Fun outdoor board games to play with friends and family

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Outdoor board games

As summer approaches and the weather warms up, you may be looking for ways to spend time outdoors with friends and family. Outdoor board games are a great solution, whether it’s your niece’s birthday party, a family reunion, or a date with your best friends and their kids.

Additionally, many of these games are conducive to social distancing protocols if you’re spending time with non-household members (that said, use your best judgment when choosing a game and adjust as needed).

Check out these seven fun options for everyone, kids big and small:

Fun outdoor party games for all ages

Ring toss

Here’s a classic carnival game you can play in your backyard. Get a coffee table, about 24 empty pop or juice bottles, and four hard plastic rings large enough to get around bottlenecks.

Place the bottles on the table quite close to each other. Each player has a designated spot at least four feet from the table (this can be marked with tape to make things fair). They take turns throwing the four rings, aiming around the necks of the bottles. Keep it interesting by moving further away from the table. The challenge increases as your distance increases.

capture the flag

Ruvanti Cloth Kitchen Towels

Capture the flag is a classic. To play, form two or more teams and give each a flag or cloth towel. Each team retreats to a different area in a park, forest, or large outdoor area and hides their flag as best they can from the other team. The only catch is that part of the flag must be visible.

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Once you start, teams race to find each other’s flag and bring it back to their area without getting caught by the other team. You can simplify things by scoring with two hands. Or spice it up with water balloons. If you’re playing at night, you can just use the light from a flashlight instead. The team left with the most uncatched players at the end wins.


GoSports Backyard Bocce Sets with 8 Balls

Originating in Europe, pétanque has long been a favorite of many. You will have a set of two different colored balls for each team (or person), as well as a smaller white ball. Whoever plays first throws the white ball anywhere in front of him.

Then each team takes turns throwing their colored ball as close to the white ball as possible. The team that places their ball closest to the white ball scores a point. You can set the bar for the winning number of points to earn.

giant jenga

Classic Jenga Game

Most people don’t know the story of Jenga: it started in an African village, was adopted into a tech company in London, and is now loved around the world. Many of us grew up with the classic tabletop game, but may not have seen the giant party version that you can play outside with family and friends.

If you’ve never played Jenga, it’s simple. First, you build the tower by alternating three blocks with three blocks. The first player takes a block from any completed level and places it on the highest level to complete it. When a block from the tower falls, the game is over.

bean bag toss

GoSports Cornhole Bean Bag Sets - 16 Colors Available

This fun and simple game involves two teams throwing beanbags into the hole in a board (the target) or simply onto the board itself. You can use different dot variations, like three dots to land in the target and one dot to land on the board. The first team to reach a certain number of points (like 10) wins. To spice up this game, try one with LED lights to play at night.

balloon down

Dusico® Rainbow Balloon Set (100 Pack) 12 inch

Inflate three helium balloons and tie them to a weight to keep them on the ground. Write a different point value on each balloon, such as 25, 50, and 100 (use a Sharpie or other permanent marker for this). Stick a line on the ground and place the balloons at least 15 feet from that point (perhaps closer if playing with children). The lowest rated ball is placed closest, then the next highest and so on.

Put a bucket of small but substantial soccer balls next to your taped line. Each player gets five throws to hit as many balls as possible. They score the ball points they have touched and the person with the most points after five rounds wins.

Frisbee tic tac toe

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Here’s a fun one. Start by creating a tic-tac-toe grid with masking tape or masking tape on a tarp, picnic tablecloth or old shower curtain. You can also do it directly on the floor if that’s enough.

Liberty Imports Plastic Flying Disc Set

You will need at least eight Frisbees, four per team. Take turns tossing a Frisbee into the goal of a square on the board, as in normal X’s and Bones. the first team to get three of their frisbees in a row vertically, horizontally or diagonally wins.

Emma Caplan is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a single mission: to help simplify your buying decisions and save you time and money.

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Joseph K. Bennett