These Backyard Games Will Have You Spending All Day Outside!

girls playing frisbee at their backyard
If you throw an outdoor party, you can be sure someone will bring a game to play. Over the years, backyard games have become a staple of any outdoor or tailgate party. So for your next get-together, why don't you check out some of the best backyard games with your friends or family?
Backyard games can be great fun for anyone, but each game has different items that you're going to need to play. Some games require boards, others you'll need special balls.

And even though some rules may overlap, each game is unique and requires different skills.

Take It Outside with the Best Backyard Games for Friends and Family

a person is holding a horseshoe for a backyard game

Photo by Laura Stanley from Pexels

There are a lot of games that you can play indoors, but what about outside? Backyard games are just the trick.

Backyard games, as the name suggests, are games that you can play outside. While, of course, you can play them inside your house, they are designed with a backyard in mind.

The beauty of many outside games is that they are straightforward to set up, learn, and play pretty much anywhere you want.

Some of these games found their popularity through major league sports like football. Others were passed down through familial generations. And then, some games target certain age groups.

What makes the best backyard games so popular?

Choosing the Best Backyard Games for Your Next Event

woman playing bocce ball at their backyard

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There are a ton of games out there geared toward an outdoor setting. Many of these are very similar and rely on overlapping rules.

Some games also target specific groups of people. For example, there are drinking games that require the players to be over 21, as you'll be drinking alcohol while playing. Others are for kids and are significantly easier to play than some of the other games.

Some games require a ball, others you'll need bags, and some you'll have to use something more heavy-duty like horseshoes. But a lot of these games will have you buying multiple items to play with.

Some are easier than others to set up, like cornhole and bocce ball. Some have a lot of moving parts for you to keep track of, so you'll most likely need a designated court. Depending on the space you have available, one type of game may be better than others.

Some of these games also require a set number of people, so if you only have two people available, your selection of games may be limited.

The ones you already know

And the ones you might not

How We Reviewed

Little girl holding a toy bucket and she is playing at their backyard

Image by RÜŞTÜ BOZKUŞ from Pixabay

Unlike most review pieces we have, this one isn't about products so much as it is about the games themselves. There are a lot of games out there, but we chose the top five best backyard games to showcase here.

We've played a handful of these games, but others are as new to us as they may be to you!

Nevertheless, the information here is all taken from reputable sources and guides. We've also included information on each game's rules and some of the best equipment you'll need for each game.

The Best Backyard Games for Any Occasion You Can Imagine

There are plenty of games out there, and there's no doubt your family has played some of their own. However, there are just a handful of the very best backyard games that everyone should play.

There are many different types of equipment to choose from for each game, but the ones mentioned here are our top recommendations.

KanJam Ultimate Disc

This is a relatively new game, but it borrows the style and rules from two others. You've undoubtedly heard of Frisbee golf and ultimate Frisbee. Well, this game takes Frisbee golf and adds a hint of cornhole to it.

KanJam Ultimate Disc is a two-on-two game, where each team takes turns trying to throw a Frisbee in the opposing goal. However, every person is continuously involved throughout the game. The first team to reach a score of 21 is the winner, but you can also get an instant win, though it's very rare.

Even though it's rather new, KanJam Ultimate Disc is still worthy of being one of the best backyard games.

How to play

KanJam Ultimate Disc Game

This game is licensed by an actual company called KanJam, unlike many of the best backyard games. This means there is only one official KanJam set that you can buy, but there are also several knockoff brands.

In the set, you get two portable goals, which are flexible plastic sheets that you fold around and connect in the back to form a can. You also get a Frisbee, as well as instructions on how to play the game.

There are a few different designs you can choose from, which are all licensed by KanJam. If you ask us, the glow-in-the-dark version is by far the coolest one available.


Here's a game you've probably played before. Horseshoes is a seriously old game where two teams of two face off with a set of actual horseshoes.

Each team takes turns tossing the horseshoes at the opposite peg, trying to get as close as possible.

This game also borrows the scoring system of cornhole, or maybe it's the other way around. Either way, the game has been modernized, since horseshoes are becoming harder and harder to find.

