be scored by the serving team in pickleball, so even if the server makes a fault, the penalty is not a point for the opposing team but a change in the serving team.

There are quite a few rules and intricacies to pickleball, so be sure to check out our complete list of pickleball rules for more on this.

8. BOTTLE BASH

Bottle Bash is a unique summer lawn game that involves 2 teams throwing frisbees at each other’s bottles and poles to score points. The game is super fun to play, but it can take time to master as it involves a decent amount of hand-eye coordination to aim a frisbee so preciously. If you are looking for a fast-paced and competitive game to play in your yard, Bottle Bash just might be the game for you.

HOW TO PLAY BOTTLE BASH

To get started, place the two poles around 20 to 30 feet away from each other and set the bottles on top of the poles. Players stand behind the pole on their end of the field and attempt to knock over the bottle on the opponents’ side. If the bottle and the frisbee disc both fall to the ground, the team that threw scores 3 points. If the bottle falls, but the opposing team catches the frisbee, the team that threw it scores 2 points, and if only the frisbee lands on the ground, the team scores 1 point. The teams alternate throwing the frisbee, and the first team to score 21 points, wins. 

Check out our rules for Bottle Bash for a more detailed breakdown of how to play.

9. LAWN DARTS

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If you are from the 1980s, you might remember lawn darts being all the rage when it came to outdoor games. This classic lawn game was a huge hit until it was banned in 1988 due to the potential hazard it posed to kids. Seems a bit like a no-brainer now that giant sharp objects shouldn’t be advertised as kid’s toys, but things weren’t so simple in the 80s. 

That said, you can relive the fun of this classic lawn game with “child-safe” lawn darts. These darts have no sharp points and instead have weights on the end that allow them to land correctly when thrown at a target.

HOW TO PLAY LAWN DARTS

Lawn darts is an incredibly simple backyard game to play. The object is to throw your lawn dart so that it lands inside one of the circular targets. Each team has 2 darts, and each dart that lands in the circular target is worth three point. However, points are canceled out if both teams manage to land their darts in the target. For example, if team A lands both darts in the target and team B only lands one dart in the circle, team A scores 3 points. But, if both teams land both darts in the circle, no points are scored by either team. Like many other games, the team that gets to 21 points first wins!

10. GIANT CONNECT FOUR

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Another giant version of a classic game that you can play on your lawn is Giant Connect Four. Imagine your standard Connect Four game, but made for giants! This is a super fun and simple lawn game that practically anyone can play.

HOW TO PLAY GIANT CONNECT FOUR

The rules for Giant Connect Four are exactly the same as the standard (smaller) game. Players take turns placing their colored chips into the Connect Four grid, attempting to get four in a row. You can win the game by being the first player to place four of your chips in a row either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.

WHERE TO BUY GIANT CONNECT FOUR

Giant Connect Four would be a HUGE hit at your next backyard party, and it is definitely one of the best lawn games of all time. Ready to make your lawn ten times more fun?

11. HORSESHOES

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Horseshoes is one of the oldest games that is still played today. Some historians even predict that the game of horseshoes is older than 2,000 years, being originally played by the Romans! Despite its antiquity, horseshoes is still a super fun lawn game that is still super popular today. In fact, horseshoes is even played competitively at a professional level!

HOW TO PLAY HORSESHOES

Horseshoes is incredibly simple in theory, but it requires quite a bit of skill to play. The goal of horseshoes is to throw a horseshoe across the pitch and make it land on the metal stake. Plates take turns throwing both of their horseshoes at the stake. If your horseshoe lands within an inch from the stake, you earn 1 point. If your horseshoe wraps around the stake, you earn 3 points. Horseshoes uses cancelation scoring, so if both teams score 3 points, no points are scored. Additionally, if one team totals 6 points and the other totals 2 points, the team with six points scores 4 points, and the other team scores 0.

12. BACKYARD LAWN BOWLING

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Backyard lawn bowling is exactly what it sounds like. Bringing the bowling alley to your yard! Gone are the days where you have to make a trip to the bowling alley in order to throw a ball toward the 10 pins in an effort to knock them down. Now, you can play this game in the comfort of your own backyard. Bowling, as a sport, dates all the way back to Ancient Egypt and Rome. Ancient books say that the Egyptians and Romans threw stones over some objects that were placed a distance away. Italians later played a variation of this game called bocce, which transformed into bowling as we know it today!

