Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)
And while we’ve written about a lot of games you can play — including the best two-player board games and the best board games for families — here we’ve rounded up the best outdoor games, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.
Best-rated outdoor game
“Spikeball is one of the greatest lawn games ever invented,” asserts one reviewer, listing the reasons. “It is easy to carry with you, easy to setup, and is an easy game for anyone to pick up on quickly.” “Fun” is a word used in hundreds of reviews, and the general consensus is that this is a game for all ages. “We’ve played with 5 years old to 65 years old…even a pregnant mom,” one reviewer writes. As one reviewer describes it, “It’s essentially volleyball, but instead of the ball going over the net, once it HITS the net the other team takes service.” That’s why several reviewers say it’s a great form of cardio. Many also love how easy it is to take this game wherever the party is going. “We really enjoy playing this game in the grass, on the beach, while camping, and more,” one reviewer says, adding “you do need a pretty large, open area in order to play, but everything assembles and disassembles easily and quickly so it’s easy to transport!”
Best-rated (less-expensive) outdoor game
One reviewer has a pretty simple answer as to why this game is such a hit: “I mean who can toss a rubber chicken without laughing, right?” Many reviewers mention all the laughs and giggles their families get of playing this game. “Huge hit with our family and we bring it to all our get togethers,” one writes. “Everyone gets a good laugh out of it, but they actually play it.” Even those who “have no idea what the game was really supposed to be,” like one reviewer, they still “had fun playing with the rubber chickens.” Dozens of others describe ditching the instructions altogether and enjoying making up their own games like “toss and catch the chicken, and who can toss their chicken the highest” as one user did. The chickens float, so many report taking this game into the pool too.“It’s a little silly looking so we got a lot of attention of the beach,” admits one reviewer, :but it’s light and easy to transport,” making it great for taking on vacation — as long as you’re not flying to your destination. “The TSA agent at the airport was sure we they were full of contraband, so we had to sacrifice one to get the others through.”
And now for some micro-picks for every type of outdoor game you might be looking for.
Best cornhole set
“This Cornhole PRO bean bag toss game set is what I’d classify as the Cadillac of corn hole boards,” writes one reviewer. Quality is a word that comes up in dozens of reviews, and many also like that these foldable boards are easy to transport, especially compared to the classic wooden kind. “I’ve played on a lot of different sets in my day and I have to say, this one is up there,” one reviewer writes. “The portability is great, it isn’t too light (you don’t want the boards shifting all around) but they also aren’t too heavy to lug around long distances.” While many reviews mention the ease of taking this game to the beach or on a camping trip, this set of corn hole is also light enough to make the trip to “Aruba and Mexico” according to one reviewer. Wherever you finally set up, according to one reviewer, you’ll be able to play for a long time. “The boards and bags stood up well through intense play,” they write. “The bean bags have not split apart, despite their use on a paved parking lot!”
Best lightweight cornhole set
As one reviewer puts it, “This isn’t competition ready, but it’s great for recreational fun,” and according to reviewers fun can happen anywhere since this set is so portable. With this you will be “beach, backyard and tailgate ready,” according to one reviewer. Another mentions how “simple” it is to “take along and easy to store” because it breaks down into a bag. “We have taken this to family bbq’s and camping,” one reviewer writes adding that it is “easy to assemble, and a compact carrying case make this super convenient.” Other reviewers raved about the price. “There are lots of more expensive options out there, but I’ll tell ya, this gets the job done at a much more affordable price point.”
Best outdoor game for grass
Though we’ve written about Molkky before — after our managing editor Maxine Builder discovered this European lawn game in Paris a couple summers ago — many reviewers either hadn’t heard of Molkky before they ordered it but were pleasantly surprised by how fun the game is. “Easy to set up, simple rules, lots of trash talking — it all adds up to fun times for our family,” one reviewer writes. The simple rules make this a hit among all ages, as many reviewers point out, and among large groups. “Fun for any number of players (unlike Bocce or Cornhole, where you are limited to 2 or 4),” one reviewer writes adding that it is “good for kids, as they can throw from a little closer, and more importantly, if they get bored and quit, it doesn’t end the game for all.” One user compared the game as “combining the best elements of horseshoes, bocce, with the hand eye coordination of cornhole,” but many simply describe as similar to bowling.
