Crafting the Perfect Outdoor Game Night: Tips and Tricks


Crafting the Perfect Outdoor Game Night: Tips and Tricks

Looking to create lasting memories with loved ones this summer? If so, then you may want to consider hosting an outdoor game night. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination—and you might be surprised by just how much fun you can have without even leaving your yard! Remember a cornhole board is a great way to up your game night – click here to see our cornhole sets.

If you’re not sure where to begin when it comes to hosting a successful outdoor game night, don’t worry. We’ve got plenty of tips and tricks to help you pull it off without stressing yourself out.

Why Host an Outdoor Game Night?

There are many reasons to consider holding an outdoor game night, whether you’re an experienced host or more of a homebody.

First, an outdoor game night provides an excellent opportunity to gather with the people who mean the most to you while creating memories that are bound to last a lifetime. Plus, you and your guests will enjoy being able to spend some time in the great outdoors without being too far from the comforts of home.

An outdoor game night is also a great way to get into that playful and competitive spirit while potentially trying out some new outdoor party games and enjoying your tried-and-true classics.

When to Schedule an Outdoor Game Night

So, when is the best time to schedule an outdoor game night? There are quite a few considerations to keep in mind here. Depending on how many people you’ll be inviting and how busy their schedules are, you may want to plan your game night several weeks or even months in advance. For most people, a weekend evening (such as a Friday or Saturday night) will be most accommodating for an outdoor event, but this could vary based on your crowd.

Keep an eye on the weather for your game night, too. Weather can be unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to have a contingency plan to move your gathering indoors if things take a turn. If this isn’t an option due to space constraints or other reasons, you might even consider renting an outdoor tent to provide shade and shelter from potential rain.

Who to Invite to an Outdoor Game Night

Ultimately, it’s up to you who you wish to invite to your outdoor game night and how big of a shindig you want to plan. If “the more the merrier” is your mindset, consider extending the invite to your entire street or neighborhood. If you prefer to keep it a little smaller, you might instead choose just a few neighbors, close friends, and/or coworkers to invite.

Of course, there’s also nothing wrong with keeping your outdoor game night limited to your immediate family. Just make sure to consider the potential for different age groups and make sure there’s something for everybody to enjoy in terms of games, food, and drinks.

Tips and Tricks for a Successful Evening


Now that you’ve narrowed down when you want to host your game night and who you want to invite, it’s time to get to the fun part: the event planning! From selecting the right games to ensuring you have plenty of seating for your guests, there are a lot of things to keep in mind to ensure your event is as enjoyable as possible for everybody in attendance.

Select Your Roster of Games

You can’t have a game night without the games, so choose wisely here. Selecting the right games for your event is all about knowing your crowd; some people, for example, might be more into party and card games. Others may prefer games that allow them to get up and get moving. It’s good to have a mix of different types of games so that you have something to offer for everybody.

Some classics to consider include:

  • Cornhole
  • Jumbo Jenga
  • Ring toss
  • Board games
  • Card games
  • Volleyball
  • Lawn darts
  • Horseshoes 

If you’re going to have multiple games set up, consider whether your event will be more of a “free-for-all” (where your guests decide what they want to play and when) or if there will be a schedule (with different games played at different times). If you opt for a schedule, remember that you don’t need to follow it exactly—but having one can help keep the event flowing smoothly and ensure that everybody gets a chance to play the games they want.

If there will be children at your party, make sure that there are plenty of kid-friendly games available for them as well. Even young children can enjoy versatile yard games like cornhole and ring toss, but it may not be a bad idea to set up a small bubble station, “pin the tail on the donkey” game, or something similar.

Make Sure You Have Enough Seating

Another important thing to keep in mind when planning an outdoor game night is seating. If you’re going to be inviting a larger crowd, there’s a good chance the seating you currently have in your yard won’t be enough to accommodate everybody. For larger gatherings, it might make sense to rent out some tables and chairs. Or, you could even drape some comfortable blankets over hay bales for inexpensive yet practical seating.

Patio tables and chairs, a cozy outdoor sofa, or even folding lawn chairs can work just fine. The key is to make sure every single guest has access to a place to sit, especially if you’re going to have a lot of active games set up that may tire your guests out. If you need to get creative, there’s nothing wrong with setting up a cozy seating area with some blankets and outdoor pillows on the grass. 

