12 DIY Adult Outdoor Party Games to Bring Out Your Inner Child

Everyone's a competitor with our fun backyard party games. Can you handle the competition?

Updated April 24, 2023
Friends watching woman play horseshoe in backyard

Whether it's an outdoor date night or a barbecue with friends, you can create loads of backyard games for adults with things you have on hand. Sometimes, the best outdoor party game ideas are the ones you invent yourself. When planning your next outdoor event, try to think of ways you can recreate your favorite games with whatever's lying around, or take a crack at one of our favorites.

DIY Backyard Spikeball

If you love playing Spikeball, but don't own a game set, try making your own. This active backyard game is great for couples since it's limited to four players.

What You Need

  • Mini trampoline
  • 1 medium-sized ball that isn't too hard
  • 4 players

How to Play

  1. Set the mini trampoline in the center of your yard.
  2. Each team lines up on an opposite sides of the trampoline, facing each other.
  3. The serving team starts by hitting one ball onto the trampoline, aiming to make it hard for the other team to hit the ball back.
  4. The opposing team members have three tries to hit the ball back onto the trampoline. But watch out! Nobody can hit the ball twice in a row.
  5. Each team responds to the attack with their own, and game play continues with each team racking up points.
  6. The first team to score 21 points wins.

Your team has multiple ways to accrue points and make it to 21.

  • You get one point if the opposing team lets the ball hit the ground.
  • You get one point if the opposing team hits the ball into the rim of the trampoline.
  • If your serve doesn't hit the trampoline and bounce up, the opposing team gets a point.
Playing spike ball on green turf

Bucket Bullseye

Using various buckets and bean bags, you can create a 3-D bullseye that's a cross between cornhole and darts. The game is meant for two teams of two, but can be played one-on-one, making it perfect for family game night and small gatherings.

What You Need

  • 2 large buckets
  • 2 medium buckets
  • 2 small buckets
  • 10 bean bags or small balls

How to Play

  1. Set the large bucket right-side up on the ground. Set the medium bucket upside down in the center of the large bucket. Set the small bucket right-side up on the medium bucket. Think matryoshka dolls.
  2. Make sure to set up the opposing bucket bullseyes about 20 feet apart and facing each other. It should look like a cornhole setup.
  3. Each team gets five bean bags. Follow standard cornhole rules by taking turns tossing your bean bags at the opposite bucket bullseye.
  4. Make the smallest bucket and you get three points, and in the large bucket you get one point.
  5. The first team to reach 21 points wins.
Need to Know

Points from opposite teams cancel each other out. So if you get 3 points and your opponent gets 3 points, no one keeps any points on the scoreboard.

Pallet Cornhole

Create a quick and easy cornhole game in your backyard by using a wood pallet as your cornhole board. Simply set up your pallets so the slats are horizontal in front of you and play by standard cornhole rules, trying to get more of your bean bags through the slots in a quicker time frame than your opponent.

Since there're more spaces where bean bags can go through a pallet than a cornhole board, consider writing point values next to each space to make scoring easier.

Bottle Bash

In the two to four person game, Bottle Bash, you try to knock down your opponent's bottle with a frisbee. You can easily recreate this modern backyard game using things you'd find in your garage.

What You Need

  • 2 sawhorses
  • 1 frisbee
  • 2 empty plastic bottles or beer/pop cans

How to Play

  1. Set the sawhorses horizontally to you, about 30 feet apart.
  2. Place one bottle in the center of each sawhorse.
  3. Each team stands behind one sawhorse.
  4. On your turn, toss the frisbee toward your opponent's bottle. Your goal is to knock it down.
  5. Your opponents must try to catch the frisbee and the bottle if you knock it off the sawhorse before either touch the ground.
  6. Knock the bottle off the sawhorse, and you get two points. Fumble the bottle and let it touch the ground, and the opposing player gets two points. Fail to catch the frisbee and the opponent gets one point.
  7. Players take turns tossing the frisbee and racking up points until one team/person hits 21.

