12 outdoor games for al fresco summer fun

Summer is round the corner and we’re already enjoying some warm and sunny days spent in the garden and park. But after you’ve consumed your picnic or finished off your al fresco meal, what to do? Bust out the garden games, of course!

outdoor games
Getty Images

Not just for kids (although most of our picks are suitable for all ages), outdoor games are a great way to pass a sunny afternoon with friends or family. From the wonderfully simple – bat and ball, anyone? – to old-time classics, such as croquet and boules, everyone will find something they’ll enjoy playing outside here. You may even discover a new favourite! Ever played Finnish skittles? Or Cornhole? We’ll bet you haven’t…

12 outdoor games to play this summer

outdoor table tennis set
Oliver Bonas

Sunnylife Metallic Table Tennis Set, £38, Oliver Bonas

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


Original American Cornhole, £84.99, Amazon

Cornhole is a game that’s travelled over here from the States – simply take turns to toss bean bags at your opponent’s board, first to get all their bags through the hole wins.

Croquet set
John Lewis

Professor Puzzle Croquet Set, £35, John Lewis

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

giant outdoor twister game

Get Knotted Giant Games, £67.99, Wayfair

We all know how to play Twister – this version supersizes the classic party game for outside twisted-up fun.

games quilt

Ultimate Game Quilt, £136, Anthropologie

Prefer your al fresco games more on the chic side? This gorgeously designed picnic blanket doubles up as four games boards – it even comes complete with all the game pieces and a canvas carry bag.

bat and ball set
Urban Outfitters

SUNNYLiFE Checkerboard Beach Bats, £25, Urban Outfitters

Bat and ball – is there a game more satisfyingly simple?

ladder game
John Lewis

Bex Ladder Game, £54.99, John Lewis

Another game originating from America, ladder toss sees players throw balls attached to strings so they wrap around the the wrungs of the ladder – the higher up you go, the more points up for grabs.


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

Badminton is a classic garden game that everyone can try their hand at – this set includes an easy to set up net so you can take it with you wherever you’re off to this summer.

wooden boules
Not On The High Street

Wooden Garden Boules, £47.90, Not On The High Street

Boules is a classic game that’s enjoyable for kids and adults alike. This set of wooden balls features colourful zig-zag patterns so you can easily knock your opponents out of the game.

Jacques London

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

Toss the rope rings at the pins to win points – that’s Quoits!

sack racing game

Sack Racing Game, £54.99, Wayfair

Bring old school sports day vibes to your garden party or picnic with a classic sack race. Egg and spoon race optional.

Finnish skittle game

Compact Finnish skittle game, £19.99, Decathlon

This Finnish version of skittles gets you using your mental maths as well as your throwing skills – don’t worry, it’s much more fun that it sounds and not a bit like being back at school!