11 Outdoor Party Games (…for Adults)

Spending time with friends and family at outdoor barbecues and parties is a summertime ritual. Truthfully, we could all use a break from the responsibilities of adulthood, and what better way than to share some laughs amongst friends.

When entertaining at outdoor parties, there are the dinner party classics like 20 Questions or Charades, and lawn games are great for adults and kids alike. But here is a list that includes a few more adult games that you may not have played since your college days.

Whether you get a babysitter or just wait until the kids are in bed, try these outdoor party games for adults to liven up your next gathering.

  1. Word Play

    This game requires nothing but your wit and intellect. Pick a topic, it can be anything from names of cities to sports teams. Take turns either going in a circle or ricocheting from guest to guest, the only rule is that the last letter of the previous word must be the first letter of the next word.

  2. Chalkboard Pictionary

    Do you have an outdoor chalkboard in your backyard? If so, put it to good use and play Pictionary. Create teams to fuel competition or just play individually, either way there are sure to be some laughs.

  3. Two Truths and a Lie

    This game is great for dinner parties and small spaces, because it requires no props. Going around in a circle, each guest takes their turn trying to stump the group by sharing two things that they have done and one that is a lie. The rest of the party must determine which of the three statements is the lie.

  4. Giant Jenga

    You can buy these online or make your own. Guests will surely be on the edge of their seats with anticipation.

  5. Quarters (with a twist)

    If you are looking for something a bit more challenging than your standard game of quarters, try using multiple cups of varying heights. For example, a shot glass, a 6-8oz cup and a 12oz cup. The tallest cup gets the most points. Play to a predetermined number of points or until someone lands the tall cup.

  6. Ladderball

    This is a classic lawn game, just look out for any wild pitches!

  7. Musical Ricochet

    This game will challenge your knowledge of music and requires a bit of mental flexibility. Each player sings a short phrase or line from a song, and the next player must sing a line that includes the same idea or words. For example, “And now the end is near” (Sinatra), then “It’s the end of the world as we know it” (R.E.M.). Players can take turns going in a circle but this works best if you bounce around the group.

  8. Horseshoes

    The tried and true game of horseshoes can get pretty intense. Just don’t stand behind the stake, unless you like sand and heavy metal objects hurdling toward your legs. Here’s hoping you get a ringer!

  9. Don’t Say

    This game works well with themed parties but can be played at any outdoor gathering. Upon arriving, each guest is presented with a bead necklace or lei, and told the word that is off limits. If a guest says the word during the party, then they must give their beads or lei to the guest who catches them. The guest with the most beads or leis at the end of the party is the winner.

  10. Egg Toss

    This one is fun but can get a little messy. (For less mess, hard boil the eggs before the party.) In teams of two, toss an egg back and forth, with each partner taking a step back after their turn. Last pair standing with an intact egg, wins!

  11. Cornhole

    This is a staple at any barbecue or tailgate and will provide hours of entertainment. You can even personalize your set of boards to support your favorite team or match your party décor.

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