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Ready, Set, Fun: The Best Outdoor Games For Summer


Summer 2020 is officially the summer of the great outdoors. International travel may be out but close-to-home activities (like barbecuing, picnicking, and inflatable pools) are all still on — and many can occur from the comfort of our very own yards. Since maintaining social distance outside is a safe and easy way to make the most of the sunshine season, why not include some lawn (and adult) friendly games to take the fun up a notch?

Board games and puzzles were a solid way to pass the time during our March-through-May lockdowns, but now that the sun’s out we’re drawn to the grass — and games like cornhole and ladder ball — like moths to a flame. When thinking about how to stay busy while remaining responsible over the next few months, these sorts of outdoor activities are ideal (since they effectively engage players in a healthy dose of outside entertainment while also requiring them to stand far apart). You might even be compelled to relive your playground glory days with some tetherball or human-sized round of Connect 4.

Ahead, we’ve put together a list of 15 such outdoor games to enjoy with your family and friends under this summer’s sun.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

EastPoint Sports Deluxe Bean Bag Toss

Also known as cornhole, this popular lawn game was practically invented with the concept of social distancing in mind. Place the two boards far apart from one another, split up into teams, grab your beanbags, and get tossing.

EastPoint Sports Deluxe Bean Bag Toss, $, available at Walmart

Franklin Sports Washer Toss Set

For a different take on competitive chucking, consider washer toss — also known as tailgate toss — for some good old-fashioned fun. Earn points when you washer lands anywhere inside the box, and score big when it lands in the cup.

Franklin Sports Washer Toss Set in Red/White/Blue, $, available at Bed Bath & Beyond

Win Sports Yard Dice Set

Supersize any of your favorite games of chance with this garden-friendly set of classic, 6-sided die made to withstand the elements of the outdoors.

Win SPORTS Giant Wooden Lawn Game, $, available at Amazon

Franklin Sports Backyard Foot Golf Set

Appeal to soccer and golf fans alike with this yard game that’s quick to set up. It comes with three target holes and an inflatable soccer ball so you have everything you need to get a game going in no time.

Franklin Sports Backyard Foot Golf Set, $, available at Bed Bath and Beyond

Costway Jumbo Connect 4

If you and your game crew are a mix of crafty and competitive, consider this childhood classic — but with an adult-human-sized twist.

Costway Jumbo 4-to-Score 4 in A Row Giant Game Set Kids Adults, $, available at Walmart

Bounce Battle Game

The options are endless with a wooden grid and ping pong ball combo. From Tic-Tac-Toe to H-O-R-S-E and everything in between, you and your friends are in for hours of fast-paced fun.

Uncommon Goods Bounce Battle Game, $, available at Uncommon Goods

Park and Sun Sports Outdoor Yellow 3-Pole Tetherball

For a backyard-friendly blast from the past, play the day away with a good ol’ tetherball set — complete with all the fixings for easy-to-assemble fun.

Park and Sun Sports Outdoor Yellow 3-Pole Tetherball, $, available at Walmart

GoSports Wooden Toppling Tower

This five-foot twist on a childhood classic packs up seamlessly in a convenient carrying case so you can take your game on-the-go to the beach, the BBQ, the park, and beyond.

GoSports Wooden Toppling Tower, $, available at Amazon

Kan Jam Ultimate Disc Game

Frisbee fans, this one’s for you: Kan Jam includes a goal with an open-top as well as a side slot and depending on how you strike the goal, or if you manage to make the disc in through the slot, you’ll score points or win instantly.

Kan Jam Ultimate Disc Game, $, available at Walmart

Spikeball Standard 3 Ball Kit

As seen on Shark Tank, Spikeball is a fun, fast-paced, 2-on-2 outdoor sports game that’s kind of like volleyball… if volleyball was played off a bouncy net as opposed to over it.

Spikeball Standard 3 Ball Kit, $, available at Amazon

Mölkky Outdoor Throwing Game

Mölkky is a simple but strategic game that’s similar to lawn bowling. It’s easy to learn and the game pieces are made in Finland using wood responsibly sourced from local forests.

Mölkky Outdoor Throwing Game, $, available at The Grommet

Go Gater! Premium Steel Ladderball Set

Upgrade your current flimsy, plastic ladderball set (or, as some call it, monkeyball) with a high-quality, premium steel alternative for longer-lasting game time.

Go! Gater Premium Steel Ladderball Set, $, available at Walmart

Swimline Game Station Set With Waterproof Playing Cards

Take your favorite card competition from table to pool — yes, pool — with this waterproof game station featuring inflatable sling seats, drink holders, a gloating table, and waterproof playing cards. You can even connect the chairs to the table so your opponent can’t get away with floating away to avoid defeat.

Swimline Game Station Set With Waterproof Playing Cards, $, available at Swim Outlet

FBSPORT Portable Badminton Net Set

Set up and take down your badminton game in just under five minutes, with no stakes or tools required. This portable 10-ft. net, complete with badminton rackets, shuttlecocks, and a storage box base, means team-sport action is just a few seconds away.

FBSPORT Portable Badminton Net Set, $, available at Amazon

Baden Champions Series Bocce Ball Set

Get in touch with your inner old Italian dude with a game of bocce enjoyed on a sunny summer’s day.

Baden Champions Series Bocce Ball Set, $, available at Kohl’s

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