12 outdoor games for summer outdoor fun

Summer is fast approaching and we are already enjoying a few warm, sunny days spent in the garden and park. But after consuming your picnic or finishing your meal outdoors, what to do? Bring out the garden games, of course!

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Not just for kids (though most of our picks are suitable for all ages), outdoor games are a great way to spend a sunny afternoon with friends or family. Wonderfully simple – bat and ball, anyone? – to old-time classics like croquet and pétanque, everyone will find something they’ll enjoy playing outside here. You might even discover a new favourite! Have you ever played Finnish bowling? Or Cornhole? We bet you haven’t…

12 outdoor games to play this summer

outdoor table tennis set
Olivier Bonas

Sunnylife Metallic Table Tennis Set, £38, Oliver Bonas

No need to invest in an expensive full-size table, this net, bat and ball set can turn any table into a ping pong table.


Original American Cornhole, £84.99, Amazon

Cornhole is a game that has traveled here from the United States – just take turns tossing beanbags onto your opponent’s board, the first to get all of their bags through the hole wins.

croquet game
john lewis

Thanks to BridgertonCroquet has had a huge resurgence recently – no garden is complete without a set.

giant outdoor twister game

Get Giant Knotted Games, £67.99, Wayfair

We all know how to play Twister – this version supersizes the classic board game for twisted outdoor fun.

quilt sets

Ultimate Play Quilt, £136, Anthropologie

Prefer your outdoor games fancier? This beautifully designed picnic blanket doubles as four game boards – it even comes with all the game pieces and a canvas carry bag.

bat and ball game
Urban outfitters

SUNNYLiFE Checkerboard Beach Bats, £25, Urban Outfitters

Bat and ball – is there a simpler and more satisfying game?

ladder game
john lewis

Another game originating in America, ladder toss sees players toss balls attached to strings so that they wrap around the twists of the ladder – the higher you go, the more points you have to win.


3m badminton easy set electric green, £34.99, Decathlon

Badminton is a classic backyard game that anyone can try their hand at. This set includes an easy-to-install netting so you can take it with you anywhere this summer.

wooden balls
Not on the main street

Wooden garden balls, £47.90, not high street

Pétanque is a classic game that appeals to children and adults alike. This set of wooden balls features colorful zigzag patterns so you can easily knock your opponents out of the game.

James London

Nine Pin Quoits, £14.99 (was £17.99), Jacques London

Throw the rope rings at the pins to earn points – it’s Quoits!

sack race game

Sack Race Game, £54.99, Wayfair

Bring an old-school sports vibe to your garden party or picnic with a classic sack race. Optional egg and spoon race.

finnish bowling

Compact Finnish bowling set, £19.99, Decathlon

This Finnish version of bowling lets you use your mental calculations as well as your throwing skills – don’t worry, it’s a lot more fun than it sounds and not a bit like being back in school !