best picnic games

by | Apr 21, 2024 | picnic ideas

Picnic games are the perfect way to add fun and excitement to outdoor gatherings. We’ve prepared a list of the best picnic games for everyone: kids, couples, couples, and large groups of friends alike.

These games are designed to bring smiles and laughter to your day and make every picnic memorable. Whether you’re looking for active play, strategic challenges, or just some light-hearted entertainment, there’s something here for every setting.

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Choosing Picnic Games: What to Know 🤔

Here are the things you will need to consider when prepping for your fun day:

  • Age, physical ability, and number of participants 🙋‍♂️🙋‍♀️ Choose games that are suitable for the age and physical ability of the participants and that can accommodate the number of people attending.
  • Necessary equipment 🏐 Ensure you have all the equipment for your chosen games.
  • Location 📍 Consider the location and any specific constraints it may present, such as a lack of open space or equipment.
  • Enjoyment 🤗 Choose game ideas for a picnic you know your guests will enjoy. A game everyone likes can uplift the mood and make your picnic a hit.

Best Family Games for Picnics 👫👶

Family games are essential for creating unforgettable moments during picnic outings. Here’s a selection of popular games that families can enjoy together.

1. Cornhole

Cornhole is a beloved lawn game that’s perfect for family gatherings. Players take turns tossing bean bags towards a raised platform with a hole at one end. Points are scored by landing the bags on the platform or getting them through the hole. The simplicity and friendly competition of Cornhole make it ideal for players of all ages.

We’ve covered review of the best cornhole game sets here.

cornhole game

Cornhole Set – 4.5/5 Ranking on Amazon

2. Horseshoes

Horseshoes is a classic game where players toss horseshoes towards a metal stake in the ground, aiming to ring the stake or land as close as possible. Scoring depends on how near the horseshoe lands to the stake, providing a challenging yet fun activity for family members to sharpen their aiming skills.

horseshoes game

3. Twister

Twister is a vibrant and physically engaging game played on a large mat dotted with colored circles. Participants spin a dial to determine where to place their hands and feet without falling over. Twister is excellent for families as it encourages physical flexibility and a lot of laughter, and it is suitable for children and adults alike.

4. Mini Golf

Mini golf can be creatively set up with everyday objects or inexpensive supplies, turning a picnic area into a fun miniature golf course. Family members take turns putting a ball through obstacles, aiming for holes designated around the picnic site. This game is fantastic for developing hand-eye coordination and enjoying friendly rivalry among family members.

5. Jenga

Jenga involves stacking wooden blocks to create a tower and carefully removing one block at a time without toppling the structure. This game is a test of steadiness and patience and provides suspenseful entertainment, as each move could be the game’s turning point.

Picnic Games for Kids 👦👧

Outdoor games are a fantastic way to keep children engaged and active during a picnic. Here are some fun and energetic activities that are perfect for young participants:

1. Badminton

Badminton is a lively racquet sport that gets everyone moving. Teams or individuals use racquets to hit a shuttlecock over a net, competing to keep it off the ground. The game is typically played to 21 points and is perfect for developing coordination and team spirit among kids.


You can get the Franklin Sports Badminton Racket Set for 2 players here.

2. Frisbee

Frisbee involves a simple flying disc but offers endless fun. Participants throw the Frisbee to one another, aiming to catch it before it lands. This game is excellent for teaching kids about timing and precision, and it’s easy to adapt to any number of players.

best frisbees

We’ve curated the review of the best frisbees on the market.

3. Tag

Tag is the ultimate energy burner. One child is designated as “it” and must chase the others, tagging someone to pass on the “it” role. This chase version helps burn off picnic treats and boosts agility and speed.

4. Simon Says

Simon Says is a playful command game in which one leader issues instructions prefixed with “Simon says.” If the command does not start with these magic words, players should not follow it. This game enhances listening skills and reaction times, making it both educational and fun.

For a twist on “Simon Says,” consider incorporating silly or unusual actions to keep the game lively and entertaining. You can also let different players take turns being “Simon” to keep the game dynamic and give everyone a chance to challenge others with creative commands.

5. Red Light, Green Light

Red light and green light combine movement with a bit of strategy. One player acts as the traffic light, giving signals that allow others to move toward them (green light) or require them to freeze (red light). The objective is to reach the traffic light without moving during a red light call. This game teaches children about attention and restraint, with many giggles.

Picnic Games for Couples ❤️

Picnic games for couples are a great way to deepen connections and add fun to a romantic outing.

Here are some engaging activities tailored for two:

1. Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt challenges couples to find specific items in their surrounding environment. Prepare a list of natural or fun items, like a pinecone, a special rock, or a uniquely shaped leaf. The first couple to collect all the items on their list wins. This game encourages exploration and teamwork, making it both adventurous and bonding.