A common warning about the game is that it is best suited for the grass. “It does require a flat yard with shorter grass to get the pegs to stand up,” one reviewer writes. Another says, “We played on asphalt one day and it chewed up the pins a bit.” As long as you do the necessary prep work, you’ll hopefully find, like one of our editors did, that “it’s still slow-paced enough to drink a beer and chat with your friend while you play, which is really the main reason to play any lawn game.”
Best lawn horseshoes set
This game is much safer than the original which comes with iron shoes and an iron base,” one reviewer points out, which is why so many users purchased this rubber horseshoe set for kids. “My family plays horseshoe’s quite often in the summer,” one reviewer writes. “We have an adult set and the kids always want to play. The horseshoes are just too heavy for them. Bought this set so that my children could play. They love it.” Another reviewer notes that it is also a good alternative to the “plastic type you can find in party stores,” because these rubber shoes “are heavy enough to not get carried away by the wind, but are not too heavy for young children.” If kids aren’t a concern, another reviewer points out the material protects dogs and possessions as well.
Best outdoor game for kids
Reviewers have decided that this upgraded version of capture the flag is great for kids. “We ordered this for my son’s 14th birthday,” one reviewer writes. “ All of the kids loved it! We had children from 6 to 14, plus adults, and everyone played.” “This is a great way to get kids moving!” another reviewer writes. “The kids enjoyed this way more than the usual flashlight tag.” Another parent raved about how great this set is for birthdays. “When my son got it for his birthday, we took it to a party with a bunch of kids,” they explain. “They played this as soon as it got dark and couldn’t stop playing.” While you might think outdoor games and summer go hand in hand, this game is so fun kids love playing it year round, according to one reviewer. “We play at a big open field behind the kids school even during the cold months,” they write. “The kids just dress warm and wear mittens, and all the running around keeps them plenty warm.” If the price is a deterrent, this reviewer will tell you it is worth every penny. “I was hesitant to order this game because of the price, but it is worth every penny, and then some,” the write. “My son got this for his birthday and every time he brings it out, it is a HIT. The kids (and adults!) all come in exhausted, laughing and claiming how much they love the game.”
Best boozy outdoor game
“Basically, it’s giant beer pong,” explains one reviewer, though many others note that alcohol isn’t required to enjoy this game. “This game was simple and quick to learn and it seemed that people of all ages enjoyed playing it throughout the night,” one reviewer writes. However, another reviewer notes that it’s “Super fun to drink outside playing, way more fun and interesting than Cornhole. Players also appreciate that it comes with different sets of balls so they can play anywhere. “The bouncy balls work great on concrete for bounce shots,” one explains, adding, “The bean bag balls are great for underhand throws and the oversized ping pong balls are good for a beer pong style throw.” One reviewer points out that with these extra sets, “It’s almost like three different games in one.”
Best yard Yahtzee game
One reviewer saw this set of giant dice “at a graduation party this summer and literally ordered it from the party.” In addition to graduation parties reviewers love these for family vacations and barbecues, too. “We are huge Yahtzee fans and bought this game for a family BBQ,” one reviewer writes. “Everyone loved it and had a great time sitting outside playing. The dice are the perfect size, great quality and really loved the dry eraser scoreboard and travel bag.” Another notes this set is “better than I expected.” “They are large and well made but not too heavy to carry or use,” one user writes. “They are real wood and smell nice. They corners are all rounded and the sides are smooth.” Many players tack on a bucket to their order when buying this game to “get the Yahtzee feel” as one user put it and “shake up and throw the dice.”
