When the weather warms up and picnic season hits full swing, our first thoughts are about the picnic menu. But spare some thought for some fun picnic games.
You don’t have to be planning a kid’s picnic or even a birthday picnic to throw some games in the mix. We’ve rounded up some great picnic games for kids and adults to set your picnic apart.
We’ve compiled a list of great picnic games for all ages, from classic, no-cost games like tag and hide and seek to classic travel (and giant) board games and more modern games like cornhole or even human ring toss using friends and a hula hoop. There’s something to keep everyone entertained.
Best Selling Picnic Games For Kids
Scavenger hunts are always a great hit with kids at picnics. They are a fun way to explore the outdoors and get some exercise.
Here’s how to play – divide the kids into teams of two or three. Make sure each team has an adult helper. Give each group a Scavenger Hunt List of things to find. The items on the list should be things you can find at the picnic grounds. Finally, set a time limit for the hunt and let the kids loose. The first team to find all the items on their list wins a prize.
You can buy specific Scavenger Hunt Games, which have all the cards. Or, you can download fun Scavenger Hunt Checklists which you can print off again and again. It’s cheaper and an excellent solution for bigger groups.
Water Balloon Toss
Water balloon toss is perfect for hot summer picnics. To play, divide the kids into teams of two and have each team stand across from the other and give each team a water balloon. The object of the game is to toss the water balloon back and forth between the two teammates, without dropping it. If the water balloon breaks, the team is out. The last team standing without breaking their water balloon wins.
Another spin on the water balloon game is a game of skill. This water balloon toss banner challenges kids to gain points by getting the balloons through the holes in the banner. The highest score wins.
Ring Toss is a game of skill for any age. This beautiful hand-crafted Ring Toss game on Etsy takes it up a notch with colored rings for teams and engraved numbered pegs for scoring. The set also dismantles for easy storage.
Want a hilarious alternative to a standard ring toss game? Try Human Ring Toss. Yep, use real humans as your pegs and gently toss hula hoops to see if you can score a human. See how many hula hoops you can toss over one person, or use multiple people, assigning different score values to each person to make it more challenging.
Potato Sack Race
There’s nothing quite as fun as a good old potato sack race. A few old potato sacks and a bit of energy make a laughter-filled picnic game for both kids and adults. If you don’t have any old burlap sacks lying around, you can pick up a set very cheaply.
To play, have each player stand in their own sack. Once everyone is ready, the race begins. The objective is to make it to the finish line without falling over or stepping out of the sack. This may sound easy, but it’s actually quite challenging. Players must use their whole body to stay upright while hopping in the sacks.
Cornhole, also called Beanbag Toss, is a classic picnic game that is perfect for kids of all ages. The goal of the game is to toss bean bags into a hole in a raised platform. To play, each team should have two players and four bean bags. Players take turns throwing the bean bags, and points are awarded for each bag that goes through the hole or lands on the platform. The first team to reach 21 points wins the game. The boards are collapsible and attach together with convenient carrying handles.
Capture The Flag
Based on a centuries-old game of tactics, strategy, and conquering opponents, one of the best picnic games for kids is Capture the Flag. Once played with an old rag or flag, Capture the Flag has been bought into the 21st Century.
To play, you’ll need two teams. The object of the game is to capture the other team’s flag and bring it back to your own base. If a player is caught by an opponent, they can be sent to jail. To free a jailed player, one of their teammates must touch them. The first team to capture the other team’s flag wins.
Best Selling Picnic Games for Adults and Older Kids
Tic Tac Toe and Checkers
Tic Tac Toe is an all-time favourite game that can be enjoyed anywhere. The beauty of Tic tac toe is you don’t really need much more than pen and paper to play. But if you want to make the game a little more exciting, try these travel sets.
This large 4ft x 4 ft reversible foam Checkers and Tic Tac Toe Mat with playing pieces gives you a great space for some outdoor picnic fun.
It comes with its own carry case and is designed to withstand the wear and tear of the outdoors.
