Ever feel the pressure to travel in order to experience the virtues of outdoor games and fun? Well, say goodbye to that unsettling thought! There is a ton of fun to be had right in your backyard…and with the right backyard games, you can have a fun, memorable party right at home!
Check out our roundup of the best backyard games for different seasons and needs, as well as some things to consider before making your purchase!
Our Top Picks
Reusable Water Balloons
Potato Sack Race
Best for Families With Older Kids:
Picking the best backyard game for the whole family can be tricky. When you have a wide variety of age ranges, the potential for hazards or a lack of fun for certain groups is almost a guarantee. The best backyard game is one that you can enjoy at any age, without a ton of health or harm risks, no time consuming cleanup afterward…and a game that you can make use of season after season.
With all these factors in mind and more, we recommend reusable water balloons as our overall top pick for the best backyard game. These self sealing balloons are lightweight and brightly colored, capable of filling up with water from pools, pitchers, hoses, buckets and more.
Reusable water balloons behave just like regular, filled balloons. But they don’t explode on impact, they just pop open! This leads to less of a cleanup nightmare after a game of water balloons, and it eliminates the risk of little kids choking on balloon scraps they might pick up around the yard.
Easy to transport, easy to grip, and a breeze to use, reusable water balloons provide years of fun that kiddos, teens, and adults can all enjoy together as a family. What’s not to love?
- A soft but splashy water balloon alternative that gets you drenched without the mess
- Big enough not to be a choking hazard, but small enough for even little hands to grip and throw with ease
- Lightweight and transportable, so you can use them in the backyard at home, bring them on vacation, use them in the pool, and more.
- Bright, fun colors make these super attractive to kids
- A painless option to get folks of all ages involved in a water balloon game
- Some consumers have reported issues with leaking balloons that need replacement
- In some cases, the magnets may pop out of balloons, leading to a choking hazard. Adults should always check the magnets before handing balloons off to little kiddos.
Best Budget Option
If you’ve ever felt your heart sink and your wallet start weeping when you’ve seen the prices for some of the best backyard games out there, you aren’t alone. There are plenty of options for fun backyard games, but many of them cost a small fortune to buy and install.
For folks looking for full family fun without having to break the bank, we recommend a potato sack race kit as the best backyard game! This is a fun, all ages game that will get the whole family involved…even the ones sitting on the sidelines. Parents can referee while kids race, so everyone has something to do.
This kit comes with four sacks for potato racing. It also includes two whistles for referees, and four medals you can give out as prizes. This is a great, active family game option that folks of all ages can enjoy during a day of backyard fun.
- A fantastic, affordable option for whole family fun
- Made of durable fabric
- Great for using to store other outdoor pieces and games when not in use
- Difficult for kids over the age of 7 years to use
- Some consumers report issues with durability after frequent or rough use
Best For Families With Older Kids
If the somewhat brutal name of this game evokes a concern about bodily harm, have no fear! Slammo doesn’t involve any body slamming or physical contact at all. This game, a more affordable derivative of the popular game Spikeball, gives families with older kids a great opportunity to have all the fun of a game of tennis, pickleball, or volleyball…right in the comfort of their own backyard.
Slammo is a great game to start with kids who are old enough to have developed decent hand-eye coordination. This game involves teams spiking the ball off the transportable, trampoline-type structure to one another. So it manages to be both compact and portable as well as encouraging plenty of motion.
This flexibility makes Slammo a great fit for bringing to other people’s parties, the beach, etc., as well as playing in your own backyard. Families can have fun, teach teamwork, and enjoy some fun competition just about anywhere!
- A balanced game of fun and friendly competition, which makes it ideal for teaching older kiddos about sportsmanship and the ins and outs of wins and losses.
- Compact and easy to transport, with everything fitting nicely into the Slammo carrying case
- Easy to assemble
- An easy and fun game to play once you learn the ropes of it
- The Slammo balls can lose some bounce with frequent use
Best Team Backyard Game
What list of the best backyard games would be truly complete without a nod to corn hole? The real MVP of backyard games on hot summer days, corn hole has firmly made its mark on many a backyard barbeque, Fourth of July celebration, and summer camp extravaganza.
If you’ve never played corn hole before, have no fear! This is an easy game to get the hang of. Best of all, it is fully team inclusive. If you are looking for the best backyard games that can involve just about everyone, corn hole is a great option.
Another benefit of corn hole is that it can be quite affordable to get a good set. While some of the more custom, sturdy built corn hole sets can run in the hundreds of dollars, you can just as easily find a good set at a big box supermarket for around 30 dollars or so.