If you’ll be playing any card games or board games at your event, make sure that some of your seating areas also have tables or some other flat surface on which to play these games. In fact, it’s a good idea to have tables set up throughout your yard as an option for holding beverages, phones, and other small items regardless.

Don’t Forget the Food and Drinks

You and your guests will work up quite the appetite playing games outdoors, so it’s smart to offer food and drinks as part of your outdoor game night. If you’re holding your event around dinner time, then there’s a good chance your guests will arrive hungry. If you don’t mind cooking, you might consider whipping up some burgers and hot dogs on the grill; this way, you can still interact with your guests if they arrive while you’re cooking.

On the other hand, there’s also nothing wrong with ordering pizza, a sandwich spread, or any other food that will suit your crowd and save you the hassle of cooking. If your event is being held later in the evening (after dinner hours), you might even be able to get away with foregoing a full meal and instead serving snacks.

No matter what kind of food you serve, make sure that your guests will be able to easily hold and eat the food while playing. Handheld foods and mess-free finger foods are ideal here. 

You’ll also want to offer plenty of beverage options to keep your guests hydrated. Bottles of water are an obvious choice, but a cooler with sodas and juices can also appeal to a large crowd. If you’re serving anything with alcohol, be sure that it is clearly labeled as such and kept out of reach of any children in attendance.

Add to the Fun With Upbeat Music

Another great way to add some fun to your outdoor game night is to have music playing throughout the event. This can be done with even a simple setup, such as your phone connected to a Bluetooth speaker. 

In choosing music or creating a playlist for your event, try to keep things as upbeat as possible. This will help to keep your guests on their feet and feeling energized. If your event will be attended by children, make sure that the songs on your playlist are kid-friendly.

Ultimately, the most important thing to keep in mind when choosing music for your outdoor game night is your audience. An older crowd may prefer music that’s a little quieter with plenty of classics, whereas your younger guests might appreciate some newer hits and dance tunes. Above all else, be respectful of your neighbors and keep the volume to a reasonable level (especially if your game night extends late into the evening).

Get a Little “Extra” With Decorations

You definitely don’t need to decorate for an outdoor game night—but if you want to kick things up another notch, you can get creative with some fun decorations to enhance the experience. Decorations can also help your guests find your home easily, even if they’ve never been to your house before. Some balloons tied to your mailbox or a fun yard sign are both reliable ways to let your guests know they’ve come to the right place.

If you’re looking for some other fun ways to transform your yard, you might consider hanging up some fun flags, banners, or even choosing a theme for your event and decorating around it.

Keep the Party Going With Plenty of Lighting

Depending on what time your event begins, there’s a good chance that your game night will extend far past sunset. Make sure that you plan ahead by having plenty of lighting in your yard to keep the party going. Some practical and cost-effective options to consider for illuminating your yard include fairy lights and solar-powered stake lights.

If you have access to a fire pit, holding a bonfire can be a great way to light up an area while adding warmth and creating an inviting conversation area for your guests. Just be sure to consider the age of your guests and take proper safety precautions if there will be young children in attendance.

If you have a deck or patio area where people will be hanging out, make sure there is plenty of lighting in these areas as well. This is especially important if people will be playing card games or board games where they need to be able to see well. Candles, string lights, and even lanterns can go a long way towards illuminating these areas while adding some ambiance in the process. Remember, too, that bugs (including pesky mosquitoes) also tend to come out at night—so it’s not a bad idea to have some citronella candles available to light as needed.

The Bottom Line: Have a Great Time!

While there’s a lot to keep in mind and plan for when crafting the perfect outdoor game night, your efforts will pay off many times over when you’ve hosted a special event that your guests will be talking about for weeks to come! At the end of the day, you can’t really go wrong with some great games, delicious food, and a fun group of people—but these tips can help make your night go a little more smoothly.

Looking for a great set of cornhole boards to elevate your game night experience? Cornhole Worldwide is proud to offer custom cornhole games to bring your best ideas to life. Get started by submitting your design today and learn more about what we can do to make your next game night one that you’ll never forget.

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