These 60 unique downloadable Picnic Bingo Cards give you the basis for a fun picnic bongo game. Use the unique draw cards to make the bingo calls and the first to mark every item off their card wins. Add some creative bingo calls for extra laughs. The winner of each round can progress to be the bingo caller.
Lawn dice are a fun and easy picnic game for adults and kids. All you need is a set of jumbo dice to roll. You can play any dice game including Yardzee, Snake Eyes, Beat That, and more. Lawn dice are a fun way to get everyone playing.
This hand-made lawn dice set from Etsy comes with the rules for numerous games and a canvas carry bag.
Or, you can buy a Lawn Dice Set from Amazon which comes with a scoreboard.
Croquet is the quintessential picnic game, typically played with four people. Each player has a different colour ball. The objective of the game is to advance your ball through the hoops “wickets” pegged in the grass using a mallet. There are various methods of scoring depending on which country you are playing.
Another garden party favourite for all ages, Badminton is a game played with long badminton racquets, a net, and a cone-shaped “shuttlecock”.
Played as singles or doubles, the goal of the game is similar to tennis. Hit the “shuttlecock” over the net into the opposite corner, if the shuttlecock hits the ground, then the opposite player or team scores a point until one player or team scores 21 points.
One of the most popular picnic games, especially for a beach picnic is volleyball. Volleyball is a game in which two teams try to score points by hitting a ball over a net. Volleyball is a great picnic game because it is easy to learn and gets everyone moving.
Some parks and beaches will have volleyball nets but there are plenty of portable volleyball nets on the market that you can pop up in minutes. You could even use it for your badminton games or vice, versa.
No Cost Picnic Games
Tag is a picnic classic for a reason – it’s easy to learn, requires no equipment, and can be played by people of all ages. To start, choose one player to be “It.” This player then chases the other players around, trying to tag them with their hands. Once a player is tagged, they become “It” and the game continues.
Hide and Seek
Hide and seek is a great way to keep kids occupied and active for hours. One of the oldest party games around yet still popular. One player counts to 100 with their eyes closed while the other players hide. The seeker then opens his eyes and tries to find the hiders. The first one found is the next seeker, and the last is the winner of the round.
Wheelbarrow races are always a hit at picnics. They’re a great way to get the kids moving, and they’re sure to bring plenty of laughs. Here’s how to play: first, divide the kids into teams of two. One child will be the “wheelbarrow” and the other will be the “driver.” When the race begins, the driver will have to push the wheelbarrow to the finish line using only their legs – no hands allowed. The first team to cross the finish line wins.
Egg and Spoon Race
Another oldie but a goodie and a fantastic game for an Easter Picnic – the Egg and Spoon Race.
Here’s how to play: each player gets an egg and a spoon. The goal is to race to the finish line without dropping and breaking the egg. If the egg falls, the player must stop, go back to the finish line and start again. The first player to reach the finish line with their egg intact, on the spoon, wins the game. You can play this game with normal eggs although, hard-boiled eggs will be less messy. Kids can also decorate the eggs before the race if they choose.
If you don’t want to use real eggs, you can purchase a reusable Egg and Spoon Race kit which can be used over and over and doesn’t make any mess.
Charades is a fun no-cost picnic game that’s perfect for a group of adults or older kids. To play, you’ll need at least four people. Each person will take turns acting out a word or phrase, without speaking. The other players will have to guess what the word or phrase is. The first person to guess correctly gets a point. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.
Three-legged race is an exciting picnic game that is perfect for groups of all ages. To play, two team members tie one of the legs to each other – creating three legs. The teams then line up at the starting line and race to the finish line. The first team to cross the finish line wins. A three-legged race is a fun and easy way to get everyone moving and laughing at your next picnic.
When it comes to hosting a successful picnic, games are always a hit. They provide entertainment for your guests, but they also help to break the ice and get everyone interacting with one another. So be sure to add some fun-filled games to your next outdoor party.