Lawn games for adults for your next summer garden party

It's just not cricket without summer party games.

Group Of Mature Friends Playing Lawn Games For Adults

by Natalie Knowles |
Updated on

So much more than just a footie match, lawn games for adults hark back to the tradition of making hay when the sun shines. From bowls to croquet, outdoor games were once the pastime of kings and queens. Now, we all have the pleasure of enjoying midsummer with Pimms and party games. So, dust off the garden furniture, toss a coin and let the games begin!

There's something quintessentially British about summer lawn games. In the spirit of bank holiday weekends and the summer break, we like to make memories outdoors as soon as we get a glimmer of sunlight. It's time to invest in a boules set or a giant chessboard to keep in your garden storage box until the weather's ready for hoopla and welly wanging.

Best lawn games for adults at a glance:

Best game for small lawns: Traditional Garden Games Garden Quoits – View on Amazon UK
Best traditional lawn bowling set: Wooden Skittles Game Set-Lawn Bowling – View on Amazon UK
Best traditional boules set: Big Game Hunters 8 Boules Set – View on Amazon UK

If you're looking for some light entertainment for an outdoor wedding reception, summer garden party or birthday, having a few pick-up-and-play games will keep your guests amused while the sausages cook on the outdoor grill. Some people may prefer a two-person game, such as giant Connect 4, while others may like to group together for a communal game of rounders. Variety is key to keeping everyone entertained. And don't forget the kids; a splash pad or paddling pool is an easy way to keep little ones thrilled and occupied.

So sit back and enjoy the amusing arguments breaking out over who's cheating and who's in charge of the scoring. And if all that sounds a bit boring, you can always set up the Twister mat on the lawn...

Best lawn games for adults

Best game for small lawns

Traditional Garden Games Garden QuoitsAmazon/Traditional Garden Games
Price: $15.99

Garden Quoits by Traditional Garden Games is a simple yet fun game that everyone can enjoy. This wooden set is made to last, and it's portable too, as it comes with its own carry bag. Quoits became a popular garden game in the 1880s. The aim is to throw the hoops at the numbered pegs, and whoever gets the highest score is the winner.

Customer review: "This is our new must have present for our children's friends… wow, great quality and we have had hours of fun with this traditional garden game. Perfect for birthday presents and a great all round family game. Looks more expensive than it was and the quality of the item when playing the game is really good."

Pros

  • Amazon's Choice
  • Made from durable, quality wood
  • Portable
  • Easy to assemble

Cons

  • Customers comment on wear and tear on parts due to regular use

Best traditional lawn bowling set

Wooden Skittles Game Set-Lawn BowlingAmazon/Jac & Mok
Price: £32.97

If you've got a large lawn and you've cultivated perfect stripes with your lawn mower, this Wooden Skittles Game Set-Lawn Bowling will have the perfect clearly defined lanes in which to bowl. The high-quality rubber wood pins will stand up on a short-cut lawn and are a more durable option than plastic alternatives. The set comes with a robust Oxford cloth bag for easy storage and portability.

Pros

  • Quality
  • Durable
  • Traditional
  • Easy to play

Cons

  • Requires even ground or the skittles will all over

Best traditional boules set

Big Game Hunters 8 Boules SetAmazon/Big Game Hunters
Price: £32.99

Play Petanque like grown-ups with the Big Game Hunters 8 Boules Set. Designed for four players these extra durable boules have rust-free protection and are superior quality. If you're serious about your games, this set has boules with individual markings so you can identify the winning boule. The set includes a measure, jack and durable carry case.

Customer review: "The boules are shiny and heavy and appear very well made and are cased in a sturdy nylon, zipped carrying case with individual compartments for each boule. I am sure I and my family will have tremendous fun with this."

Pros

  • Amazon's Choice
  • Durable
  • Quality
  • Portable

Cons

  • Customers comment that the zips broke on the carry bag

Best simple boules set

Activo Boules SetJohn Lewis

Play Petanque to your heart's content with the Activo Boules Set. This comprises of eight water-filled balls and a jack in a neat carry-case. Divide into teams, toss a coin and take turns to throw boules at the jack from a defined throwing circle (it could be a hula hoop). There are more complex rules should you wish to make it more competitive, but when the beers and wine are flowing, who needs rules...

Customer review: "Bought these as a one off for part of a team day out. They were great and then went home with one member to be used throughout the summer. Cheap but perfectly good for the game."

Pros

  • Neat and portable
  • Play various games
  • Fun for a small group

Cons

  • A little heavy if you're taking it on a day out

Best game for a large lawn

ApudArmis Six Player Croquet SetAmazon/ApudArmis

Rrp: $49.99

Price: $41.99

ApudArmis Six Player Croquet Set makes this traditional lawn game accessible and fun for all. The brightly coloured balls are attractive, and the wooden mallets have colour-coding, so there's no confusion over who's using which mallet. The croquet balls are durable and textured, so they can be used on wet grass and sand. Take this lovely set with you on holiday, it's a wonderful family game that everyone can enjoy.

Customer review: "Easy to assemble. Quite sturdy and good for amateur games."

Pros

  • Kit contains everything you need to play croquet
  • Portable
  • Sticks are crafted from durable poplar timber

Cons

  • Differing customer opinions on the quality of the set

Best giant garden chess set

Garden Games Giant Chess SetAmazon/Garden Games
Price: £403.99

Perfect for an Alice in Wonderland-themed party or a more sedate and cerebral affair, this Garden Games Giant Chess Set is low activity yet pleasantly challenging for two players who need diversion. For guests who have old scores to settle, this fold-away chess set may help them to decide who's the winner that takes it all. The king stands 64cm tall, and the pieces can be weighted with sand or water. Giant Draughts pieces are also available.

