These aren't your average badminton set!
The sun is out and summer is here, why are we spending time indoors? If you're lucky enough to have access to a little bit of green space, it's time to get outside and play.
There are a ton of fun lawn games for adults that you may not be familiar with. They all have different space requirements and varying skill requirements, but there's one common thread: these new games are a blast.
Garden parties and barbecues can be pretty boring affairs; why not add a few new thrills to the mix? These games are generally geared to be quick, low commitment, fun, and easy to learn and play. Another bonus: they are usually really inexpensive to get into. (Or free, if you're handy.)
However, choosing a crowd pleaser can be tricky, especially if you're hoping to avoid the usual suspects.
This article will be taking a look at a handful of my favorite yard games for adults that you've (maybe) never heard of. We'll take a close look at each one, going over the rules, requirements, space needed and number of players, as well as anything else you might need to know. Hopefully this will help you identify a few awesome choices for your upcoming events.
Let's get going!
Choosing the right outdoor yard games for your grown-up party:
It's hard to go wrong with most of the choices that I'm going to present, but you do want to be careful and select outdoor yard games for adults that will suit the party, the people attending and the overall theme of the event. When done right, a good yard game will be something people will talk about and remember for a long time. It's highly recommended for a successful backyard party.
Think about demographics:
This may seem obvious, but consider who's attending the party. Backyard lawn games are only fun if the adults in attendance actually show interest.
Would you suggest football if most of the participants are hardcore tennis fans?
Make a list of the people invited, and try to remember how they like to spend their time. Are they sporty? Do they post lots of hiking, biking and running, or are they introverted, preferring to remain indoors?
When all else fails, it's a good idea to choose a game with broad appeal, or have a couple of options available and let people choose.
Consider your space:
Many lawn games for adults will have space restrictions. That means you need a decent-sized backyard in order to play. Before you invest in a game be sure you have an outdoor area to place it (whether it's your back yard or a nearby park.)
Test out the game (if possible):
In order to choose a fun outdoor game for grown-ups, do your best to try out the game before you purchase it. Find a friend who has it, or ask the store if they have a version on display so you can give it a whirl.
KanJam: Frisbee and Volleyball?
KanJam is a really interesting lawn game that's a blast for adults and teenagers. It's a unique combination of sports. Basically, you have a frisbee and two large cans.
Here's how it works: you choose two teams of two-to-three people. Each team has a can. One team member stands in front of the can, while the other stands across the lawn to toss the frisbee.
You toss the frisbee towards your team member. They then must tip or bump the frisbee into the can.
You get one point if the team member deflects the frisbee into the side of the can without it going in.
You get two points if the thrower hits the side of the can directly. You get three points if the team deflects the frisbee right into the can.
You also get an instant win if the thrower tosses a 'hole in one' and it goes in the can without any need for deflection (this is very difficult, but super satisfying when it happens!) The first team to 21 points wins.
This is an ideal game for frisbee (or frolf) enthusiasts, and it works well for smaller parties of people who want to play a game. It takes some getting used to, and requires some practice to get it right, but it's a guaranteed hoot and there will be tons of laughter, cheering and good-natured trash talk. It's probably an outdoor yard game better suited to adults than children, but teens really enjoy it too.
Check out the KanJam phenomenon!
Ladder Golf: An entertaining backyard challenge for adults and kids
You may not be familiar with ladder golf, but I warn you: it's highly addictive! This is another 'toss' style of game, but it comes with a twist.
Instead of having a bean bag or a ball, you have two balls attached by a rope. You set up a vertical ladder made of piping; it usually has three horizontal rungs, but you could design one with four or more.
You toss the bolo through the air with the hope of wrapping it around one of these rungs. If it does, and it doesn't fall off, you get points!
This is a satisfying game. Learning how to toss the bolo properly is a tricky thing, but once you master it you can start learning trick shots (over the shoulder, longer distances, etc).
It's also the kind of game that has very few physical restrictions, so people of all ages can enjoy it. You don't need a lot of green space to play it, so it's perfect for a small back yard.
You can build your own using PVC piping and old tennis balls, but you can also pick them up in a kit. They usually fold up for easy storage and come with a carrying case. (The Blongo set listed here is one I've enjoyed immensely.)
In any event, ladder golf is an awesome and fun outdoor game for adults and the whole family. It's an instant tailgating classic!
Spikeball: A fun, volleyball-inspired lawn / beach game for adults
Love volleyball but don't have the space to play it? You may enjoy Spikeball! It's a really fun game for four people, and it can be played in a pretty small space. It combines a lot of the fun elements of volleyball, and it's a great exercise.
Spikeball consists of a springy net and a handball. Two teams of two face each other across the net. You hit the ball onto the net and it bounces back up. The other team can volley the ball up to three times before they must hit it back onto the net.
If the other team can't return it within three volleys, or if the ball makes contact with the ground during a volley, the other team scores a point. You play to 21 points just like volleyball.
This is a great outdoor game for grown-ups and teens, and it's a fantastic cardiovascular workout. It's not going to be a huge hit with people who aren't in great shape, but it's really portable and can be brought to the beach easily enough. If you love working up a sweat and having a ball, this is an excellent choice.
Giant Toppling Tower: Don't knock it over!
This is another super fun one. You've probably seen the popular tabletop version of this game. This is just a life-sized version of that same concept. Giant Toppling Tower is a fun, slow-paced outdoor lawn game for adults that's accessible to all ages and abilities.
And as a bonus there's no learning curve; people will get it right away.
The concept is really simple: you just stack up the wooden blocks into a perfect wooden tower. Each player removes one piece at a time, and place that block on the top of the tower. The object is to not be the one to cause the tower to come crashing down!
It's one of my top choices for backyard games for grown-ups, mostly because it's so easy to set up and play. The only real requirement is a fairly flat surface to construct the tower on. I'd recommend bringing along a piece of plywood or something, especially if you're playing on grass or sand.
One caveat: if you have little ones, keep an eye on them. Toddlers love to knock things down, and these bigger pieces of wood can hurt if they fall on your head.
If you're the sort who enjoys a good drinking game, this is ideal for it, and it's awesome for tailgate parties as well. It's a wonderful outdoor lawn game for kids and adults alike, and you'll have friends wanting to borrow it all the time, I guarantee!
Backyard Game Poll:
Any important ones I missed? What's your go-to?
Dennis Bruckner from Salt Lake City, UT on December 18, 2013:
My absolute favorite is Bocce. My family and I used to play with the Italian family across the street and they got us hooked on it for a lifetime!