6 Outdoor Games for Barbecues - Home & Texture
Entertaining Outdoor Games

6 Outdoor Games That Are Perfect for Your Next Barbecue

Add a little friendly competition and endless entertainment to your summer get-togethers.

By
May 21, 2024 at 10:39 PM PST
Updated on May 21, 2024 at 10:39 PM PST
Entertaining Outdoor Games

6 Outdoor Games That Are Perfect for Your Next Barbecue

Add a little friendly competition and endless entertainment to your summer get-togethers.

By
May 21, 2024 at 10:39 PM PST
Updated on May 21, 2024 at 10:39 PM PST

The backyard barbecue is the perfect setting for many things. Good food, good company, and especially good times. Enjoying the outdoors with games meant to be enjoyed in the sunshine can bring an extra dash of excitement to your get-togethers. And, if you have loved ones in your circle that have a competitive streak — even better. Mix things up by trying these games, made to be enjoyed in your backyard, and your next barbecue will definitely be a hit.

Photo credit: RichLegg

1. Cornhole: The Classic Crowd-Pleaser

No barbecue is complete without cornhole. This classic game involves tossing bean bags at a raised platform with a hole in it, aiming to get the bags in the hole or at least on the board. It’s simple, yet surprisingly addictive. Plus, it’s perfect for all ages and skill levels.

How To Play Cornhole

  • 1. Divide into two teams.
  • 2. Take turns throwing the bean bags.
  • 3. Score points by landing the bags on the board (1 point) or through the hole (3 points).
  • 4. First team to 21 points wins.

2. Giant Jenga: Nostalgia for the Kids at Heart

If you think regular Jenga is nerve-wracking, wait until you try Giant Jenga. This oversized version of the beloved game brings a new level of excitement—and potential for disaster. The rules are the same: remove one block at a time from the tower and place it on top, trying not to be the one to make it tumble.

How To Play Giant Jenga

  • 1. Stack the Jenga blocks to form a solid tower.
  • 2. Players take turns removing one block at a time and placing it on top of the tower.
  • 3. The game continues until the tower collapses.
  • 4. The player who causes the collapse is the loser—or, depending on how you look at it, the one who provided the most entertainment.
Photo credit: Maskot

3. Bocce Ball: Made for Analytic Thinkers

This Italian classic is all about precision and strategy, making it a great choice for those who enjoy a bit of friendly competition without breaking a sweat.

How To Play Bocce Ball

  • 1. Divide into two teams.
  • 2. One team throws the small target ball (the pallino) onto the playing area.
  • 3. Teams take turns throwing their bocce balls, trying to get as close to the pallino as possible.
  • 4. The team with the ball closest to the pallino scores points.
  • 5. Play to a predetermined number of points (usually 12 or 16).

4. Spikeball: For the Energetic Crowd

Spikeball is the perfect game for those who love a bit of high-energy action. Think of it as a mix between volleyball and four square, with a twist. It’s fast-paced, easy to learn, and a great way to get everyone moving.

How To Play Spikeball

  • 1. Set up the Spikeball net and divide into two teams of two.
  • 2. Serve the ball by hitting it onto the net so it bounces towards the opposing team.
  • 3. Teams have up to three hits to return the ball by bouncing it off the net.
  • 4. The rally continues until one team fails to return the ball.

5. Ladder Toss: A New Favorite

Ladder toss — or ladder golf — is quickly becoming a barbecue staple. The game involves tossing bolas, AKA two balls connected by a string, onto a ladder-like structure with three rungs, each worth different points.

How To Play Ladder Toss

  • 1. Set up the ladder structure.
  • 2. Divide into two teams.
  • 3. Take turns tossing the bolas onto the ladder rungs.
  • 4. The top rung is worth 3 points, the middle 2 points, and the bottom 1 point.
  • 5. First team to 21 points wins.
Photo credit: SolStock

6. Water Balloon Toss: Hit Refresh

For those hot summer days, a water balloon toss is both fun and refreshing. It’s simple: toss a water balloon back and forth with a partner, taking a step back after each successful catch. The last pair standing with an intact balloon wins.

How To Play Water Balloon Toss

  • 1. Fill a bunch of water balloons.
  • 2. Pair up players and have them stand close together.
  • 3. Toss the balloon back and forth, taking a step back after each catch.
  • 4. Continue until all balloons are popped—the last pair with an intact balloon wins.




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