Are you ready to fill your summer festivities with epic moments that you and your friends will treasure for years to come?
With Summer (our favorite season) right around the corner, backyard BBQ’s, block parties, tailgating, family gatherings, camping, and trips to the beach will be in full swing. As much as we enjoy these special times to gather with friends and family, no occasion is complete without some friendly competition.
We’ve rounded up our list of the top 3 backyard games you’ll want at your next summer gathering. Whether you’re looking for some family-friendly games or to get your crew together for some Summer rivalry, everyone is sure to enjoy these games!
We’ll explain why each of these games makes for a great addition to your summer events. We’ll also discuss how each game is played so you can head to your next event prepared to win!
Cornhole, bags, baggo, tailgate toss, hillbilly horseshoes, bean bag toss, etc.
Whatever you prefer to call this classic game, everyone knows what time it is once the bean bags start flying.
No outdoor gathering is complete without cornhole. It’s a staple. That’s exactly why you’ll want to have it at your next get-together.
Cornhole is deceptively simple but challenging to master.
For adults, we recommend leaving 27 feet (about 11 paces) in between the boards.
For children, the distance between boards should be between 8 and 15 feet (3 and 6 paces), depending on their age or skill level. Of course, the better they get at the game, the further the boards should be placed.
Cornhole can be played with either 2 or 4 players.
For the sake of time, we won't cover all the technical terms in cornhole, but the two terms you should be familiar with are “headboard” and “footboard.”
The headboard refers to the side that bags are initially thrown from, while the footboard is the opposite side.
Solo teams should stand on opposite sides of the same board.
Players take turns tossing bags towards the opposite board. Once all 4 bags are thrown, players should calculate the number of points they receive, collect their bags, and throw them from the opposite side of the playing field.
For teams of two, one player from each team should stand on each side of both boards. Teammates should be standing at opposite corners.
The players at the headboard take turns alternating throws until all 4 of their bags have been tossed. Each team then calculates the number of points they should receive.
After points have been tallied, the players at the footboard alternate tossing their bags back towards the headboard.
One thing that’s important to note about scoring in cornhole is that only one team can score each round.
Cornhole uses the “canceling” scoring method where the team with the highest score in the round subtracts the points scored by their opposing team from their own score. The resulting number is the total amount of points scored by the team that won that round.
Any bag that lands on the board is worth 1 point, while bags that go in the hole are worth 3 points.
Play continues until one team reaches 21.
There are two common house rules that are great for experienced cornhole players looking for a challenge.
The first is “win by 2.” No explanation necessary.
The second is called “bust.” The “bust” rule stipulates that teams must win by scoring exactly 21 points. If a team goes over 21 points, they bust, and their score is reset to 11.
Social Pong, commonly referred to as beer pong (or cup pong for younger players), is often played around college campuses across the United States. While beer pong has earned it’s popularity amongst college students, this socially engaging game can accomodate players within any group of friends for a variety of events.
Plan on having a BBQ?
Going to a tailgate party?
Heading to the beach?
Having friends over for the 4th of July?
Social pong is hands down one of the best lawn games for all your outdoor events.
There is minimal setup, very few rules, it’s easy to travel with, and almost everyone you know will probably already know how to play.
The setup is simple.
You need 4 players, 22 red SOLO Cups, 2 ping pong balls, and your favorite liquid of choice. Beer, water, soda. Take your pick.
You also need a flat surface to place the cups.
Traditionally, social pong is played on a folding table, but if you’re looking to elevate your social pong experience, we recommend our Portable Social Pong set.
Fill up your cups ⅓ of the way full with the liquid of your choice.
If you’re using our Portable Social Pong set, place the stands about 8 feet (3 paces) apart from one another. Place the cups in their holders, and you’re ready to go.
If you’re using a table or other flat surface. Place your cups in a tight triangular shape (think a pool rack), and you’re ready to go.
Playing social pong is fairly simple.
Each member of a team gets 1 shot per turn. Your objective is to toss the ping pong balls into the other team's cups. If both team members make their shot, they each receive an additional shot.
When a ball lands in a teams’ cup, that team must drink whatever is in the cup and remove it from play.
Once all of the opposing team’s cups have been removed from play, a team wins.
Bocce Ball is a classic Italian game that people around the world express a great deal of affection towards. We’re confident that once you’ve played, you’ll share this contagious enthusiasm for the popular lawn game as well.
It’s a simple game that requires very little setup. But unlike the other games we’ve mentioned that can be played anywhere, bocce ball is best reserved for softer ground and grassy areas. Playing on concrete or other hard surfaces will probably damage the resin balls.
If you plan on hosting or attending a cookout, bocce ball is one of the best lawn games you can choose to play.
We’ll cover the basics below, but if you’d like a more in-depth look at bocce ball, check out our article, The Ultimate Guide To Bocce Ball.
Any backyard space will do, but we recommend marking off a 60’x12’ space to serve as the playing field if you have adequate space.
Then mark the half-court line or a line to signify the minimum distance the pallino must be tossed.
The only other things you need are the bocce balls and the pallino.
The game starts with a coin toss. The winner of the coin toss can choose between tossing the pallino first or playing with the bocce ball color of their choice.
The first team to throw the pallino must throw the ball past the half-court line. Should they fail to do so, the other team gets a chance to toss the pallino.
Once the pallino has been thrown into the legal playing area, teams take turns tossing their bocce balls.
The game's objective is to roll your team’s bocce balls closer to the pallino than the other team.
There are two main strategies you can implement when throwing. You can either throw your ball to get as close to pallino as possible, or you can try to knock the other team’s bocce balls away from the pallino.
Only one team can score per round.
First, decide which teams’ bocce balls are closer to the pallino.
Then award points for each bocce ball that is distinguishably closer to the pallino than those of the other team.
The number of bocce balls determined to be closer is the number of points the team is awarded.
The first team to reach 16 points wins!
If you’re looking for the best lawn games on the market, you’ve come to the right place. When you shop from Elakai, you’re getting more than just a backyard game. Instead, you’re investing in a one-of-a-kind piece of art that you can enjoy with your friends and family.
We’ve designed our backyard games to be passed down through the generations. We use the finest materials available to ensure that each game is durable enough to withstand the test of time.
The best part? Each piece is handcrafted, so no two sets are the same. Your game will get a unique game that you’ll be proud to entertain your friends and family with.
Now that you’ve discovered the best lawn games for summer, shop from our growing collection of outside games and make this a summer to remember.
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