19 Outdoor BBQ Party Games for Adults

Hosting a cookout or a barbecue gathering can be a lot of work, but it’s well worth doing. Of course, people aren’t just showing up to eat a pile of meat and get on with their day. The marrow at the bones of a great cookout gather is the chance to catch up and socialize with friends old and new.

This calls for a little outdoor entertainment that goes beyond standing at the grill-side to chat about your new grill or smoker. Especially, if you’re hosting a barbecue cookout where the meat is cooked low and slow over the course of several smoky hours.

Outdoor games are a great way to keep adults, and even some kids entertained, while you tend to the loving labor of making the meat and preparing the sides. The following list of 19 outdoor BBQ party games for adults can help make all your cookouts memorable.

The Top 5 Best Outdoor Party Games

Bags or Cornhole

This is a classic game that you’ve probably seen at past outdoor parties. In some parts of the United States, there are even leagues of bags or cornhole. The game itself is relatively straightforward. You pick two teams of two people each. Then you take turns tossing bags filled with corn or beads at an angled wood slab with one or more holes. Each hole is worth a set number of points and the team that gets to 15 or 21 first wins. If you aren’t particularly handy with power tools, there are quality cornhole game sets sold online.

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Ladder Toss

This is another classic outdoor game that can spice up a cookout or just a fun family game for an average Tuesday night. A pair of 3-rung ladders are spaced several feet apart. Each run has a set number of points. Each person gets three “Snakes” which are basically two golf balls connected by a piece of rope. If you manage to get a set to wrap or stay on a rung through the end of the round, you get those points. Here again, this is something that might be a challenge if you aren’t particularly handy. Especially drilling the holes in the golf balls.

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Horseshoes

This is a classic backyard game that harkens back for centuries. Many people will set up horseshoe pits in their backyard. These tend to be permanent fixtures with heavy-duty steel poles that are a menace to your lawnmower. Fortunately, there are some less-permanent options that are easy to put and pack away.

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Washer Toss

This is a game of delicate touch that both kids and adults of all ages can play together. There are several different iterations to consider. Some have flats and others have little deposit cups.

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Lawn Darts

The lawn darts of the 1980s and all the gruesome injuries that they caused have now been replaced with a more modern game with safety in mind. It’s a great game to perfect your accuracy while also having a knack for starting up conversations.

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Best Outdoor BBQ Games For Entertaining A Group

There are some outdoor games that accommodate more than two to four people at a time. They also tend to be the sort of thing that also encourages entertainment.

Bocce Ball

This is a game that has been very popular in France and Italy for centuries and has really started to catch on in the United States. It’s also a great game to engage several people at one time. It’s very simple on paper, but as enthusiasts will tell you, it can take a lifetime to master. One person throws a small ball, and then everyone takes turns throwing larger balls. Whoever ends up with the closest ball gets a point. There’s quite a competitive edge to the game as well. Especially when you consider that it’s completely legal to knock someone else’s ball out of the way!

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Croquet

This is another classic game that has been enjoyed by people for centuries. It’s simple enough that even a complete novice can jump right in. Like Bocce, there’s also a little bit of a competitive edge to it, that can carry over into conversation later in the evening.

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Backyard Miniature Golf

Anyone who likes a putting green will fall in love with backyard mini golf. It’s also something that invites a little creativity to decorate it with your existing yard art, which can easily turn it into a conversation starter later on in the evening.

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Badminton

This is another classic backyard game that is very much like tennis, but you can easily play it on soft turf, rather than on a traditional hard court. It’s a great game for two teams of two. You can even set up brackets to play for some type of prize.

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Kan Jam

This is a frisbee toss game that has tones of the increasingly popular frisbee golf, without having to spend so much time tromping around an expansive course. You can set up the cans where you want and everyone takes turns trying to hit the target worth 1-point.

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Pong Golf

This is a take on a college party classic, though it’s evolved a little bit with touches of golf and sometimes cornhole.

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Kubb

Oddly enough, this is a game that has shades of both croquet and golf, yet it’s actually much older than either. There are even some who argue it is the genesis for outside entertainment games. To play, groups or individuals take turns throwing their pegs at the other’s peg blocks. The game starts out a little bit mundane, with time for conversation, then it really heats up towards the end when each team starts to home in on the other’s “King Block.”

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Backyard Jenga

Just like it’s more mundane, indoor, smaller sibling, backyard Jenga uses a series of specially stacked wooden blocks. You carefully remove one and place it on the top. It’s a game that can be played by four people at a time, the loser is the one who finally topples the stack.

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Backyard Bowling

Just like it’s “Sport of Kings” cousin, backyard bowling works on much the same principles. If you prefer you can also adapt it to Kendal ten pin bowling. Though you will need to recruit someone to set the pins. Some people just have the previous bowler act as the “Pin Monkey” for the next bowler.

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Outdoor Yahtzee & Farkle

This is just a larger, outdoor version of a beloved indoor dice game. It’s arguably better to play on a flat patio, driveway, or a deck with closely spaced boards, rather than out on the soft turf of the lawn. Many of these sets can also be used to play Farkle, which is a great way to spice up the dice game and create some memorable stories.

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Jumbo Checkers

Here again, we’re talking about an extra-large version of a long-term classic. While it’s typically a two-person game, there are ways you can adapt it to four. Especially if you want to recruit some curious children who want to help learn the game.

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Kickball And Dodgeball

This is another classic game from childhood that can be reimagined for adults. Ideally, you’ll want to come up with your own bases, and a wide-open stretch of lawn. A little spray paint of field chalk can mark the bases and lines. Then, just do your best not to let a game of dodgeball break out. The best part is that you really need is the ball.

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