10 Awesome Outdoor Games for Summer 2018

Whether you're playing on the beach, staging a wedding or staying home to barbecue, these games offer ways to affordably entertain a group.

Person walking on slackline at beachFaurinz / Shutterstock.com

Summertime, and the living is easy! At least, we hope you have a calendar full of travel, relaxation, picnics, ballgames — whatever it is that makes the season a joy for you.

One way to add to the many outdoor opportunities is to bring on games to entertain everyone in your circle. Here are some fantastic ones — new and traditional — that we can recommend, and you can get for relatively little.

1. Slackline

Slackline by TrailblazeTrailblaze Products / Amazon

Get fit and bolster your balance with a slackline — which can be rigged up between two trees wherever you may find yourself. The kit for this includes a balance line for getting started. Kids ands adults (up to 300 pounds) will enjoy the “high wire” challenge — and according to the sellers, the practice benefits your core, balance and mental fitness. Spice up your next picnic, or use it for a good backyard workout.

2. Roundnet

People playing Slammo game at the beach.GoSports / Amazon

Roundnet is a high-energy game for every age — sort of a cross between volleyball and four-square. Instead of hitting the ball over the net, players (usually it’s two-on-two) return the ball by bouncing it off the round net, which can be set up pretty much anywhere. The goes by the brand name Slammo, but . This game is now mainstream — get good at it, and compete in the company’s .

3. Giant yard dice

GoSports giant yard diceGoSports / Amazon

Take any dice game into the great out of doors with these . It’s as suitable for tailgating as is for a wedding reception.

4. Beanbag toss

Beanbag toss by Triumph SportsTriumph Sports / Amazon

Whether you’re trying to entertain adults at a garden party or small children, the beanbag toss is a safe bet tradition. There are — and you may have one in your garage or attic that you just need to dust off. The featured in the picture adds a layer of complexity with multiple holes in the target boards and two types of projectiles — bean bags and plastic washers.

5. Bocce ball

Bocce ball playersGoSports / Amazon

Take on bocce ball, after inheriting something similar from the French and English — and may go back to ancient Egyptians. According to :

Bocce ball can be played by two single players pitted against one another, or by two teams with two, three, or four players each.

It’s a little like another lawn game, croquet, but better in that it has fewer parts. You can .

6. Giant yard pong

Giant pongYardGames / Amazon

You have to admit that beer pong played in the traditional manner is not really a sport. But its cousin, giant yard pong, comes a lot closer — and is a great option for tailgating, barbecues and picnics where the adults plan to drink beer regardless. Check out to spice up your next outing.

7. Giant kickball

People playing with Wicked Big Sports kickballWicked Big Sports / Amazon

Throw a ball of any kind into a crowd of people, and they will figure out a game to play with it. offers a fun twist for kickball (or really, anything), especially if you have space in the car. If space in your transport is limited, throw in a and blow it up when you get where you’re going.

8. Laser tag

Laser tag game by Dynasty ToysDynasty Toys / Amazon

We all know the game of tag — it probably goes back to the beginning of human play. is the tech-age version — a perfect after-dark game for adults or children whether car camping or enjoying a picnic in the park. Wrist monitors register when a laser has “tagged” its wearer.

9. Backyard bowling

Lawn bowling setHey! Play! / Amazon

Who wants to be in a bowling alley that smells of feet and greasy pizza when there’s outdoor bowling? It’s cheap too — with only the cost of a . This one has balls with finger holes, but there’s a wide array of options.

10. Hammock

Hammock in woodsDezajny / Shutterstock.com

OK, a hammock is not exactly a game, but it can make way for great summer activities — say snuggling with a kid or sweetheart, or a nap for Grandpa after a vigorous game of bocce ball. There are many strong, lightweight versions now that are easy to transport and set up.

What games do you love to play in summer? Share with us in comments below or on our .

Kari Huus
Kari Huus
Kari Huus was a founding member of msnbc.com in 1996, where she covered international political and economic news, and later developed special multimedia reporting projects until 2014. Prior to that she was ... More

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