Outdoor Party Games & Activities

horseshoesHaving your party outdoors opens up a wide range of choices of things to do. More space means more room for physical activity and a little friendly competition. Providing equipment and supplies for games will ensure that there won't be a dull moment at your party!

Whether you're planning a beach party or a backyard bash for the 4th of July, you'll find plenty of ideas here to entertain your guests with traditional games or sports. Remember to provide plenty of fluids to keep everyone healthy and prevent dehydration. 

Horseshoes

You can find a quality set of horseshoes in stores that sell sporting goods and often, large department stores. In some regions, it is a seasonal item and can only be found locally in the spring and summer months. Sets for children are usually made of rubber or plastic and are inexpensive. Look for one that comes with complete instructions and itís own carrying case so that itís easy to pack up and transport.

For safety purposes, you will need plenty of space set aside, away from the crowd. Generally, younger players will take less space because the stakes will be placed much closer together. You can arrange Horseshoes tournaments to take place throughout the day or simply have the game set up for those ready to play.

Volleyball

Volleyball and badminton are very popular games for outdoor parties. Besides being fun, most people are familiar with the rules. Playing on the beach is an additional challenge because the sand adds resistance and is more difficult to move around in. Typically though, a nice, grassy area works fine and will help prevent injury.

Before you set up the net, think about where the sun will be when your party is in full swing and whether or not you want you want the exposure. If possible, offer some knee and arm pads for those who like to dive for the ball. If you have a swimming pool, consider a game of water volleyball but keep in mind that not everyone will prefer this because of personal reasons, etc.

Croquet

This is another game for which you will need to purchase or borrow a set. It's a perfect lawn game that adults and kids can play, however, the smaller kids may need their own set with lighter mallets. This game requires a little more organization and patience but will make golf players happy because of the similarities.

Set up the court in a designated area free from traffic. The area will need to be as flat as possible, free of mounds and holes. (Slight slopes are okay but you should test them first for "playability.") Prepare the lawn by mowing and bagging the grass, cutting it as short as possible. Place a table nearby for players to set their drinks on in between shots.

Bean Bag Toss

Children love bean bags and this game is right down their alley. It can be played indoors or outdoors, at home or school. This is a game that elderly people also enjoy and it gives them an opportunity to interact with their grandchildren. It can also be played at birthday parties with prizes awarded for most points.

There are many different types and variations of Bean Bag Toss sets available for purchase online but you can create a makeshift one with a box, picture frame, and stuffed bean bag animal. You can also get creative with a piece of plywood and some bright paint. Make different sized holes and mark the points next to the holes. Of course, the smaller the hole, the more points.

Frisbee

Playing Frisbee can be competitive although many people just enjoy playing freestyle. If you want to make a game of it, you can set up teams and perhaps run relays. It can also be arranged to be played football or rugby style with a goal on each end. Of course you will want it to be in the air most of the time so you should set up a minimum "time of possession" before a person is forced to throw it.

Avoid cheap discs. Use only a quality one that is bright in color and easy to see. Illuminated discs light up and can easily be seen after dark but you will need additional light for safety reasons. It's a good idea to have a few Frisbees available and it's really fun to have several in the air at one time.

Treasure Hunt

While the adults are doing other activities, gather the kids and set out on a treasure hunt. You can organize it to be similar to an Easter egg hunt, by hiding candy, small toys, and party favors in various spots for the kids to find. For older kids, you can plan a series of clues to be found that will eventually lead to the "ultimate" prize, something that can be shared by the whole team. Have extra goodies available for those who don't find anything.