April 7, 2024


Day With badminton

The 10 Best Lawn Games for Summer 2022

6 min read
yard games

Popular Mechanics; Courtesy GoSports

Sitting around outside when the weather is nice is a pleasure that should be savored. But after several weeks of blissed-out contemplation, all of that fresh air can get a bit stale.

Get things moving again and inject some fun and whimsy into your time outside with lawn games. Many outdoor games are kid-friendly, but most are also designed to keep adults engaged too. We’ve found that family game night gets an instant upgrade when you’re outside. Adult parties and barbecues are also more of a hit when there’s a little innocent competition added to the mix.

There are a number of fantastic lawn game options out there, so we decided to make things easier by narrowing things down for you. Game on!

Best Lawn Games

What to Consider

Picking the perfect lawn game for you and your crew depends on players’ ages and activity levels, as well as the number of players and where the game will be played. Some of our selections (like checkers and ring toss) will appeal to the younger members of the family first, while others may initially draw in older crowds (bocce ball).

Where relevant, we mention appropriate age ranges for players. Games such as badminton, capture the flag, and spikeball require more physical exertion and hand-eye coordination than others. For classic lawn games like bocce and croquet you’ll need more space than, say, a game of cornhole. But many of the games we cover come with carrying cases so you can take them to the park, beach, or big backyard barbecue.

How We Selected

Our selection includes a wide range of the most popular lawn games for adults and kids alike, all with average customer ratings of 4 stars or more. We sought out professional and consumer assessments for every game we write about, and the games span multiple price points, from under $20 for a supersized checkerboard to $150 for a spikeball set.

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Best Supersized

Jumbo 3-In-1 Board Game

This supersized, two-sided game board features checkers on one side and two versions of Tic Tac Toe on the other. The 2.5-foot square woven rug is machine-washable and comes with 24 jumbo checkers: 12 red, and 12 black.

The game is light enough to be toted around on the go for park picnics or parties, and is a huge hit at game night, barbecues, and birthday parties. Reviewers love the size for teaching young kids the strategy of playing checkers, which—fun fact—has been around since 3,000 B.C.E.


Best Glow-in-the-Dark Game

Capture the Flag Redux

Capture the Flag is taken to the next level with this set, which includes 25 glow-in-the-dark game pieces so you can play well after the sun goes down.

This updated take on the age-old game, based on battlefield tactics that date back to the Civil War, is four to eight players, but you can expand teams for up 20 players by downloading other variations.

The game is recommended for players ages 8 and up and comes with eight light-up wristbands, eight jail markers, five territory lights, and two glowing “flag” orbs, plus batteries are included.


Best Classic Lawn Game

Croquet Set With Carrying Case

Modern croquet is a lawn game that gained popularity in mid-19th century England and made its way to the U.S. around the same. While there are variations on the classic game, garden croquet traditionally involves players on two teams hitting balls in sequence through a series of hoops (aka wickets) using wooden mallets.

This official set includes six 26-inch-long solid wooden mallets, six 3-inch croquet balls, two solid wooden stakes, nine wickets, and a carrying case to haul it all around as needed. It’s recommended for players ages 6 and up.


Best Building Game

Giant Wooden Toppling Tower

This giant toppling tower is similar to a large-scale version of Jenga, where players take turns adding wooden blocks to the structure until it become unstable and collapses. You start with a 2.5-foot base, and if everyone’s architectural skills are on point, the tower tops 5 feet in height.

The high-quality set includes 54 giant blocks made from sanded, knot-free pine, a dry erase board is to make your own optional (silly or serious) rules, and a convenient carrying case so you can bring it to game night at a friend’s house. If kids under the age of 12 are playing, adult supervision is recommended.


Best Bocce Set

Backyard Bocce Set

The Italian bowling game similar to bowls (England) and boules (France) actually dates back to ancient Egypt. It made its way to Rome around 600 B.C.E., and today is enjoying new popularity in North America.

This bocce set includes eight 3.5-inch balls (two red, two green, two blue, and two yellow) made from poly-resin, which gives them the perfect weight and bounce, and delivers a satisfying “knock” sound when they hit each other. Also included in the set is a pallino (the small white ball used as a target), a device to measure distance, and carrying case.

You can choose between hard or soft balls; hard balls are recommended for players ages 12 and up for play on bocce courts, grass, or sand. Soft balls are better for younger kids.


Best Badminton Set

Portable Badminton Set

Badminton didn’t evolve into its current guise until India formalized the rules of the game in the late 19th century, but dates back roughly 2,000 years to ancient Greece.

Now, countries across the world play the game, which requires a modicum of skill and physical activity. This set features a 10-foot net, two steel badminton rackets, two shuttlecocks, and a storage box base.

It’s easy to set up and suitable for one-on-one or larger group play. You can also use it to play volleyball. The set is easy to transport, and when packed into the box, fits easily into the trunk of a car.


Best Party Game

Spikeball Pro Kit

If you’re in need of a fast-paced, all-ages game, Spikeball’s got your back. Ideally suited for four players, the fun, active, and competitive game is played with volleyball-adjacent rules. (A rule book is included in the set).

The durable 45-inch net offers a stable playing surface, and the textured pro balls will add spin and control to your game. Spikeball is for all ages, and can be modified for any level of fitness.

This is a great purchase if you want an active game, but don’t have a ton of space. The set comes with a carrying case for easy transportation and storage.


Best Ring Toss

Ring Toss Game

Ring toss is the kind of mindless, repetitive game that (counter-intuitively) can keep people of all ages engaged for hours. This set can be used inside—it’s a great backup for restless kids on rainy days—or outdoors, by one player or a big group.

Setup is intuitive and the space it requires is minimal. The kit includes three sets of rings (three red, three blue, and three rope), a wooden peg base, and a carry bag, and is a customer favorite, with an average 4.5 stars from nearly 10,000 reviewers.


Best Cornhole Set

Classic Cornhole Set

Cornhole seems like a distinctly American invention, but some trace its origins 14-century German cabinetmaker, who created the game after seeing kids competitively throw stones into a hole. Others insist a Kentucky farmer came up with the game in the 19th century.

Whatever the case may be, cornhole is now a classic American lawn game that is as engrossing as it is simple. This set features two 3 by 2–foot rustic wooden boards—which come in two sizes and six designs—eight bean bags, and a carrying case.


Best Ladder Toss

Ladder Toss Game Set

This supersized Ladder Toss game is twice the size of the standard game. It can be set up and broken down in seconds, making it a great option for tailgating, parties on the beach, and park fun.

The set is more than 4 feet tall, made from sturdy PVC, and includes tennis ball bolos (three red, three blue), two giant targets with score trackers, a carrying case, and rules.

Ladder Toss is an easy to learn game for two-six people, and can be played with kids or adults one-on-one or in teams. Reviewers love how sturdy this set is compared to similar options from competitors.

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