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11 Ways to Have Fun this Summer in Your Backyard

Family and friends dancing together in a backyard on a sunny summer day

For kids (and adults, too), summer is all about being outside and finding a million different ways to have fun. From swimming to simple games, we found a few options that’ll keep your kids safely entertained for hours and hours right in your own backyard.

Of course, when you need a break in between games, check out these other ways to have fun in your backyard. Create your own outdoor movie night, grill up a tasty meal, or even explore the cosmos once the sun goes down. The good thing about summer is that there are comfortable temperatures and plenty of free time to try out all kinds of family-friendly activities.

Swim in An Above-Ground Pool

A family enjoying swimming in an above-ground pool in their backyard

Hands down, the best way to stay cool during summer (while having fun) is a pool. Investing in an in-ground pool is costly and requires year-round maintenance, so skip that and go with an above-ground pool instead. They’re way less expensive and are easier to fill up and keep clean. While a small kiddie pool is all you’ll need for toddlers, a medium-sized pool is your best bet for large families because it’ll provide plenty of space for splashing. Don’t forget to have music at your pool party, too!

Swim in an Above-Ground Pool

Serve Up a Game of Badminton

A badminton game setup with a net, rackets, and shuttlecocks

If your family is competitive, Badminton is a great game to play. It’s inexpensive to purchase, and it works for teams as well as for epic one-on-one throwdowns. Thanks to its simple rules, it’s easy enough for kids to play, too. The shuttlecocks and rackets are lightweight as well, so they’re not likely to cause injury or break anything.

Serve Up a Game of Badminton

EastPoint Sports Badminton Sets Outdoor Games – Easy Setup Badminton, 4-Way Badminton, and Badminton Racket & Shuttlecock Sets

This regulation badminton set includes four rackets, two shuttlecocks, and a fold-up net and stand.

Level-Up Your Throwing Skills with Cornhole

Two plain cornhole boards and eight toss bags

Though Cornhole’s roots come from tailgating, it’s become a popular backyard game and even a staple at restaurants and pubs, too. It’s fun for kids, but honestly, it’s super fun for adults to play, especially if you space the boards out super far. You can make the game your own by adding punishments or extra challenges for each side to complete.

Level-Up Your Throwing Skills with Cornhole

Triumph Premium 2x3 Cornhole Set - Includes 2 Portable, Scratch Resistant Bag Toss Boards and 8 Cornhole Bags

The set includes two portable 2x3' boards, four red toss bags, and four blue toss bags.

Try Glow-in-the-Dark Lawn Darts

Lawn darts flying through the air towards glow in the dark target rings

Sure, regular ol’ lawn darts are a hoot and a half, but think about how awesome it’d be if it glowed in the dark so you could play it at night! The game is simple and the giant darts are soft and lightweight, making them easy for adults and kids of all ages to throw. It’s up to you where you place the glow-in-the-dark targets—on the ground or hanging from a tree branch for an added challenge. Be sure to let them charge beforehand if you’ll be using them at night, however. Game on!

Try Glow in the Dark Lawn Darts

Blast Away in a NERF Gun Battle

Boys with NERF guns at playground

Make sure you’re well-equipped for your next NERF battle. The colorful guns and their foam-tipped darts are fun for everyone, and you’ll be sure to win your next fight if you’ve got the right one in hand. You’ll also probably win if you’ve got a few of the larger ones stashed away in a bush somewhere for backup against your opponents. And don’t forget to bring your tactical vest that’s stocked with extra ammo.

Claim Your Stake in Croquet

Croquet set with mallets, balls, wickets, and stakes

Croquet is a game about patience and strategy … and knocking other players off the map. Croquet sets work for two to six players and can be set up in infinite configurations. Even though it’s supposed to be played on a flat grassy area, we won’t tell anyone if you wanna go nuts and set it up in the part of your yard that’s got dips or an incline for an added challenge.

Claim Your Stake in Croquet

ropoda Six-Player Croquet Set with Wooden Mallets, Colored Balls, Sturdy Carrying Bag for Adults &Kids, Perfect for Lawn,Backyard,Park and More.

This six-player set has colorful wooden mallets and matching balls, 9 wickets, and 2 ending stakes.

Fire Away with Super Soakers

super soaker water guns load pump blast

It’s hard to picture a more iconic summer activity than chasing around your siblings and friends with a water gun. They’re a great way to stay cool while running around, and they’re cheaper than buying a pool (bonus points if you’ve got both, though)!

Hit the Mark in Bocce

set of bocce balls and market ball on grass
Hey! Play!

Bocce, or Italian lawn bowling, is yet another game that makes use of your target practice skills (and your competitive side). You’ll throw the pallino marker ball, then take turns trying to throw your team’s balls closest to it. Traditionally, Bocce is played with two teams, but you can purchase larger sets with gear for four teams if you’ve got a big group.

Hit the Mark in Bocce

Connect Four … for Giants

Giant connect four outdoor set with adult and kid playing together

Connect Four is already a fun game for the entire family, so of course it’d be even more fun in giant form. Team up and take turns trying to line up four coins of the same color horizontally, vertically, or diagonally in order to win. Don’t forget to strategically block your opponent from doing the same, however.

Connect Four...for Giants

Amazon Basics Giant 4-In-A-Row Set - 3-Foot, Wood Finish

The wooden frame measures 3 feet and is sturdy enough to sit on grass or cement, and includes 21 coins in either color.

Bump into Friends in a Bumper Ball

Friends in inflatable bumper ball suits running into each other in a backyard

Inflatable bumper balls are fun for older kids and adults, and they’re a great way to stay active. Battle a friend and run into each other without worrying about getting hurt. Don’t worry—bumper balls have handles inside along with shoulder straps for added stability, and they’re highly resistant to wear and tear. Some brands even have confetti pockets or built-in LED lights for extra fun. Just remember to not overinflate them!

Bump Into Friends in a Bumper Ball

Strategize in Stealth with Laser Tag

Four colorful laser tag guns and vests

Sure NERF guns and super soakers are fun, but nothing beats a great game of laser tag! Pick teams and sneak around the trees and bushes in your backyard trying to tag the other team. It’s also worth investing in laser tag vests that have adjustable sizing, and guns with features like gun types, battle modes, team formations, life value indicators, speakers, and more so players can have a realistic laser tag arena experience.

Strategize in Stealth with Laser Tag

All of these games are great ways to have fun with your family outside this summer, but they’re not your only options. You’re only limited by your imagination. Hopefully, they keep your kids entertained or inspire you to create some new backyard games of your own!

Suzanne Humphries Suzanne Humphries
Suzanne Humphries was a Commerce Editor for Review Geek. She has over seven years of experience across multiple publications researching and testing products, as well as writing and editing news, reviews, and how-to articles covering software, hardware, entertainment, networking, electronics, gaming, apps, security, finance, and small business. Read Full Bio »