Gardens Illustrated picks out garden furniture, tools and lifestyle items that we think are the best and most exciting, based on independent research and careful consideration. On some occasions we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products. But this doesn’t affect what we choose to highlight and we will never let it bias our coverage.
A box of boules with four balls in front.

Best outdoor games

Outdoor games offer hours of fun for all the family - and there are countless options available, from traditional quoits and croquet sets to table tennis kits and giant chess boards.

One of the best ways to make the most of glorious weather – and have a bit of fun while you’re at it – is to play garden games. Easy to store and quick to set up, outdoor games are useful items to have; it’s always a good idea to keep a couple in the shed for sunny days and al fresco dinner parties.

Advertisement

Below, you’ll find outdoor games to suit every situation and event, from giant chess tournaments on quiet afternoons to rounders matches and sports day set-ups for summer gatherings.

Best outdoor games for sunny days

Quoits / ring toss

A game of wooden ring toss on a white background.

Quoits – or, as it’s commonly called, ring toss – is a great choice if you’ve got young children. You score points by throwing the rope hoops onto the upright posts, so older players don’t necessarily have an advantage! You can get started with two or more people.

Rounders

A wooden bat, four markers and a rounders ball on a neutral background.

We all remember playing rounders at school, so why not bring it back and have a family match in your garden? These sets come with a bat, ball and four wooden markers. Plus, you’ll get a storage bag to keep everything tidy and clean once you finish playing.

Giant tumbling tower

Two giant tumbling towers and a black bag on a white background.

Giant tumbling towers are fantastic outdoor games to have in the shed. Enjoy a quick match with a friend or organise a tournament with multiple players. It’s simple, fun and quick to set up – and everyone can get involved. You’ll probably be surprised how competitive things get!

Kubb

A kubb set on a white background.

Kubb is a popular outdoor game for garden parties and other gatherings, and it’s thought to have a history spanning 1,000 years. In fact, some believe the Vikings enjoyed a contest. The aim is to knock over wooden blocks by throwing batons from a distance, before finally toppling the larger ‘king’ before the opposing team gets a chance.

Giant chess

Giant chess pieces on a white background.

If you enjoyed The Queen’s Gambit, here’s an outdoor game for you. This giant chess set is made up of huge interlocking squares you connect to make the board. Then, add the giant chess pieces – or opt for draughts discs if you prefer. As you play, you carry the pieces across the board, and you can fill them with sand for extra stability.

Croquet

A croquet set with four mallets, four balls, wire hoops and a multi-coloured post.

What could be more lovely than a leisurely game of croquet on a hot summer’s day? John Lewis sells a range of different sets, all with a selection of wooden mallets, wire hoops and balls. Once you’ve set up the game, you can play with two, four or six people.

Boules

A box of boules with four balls in front.

For a relaxed garden game everyone can play, try boules. This set comes with eight colourful, wooden balls and two wooden jacks. Setting up a match is quick and easy, and you can play on a range of surfaces, from lawns to patios – just make sure the ground is level!

Table tennis

A table tennis table and a miniature version in the corner on a white background.

Everyone loves a game of table tennis, so why not set up your own table in your garden and play whenever you want? This one comes with four large wheels for easy maneuverability, as well as storage for your balls and paddles. The table top is constructed from 5mm-thick melamine, which should stand up to wind, rain and continued exposure to UV light.

Badminton

A badminton set with four rackets, a bag, a shuttlecock and a net.

Badminton may not be the first garden game to spring to mind, but it’s a lot of fun on summer days. Take the hassle out of getting everything ready by investing in a set – these ones come with everything you need for a fun game, including a net, rackets and shuttlecocks.

Sports day set

A sports day set with spoons, eggs, batons, beanbags, chalk and tags.
Advertisement

Recreate those exciting school sports days with this affordable set of outdoor games from Professor Puzzle. Its contents include beanbags, batons and chalk to make hopscotch games. There’s even kit for egg and spoon races and games of ‘stuck in the mud’.