Great Outdoor Backyard Game Ideas

Oh Shit Game 

Try these Great Outdoor Backyard Game Ideas.  Games like Horseshoes, Cornholes, Giant Jenga.  Learn how to play, a nerve-tingling game called “OH SHIT”.  There are rules of play,  for games like Beer Pong and Backyard Pong Golf. Try BeersBee, Croquet, and Ringtoss to name a few more. One of my favorites is the Bimini Ring and Hook Game.

With spring here and Summer around the corner, the time to BBQ or just relax outside with friends and family is here.  This time of year I like to,” step up my game”, as far as entertaining outside. Why be inside when you can enjoy the outdoors. To keep things new and entertaining I’m always on the lookout for new Outdoor Backyard Game Ideas. Who doesn’t like a good game of Horseshoes or Cornholes? But playing the same game year after year can lose its appeal. You almost have to drag yourself out to the overgrown horseshoe pit that you made a few years ago. But you can add a little zest back to the area by integrating a game of Cornholes to the same spot.



This is not true. Some games can be played in the smallest of areas. The first time I saw a Giant Jenga game I was at a small tavern in oldtown Scottsdale. I stepped outside to their smoking patio to see what all the cheering and laughter were about. And there stood this Giant Jenga. I had no idea at the time what Jenga was or how to play it. But the laughter was enough to keep me there watching.

I fell in love with Jenga that day. I also drove my husband nuts that day when I tried to convince him that we should make our own Giant Jenga game and that we needed to stop by a  lumber store, on our way home and get the 2×4’s that we needed.  I’m glad the beers weren’t going down his throat, as well as they were for me, that day. Seeing that we were out for a ride on his new Harley-Davidson.

The point is if that tiny smoking patio can offer hours of entertainment with a game then so can yours.




Giant Jenga
playing Jenga


Since I was just talking about this game I figured I would start my list of game ideas with the Giant Jenga. This game is inexpensive to buy or an easy DIY project all you need is some 2×4’s a little sandpaper and some colorful paint. You can save money by using art and craft paint instead of buying multiple colors of house paint. How to build your own Giant Jenga Game can be found, Build a Giant Jenga



affiliate link
Beer Pong
affiliate link
EVENT DAY FAVORITE: The center of attention at house parties, BBQs, tailgates, campsites, holiday weekends, and more.  




affiliate link
Perfect for indoor or outdoor house parties and events, BBQ’s, tailgating, camping, beach bonfires, bars, pubs, nightclubs… bring it with you and play the game anywhere                 
affiliate link
GLOWPONG target game is awesome for indoor or outdoor house parties, events, BBQs, tailgating, camping, beach bonfires, bars, pubs, nightclubs… bring it with you and play the game anywhere


Who doesn’t like a good game of Beer Pong? In this game, it’s ok to be on the losing team, if handing over your keys and taking a cab home is your goal. You don’t have to drink alcohol to play this game, though. A non-alcohol beer or a favorite non-alcohol beverage can be substituted. Not nearly as entertaining, though. The goal of the game is to make the opposing team drink, after you have tossed, thrown, or bounced a ping pong ball into one of the 10 solo cups arranged into a triangle in front of them.  If the ball lands in any one of the cups they are to drink the contents of the cup, minus the ball of course, then remove cup from the playing field. The play goes on until one of the teams has no more cup, crowning the other team the winner.


I love it when a game becomes so well known that you can put a little twist to it, and it is easily recognizable. Take a look at some of my favorite backyard outdoor game twists.

affiliate link
Anyone can play, even if you never picked up a golf club! You will love playing it with your friends in the backyard or lawn.
affiliate linkUpgrade your chipping net by combining the latest craze of Cornhole Golf with the already fun and exciting Pong Golf. This backyard game is a great alternative to cornhole and is enjoyed by kids and adults. It is a perfect gift for all golf lovers.


affiliate link

The floating table has a complete 10-cup beer pong set up on each end, with handy compartments for play balls and extra balls. 4 additional cup holders provide convenient access to drinks (or for a wash cup, or for stacking cups not in play).







