Nothing beats beating the heat with an ice cold cocktail, whether you’re drinking at a rooftop bar, relaxing in a hammock or on the beach. But sometimes our al fresco drinking needs a little more excitement, and that’s where outdoor drinking games come in. While we’re all familiar with horseshoes—and perfectly capable of moving the beer pong table out of the garage—there are a few drinking games even better for playing in the great outdoors. Here are seven games to cure your sun-soaked boredom.
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What happens when you take a childhood picnic game and add booze? The ridiculous (and ridiculously fun) toppling game, Drunk Waiter. To start, spin around, holding something above your head, and don’t stop until you’ve counted to 10—just to ensure that your equilibrium is fully out of whack. Then, immediately grab a tray of drinks and run to the finish line. The goal is to avoid collapsing into a dizzy heap or spilling the entire tray. Some might successfully reach the other side, but for most, the game is humbling: You will, eventually, go down. To make the game even more adult friendly, have a drink before each turn—the Kamikaze shot seems appropriate—to make the final fall that much more glorious. Also, be sure to play in a grassy or sandy open space and fill those cups with water. There’s no need to waste valuable drink.
Cornhole—also known as Bean Bag Toss or, simply, Bags—is a classic outdoor drinking game. Found everywhere from beachside bars and tailgates to laidback weddings and just about every other kind of outdoor event, it’s a simple way to make your outdoor sipping more fun. According to the American Cornhole Association (yes, that is a real thing), there are specific guidelines on everything from how big the boards should be (48x24 inches) to how much filling the bag should include (two cups of feed corn). Whether or not you play to ACA standards, the game is a great way to occupy your non-drink-holding hand.
If you’re a fan of Ultimate Frisbee, this is the drinking game for you. Kanjam requires players to toss a frisbee 50 feet across a “court” into the slot of the other team’s can. It’s three points to get the frisbee in the slot, two points if you directly hit the can and one point if the frisbee dings the can. Add in a drink for every total miss and a drink for every deflection, and you’ll have a good, long afternoon ahead of you.
Kanjam isn’t the only outdoor drinking game that requires expert frisbee skills. Polish horseshoes—an update on the game your parents used to play—is fairly simple. Two opposing teams try to knock down the empty beer bottle balanced atop the other team’s pole (usually a ski pole, jammed pointy end into the ground), with a frisbee. Hitting the bottle earns three points, hitting the pole and knocking down the bottle earns two points and hitting the pole without disturbing the bottle earns one point. The goal is to be the first to reach a predetermined 11 or 21 points. The other team can attempt to intercept the frisbee, but can only use one hand—the other hand must be holding a beer at all times (which should be consumed and replaced as needed).
Sure, we’ve referred to Stump as one of the most dangerous drinking games out there—but that doesn’t make it any less fun. The game, inspired by German Hammerschlagen, was popularized in New England frat houses, though it’s now most popular around the Philadelphia area. It goes a little something like this: Players gather around a stump, and everyone is assigned a nail. A hammer is passed around and when it’s your turn, you’re meant to flip it and then whack an opponent’s nail. If all goes as planned, the opposing player drinks—but if you screw it up by pausing or missing a nail, you drink. Of course, there are more rules a serious Stump player can follow to make the game even more interesting (and dangerous). While we still don’t actually recommend you play this daring game, we couldn’t leave it off the list. It’s about as outdoorsy as it gets.
With roots in the Roman Empire, it’s hard to deny bocce’s lasting appeal. The objective of the game is to get as many of your team’s balls as close to the pallino (or target ball) as possible. As Backyard Bocce explains, “One point is awarded for each ball that is closer to the pallina than the closest ball of the opposing team.” The first team to make it to 16 points claims victory. Though we may never know if the Romans enjoyed a fine beverage while playing the game, we certainly have, and can attest to just how great of an outdoor drinking activity it is.
Massive Jenga sets—typically made with 2x4s is a great way to pass the time while sipping a cocktail outdoors and getting a mild workout pushing and pulling the ginormous pieces. You won’t want to be in the way when this mass of lumber comes tumbling down—but you will definitely want to take a big swig of your drink before rebuilding the giant structure.
There are drinking games out there that are fun to play even if you’re the least athletic person you know. Dizzy Bat is not one of them. First things first, you have to construct the equipment by buying a Wiffle Ball set and sawing the very end off of the bat. Then find a field outside with plenty of swinging room. To play, each person chugs a full beer out of the bat, puts their forehead on the handle and spins in a circle 10 times. When that’s done, whoever’s turn is next tosses the empty beer can into the air and the person with the bat has three strikes to get a hit. If they fail, they start all over again.
Giant Beer Pong
Making normal sized games into giant games is fun, and that applies to more than just Giant Jenga. Giant beer pong has all the essentials of the regular beer pong and none of the spilled beer. You need 10 trash cans (five on each side), a volleyball or a soccer ball and four people. The rules are just like regular beer pong and you drink whenever someone makes a “cup” on your side. Keep in mind that just because it’s giant beer pong doesn’t mean you have to drink giant cups of beer every time someone makes a can.
Want to play a drinking game but don’t have anything to play with but a bunch of beers? High Noon is the game for you. It’s inspired by the Wild, Wild West. Well, the movie version at least. It’s essentially a duel, but instead of six shooters you have six packs (we suggest six packs of 8-ounce beers instead of 12-ounce). Two people stand back to back, take ten paces, then turn and chug. Crush the can as soon as it’s done and throw it at your opponent. Repeat until someone gets hit.