2. Card Games

For couples enjoying a picnic, here are some engaging card games that mix strategy, intimacy, and fun:

  1. Love Letter. This is a game of risk, deduction, and luck designed for 2-4 players. Your goal is to get your love letter into Princess Annette’s hands while deflecting the letters from competing suitors. It’s quick and easy to learn, and each round lasts only a few minutes.
  2. Hanabi. In this cooperative card game, players work together to create a perfect fireworks show. The twist is that you can see everyone’s cards except your own. Communicating and remembering information about your and your partner’s cards is key, making it a great game for couples to build teamwork and trust.
  3. Jaipur. A fast-paced card game blending tactics, risk, and luck, Jaipur is designed for two players. The players are traders in Rajasthan, competing to demonstrate to the Maharajah that they can earn a greater profit. The game is rich in strategy but easy to pick up, making it perfect for a relaxing yet competitive picnic date.

These games are well-suited for a picnic setting as they are compact, easy to carry, and provide a delightful challenge that can enhance your day with light-hearted competition and cooperation.

Also, if you are a fan of board games – we’ve created a list of the best board games of all time.

3. Talk, Flirt, Dare

Talk, Flirt, Dare is an entertaining game that combines conversation, flirting, and playful challenges. Each turn, players draw cards that prompt them to share stories, compliment each other, or perform fun dares. It’s a fantastic way to break the ice and add an element of surprise to your picnic.

talk flirt dare

4.4 / 5 Rating on Amazon

4. Checkers

Checkers is a strategic board game where players move their pieces across the board, aiming to capture their opponent’s pieces or block their moves. This game requires careful planning and can be a quiet yet intense way to engage with each other.

checkers & tic-tac-toe wooden board

5. Dominoes

Dominoes involve matching tiles based on the number of dots. The goal is to play all your tiles or get the lowest score. It’s a game of matching and strategy, ideal for couples who enjoy tactical games that allow casual conversation.

Fun Team Picnic Games 🤝

Team games are a great way to foster camaraderie and spirit during your picnic. Here are some classic and exciting team games that everyone can enjoy

1. Soccer

Soccer is among the most popular sports globally and an excellent choice for picnics. You only need a soccer ball and some open space to set goals. This game involves teamwork and strategy as players work together to score goals against the opposing team, making it perfect for energizing and engaging guests of all ages.

2. Volleyball

Volleyball requires a net and a ball and can be played on any flat surface. Teams hit the ball repeatedly over the net, trying to land it within the opposing team’s area to score points. Volleyball emphasizes hand-eye coordination and team strategy, providing a fun and competitive environment.

Here is a great option on the market: Portable Professional Outdoor Volleyball Net Set 4.5/5 Rating on Amazon.

3. Tug of War

Tug of war is a test of strength and teamwork. Two teams grip opposite ends of a rope and try to pull each other across a central line. This game is fantastic for building team spirit and can be a thrilling picnic highlight.

Tug of war

4. Ultimate Frisbee

Ultimate Frisbee combines soccer, football, and basketball elements but uses a frisbee instead of a ball. Teams pass the frisbee to each other, trying to catch it in the opposing team’s end zone to score points. Ultimate Frisbee is highly engaging and helps develop agility and teamwork.

5. Capture the Flag

Capture the Flag is a strategic outdoor game in which two teams try to capture the other team’s flag from their territory and bring it back to their base without being tagged. This game encourages strategy, teamwork, and physical fitness, making it an adventurous addition to any picnic.

Enhance every picnic with games that spark joy and camaraderie among friends and family. Whether it’s high-energy sports or relaxing board games, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Remember, the best picnics are filled with laughter, play, and unforgettable moments. So grab some games on your next outing and make every picnic a celebration!

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birthday picnic ideas


Are there any games that require no equipment at all?

Yes, games like Simon Says, Red Light, Green Light, and Tag are excellent choices as they require no equipment, just players and open space to run around.

What are some game ideas for a picnic located in a small area?

For picnics in smaller areas, games that don’t require a lot of space are ideal. Consider games like Jenga, Checkers, card games, Dominoes, or even a Scavenger hunt where items to find are within the immediate picnic area.

What if we don’t have all the necessary equipment for a game?

Many games can be adapted using items you might already have. For example, any ball can substitute for a specific game ball, or you can create bean bags for cornhole using socks and dry beans. For board games like Checkers, you can draw a grid on paper and use coins or other small items as game pieces.

How can we handle disputes or disagreements during games?

Before starting any game, set clear rules and expectations and ensure everyone understands them. If disputes arise, take a break and calmly discuss the issue. Remind everyone that the primary goal is to have fun, and it’s just a game.

What are some ideas for prizes or rewards for game winners?

Prizes can be simple and inexpensive. Consider small trophies, certificates, or a special picnic table seat. For kids, stickers, small toys, or the chance to be the leader in the next game could be exciting rewards. Remember, the goal is to have fun and not to create intense competition.

Planning a beach picnic? Check our list of the best beach games for your memorable sunny day.

Affiliate Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a commission if you purchase through these links at no extra cost.

Olga and Vlad Picnic Makers

Vlad and Olga

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