So you’ve got your backyard all ready for company, with a great patio, an outdoor bar, and maybe a water feature or even a pool? Now’s when it gets fun and all your hard work pays off big time!
After we got our beautiful lawn in and a great patio with retractable awnings and some landscaping, we started having parties. Just a few people at first though so we could get our sea legs. We found out that it’s about as easy to throw a medium- to king-sized party as it is having a small one… as long as we planned it in advance. Our secret? We included at least one party game in every party.
Below are some ideas for outdoor party games to kick off memorable parties in your backyard.
5 Party Game Ideas for Adults
Famous Couples – An easy ice-breaker, this game’s a snap to pull off, and lasts the entire duration of the party. Just make a list of very well-known couples’ names, then put each name individually on a piece of paper, which you’ll tape or pin to the back of each guest as they arrive. Throughout your party, guests are to ask only questions about the famous person’s identity that can be answered with either a Yes or a No. When everybody finds their famous-couple partner, the game is over.
Creature Consequences – Keep this party game going all night long, simply by passing around a pen and a paper form you’ve made in advance (below left). The idea is for each party guest to draw part of a creature (or human), then fold the paper again so that their contribution is hidden. When complete, you can pin up your guests hilarious creations in one central place for all to marvel over. The party game has the effect of enhancing the fun without being intrusive. Make a bunch of photocopies of the form on the left, below, in order for the game to proceed without too much explanation:
Creature Consequences Form:
Creature Consequences Sample Drawing:
Crank out the Charades! This popular standby requires nothing but a couple of pads of paper, some pencils, and two bowls to hold the guest-created clues in. You can also opt to create the clues before the party yourself, but be prepared to come up with a lot of them, because once this game starts, it’s almost impossible to stop. Charades is popular for a reason… it’s fun for everybody, even mere observers.
Crank up the Karaoke! No need to insist that everybody join in. The key to this one is designating separate seating for those who want to sing and listen, and those who’d prefer a quiet conversation area. Karaoke machines are available for rent, but odds are one or more of your guests already has one, plus lots of discs to play.
Detective Forehead – Just pass around a post-it pad and pen and have each guest write out one famous person’s name and stick it onto the forehead of the person on their right. Throughout the party, guests must ask only questions that can be responded to with either a Yes or a No, in order to figure out who their famous forehead person is, and finally remove the post-it. It’s a fantastic conversation-starter!
5 Party Ideas for Kids
Duck-Duck-Goose! (This is for little ones. It’s easy, fun, and excess energy draining.) The rules are simple: The children begin in a circle, sitting down on the lawn or patio. One of them, the “goose,” will walk slowly around the circle on the outside, saying the word “duck” and tapping a seated child on the head. The goose will say “duck” and tap a few more kids’ heads, then finally shout “goose!” This is the signal for the tapee to jump up and race around the circle with the tapper goose. The first player to get back to the empty place becomes the next “goose.
Musical Chairs – Kids love this fun standby, and it gives them a safe, fun way to work off all that energy. Put enough chairs for all but one of the guests in two, back-to-back rows. Start some music, and have the players move around the chairs until it stops, at which point they must find a seat. The child without a seat is out.
Musical Dress-up – Here’s a variation on musical chairs for children up to about twelve. Gather a bag of clothes, hats, shoes, and accessories together and pass it around to music. When the music stops, the person holding the bag takes an item out of the bag (eyes closed) and puts it on.
Piñata! A party piñata is always a hit for kids of any age. You can even make one yourself by attaching strips of newspaper or tissue paper to a blown-up balloon with flour-water paste. Fill it with candy, string it up and let the kids take turns whacking away.
Balloon Blowing Madness – Members of two teams compete to see who can keep a balloon in the air longest, simply by blowing. You’d be surprised how silly and fun this game can be.
Dress Up Your Backyard!
Whether they’re kids or adults, your party guests will feel immediately festive when they see some colorful decorations. Buy them at a party store or make a fun activity out of creating them yourself with the whole family before the event.
Let Your Inner Kid Come Out and Play!
Unleash the kid in you and your partygoers! That’s what everyone, young or old, will remember.
Not quite done with the finishing touches on your backyard? Head over to the backyard solutions page for a few ideas.