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Warmer weather inevitably pulls us out of our houses and into our backyards with a chilled drink in hand to soak up the sun. But sometimes, it is just as inevitable that boredom settles in and you are in the mood to do something fun, especially if you have friends visiting or children asking for something to do.
And this is what games are for—to keep you occupied and entertained, no phone screens included.
You really can’t go wrong with all-time favorites such as 4-in-a-Row and Jenga, but this time they come in a more outdoor-friendly size. For the more competitive types who appreciate active games, consider Spikeball. It is a volleyball-inspired game played around a hula-hoop net by two teams of four people that can be pretty physically demanding.
And of course, there are the Old World favorites such as the Italian bocce ball and the British croquet.
Now take a look at all of our favorite yard games that will guarantee some good time for the whole family this summer.
Bocce Ball Set
Bocce is one of the oldest and most popular yard bowling games in Europe, and certainly in Italy that is played by two people or teams.
This beautiful set has everything you need to enjoy the game whether you are a pro or are just discovering it. The eight balls plus the jack are made from solid resin with etched details and the set comes with a score pad, pencils, and instructions, all stored in a canvas tote.
To buy: $150, crateandbarrel.com
Mark & Graham Cornhole Bean Bag Toss Set
Keep your friends and family entertained with one of the most fun and easy games to play—cornhole. This set includes two portable boards designed with handles and foldable legs and painted in bold navy and red, and eight bean bags that come in a canvas travel tote. For a personal touch, customize the set with your monograms.
To buy: $199, markandgraham.com
Maine Coast Croquet Set with Stand
Croquet has been a popular outdoor game in the UK for well over a hundred years. It is played by two teams and the goal is to score a point by passing the ball through one of many hoops arranged in a sequence.
This hardwood set includes handles, mallets, even a convenient stand all finished with a weather-resistant lacquer, nine wickets, six balls, and the official game rules.
To buy: $359, llbean.com
Giant Stacking Games Set
This giant Jenga set will be a hit with both adults and kids at your next backyard party.
It includes 54 pinewood blocks that, when stacked, measure 2.5 feet and can reach over five feet during games. The set comes with a sturdy canvas bag and a dry erase board for keeping track of custom rules.
To buy: $78, wayfair.com
Mölkky Outdoor Throwing Game
This outdoor Finnish game has been a hit in Europe for over 20 years. The goal is to knock down pins and score exactly 50 points. It can be played by two players or two groups of up to 26 so it can keep quite a lot of people entertained.
This Mölkky set is crafted in Finland from sustainably sourced solid birch wood and includes 12 pins, one throwing pin, a carrying case, a scorebook, and instructions.
To buy: $40, thegrommet.com
Viva Sol Forged Horseshoes Set
This horseshoe set will give you a pretty good reason to spend some quality time outside. It is an easy game that even kids and teenagers will enjoy playing.
This set includes four forged steel horseshoes and two stainless steel stakes that all come in a wooden storage case with locking latches.
To buy: $125, dickssportinggoods.com
4FUN Cosmic Mini Golf Set
There is a reason why mini golf is so popular—it’s just as much fun for kids as it is for adults so having this set at home will keep everyone entertained.
It has everything you need to play a 5-hole game including green printed felt with course border, obstacles, and tee stakes. And since it is a glow-in-the-dark set, you don’t need to stop your game after sundown.
To buy: $120, dickssportinggoods.com
There are a variety of dice games (Yahtzee, anyone?) that you can play outside for which this jumbo set of six dice will come in handy, and a lot of them are kid-friendly, too.
The dice are handmade in Minneapolis from solid pinewood and then hot iron branded on all six sides. The set also includes a storage drawstring bag and the rules to four dice games—Snake Eyes, 10,000 (Greedy), Whamee, and Mia.
To buy: $50, uncommongoods.com
Spikeball Standard 3 Ball Kit
This game will get you moving (so feel free to skip your daily workout session)! And you can play it pretty much everywhere— in the backyard, on the beach, indoors—as long as you have four players (divided into two teams) who are willing to break a sweat.
The kit includes an adjustable net with foldable legs for easy storage and three balls that come in a convenient backpack.
To buy: $60, spikeball.com
4-in-a-Row Giant Board Game
This is basically the jumbo version of the classic board game that you can play while soaking up some Vitamin D outside.
You can assemble and disassemble the kit in minutes (it measures about 29 inches in height in 33 in width) and it features 42 red and blue discs.
To buy: $92, wayfair.com