Food & Drink

Backyard Drinking Games That Are Actually More Fun Than Cornhole

Published On 07/01/2016 Published On 07/01/2016
Men Playing Kan Jam
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

There are moments in life that are just a little more enjoyable when sweet, sweet beer is your loyal companion. Going camping. Dancing. Watching your friend get married and dancing. Watching Forrest Gump. Watching Forrest Gump dance. Games. 

Yes, competing and playing any type of game is definitely enhanced when alcohol is involved... well, except ones that involve actual athleticism. Some of the following backyard grilling-season games (flip cup, beer pong) actually rely on the use of alcohol to function, while others -- like cornhole -- are just elevated by its presence. But cornhole isn't the only game out there. These are the backyard games you're not playing... but should be. They, of course, pair wonderfully with beer.

Giant beer pong | kroqslightning/instagram

Giant beer pong

While playing beer pong post-25 may be a little gauche, playing giant beer pong is a little more acceptable, and lets you avoid saying the word "gauche" out loud. It's the Giant Jenga rule, right? While Jenga is for kids, Giant Jenga is a prime, perfectly acceptable adult outdoor activity for your non-beer drinking hand. For mega-beer-pong, all you need is a bunch of trash cans, a volley/soccer ball, and enough beer to fill each one of those trash cans to the brim. Just kidding on that last part. But hey, it's your money. 

Dizzy bat

The guidelines of dizzy bat are perfectly succinct: you take one Wiffle ball bat, chop off the end of the handle, fill it with beer, and drink the beer while your friends count how long it takes you to drink said beer. You then record the amount of seconds it took you to drink, and spin around the bat in accordance with that number. So, if it took you 10 seconds to finish that beer, you spin 10 times. When your spinning is complete, you take your batting stance, and attempt to hit a crushed beer can, pitched by one of your buddies. The only winner in dizzy bat is everyone. It's America's true pastime, and a solid favorite to replace hockey as our nation's fourth-most-popular sport.

Spikeball/Youtube

Spikeball

Spikeball is, by popular consensus, the most fun you can have on a mini-trampoline without taking your clothes off. This new-ish game made its claim to fame when it blew up Shark Tank -- all the Sharks stopped being fame-hungry dicks for a minute and realized they actually had something cool in their laps. It's basically a 360-degree hybrid of handball and ping pong, and it can be played pretty much anywhere with a floor. You'll see people playing it this summer, probably while shirtless. Now, you know what it is.

 

winning🎖#ladderball #beachday #ipswich #boats #summertime #daycation

A video posted by Beth Heller (@beth_heller)

Ladderball | Beth Heller/Instagram

Ladderball

Ladderball -- or for some weirdos, Laddergolf -- is a little like vertical cornhole. The tossing-centric game requires some level of practice to get a handle, and building a board is not as easy as slapping together a cornhole set. But it's been democratized; you can buy a set for 15 shekels at your local Home Depot. And you should! Slinging an on-point shot makes you feel like an Olympian holding a Solo cup.

High Noon

High Noon takes its inspiration from the tumbleweed-filled, gun-toting duels of Wild West fame. But it features six-packs in lieu of six-shooters, and has little to no chance of bloodshed. This is a two-player game where you and your opponent stand back-to-back, take 10 paces, turn around, chug your beer, crush it, and throw it at each other. The first to make contact wins. Oh wait, there might actually be a little bloodshed.

TheStumpCompany/Youtube

Stump aka Hammerschlagen 

Stump is not new, by any means. Its origins trace back to the Bavarian game of Hammerschlagen -- and some nimble-tongued connoisseurs even still call it by the original German name. It recently has begun to explode on campuses, on late-night TV, and even in the form of pre-made, mass-produced stumps (like the ones seen above). The rules, essentially, involve players tossing a hammer, catching it, and driving it down (in-position) on a designated nail. So yea, it's kind of dangerous. But you know what? So is life. And you can't just sit inside and be safe all the time. As Ferris Bueller famously quipped, "Life moves pretty fast sometimes, so you might as well man/woman up and play Stump."

Egg roulette 

Another game recently embraced by Jimmy Fallon -- the glibbest dude on late-night TV -- egg roulette has the potential to get messy, which is the mark of any great outdoor game. You have a group of identical eggs, and all but one hard-boiled. You take turns breaking these eggs on your head till one ends up exploding. The egg-head person is the loser. As the saying goes, you need to crack a few eggs on your head to have a nice summer BBQ, right?

 

#kanjam

A video posted by Captain Derek (@captain.derek.wells)

kan-jam | captain.derek.wells/instagram

KanJam

Out of any pastime on this list, KanJam may have the most legitimate chance to dethrone cornhole as the game you're most likely to play post-BBQ. And it deserves it. Like cornhole, you line up with a teammate on opposite sides, over a can, with a hole in the side, and an uncovered top. If you get the Frisbee in the slot in the side -- you win! Otherwise, you can hover over the can, and slap your teammate's shot inside when the moment is right. They sell pre-made sets you can buy, or you can just put those old industrial oil drums laying around your place to good use.

Spaghetti hunter, or needle in a spaghetti stack

This one's a dark horse. You get a big ol' plate of spaghetti, and place one blue M&M way deep inside the pile of noodles. Then, you tie the competitors' hands behind their backs and don't end the game till one hungry hungry hippo/person comes out with that little blue M&M in their mouth. It's like bobbing for apples, but with a touch more culture and class.

 

Strand kubb @floorvankollem @annelotte.rutten #kubb

A photo posted by Diederik van Kollem (@diederikvankollem)

Kubb | diederikvankollem/Instagram

Kubb

Kubb is a Swedish game of tossing large wooden stakes at other large wooden stakes in an attempt to knock said stakes off their footing. Think of it this way: if horseshoes, bowling, and those hand-carved artisanal toys that crunchy granola parents buy their kids had a misshapen Swede of a baby, it would look like kubb. It is fun, though... despite sounding like a table from IKEA.

The bag game, aka bite the bag

Gloriously simple for kids, an extreme feat of calf-distressing contortion for adults, the concept here is pretty simple: put a paper bag in the center of a ring of people. Each person must balance on one leg, bend down, and lift the bag with their mouth. If you fall, you're out. Each round, you cut an inch off the bag, making it hard for even the most ardent yogi to bear. That's good clean fun. Except for the grass stains. And inevitable bloody noses from face-plants.

drinko! | howwedrink/instagram

Drinko!

It's like Price is Right's Plinko!, except instead of winning cash and not getting neutered or spayed by Bob Barker, you get to drink whichever drink the plink of fate bestows on you. If you've never left your drinking choices up to fate before, you don't know what you've been missing.

Washers

Washers is a country game that plays almost like a scaled-down version of cornhole, when you boil the rules down a little bit. You toss washers into a tin can. That's pretty much it. But again, this is perfect for smaller spaces, like the inside of a garage when it starts to rain. Or the bottom of a mine shaft, when you are tired of searching for gems and need a breather.

 

#youthsponsorsmaketheworldgoround #youthministry #waterwars #slomo #epic #slipnslide

A video posted by Candice Yates (@onthecanwithcandice)

slip and slide | onthecanwithcandice/instagram

Slip and slide

Again, not so much of a game, really. But isn't life just one big game? And doesn't this guy above appear to be winning the game of life? Make your own decisions, but study the face above. Isn't that the guy you want to be? And you don't even need to buy one. A tarp and a hose will do. Trust me, this will make your party.

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Wil Fulton is a staff writer for Thrillist. He'll spend his summer playing beer monster, thank you very much. Follow him: @wilfulton.

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