Bottlecap Bullseye

Make good use of all the bottle caps lying around with an easy game inspired by darts. You can have as many players as you want in this great outdoor party game for adults.

What You Need

  • 1 garbage can lid
  • 1 frisbee
  • 1 coaster
  • Rope
  • 3 bottle caps per player

How to Play

  1. Set the garbage can lid on the ground so the inside is toward the ground.
  2. Set the frisbee on top of the garbage can lid so the inside is toward the lid.
  3. Set the coaster on top of the frisbee.
  4. Make a circle around the garbage can lid using the rope. At any point, it should be about 3 feet away from the lid.
  5. Players take turns, standing outside of the rope circle, tossing one bottle cap toward the lid structure.
  6. When tossing, if your cap lands on the coaster and stays there the entire round, you get 5 points. If your cap lands on the frisbee and stays there, you get 2 points, and if it lands on the garbage can lid, you get 1 point.
  7. The person with the most points at the end of the round wins.

DIY KanJam

Create your own backyard version of the hit 00s outdoor activity, KanJam, using two plastic garbage cans. Cut a rectangle slot (about 14 inches wide and 4 inches tall) in the cans about six inches down from the top.

Once you've got your modified receptacle set up, you can grab a frisbee, some friends, and play by the standard KanJam rules.

What You Need

  • Frisbee
  • Two garbage cans

How to Play

  1. Place the garbage cans about 50 yards apart and directly across from each other. The rectangular slots should be facing each other down.
  2. One person from each team takes a position behind each can.
  3. The first player takes their turn and throws the frisbee towards the opposite can. The goal is to score points by getting the frisbee through the rectangular hole, in the top of the can, or to at least hit the can.
  4. When the frisbee reaches the opposite can, your teammate can interfere and hit it once to redirect it towards the can if needed.
  5. To score points, you can hit the can (2 points), hit the can with a teammate interference (1 point), make it into the top of the can with teammate interference (3 points).
  6. Play continues back and forth until one team reaches 21 points or someone sends the frisbee through the slot without any interference.

Quarter Can Pong

Create this simple adult outdoor backyard party game version of Beer Pong using only cans and quarters. Grab your players, some loose change, and get ready to dominate.

What You Need

  • 12 unopened drink cans of the same size
  • 8 quarters
  • A rectangular table

How to Play

  1. Set up six cans in a pyramid shape (with three closest to the edge) at either ends of the table.
  2. Each team gets four quarters and stands together at one end of the table.
  3. Teams take turns tossing or flicking quarters toward their opponents can pyramid.
  4. If your quarter lands on the top of a can and stays there, that can is removed from the pyramid.
  5. The team to eliminate all their opponent's cans first wins.
Quick Tip

Optional drinking rule: When a quarter lands on one of your cans, one person from your team has to take a swig of that drink, and cans aren't removed from the game until they're empty.

Ladder Pong

What do you get when you mix Ladder Golf and Beer Pong? Ladder Pong! You can play this adult party game with any number of players and use any alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks you want.

What You Need

  • 1 step ladder with at least 3 rungs
  • 2 plastic cups for each rung
  • Ping-pong balls

How to Play

  1. Set the ladder up so it's standing on its own.
  2. Place two cups on each rung, a few inches apart. Fill each cup halfway.
  3. Assign a point value to each rung, with higher point values toward the top.
  4. Take turns tossing one ping-pong ball at a time toward the cups, making sure to stand about 10 feet away from the ladder.
  5. If your ball goes in a cup, you get the points for that rung and can choose any opponent to drink its contents. The cup is then removed from the game.
  6. The person with the most points when all the cups are off the ladder wins.

Javelin Lawn Darts

This adults-only backyard game can get a little rowdy, so make sure you're playing area is free of anything that could get damaged. Bring back that 'devil-may-care' 60s kid freedom and start throwing some sharp darts around.

