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August 20, 2022  |  Lawn & Garden

If you like cornhole and horseshoes, try out these other yard games

There’s no doubt that cornhole and horseshoes are fun games to play. Both have been enjoyed in backyards, parks and on beaches for generations. However, other yard games are just as effective at bringing friends and family together to show off their strategy and skills.

The best yard games are both simple and intriguing to play. In addition, they are appealing to competitors of all ages. 

What makes a yard game fun?

When family and friends gather to spend time together for backyard fun, they often reach for yard games. These games typically aren’t meant to be taken too seriously. Rather, they are ideal for lighthearted competitions. Just like cornhole and horseshoes, other games that are intended for backyard play have several things in common:

  • The instructions are easy to follow. No one wants to spend time figuring out complicated rules when getting together with friends and family for leisure time. Games that can be played right out of the box generate instantaneous excitement. 
  • Competitors can score. Games that have a scoring system allow players to keep track of their progress. This also determines a clear winner once the competition is over, which adds to the excitement of playing.  
  • The game has durable components. Yard games with flimsy pieces won’t last long after rigorous play. On the other hand, a well-made set will last for years.
  • There’s an element of excitement during play. After all, a boring game isn’t likely to be a crowd-pleaser. A game that encourages a little competition and a lot of activity is the way to go. 
  • The game is age-appropriate. This is especially important if kids will be joining in the competition. Games that are versatile and can be played by people of various ages are perfect for family gatherings such as family reunions and birthday parties. 
  • It is easy to transport. While many yard games are indeed played at home in your backyard, they are also suitable for the beach, park, campgrounds and other places where people gather for downtime. 

Yard game categories

The best yard games fall into three categories — classic, unique and trendy. 

Classic yard games 

Classic yard games are those enjoyed by your parents and grandparents but are still relevant. Many modern versions can be played with traditional rules and include the same types of components as versions that came before them. Bocce ball, ring toss, badminton, yard darts and croquet are some classic yard games that are still enjoyed today. 

Unique yard games 

Yard games that are unique may have unexpected rules or eye-catching components. Some games in this class were originally made to be played indoors but have been updated for outdoor play. Other unique games feature oversized components, such as large dice.

Trending yard games 

Have you ever thought about trying your hand at Spikeball? Or do you enjoy watching a game of pickleball? Games like these simple but fascinating competitions have been on trend in recent years.

Yard game tips

From choosing yard games to buy to playing them with the gang, following a few tips will help you make the most out of your outdoor game time. 

  • Poll your family and friends. The best games to buy will be appealing to your opponents and partners. 
  • Opt for variety. Having several games to play will prevent players from tiring of playing the same game over and over again.
  • Choose games that suit the number of players. Most yard games come with components for multiple people to play. 
  • Check out game rules. You’ll be ready to get the fun started by familiarizing yourself with the rules before game day. 
  • Keep it friendly. Backyard game competition should be entertaining and should not result in hard feelings. 

Best yard games to try

Top classic yard games

Hey! Play! Bocce Ball Set

Hey! Play! Bocce Ball Set

This bocce ball set comes with the necessary components to play the classic yard game and includes a carrying case. It includes four red balls, four green balls and a pallino ball. 

Sold by Amazon, Home Depot and Wayfair

Baden Champions Badminton Set

Baden Champions Series Badminton Set

With rackets, shuttlecocks and a complete net setup, this badminton set has everything competitors need to play the game. A case is included for stashing the components after the competition is over. Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

GoSports Six-Player Croquet Set

GoSports Six-Player Croquet Set

With colorful components and easy-to-read instructions, this croquet set is ideal for players of all ages. It includes balls and mallets for six players and comes with a case for transport and storage. Sold by Amazon and Wayfair

Top unique yard games

Topbuy Jumbo 4-to-Score Game Set

Topbuy Jumbo 4-to-Score Game Set

This cool game plays just like the classic board game Connect Four but in a giant size. It’s made of durable materials that are built to withstand frequent play. It has holders for the game pieces, so they are easy to access and keep track of during play. Sold by Wayfair

SWOOC Games-Giant Tower Game

Swooc Giant Tumble Tower

Kids and adults will enjoy testing their skills with this challenging building game. It includes 60 blocks that are made of pine wood that’s both lightweight and durable. Sold by Home Depot, Wayfair and Amazon

JST Gamez Giant Wood Yard Dice

JST Gamez Giant Wood Yard Dice

Playing dice games in the yard is easy with these gigantic dice. They are made of strong pine, so they will hold up well to outdoor play. The set also includes score cards. Sold by Amazon

Top trending yard games

Spikeball Pro Set

Spikeball Pro Set

Spikeball is likely to become your new favorite outdoor game with this comprehensive set that includes well-made balls, a net and a carrying case. It’s a challenging game that’s exciting for kids and adults. Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods and Amazon

Amazin’ Aces Wood Pickleball Set

Amazin’ Aces Wood Pickleball Set

This pickleball set comes with easy-to-maneuver paddles that are made of strong wood. It includes components for four players and a bag for transport and storage. Sold by Amazon 

GoSports Slammo Game Set

GoSports Slammo Game Set

Similar to Spikeball, this set is well-made and features bright colors. The net is easy to set up and works well on almost any outdoor surface. It also comes with three balls. Sold by Wayfair, Home Depot and Amazon 


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Jennifer Manfrin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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