by Cameron Summerson on
If you’re looking to kill some time with a game on your phone, you don’t have to sit around and tap away on the screen. If you want the best gaming experience on mobile, you need to add a controller.
Looking for some entertainment to go with your summer gatherings? Add to the festivities with these awesome lawn games of all shapes and sizes. With so many fun games to play, the party will never end!
Whether you’re more about the classics like bocce ball, the novel like frisbee golf, or if you just like chucking wooden blocks around in a quest for medieval domination (more on that in a moment), we’ve got a lawn game for you and your entire family.
We’ve covered a lot of ground from traditional games (Horseshoes, Kubb, Croquet) newer games (Ladderball, Giant Jenga)—with an emphasis on portability and ease of setup. Even better, all these games are easily adapted for younger players by simply adjusting the play style (like moving the kids closer to the target).
Here are our top picks for the best lawn game kits to spice up your summer festivities.
With this Wham-O Frisbee Golf set, you can combine two popular outdoor activities together to get one crazy combination where you throw your frisbee into the target with the least amount of tosses. Because the frisbees in this game act like both the clubs and ball in golf, the set comes with a pair of each: an orange driver, a green midrange, and a purple putter—allowing you to play competitively at different distances. It also comes with a sturdy golf target that doesn’t get knocked over in the wind. The chains and basket that are part of the target catch the frisbee to help you with your score (and maybe get you a frisbee-in-one).
Horseshoes is a traditional game where two players (or teams) aim their horseshoes at stakes in the ground, and whoever get the horseshoe nearest to or completely around the stake wins. The St. Pierre Professional Series Horseshoes Complete Set comes with 4 durable, 2.5-pound steel horseshoes with non-slip finish to help resist chipping, wear-and-tear, and corrosion.
This kit is perfect for the competitive horseshoe thrower, with a finger positioner for better accuracy and longer tips on the ends to catch the spike after a throw. The St. Pierre also includes two 24-inch steel stakes and a copy of the official rule book in case you want to up your game. If you want to play horseshoes, but you’re not quite ready to pitch like a pro (and you want a cheaper alternative), try the Champion Sports Rubber Horseshoe Set.
Everyone loves Jenga—whether you’re a kid enthralled by this giant set, or you’re an adult who enjoys reminiscing over their childhood. Jenga is a game where two people (or teams) pull blocks out of the stacked tower and place them onto the top without it falling over.
While the giant version of the game is the same as the table top version in terms of design and rules, this version is much, much bigger. The set starts at 2.5 feet tall and can get up to 5 feet tall as play progresses. The blocks are numbered 1 through 8, so you can assign rules to blocks in order to play other Jenga game variants. It even comes with a dry erase board so you can come up with party rules (from matching even or odd numbers, to adult-themed, to whatever goofy house rules you want).
If you’re looking for a game that’s great for all ages, check out Triumph Sport’s Ladderball. This set includes 6 soft ball bolas (3 blue, 3 red) and 3 stands that have 3 levels each. The two teams are positioned next to their opponent’s stand, and they throw the bolas at the different levels: the top rung is worth 3 points, the middle is worth 2, and the bottom is 1. The first team to score 21 without going over is the winner.
Unlike all plastic kits, the metal base and legs of this kit ensure the ladders stay very stable during play—no more boos when somebody knocks over the ladder with a Herculean throw. The kit also has a convenient carrying case and an easy assembly in seconds (with no screws or confusion).
Kubb is a Swedish lawn game that’s said have been played by vikings, which seems pretty plausible given the elements of strategy, medieval theme, and the rustic construction of the pieces. It’s usually played on grass but can be played on dirt, sand, snow—you name it.
If you’ve never played, let alone heard of Kubb, here’s the very basic outline of how you play it. The tall king piece is set in the center of the field of play (think: center court), the rectangular “kubbs” are set up, equally spaced, along the two opposite edges of the field of play (think: pawns in on a chess board), and the players toss the batons across the field of play to knock down their opponents kubbs (with the end goal of knocking over the king). Where it gets really fun is how the knocked down kubbs become soldiers on the opposite side and the field of play quickly changes.
This kit includes everything you need:10 Kubb blocks, 1 King, 6 tossing dowels, 4 stakes to create the playing field, and a tote bag to hold all the pieces. The wood in this Yard Games Kubb kit doesn’t ding easily and can entertain for hours, so if your backyard party is going south, pull out Kubb!
Bocce Ball is a classic backyard barbecue game for the whole family. This kit created by GoSports includes quality bocce balls that are the perfect weight for playing this game, as opposed to cheap plastic balls in alternative games. Accurately aim one of the eight bocce balls at the pallino—the small white ball. Four to eight players can use this game, and you can play it anywhere! Use the small and convenient carrying bag to travel and play wherever you want. For a cheaper alternative, check out this Verus Sports Bocce Set.
Croquet is a leisurely game with a long pedigree—but even if you’re not 19th century English aristocrat you can enjoy it in your backyard. This croquet kit from Maggift lets 2 to 6 players of all ages and all playing levels to compete. The kit comes with 6 mallet heads and handles to screw together (with caps on the ends of the mallets for added protection), along with 6 multi-colored, water resistant balls and 9 wickets to hit the croquet balls through.
Not only is croquet fun for adults looking for something low key to do while sipping a drink, kids love the challenge of knocking the balls through the series of wickets—and, in fact, you might just have found the perfect game to keep young kids occupied so the adults can put their feet up for a spell.
We kept ease of setup and portability in mind with the entries of this list, so the Himal Portable Corn Hole set is obviously more convenient than your average wooden corn hole game. This set folds up and fits into a bag for transportability and ease—great for traveling, tailgating, or just for playing a round in your backyard. It’s smaller than your standard corn hole set, too, but it’s just as fun and plays the same. The Himal Portable Corn Hole set comes with 8 bean bags (4 blue, 4 red) and two 3×2 foot “boards.” If you’re looking for the classic wooden game of corn hole, check out this Tailgating Pros Corn Hole set.
If horseshoes, frisbee golf, or ladderball don’t have enough throwing for your backyard party’s tastes, then check out this other classic throwing game: The Elite Sportz Equipment Ring Toss game. It has an easy setup, with the playing field simply the space around the ring posts. You can play ring toss outside, but if it starts to rain and you bring our party inside, ring toss can come along, too! To play, you can toss the five rope rings at the wooden rods sticking out of the cross and see who gets the most points; there are even 10 bonus plastic rings to add to the competition. The Elite Sportz Equipment Ring Toss game is great practice for coordination and addition, helping you to not only aim, but to add to your score after a toss.
The last, but certainly not least, of our picks for best lawn games is Mini Backyard Bowling, or Skittles, by Uber Games. This kit comes with 10 pins, which are the skittles, that are 9 inches tall and 3 inches in diameter. It also includes 3 hardwood balls which are 3 inches in diameter. The objective is to knock over the skittles with as little hits as possible just like the lane-based bowling you’re likely familiar with already.
Just like the bocce ball set listed earlier, the balls are heavy and are the perfect weight to roll through grass and knock over the pins. If you’re looking for a cheaper, more kid-friendly alternative to this kit, check out the iPlay, iLearn Kids Bowling Play Set.
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