Nowadays, you'll probably find sets with weighted plastic horseshoes instead of traditional metal ones.

While traditionally you play this game in a sandpit, you can also play it on the grass. The long history of this game makes it a sure choice for any list of the best backyard games.

How to play

AmazonBasics Rubber Portable Horseshoe Outdoor Yard Game Set

A standard horseshoe set will come with two rebar pegs and four actual horseshoes. However, since times are changing and game makers have to be wary of the safety of their players, those standards have changed a bit.

With the AmazonBasics Rubber Portable Horseshoe Outdoor Yard Game Set, you get four plastic horseshoes, two rubber mats with posts, and two stakes.

The two different types of targets allow you to play the game on different surfaces. If you're playing on pavement, you can use the rubber posts, but if you'd rather play on the lawn, you can use the stakes.

The horseshoes come in two colors, two blue and two green, so each team knows which is theirs. Thanks to its lightweight construction, this set is easy to carry around wherever you need. Amazon also backs the whole set with a one-year warranty.


Easily one of the best backyard games in existence, cornhole has been around for quite a while. Its origins aren't quite known, as no one is sure where the game came from.

Over time, this game gained popularity and has become an American classic. It's easy to set up and even easier to play.

Many newer backyard games have also borrowed some rules from cornhole, which just goes to show just how popular it is.

How to play

GoSports Solid Wood Premium Cornhole Set

There are many different cornhole sets that you can choose from. But by far the best set is one made from wood that also features a full selection of quality bags.

The GoSports Solid Wood Premium Cornhole Set offers two different board sizes. The regulation size is 4 feet by 2 feet, and the tailgating size is 3 feet by two feet. Both are made from solid wood and feature a varnished surface so you can paint whatever design you like on the front.

The bags are made from heavy-duty canvas, and the set comes with a convenient carrying case. This allows you to store and travel with the set from place to place.

Bocce ball

By far one of the oldest of the best backyard games, bocce ball has been around since the Ancient Egyptians. While it's trendy in Europe, bocce ball has become increasingly popular in the United States since 1994.

Today, there are a ton of devoted bocce fans around the world.

This is a game very similar to Canadian curling or marbles (if anyone out there still plays marbles). You can play the game with up to eight people pretty quickly. In fact, the whole game is extremely easy to learn and play.

How to play

AmazonBasics Bocce Ball Set with Soft Carry Case

Most bocce ball sets are pretty similar. After all, you don't need much to play this game. The AmazonBasics Bocce Ball Set with Soft Carry Case features four red and four green poly-resin balls, one set for each team, along with one white pallino ball.

The balls in this set also feature one of two carvings, so up to eight different players can keep track of their balls. This set comes with a carrying case, which allows you to keep track of all the pieces of the game and bring it to and from different events.


This is a game that came around thanks to the ABC show "Shark Tank." This relatively new game is a unique take on volleyball and requires quite a bit of athleticism.

But, as with most of the best backyard games, you can play Spikeball anywhere.
The game is also similar to the likes of four square, but for adults. You'll be moving around a lot, so prepare yourself for a workout!

While this game is practically brand new, the hype around it makes it an obvious choice for one of the best backyard games.

How to play

Spikeball 3-Ball Kit

Spikeball, like KanJam Ultimate Disc, is licensed by its own company. This means there's only one official Spikeball set on the market.

With the Spikeball three-ball kit, you get an adjustable net and frame, three balls, and a tote with the Spikeball logo.

In this set, there are a lot of parts, so the set up may take a bit longer than other games. But then again, it is a more involved game than others.

Once you set up the game, the net features foldable legs so you can carry it around as needed. Pop the balls in the tote, and you're ready to head out to your next spot.

Ready? Set. Game On!

Kid playing marbles

Image by Varun Kulkarni from Pixabay

There are plenty of great games that you can bring around to your next family party, but which are the best backyard games for you? They all require different skill sets and equipment. But most people know how to play these games with little experience needed.

Depending on your age, you might also be drawn to one of the newer games that are available.

However, nothing beats a classic, and it's never too late to jump into a game of cornhole or bocce ball!

Which of the best backyard games is your favorite? Have you played any of these games already? Let us know in the comments below!


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