The Best Party Games for an Outdoor Get-Together

published Jul 29, 2015
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Credit: Anna Spaller

The holy trinity of a great get-together is food, refreshments, and entertainment, with bonus points if you can keep everything on theme. For a backyard BBQ, summer picnic, or pool party, that means breezy outdoor games that can be picked up quick to invite everyone in on the fun. With full bellies and happy hearts, your guests will leave your place thinking, “Best. Party. Ever.”

Our list of the best BBQ party games includes some classics, one promising newbie, and a few sized-up yard versions of your game night favorites. Whether you buy or DIY, you and your guests will definitely have a blast.

Giant Jenga

An oversized game that’s been gaining in popularity lately is giant Jenga. It’s a lot more pressure (and fun!) to avoid toppling the tower when you’re playing with 2×3 blocks that can reach up to 5 ft. in height.

Yard Yahtzee

Up the whimsy with oversized dice to play everyone’s favorite dice game in the backyard. Any number of people can play along. You can buy the dice shown above on Walmart, or to make your own set, grab wood blocks, a bucket, and start practicing your “Yahtzee!” scream.


This favorite tailgate game is just at home on your patio or breezeway as it is in a stadium parking lot. If you’re skilled with a saw you can DIY this one, but I recommend leaving the woodwork to the pros and buying a cornhole set like this one from Walmart.

Ladder Golf

This one is my personal favorite for underrated tailgate games. Make a pair of ladders for this game with PVC pipe to toss and play until the sun goes down, then just pack it up and take it to the next BBQ. Or, you can buy a set from places like Walmart for under $40.

Bocce Ball

All my favorite watering holes are installing Bocce Ball courts. It’s a really fun game that’s easy to learn and pick up. All you need is a Bocce Set and a big-ish patch of grass.

KOOB: The Viking Game

I had never heard of this game before until recently, but it sounds like an easy setup and great fun for kids or adults. Check out this video for a quick lesson on how to play.

What are your favorite outdoor party games?

This post was originally published on July 29, 2015, and was last updated on June 6, 2019, to reflect current prices and offerings.