If you're tired of being stuck inside with the kids, turn your backyard into the ultimate getaway.

By Eden Lichterman and Jessica Bennett
Updated July 31, 2020
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Summer is flying by, and it's time to make the most of these warm-weather days. Although summer schedules may look a little different this year, one thing we can count on is spending quality time at home with our families. If you're running out of activities to plan inside your home, the summer months open a whole new realm of possibilities outside. From larger-than-life versions of classic games to fan-favorite outdoor competitions, there are plenty of ways to keep your family members entertained in your own backyard. Here are some of the best lawn games to play this summer.

Courtesy of Amazon

Bocce Ball Set

One of the oldest and most widely played lawn games, bocce ball is commonly referred to as "Italian lawn bowling." Members of each team (up to eight players total) take turns throwing their bocce balls as close as possible to a smaller target ball, racking up points until one team reaches the set point total. Complete with two sets of balls and a convenient carrying case, this portable set makes it easy to introduce the classic game to your kids and family members.

Buy It: Bocce Ball Set, ($44, Amazon)

Courtesy of Bed Bath & Beyond

Personalized Picnic Blanket 

If you're looking for something that will help you make the most of summer picnics, this machine-washable blanket is for you. Personalize your picnic blanket with four classic board games, such as tic-tac-toe and checkers, and up to two lines of text. We love the idea of adding your last name or this year's date.

Courtesy of Wayfair

Lawn Bowling Set

Get your whole family involved in an activity with this small 10-pin bowling set. Best played on short grass or sand, you can experience the fun of a family bowling night from the comfort of your backyard. You can have several players take turns rolling the ball. It comes with two wooden balls, ten 8-inch pins, and a mesh bag for easy storage.

Courtesy of Target

Cornhole 

You can never go wrong with a classic cornhole set. The epitome of lawn games, cornhole involves two wooden boards with a hole up top and a set of eight bean bags. Four players go back and forth trying to toss their bean bags into the hole on the other team's board. The set includes two 2x3-foot game boards and eight color-coded bean bags. Reviewers were impressed by its quality, "Really nice cornhole set for the price. Well made."

Courtesy of The Home Depot

Croquet Set

Put a modern spin on a classic yard game with this colorful croquet set. The hardwood mallet handles are 28 inches long, so they're right-sized for both younger players and adults. This 23-piece set includes everything you need to get started including wickets, mallets, balls, and end posts. A handy carrying case allows you to neatly store the set or take it on-the-go. Brush up on how to play croquet and challenge up to six players to get outside and enjoy a game.

Courtesy of Wayfair

Ladder Ball Set

Test your aim with this nine-piece ladder ball set. You'll split into two teams of two and see how well you can throw a string with two rubber balls onto the other team's ladder-like target. To start, simply place the two targets 20-feet apart in your grass and start tossing. One reviewer shared, "This is a game our whole family loves."

Courtesy of Wayfair

Giant Jenga

This classic balancing game is now available in a giant version to play outside. Stack this 54-block set in the traditional tower format or try creating unique geometric shapes. The goal is the same: Remove and stack the blocks without knocking the tower down! More than 320 reviewers love this outdoor summer game, including one who wrote, "Love it! Came in very handy now that we are in quarantine!" Snag the set (which includes a handy carrying case) now for 30% off.

Courtesy of Target

Jumbo Four-In-A-Row Connect

Here's another beloved indoor game that comes in a jumbo outdoor version. While the same rules and pieces apply to this four-foot-tall model, this two-player game just feels more festive when it's larger than life. Both young kids (it's a great game for ages 3 and up!) and the adults in your family will want a turn. Come winter, this game can also be played inside.

Courtesy of Target

Lawn Darts 

You've probably tried your hand at traditional wall darts, but you might not have played the lawn version. To play, head outside and set up the circular targets on your grass. Two players take turns tossing the darts and see who can get the most inside the ring. This kid-friendly version comes with rounded, injury-resistant darts. Store this seven-piece set in the space-saving caddy when not in use.

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