Customer review: "The pieces are made from a very robust plastic and stand up to the great British weather, they have been out in the sun and rain and still look great with no adverse effects. As the chess pieces come in two sections you can fill the bottom part with water which weights them and even in the strong winds they didn't blow away."

Pros

  • Traditional game
  • Gentle and cerebral fun
  • Mat folds up for storage

Cons

  • Customer felt the quality was lacking

Best game for small gardens

Giant Noughts and CrossesAmazon/DGI
Price: £12.99

Giant Noughts and Crosses, also known as Tic-tac-toe, is a less strenuous lawn game that's easy to pick up. Two players take turns to place either an "X" or an "O" on a grid of three rows and three columns. The winner is the first to get three of their marks in a row, either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. This durable set can be dismantled for space-saving storage when not in use. Additionally, it can be played indoors too.

Customer review: "Fun to play but very light so blow away easily if there’s any wind."

Pros

  • Amazon's Choice
  • Simple
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Can blow away in the wind

Best giant Jenga

Big Game Hunters Jumbo Hi-Tower in a BagAmazon/Big Game Hunters
Price: $52.99

The last thing you want at a garden party is your guests turning to their phones for entertainment. Rest assured, Big Game Hunters Jumbo Hi-Tower in a Bag is going to pique everyone's interest. It's Jenga but big! It doesn't require a huge amount of sporting ability, just a steady hand and a good sense of humour when the wooden blocks all come tumbling down. Plus, there are options to go even bigger with the Mega Hi Tower and Giant Tower.

Customer review: "This product feels like a quality product. The blocks themselves are smooth and rounded. The carry bag is a really nice touch and big enough so you don't have to faff around lining everything up perfectly."

Pros

  • Easy to pick up but fiendish to master
  • Great for parties
  • Durable

Cons

  • Do check the dimensions there are larger size towers available

Best lawn game for easy storage

Garden horseshoe pitching gameOrdnance Survey
Price: £10.19 (was £11.99)

shop.ordnancesurvey.co.uk

A lovely little party game for a wedding reception or an anniversary get-together, this Garden Horseshoe Pitching Game is ideal for a small group of guests. Position the numbered stakes in the ground and toss the horseshoes, with the aim of getting the horseshoe to land on the stake. It's small, lightweight and portable, so you can take it to the beach or park too.

Pros

  • Easy to pick up the rules
  • Challenging in a fun way
  • Portable

Cons

  • A little basic in design

Best lawn game for simplicity

Funtime Gifts PL0350 Lawn DartsAmazon/Funtime Gifts
Price: $11.95 (was £12.99)

Funtime Gifts PL0350 Lawn Darts is suitable for any size lawn, and the darts don't have any sharp points, so it's child and animal-friendly. Encourage friendly competition with a simplified version of a Great British game that can be a pleasant background activity to limit any long awkward silences at the party.

Customer review: "Darts heavier than I expected. Should have bought the ones with a dart like point on. Although we still had a great garden party, I think we might have played with them longer if the youngsters could handle them better."

Pros

  • Easy to play
  • Great group activity
  • Suitable for any size garden

Cons

  • Not very sturdy

How we chose the best lawn games for adults

All of these lawn games for adults have been hand-selected by our team of Modern Gardens shopping experts. We carefully considered fun factor, budget and size in our selection of the best. Our team has spent hours investigating and researching the best lawn games for adults to make it easier for you to find the very best, and we'd never recommend a product we don't believe in.

Where possible, we also test and share the latest and best products you should know about. And with help from Modern Gardens Magazine, Garden News and Garden Answers, we share expert gardening knowledge to help you get the most from your product.

FAQs

What giant outdoor games are available?

Choose from classic board games, such as Jenga, Connect 4, chess, draughts, noughts and crosses and dominoes. There's even a version of Giant Pass The Pigs that can be played in the garden.

Where can I rent lawn games for my garden party?

You can rent lawn games for your garden party from event rental companies, party supply stores and websites specialising in outdoor games. Just be sure to check availability and pricing in your local area. Here are some of our top picks:

Rent Event covering Sussex, Surrey and Kent.

Partychest with nationwide delivery.

Simply The Best Events also with nationwide delivery.

Alternatively, if you'd rather buy than rent, Jaques of London have some fabulous traditional garden games available on Amazon UK. Also, English Heritage has some wonderful traditional garden games to buy, including rounders, giant snakes & ladders and even a bow and arrow set.

What lawn games can I play with minimal equipment?

It depends on the crowd you are entertaining, but a jolly group of revellers may enjoy a tug of war, egg and spoon race or sack race. A simple game of frisbee is low-fuss entertainment while the hot tub gets up to temperature. Of course, there's always welly wanging, where a Wellington boot is thrown, and furthest throw wins.

For friendly competition that's less energetic, consider bringing a stack of board games outside to pick up and play at leisure under the garden gazebo. On the lawn, consider balloon volleyball, where players bat an inflated balloon back and forth across a makeshift net. Plus, there's always limbo to get the party started...

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Natalie Knowles is a Homes & Garden Product Writer for Modern Gardens, specialising in garden trends. When she's not flexing her mow-how, Natalie is a successful artist and illustrator.

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