So you are thinking of buying a Giant Jenga Set. Maybe you have plans to build one. Now what? How do you set up the game? What are the Giant Jinga rules? 

 Jenga is a simple game that can be played alone or with any number of players. 

The object is to build the Jenga tower as high as possible without it tumbling over.


The Jenga Game consists of 54 blocks of wood. Each block of wood is three times as long as it is wide.


Start with three (3) blocks lay side by side.

Take three (3) more blocks and lay side by side on top of the first layer in the opposite direction. (see fig 1 and 2)

Fig 1
Fig 2


Continue layering in a crisscross pattern until you have used all 54 blocks. 


  • The player who built the Giant Jenga Tower will start the game.
  • A player must use only one hand to remove or replace a Jenga block.
playing Jenga
  •  A player can not hold or steady the Jenga tower.
  •  A Jenga move consists of taking one block from any level of the tumble tower and replacing it on the incomplete top level of the tumble tower, causing the structure to grow even higher.
  • Any Jenga block on any level can be used, except those from the level below the incomplete top level.
  • Jenga blocks may be tapped or knocked to find a loose Jenga block. 
  • The next turn begins after 10 seconds or whenever they touch the tower, whichever comes first.
  • The game ends when the Giant Jenga tower tumbles. The player whose turn it is loses.


  • The player who lost can rebuild the tower for a rematch and goes first.

Simple Horseshoe Rules



Try these simple horseshoe rules at your next backyard party.

When Pitching Horseshoes at home or party,  simple Horseshoe

rules are the easiest to follow. Horseshoe

The following rules are the most common house rules used today when pitching horseshoes.


See: Constructing your backyard Horseshoe pit.


  • Both players will start at one end of the field together.
  • Each player will pitch two(2) horseshoes each.
  • Both players will walk to the opposite pit, where they will total the points for that inning.
  • The point winner will be the first to pitch his two(2) horseshoes back to the opposite pit, starting the next inning.


  • Four (4) players will split up into two (2) teams.
  • Team players will pitch on opposite sides of each other. ( one player from each team per side.)
  • Players will stay at their starting side threw out the game.
  • An inning consists of four(4) horseshoes. Each opposing team member will pitch two (2) horseshoes at the opposite pit.
  • Players on that end will score the inning.
  • The player from the scoring team will start the next inning.


Zero (0) each other out

There are two kinds of pitched shoes in play.

  • “Live Shoe” – Refers to any shoe that comes to rest in the pit area.
  • “Dead Shoe” – Refers to any shoe that comes to rest outside of the pit. ( can also refer to a ringer canceled out by an opponent’s ringer.)

Only the ” Live Shoe” is counted.

  • Ringers – (Counts as three (3)points.) A shoe that encircles the stake without touching the stake.
  • Points – (Counts as one (1) point.) A shoe that is 6 inches or closer to the stake. (includes leaners).


There are two methods of scoring the game.

  1. Cancellation Scoring – Only one player can score in the inning.
  2. Count-all Scoring – All players count their live shoes.



  •  Ringer cancels out an opponent’s ringer. Both score zero (0).
  •  A player makes two on top of his opponent. (Scores three (3) points for the second one.)
  • Both Players score two (2) ringers each. They cancel each other out zero (0) points for the inning.

    Top Horseshoe can count 3 points for ringer and 1 point for closest


Cool Water Balloon Game, “Oh Shit”

If you are looking for a cool water balloon game for groups look no further. The drinking game, “Oh Shit”  is a game that uses a water balloon that is launched straight up in the air. The players are in a circle, with one player (the launcher) in the middle. After the balloon is launched players can not move out of the circle, or look upwards. Hands must stay at a player’s side. Just wait until you feel the sensation of not knowing where the water balloon will land. Who it will land on. The first words that come to my mind are,  “oh shit”.

