5 Great Lawn Games to Liven Up Your Memorial Day (and Summer)

Looking for a way to add a little more excitement to your Memorial Day gathering – and your summer season?

Bring on the nostalgia with old-school lawn games that rally guests out of their seats and into having fun. Inexpensive to set up and easy to execute, these games are good for all types and ages.

By definition, a lawn game is an outdoor game played on grass, typically involving balls and/or the throwing of objects. People have been playing lawn games for thousands of years, all over the world. Ancient Egyptians, Romans, Mayan and Aztec people were all fans of the lawn game, and Americans are no different. Here are a few of our favorites:


How long has it been since you’ve played croquet? Whether it’s just aimlessly batting around a ball with a mallet or playing an all-out championship, croquet is a true classic. The object of the game is to maneuver your balls through the six wickets in the right direction and then “peg out” by hitting the central peg. This game is quintessentially British and begs for pastel pants and a cool glass of Pimms. Click here for the full rules of the game from the United States Croquet Association.



If you’ve recently been to college or any bar with an outdoor space, you’ve probably played cornhole or seen a bunch of rowdies doing so.  Also known as the bean bag toss,  it’s an American lawn game (originating in Kentucky) in which players take turns throwing bags of corn (or bean bags) at a raised platform with a hole in the far end. A bag in the hole scores 3 points, while one on the platform scores 1 point, until a player reaches the score of 21. From small children to seniors, if you can toss a bean bag 30 yards, you can play corn hole. Get the full rules of play by visiting the website of the American Cornhole Association (yes, an association exists for this, too!).


Water Balloon Toss

One of our favorites! Perfect for a hot day, this is great fun for people who don’t mind getting doused with a bursting water balloon. All you need is an even number of people and a bunch of water balloons and you’re on your way. Divide players into groups of two and give each pair a balloon, then line them up in two lines with partners facing each other. Each player tosses to their partner, and those who catch successfully take a big space backwards and keep doing so until their balloon breaks. The last team standing wins!


Egg-and-Spoon Race

Just as easy to set up as as the water balloon toss, the egg-and-spoon race calls for runners to balance an egg on a spoon and race with it to the finish line. The first to complete the race with egg intact is pronounced the winner. This is great for youngsters and is often paired with a three-legged race or a gunny sack race.


Tug of War

Time to resurrect this old favorite! Select a flat grassy area, get your long rope ready and pick a judge. Mark the center line of the field with whatever you have handy, and mark the winning lines 10 feet on either side of the center line. Get together teams that are somehow equally balanced in size (or invite sworn rivals to face off against each other, regardless of size and strength). Wise teams will choose a sturdy anchorman to hold the back of the rope, and players should alternate on either sides of the rope. The winning team is the first to pull the center streamer over the winning line on the ground. While some of us aren’t up to getting down and dirty with tug of war, every child has got to play this game at least once in their lifetime.


Introduce any of these 5 simple games, and bring back memories while making new ones at the same time.

Love creating family traditions? Click here to visit out our last blog 4 Memorable Ways to Mark the End of the School Year!