What You Need

  • 6 sticks of similar sizes
  • 1 knife
  • Paint
  • 2 hula hoops or rope to make 2 hoops
  • Grass or dirt playing area

How to Play

  1. Use a knife to carve one end of each stick into a sharp point, like a javelin. Note - You can also grab something like wooden kebab skewers if whittling isn't your thing.
  2. Paint the dull ends of three sticks the same color.
  3. Place the hoops about 20-30 feet apart directly across from each other.
  4. All players stand behind one hoop.
  5. One team gets the painted sticks and the other team gets the natural sticks.
  6. Teams take turns throwing the sticks like javelins or lawn darts toward the opposite hoop.
  7. If your stick lands with the point stuck in the ground inside the hoop, you get 2 points. If your stick lands in the hoop, but isn't stuck point-side in the ground, you get 1 point.
  8. Once you've thrown all the sticks have, go to the other hoop and take turns throwing from there.
  9. The first team with 15 points wins.

Adult Yard Scrabble

What better place than your own backyard to have a little fun with inappropriate words that won't offend anyone? In this DIY Scrabble game, the goal isn't to create the longest words, but the most scandalous ones.

What You Need

  • 50-100 paper plates
  • Marker
  • 1 picnic bench per player
  • Large open yard

How to Play

  1. Identify your playing area, thinking of it like a massive Scrabble board.
  2. Each player should stand on a different side of the playing area. Each player should lay the bench on its side facing themselves to create the tile holder.
  3. Write one letter on each paper plate. A real Scrabble game has 100 letter tiles, but you can create half of that if you want.
  4. Place all the plates letter-side down in a random pile off to the side of your playing area.
  5. Each player chooses seven letter plates and places them along their bench so only they can see the letters.
  6. Players take turns creating words in the play area that are connected to each other. In keeping with the theme, words should be naughty, scandalous, swears, etc.
  7. After each turn, players pull from the pile to make sure they have seven letters in their tile holder at all times.
  8. You can keep score using standard Scrabble scoring or adjust it to something easier to calculate.

Human Ring Toss

Create a simple game of human ring toss in your backyard with hula hoops and some brave friends. You'll want at least five players for this large group game. All you need are about three hula hoops and a big open space.

How to Play

  1. Choose two players at the start of each round. The other three people will be human targets.
  2. The human targets should stand in various positions, like crouching, standing with arms at sides, or standing with arms in a dab.
  3. Each player gets a turn to throw all three hoops. The goal is to score points and get one on each target or all three on one target.
  4. You get 2 points if the hoop goes completely over the target and rests on the ground. You get 1 point if the hoop leans on the target in any way.
  5. The player with the most points at the end is the winner.
A group of friends with hula hoops

Can Crush

Make your own outdoor version of Candy Crush in your backyard using cans you actually crush. This game is best enjoyed with two players, but if you have a lot of cans, you can include up to four.

What You Need

  • At least 40 cans of different colors and sizes
  • A large playing area

How to Play

  1. Start with 20 cans. Make a large square grid that's five cans across in four rows. Try to be as random as possible so the cans are really mixed up.
  2. On a turn, you get to switch any two cans. The goal is to get a straight line of two or more cans that are the same brand, color, etc.
  3. In Candy Crush fashion, cans that are the same color can form a line. Cans that are the same brand/flavor can form a line.
  4. Keep in mind while moving the cans that lines must be horizontal or vertical.
  5. If your move lines up two or more cans, you get to crush all the cans in the line. Take your crushed cans back with you and start a pile.
  6. After a crushing, replace the crushed cans with new cans.
  7. Once all the cans have been crushed, players tally up their can collection. The player with the most cans wins.

DIY Outdoor Party Games Adults Can't Stop Playing

Whether you're stuck at home and looking for fun or hosting a backyard party, there're endless creative outdoor party games you can play with large groups or two adults. Make your party memorable by trying out games your guests have probably never heard of, but will definitely want to steal for their own parties.

12 DIY Adult Outdoor Party Games to Bring Out Your Inner Child