Backyard games for the best summer ever
We dare you to say you're bored, even once
This article was originally published June 7, 2018 and was updated June 30, 2020.
If your backyard is just an empty lawn with a of couple patio chairs off to the side, you're doing it all wrong. The summer is already fleeting (don't you feel it?), so make use of that backyard space. If you have some active kids or active adults in your home, a bevy of backyard games can turn your lawn into the best (fun, affordable, social) space to spend sunny days or long summer nights. Put away that dusty badminton set, we scoured the internet for better ways to get your summer game in gear.
Hockey sauce kit
What is hockey sauce, you say? Think air hockey meets trick-shot pool. The goal is to knock the saucer up your opponent's ramp into their net, but it's all about style. Multiple saucers, angles and game variations make this a non-stop sprint to make the fanciest shots you never could on the rink. The kit comes with an instruction book explaining not just the rules, but how to practice your trick shots.
Hockey Sauce Kit, $218.19, Hockey Sauce
Bottle smash can be played one-on-one or in team of two. The object of the game is to throw a disc at your opponent's bottle (perched on a stand) in an attempt to knock it over for a point. However, if you knock it over and the opposing team catches both the bottle and the disc, they block your point, making it a game of skill, speed, accuracy and hand/eye coordination. The game sets up in one minute and allows you to play at 20, 30 and 40 foot distances.
Bottle Smash, $60.12, Amazon
In other frisbee fare, this game inverts the aim, by getting you to score on your own net. At a 50-foot distance, players throw the discs at each other and the object is to deflect the frisbee into your own goal. There is a smaller slot in the front of your goal and, if you deflect it in there, it's an instant win. This game is ideal for bigger backyard lawns, so players can run, jump, dive and probably fail.
Kan Jam, $52, Amazon
Inflatable water slide
Water slides have come a long way since just throwing dish soap on a tarp. This inflatable slide measures 18 feet, hooks up directly to your hose for perpetual slipperiness, and has 3 different slides that can all be used simultaneously. The front inflates into a speed ramp, allowing you to take off instantly. It's designed for ages 5-12, but how can an adult not attempt this at least once?
Inflatable Water Slide, $205.26, Amazon
This easy-to-assemble backyard game is perfect for backyard hangs. Played in teams of two, it's a fun way to get the whole family involved. And since it comes with a carrying case, it can easily make an appearance at the park, campground or cottage, too.
9-piece game set, $83.99, Wayfair.ca
Glow-in-the-dark lawn darts
A classic game with a much-needed modern update. The rounded tip makes these lawn darts a lot safer than the obscenely dangerous ones you played with as kids. But, most importantly, each dart has its own colourized glow-in-the-dark wings, so you can continue your marathon game long after the sun goes down.
Glow-in-the-Dark Lawn Darts, $42.93, Amazon
Hanging obstacle course
Perfect for those kids that just have so much… energy! This hanging obstacle course comes with a 40-foot slackline that secures between to anchors (like trees), four monkey bars and three gymnastics rings. Though they are secure, supporting up to 250 pounds, the bars and rings can be quickly and easily detached so you can customize the actual course, making it harder for your ninja to complete.
Hanging Obstacle Course, $303.38, Amazon
Wooden egg and spoon race set
A true backyard game classic! This colourful set is fun for the whole family, and requires absolutely no assembly. It's great for all ages, and since the pieces are all wooden, you won't be left cleaning up any egg shells at the end of the day.
12-Piece Wooden Egg and Spoon Race Set, $25.99, Wayfair.ca