- A great option for teamed sports
- Easy to assemble, use, and clean up afterward
- A quick and simple game to teach, so folks of all ages can enjoy it
- Easy to store and transport, so you can enjoy it in your backyard or at a friend or family’s backyard bash
- Some consumers note the lightness of the bags, while good for kids to throw around, makes it difficult to actually score points
Best All in One Game Set
For folks who don’t want to have to choose between all the wonderful options out there for the best backyard games, you are in luck! Grab the JOOLA Sport Squad for five different sports options all in one convenient, easy to assemble set.
This fantastic 5-in-1 backyard sports set is the minimalist sports lover’s dream. The JOOLA Sport Squad set features the ability to play football, baseball, basketball, soccer, and even darts! This set can be assembled up in the backyard with ease in a matter of just a few minutes. It’s so easy to put together, in fact, kids can get involved with the assembly.
If you have a family or friend group full of sports lovers of all ages, this is a great pick for you. Hours of fun await with all the options available in the JOOLA Sport Squad.
- Includes multiple games in a single unit, allowing you to maximize on space and costs
- Allows for a variety of sports that folks of all ages can enjoy
- Easy to assemble and disassemble, so kids can help with setup and teardown
- Wonderful opportunity for adults and kids alike to play sports together
- Can be moved indoors during the winter months so the fun never ends
- Some consumers reported issues with durability after frequent use
Best Winter Game
Who says backyard games are just for the warm weather months? In fact, getting some outdoor time in the cold has incredible benefits. Winter months tend to be when Vitamin D consumption is lowest, and that can lead to a host of health and temperament problems.
You can stay ahead of those discomforts in a fun way by staging the perfect family snowball fight! Using the Snowball Maker, folks of all ages can craft the perfect snowball for a fun, friendly competition. And if you find yourself without snow, have no fear! You can try making your own snow–or use the Snow Maker to craft mud balls or even sand balls!
This fun, multiseason toy will help even little family members to participate happily in fun winter sports. And that will leave everyone feeling happier in the cold months.
- Comes in a multipack, so several family members can use them at once
- Easy enough for kiddos to use with minimal assistance
- Great for making the perfect snowball
- Can be used with a variety of substances, giving it a multiseason appeal.
- Some consumers have reported the Snowball Maker does not last long with frequent use
Best Nighttime Game
It can be a real bummer when the fun of a backyard game has to end with the setting of the sun. But, luckily, that doesn’t have to be the case! If you are looking to extend game time past when it gets dark, we recommend the MOLACHI Ring Toss Game!
This LED light up game is a great option to keep the party rolling late. Older kiddos and adults alike can easily play this game, and with brightly colored rings and a light up stand, it’s easy to play this game well after sunset.
The added challenge of throwing in the dark can even make ring toss that much more fun. This compact, lightweight game is easy to set up and also easy to break back down, which can be very helpful as well when you’re packing it up in the dark.
- Has a lovely LED light up display, perfect for nighttime play
- Can double as a fun ring toss game in the daylight hours as well
- Easy to transport to it can be used for backyard games, camping adventures, and more
- The rings themselves do not light up, which can make them harder to retrieve if they aren’t thrown onto the rings themselves.
Backyard Games Buyer’s Guide
Consider the Ages of All Potential Players
When choosing the best backyard games to have on hand, ages are a necessary consideration. Not only are some games exclusive to younger ages, but some games that are perfect for older kiddos and adults may contain small parts. These can be dangerous for toddlers and infants who, while not included in the game itself, may come across small pieces afterward.
Before purchasing the best backyard game for your setup, be sure to factor into account any debris or choking hazards that could arise from the use of said games.
Consider Buying Multiple Games for Multiple Age Ranges
While there are many great backyard games that can span a wide range of ages, when it comes down to it, the truth is that most games can’t check off every demographic. For this reason, it’s wise to consider purchasing a couple of backyard games so that everyone has something fun to do and no one feels left out or bored.
Take the Weather Into Account
While plenty of backyard games are rated for both indoor and outdoor use, the fact is, some will likely hold up better to unpredictable weather than others. You should also take into account the physical exertion required by certain backyard games.
While something like water balloons can be a great backyard game even in hot weather, as it keeps you cool while you play, certain things like potato sack races may not be advisable on particularly hot days or when air quality is poor.
Before purchasing a backyard game for your family, be sure to consider the kind of weather you will be playing in.
Keep Storage Space in Mind
When it comes to storability, not all of the best backyard games are created equal. Some are designed for a small fit and transportation, but others are meant to be installed only once. Others can be torn down, but it will require some muscles and perhaps a solid investment of your time.
When choosing which are the best backyard games for your lifestyle and game plans, be sure to factor in whether you will want to be able to take these backyard games with you.
Wrapping up the Best Backyard Games for Family Fun
Excited to grab the best backyard games so your family and friends can all have a ball together this year? That’s just one piece of the puzzle to consider! Check out our Backyard Living page for all sorts of other fun backyard details to consider–including backyard design, fun installments for your space, and much more.