Best outdoor Connect 4
Reviewers rave about how nice this Connect 4 set looks, which is probably why many users deem it good enough to use during special occasions. “This is everything!” one reviewer writes. “The pellets are smooth and the wood is beautiful.” Another says that it’s “almost too nice to have outside.” Pun probably intended, this newlywed says, “It was also a BIG hit as one of the games at our wedding.” A soon-to-be wed reviewer says they “will be using at our outdoor wedding reception, along with some other ‘giant’ games.” Another happy player writes, “Good quality workmanship, fits together nice. The plastic coating on the wood pucks is durable and haven’t had any issues. Only bad thing I have is the noise of the falling pucks as that means we cannot play after the little one is in bed as we would likely wake her up, but that is minor, to say the least.”
Best yard Jenga
Reviewers are really impressed with how durable this Jenga set is. “I own a party rental company and my ‘Giant Jenga’ games go out almost every weekend,” one reviewer writes. “I have four sets from another company, and the blocks are hollow so when they fall they sometimes break or split open. The Giant Toppling Towers I received from Go Sport is exactly what I have been looking for (solid wood blocks). We love them and I’m sure my customers will too.” Another reviewer mentioned that the blocks “hold up to the punishment of young kids.” On the flip side a reviewer warns that because the blocks themselves are so strong it puts everything else at risk. This user recommends putting them on a surface that can “withstand the dings and dents,” that come with this game toppling over. However, one reviewer, who calls this game a “go-to” for their family, says, “We have had groups of family and friends as large as ten playing. To a person, everyone has had a lot of fun and gets very wrapped up in the game. … If you’re thinking about buying this set, definitely go ahead and make the purchase you’ll be happy with your decision!”
Best active outdoor game
“If you’re not playing Kan Jam, your life is a meaningless waste,” states one reviewer, which might sound harsh but sums up how much fun reviewers think this game is. “This is a ridiculously fun and easy lawn game,” another reviewer writes. “It’s got the strategy of horseshoes with the fun of a team activity. The rules are simple, the equipment is made to last — if you are looking for a semi-active game to bring to the beach, family barbecue, or even company picnic, this is it!” Many reviewers mention how this game has gotten their whole family involved and even inspired annual tournaments. “It’s a team game so fun to get the whole family involved,” one reviewer writes. Another says it, “really helps create community and friendly competition.”
Best bocce ball set
Many reviewers mention these bocce balls might not be regulation size, but there are plenty of novices who are playing for fun and find them just fine. “I do not know if they are tournament size, but I don’t play in any tournaments other than the one my 7-year old boy orchestrates in the yard,” one reviewer writes. For their purposes, “the balls are substantial. The markings are easy to identify. And the quality overall is great for the price.” Like this reviewer, many mention this is a great price for a bocce ball set. “I’ve paid way more for a set that doesn’t stand up to these,” a more experienced player writes, “as much as $300 for a ‘traditional set’ in my past. But these come in a slight bag and easy to store, carry and balls feel great in your hand. And work like a champ to beat your opponent … Even traditionalists will enjoy the feel and touch of playing a game with these.”
Best outdoor game for the pool
Dozens of reviewers say this game is great to play in the water. “Think CornHole in the pool,” as one user describes it. “The buckets float nicely in the pool and the balls did not sink,” another reviewer explains. “It is easy to put together and take apart. It is larger than I envisioned, but very lightweight and carries nicely in the bag that comes with the game.” Other reviewers say they like the game because of its versatility. “Best part about this game is that you can play on land or in the water,” one writes, which means this game does not actually require a pool. No matter where you play, one reviewer writes this game is “more fun than 3 stackable buckets should be.”
Best ladder toss set
“As usual, AmazonBasics has created a great value ladder ball set,” writes one satisfied reviewer, who explains, “I got a cheap set and it broke almost immediately with the first play. This set while not expensive has thicker PVC tubes and will last longer.” And other reviewers agree that this set is easy to assemble, yet sturdy. “So easy to put together — we didn’t even use the directions,” one reviewer writes. Others have also found that this is a game suitable for players for all ages. One reports it being a hit in a “senior independent retirement community,” and another says “we bought for the after school program and the kids love it!” Another writes, “I bought this for a family BBQ and was not disappointed. The set was easy to put together, and once assembled, was very sturdy. I was surprised, the bolas were actual golf balls.”
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