HOW TO PLAY BACKYARD LAWN BOWLING

Play backyard lawn bowling just as you would play a normal game. If you want to use the traditional bowling scoring system, check out our guide on bowling rules. But since the scoring system can be confusing, you can also keep it simple by just adding the number of pins that get knocked down in each round! Backyard lawn bowling is a super casual game, so you can make up your own rules as you go. But as a starting point, make sure to set up the pins 20 to 30 feet away, depending on how difficult you want the game to be. Then, players take turns to bowl and aim to knock down as many pins as possible to win the game.

13. KAN JAM DISC TOSS GAME

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One of the best lawn games to play is the Kan Jam Disc Toss Game! Kan Jam is a team game that is easy to play in theory but will require a lot of teamwork, execution, and even strategy. You can liken this game to cornhole or horseshoes. A lightweight but durable game, Kan Jam is the perfect game to bring along to a backyard party or even to a picnic or beach. Whether you want to make some memories with your friends and family or have a grand old time playing an awesome backyard tossing game, Kan Jam should definitely be one of the top contenders for games to play at your next backyard party.

HOW TO PLAY KAN JAM DISC TOSS

Two teams of two play against each other in Kan Jam. And each team member must stand behind the two Kans, which should be placed around 50 feet away from each other. Once this is set up, get ready to have the most fun of your life! The goal of the game is to be the first team to reach 21 points. The two team members take turns throwing and deflecting the disc. After each player in Team A has had a chance to throw the disc, Team B then gets to throw and deflect the disc. Points are awarded as follows:

  • 1 point – The deflector manages to redirect the thrown disc and hit the Kan.
  • 2 points – The thrower manages to hit the side of the Kan without any assistance from the deflector.
  • 3 points – The deflector redirects the thrown disc to land inside the Kan.
  • 3 points – An opponent interferes with play, so the throwing team is awarded these points.
  • 21 points – The thrower manages to land the disc inside the Kan unassisted by the deflector.

14. BADMINTON

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Who says you can only play badminton on a proper badminton court? Anyone who’s owned a badminton racket in their lives will have played it at some point in their own backyard. This is one of the most fun and exciting games to play during your backyard party. All you need to bring is a couple of badminton rackets and a shuttlecock. And don’t worry. There’s absolutely no need to transport a net for backyard badminton!

HOW TO PLAY BADMINTON

To play, first, set up some boundaries in your backyard. Place a string or a bottle to help determine the middle of the court and place some other objects around the perimeter of this makeshift court. Then, decide who will serve first. The players hit the shuttlecock back and forth until someone is unable to return it legally. The shuttlecock must always be hit back over the mid-court line. Any time a player is unable to return the shuttlecock legally, a point is awarded to the other player. Keep hitting the shuttlecock back and forth until a player reaches 21 points with at least a 2 point gap.

For a more detailed look at how to play this game, check out our badminton guide.

15. THROW THROW BURRITO

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Another awesome game by Exploding Kittens, Throw Throw Burrito is one of those games that will have you running around the backyard. Perfect for both children and adults, this game will definitely have you breaking out a sweat and ready for an ice-cold coke by the end of it! While a simple card game at heart, any time a battle ensues, you’ll find yourself howling with laughter at the idea of throwing a burrito at the other player. But make sure to do it fast!

HOW TO PLAY THROW THROW BURRITO

The goal of this game is to obtain as many three matching cards as possible. All players start with five cards in their hands and can discard cards they don’t want into the personal draw pile of the player on their left and picking up new cards from their own draw pile. Any time you collect a group of 3 matching cards, place them in front of you. One trio of cards is worth 1 point. If you collect a trio of Burrito cards, such as war, brawl, or duel, they are worth two points and also start a battle that involves throwing burritos at each other. The loser of a battle must take a Burrito Bruise and put it in their score pile. This is worth -1 point. The game ends after two rounds.

The above is a very simplified version of the game rules, so if you’ve got your Throw Throw Burrito ready to play, click here for the full rules.

YOUR NEXT BACKYARD PARTY WILL BE A BLAST!

Now that you have all these awesome lawn games at your disposal, your next backyard party will be the talk of the neighborhood! Whether you set up a simple game of cornhole or organize a pickleball tournament, your lawn is going to be the place to be this summer!

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