Summer Outside: 6 Games for Backyard Entertaining

Collaborator: VNN Content Studio
Published: 07/26/2021, 9:42 PM
Edited: 07/26/2021, 9:48 PM

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(NATIONAL) Summer afternoons and evenings outside are a great time to connect with family and friends, in large groups or small. If you’d like to add some entertainment to your outdoor space, here are six ideas for games that you’ll love for any age and any group.

Giant Versions of Classic Games

Sometimes the best outdoor games are indoor favorites that you can supersize for the backyard! A popular new trend, giant outdoor versions of classic games like Checkers, Jenga, Yahtzee, and Connect Four are widely available. Many of these games can be played with two people/small groups if you’re looking for new outdoor activities after dinner; they also scale up well for larger gatherings. If you’re expecting a big crowd, set up several games and make a game obstacle course throughout the yard!

Capture the Flag

Many people hear this game mentioned and immediately return to childhood summers spent playing for hours outside. While Capture the Flag certainly has appeal for kids, adults can get in on the fun, as well. This game works best with a large group in a big space, so plan to head to the nearby park with your guests for this one. The best part about Capture the Flag is that it requires no real equipment - you can use a colored towel or napkin for the flags if necessary! The basic rules state that teams hide their flags and then attempt to steal their opponent’s without getting caught. Part of the fun is then making “house rules” to spice things up, such as players getting caught and put in “jail” or rules about how closely someone can guard their own flag. If you have a crew that likes to play at night, check out this glow-in-the-dark version.


If you haven’t tried this newly-created game yet, be sure to put it on your list for this summer. This popular set comes with everything you need to set up your own backyard version. While typically a game for four players (teams of two), you can increase the number by getting a larger net size. Taking its inspiration from volleyball (and then flipping everything on its head!), Spikeball uses a horizontal net and a medium-sized soft ball. Players are allowed to hit the ball with one hand, but not carry or hold the ball, and the goal is to get points by making it hard for the other team to bounce the ball off the net. A fast-paced and fun game, Spikeball is a great option for small gatherings in an open yard. For more about how to play, check out this summary.


Bocce is a classic yard game from Europe. It has migrated to the United States for good reason – with minimal prep and affordable supplies, this game is fun for all ages. Players take turns throwing a heavy colored ball as close to a small white ball as they can; the color that’s closest scores a point that round, and play begins again. Bocce is also a great choice because the number of players is fairly flexible; you can play individually, on teams, or in rotations since the rounds are short. Unlike some yard games, you don’t need a large or even flat area to play – a slope or small boundaries will only add to the challenge!   

Ladder Toss

Another favorite for large or small groups, ladder toss, is an easy game that requires minimal setup or instruction. Players individually or in teams toss “bolas” towards the rungs of a ladder to score points. The ladder has three rungs, and point values are assigned as the group decides. Younger players love this game, as well, but make sure that the littlest crowd stays away from the game play area – those bolas can hurt!

Beanbag Toss

No matter what you call it, your family probably has played a version of beanbag toss for generations. One of the most popular outdoor games, cornhole, is easy to play and understand for any age. Players toss beanbags towards a board with a hole in it; points are awarded for getting the bag through the hole and/or on the board. If you want a fancy option suitable for playing after dark all summer long, some sets have built-in LED lights in the bags and on the board so that the party doesn’t have to stop when the sun goes down.

Grab several of these outdoor games to have on hand for the next time you’d like to take the party outside!

The Entertainer series is presented by Carabelle’s Eats and Treats, food service dedicated to encouraging, inspiring, and strengthening women who have experienced loss to pursue holistic health through the culinary arts, while providing premier quality baked goods and catering services to the community.


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