Items you will need, to play, “Oh Shit”

Balloon Launcher

Water Balloons

Beer or Your Choice of an Adult Beverage





Form a circle putting an arm’s length of distance between each player.  See fig 1

Deciding who goes first.

  • The oldest player and the youngest player will step forward and flip a coin.
  • The winner of the coin toss will become the launcher and will step into the middle of the circle.
  • The runner-up will return to the player’s circle. He will become the next launcher in line. ( Note the rotation will begin with the runner-up’s position in the circle and rotate to his/her right.



  • The player in the center of the circle ( The Launcher), will launch a water balloon straight up into the air.
  • After the water balloon has left the launcher, all players much remain with one foot planted and may not look up, or cover their heads until the balloon has landed.



Just like Baseball, Oh Shit uses the (3 strikes and you are out) rule. But that is where the similarities end, between Baseball and Oh Shit. Players can receive a strike against their play in the following ways.

Water Balloon lands on a player
  • If the water balloon lands on someone in the circle, that person drinks, and receives a strike against them.
Water Balloon lands near a player or players.
  •  If the water balloon lands near a person or between two people and the players get wet, each player drinks, but does not receive a strike against their play.
Water Balloon lands on the launcher
  • If the water balloon lands on the launcher, the launcher drinks, receives a strike, and passes the position of the launcher to the next person in line. (remember the line starts with the runner-up of the coin toss and rotates to their right.)  The outgoing launcher goes back to the circle and takes the place of the incoming launcher.
Water Balloon lands outside of the circle
  • If the water balloon lands more than 6 feet, outside of the circle of players, the launcher drinks and receives a strike, but continues on as the launcher.
Water Balloon breaks before leaving the water balloon launcher apparatus
  • Believe it or not, this happens quite often. It takes some skill and practice to use a 3 man balloon launcher as a solo launcher. This does not mean you get, “a bye” on the play, though. If the launcher breaks the water balloon while attempting to launch it into the air, he/she receives a strike and must drink. But will continue on as the launcher.
Take a pass on being the launcher
  • A person can take a pass when it is their turn to become the launcher. A player must drink all of his/her drink and take a strike, in order to pass the launcher position to the next player in line.
A Player is out of the game when he/she receives 3 strikes. They must finish their drink and exit the game.





  • Filling the water balloons half full, about the size of a Lemon will help in the water balloon not breaking before leaving the launcher apparatus.


  • When launching the water balloon try to put only the tip of your shoe into the launcher handle. This will help in the release of the balloon and helps in preventing the water balloon from breaking before it is launched.

I hope you enjoy playing, “Oh Shit”, A REALLY COOL WATER BALLOON GAME.


Beer pong, Dotted bikinis, Files uploaded by User:Northamerica1000, Flickr images reviewed by FlickreviewR, Parties
Image from Wikimedia

The object of the game is to make the opposing team drink.  Teams are usually made up of 2 people on each opposing team. ( It can be played one on one).


  • Solo cups, usually, 10 cups for each team, but you can play with a 6 or a 15 cup figuration.
  • Two Ping Pong balls, or Table Tennis Balls
  • A standard 8-foot rectangular table.
  • Beer


  • Arrange cups in a pyramid-like formation, with 10 cups on either side of the table.  See example


Beer pong, Red cups, Self-published work
Rules to Beer Pong Rules to Beer PongAnd Beer
  • Usually, teams consist of 2 people each team. But can be played with more.


  • Have a player from each team throw a ball while not breaking eye contact with each other, and whoever can sink the ball in a cup starts the game. Repeat the step until one of you makes it into a cup.


  • Fill each cup about 1/2 full with beer. 1/4 full if you want the game to last longer.


Each player takes a turn by throwing or bouncing a single ball down at the opposing team’s cups. If they make it in a cup. The opposing team removes it from the triangle. The play keeps going until one team is out of cups. Declaring the other team the winner.

UK Official Rules here