Dotdash Meredith and Yahoo Inc. may earn commission or revenue on some items through the links below.
Get ready to have the best tailgate ever.
When football season arrives, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to entertain family and friends at the tailgate. From enjoying delicious food and drinks to watching the big game, there’s no better way to celebrate the football season than with a tailgate.
While the main focus of any tailgate is the game, having a variety of fun outdoor games available will help to keep your guests entertained throughout the party. When choosing games for your tailgate, be sure to consider the number of people you’ll be hosting, the age range of your guests, and how long you want to spend playing the game. To help you select the best game for your tailgate, we spent hours researching the best tailgate games for a variety of ages and skill levels.
Tailgating Pros Premium Giant Toppling Timbers
If you like the regular-sized version of Jenga, then you’ll love this jumbo version. With the black carrying case, you can easily transport this set of toppling timbers to and from the tailgate. Unlike most tailgate games, this one may be played with any number of people—even solo!
Since the blocks are made of real wood, you can expect this set to last for a long time. Each has smooth edges for a safe and easy grip, making the game suitable for children as young as six years old. You can also bring this game to a camping trip, barbecue, or beach day. The set includes 54 blocks, which makes it great for a party, but also means it will take a while to pick them up once they come toppling down.
Price at the time of publish: $70
Set Includes: 54 timbers, heavy-duty carrying case | Number of Players: Any | Age Range: 6+ | Weight: 27 pounds
Triumph Sports Premium Cornhole Set
This cornhole set was made to bring on the go. When you’re ready to pack it up, place the eight included bean bags in the storage compartment underneath the boards and nest the two boards together for compact carrying. The boards come with convenient carrying handles to help you bring them to and from the car.
The sturdy plywood frame will hold up to consistent use—just be sure to keep it out of the rain. We think the smaller 2- by 3-foot size is best for tailgating, but it’s also available in two regulation-size versions—including one with LED lights for nighttime use.
Price at the time of publish: $150
Set Includes: 2 cornhole boards, 8 bean bags | Age Range: Not listed | Number of Players: 2-4 | Weight: 23 pounds
Champion Sports Indoor/Outdoor Horseshoe Game
This classic game of horseshoes can be played both indoors and outdoors thanks to the rubber mats that won’t damage the floors. To play this game outside, simply push the included dowels into the ground. This game is perfect for children and adults because it’s easy to play and set up, and the manufacturer has designed the pegs and horseshoes in bright colors so you can easily spot them outside. However, we don’t recommend playing this game across too large of an area because you could easily lose the pieces.
Do keep in mind that this set doesn’t come with a carrying case. But since the product only weighs about 3 pounds, it’s easy enough to toss in your stadium-approved bag and carry to the tailgate.
Price at the time of publish: $24
Set Includes: 2 red plastic dowels, 2 rubber mats with yellow pegs, 4 plastic horseshoes | Number of Players: 2-4 | Age Range: 8+ | Weight: 3.4 pounds
Bolaball 4 in-A-Row Connect Yard Game
If your tailgating crew loves Connect 4, then they’ll love this giant version. Similar to its regular-size counterpart, this set includes 42 plastic coins and a collapsible board game, both of which were created to withstand outdoor elements. The whole thing weighs just 3 pounds and comes with a heavy-duty travel bag, so you can easily transport this game to the backyard, the parking lot of a stadium, or another tailgating spot.
Price at the time of publish: $55
Set Includes: Collapsible board game, 42 plastic coins, travel bag | Number of Players: 2+ | Age Range: 8+ | Weight: 3 pounds
Kan Jam Original Disc Toss Game
The Original Kan Jam set comes with a flying disc and two standard cans. The game is very similar to horseshoes, cornhole, and frisbee. The aim of the game is to get the disc inside the can and deflect the other team’s disc with the help of a partner. While this is a popular tailgate game, it’s also great for use at the beach, on a camping trip, or even in your backyard. The bright, yellow disc and the yellow markings on the cans will help you to keep track of the game while you’re playing with it.
Price at the time of publish: $40
Set Includes: 2 standard kans, 1 flying disc | Number of Players: 4 | Age Range: 6+ | Weight: 6 pounds
Triumph Premium Washer Toss Game
Similar to the Triumph Sports Premium Cornhole Set, this set locks together and features carrying handles for easy transport. This game is easy to play, set up, and break down—kids, teenagers, and adults can play this game at the tailgate. The scratch-resistant exterior ensures you’ll get many seasons worth of use from this purchase, while the felt-lined interior is designed to reduce bounce, ensuring you don’t lose the steel washers as you play.
Price at the time of publish: $50
Set Includes: 2 washer boxes, 6 steel washers | Number of Players: 2-4 players | Age Range: 3+ | Weight: 10 pounds
MasterPieces NFL Bingo Game
Pick your favorite NFL team and enjoy this spirited spin on bingo. You can play this game with kids, adults, or teenagers. Each set comes with six bingo cards, or you can purchase multiple sets to accommodate larger groups—just be sure to have a prize ready for whoever calls “bingo” first! Note that this game comes with 60 tokens, so as you’re cleaning up, make sure that you pick up all of the pieces, and put them in the box. And be careful not to spill your tailgate punch on the cards or spinner board!
Price at the time of publish: $13
Set Includes: 6 game boards, 1 spinner, and 60 tokens | Number of Players: Up to 6 | Age Range: 3+ | Weight: Not listed
BucketBall USA Edition Combo Pack
As the name suggests, the object of this game is to get the ball into the bucket. It’s similar to beer pong, except there is no folding table or messy setup involved—everything slides neatly into the included tote bag so you can easily bring it on the go.
The combo pack includes 12 buckets, two hybrid balls, two bucket pong balls, two tailgate game balls, and one tote bag. The tailgate balls are designed not to bounce or roll, making them great for use at tailgates, camping sites, or even indoors. If you want to play the game in the pool, you can purchase the party pack version, which includes two inflatable racks. This game is very simple so kids, teenagers, and adults can all play it.
Price at the time of publish: $60
Set Includes: 12 buckets, 2 hybrid balls, 2 bucket pong balls, 2 tailgate game balls, 1 tote bag | Number of Players: 2-4 | Age Range: 6+ | Weight: 4 pounds
Swooc Giant Wooden Tic-Tac-Toe
Swap pen and paper for this giant outdoor tic-tac-toe set. To set this game up, all you have to do is remove the rope game board from its storage bag and lay it out on the ground. Then you and another player take turns tossing the bean bags on the game board.
We recommend shaking off the net every once in a while just to keep it free from outdoor elements such as tree debris. Feel free to use the game in your backyard, on the beach, on your camping trip, and in other locations. And bonus: The manufacturer will plant a tree for every order.
Price at the time of publish: $50
Set Includes: Game board, 9 bean bags, storage bag | Number of Players: 2 | Age Range: 3+ | Weight: 4 pounds
BULZiBUCKET Water Sports Backyard Game
If you’re looking for a lightweight alternative to cornhole, we highly recommend Bulzibucket. To play, partners line up on opposite ends and players alternate throwing until all three hacky sacks are thrown. The bucket has three tiers for different levels of scoring, and players can even assist their teammate for additional points. The bucket also floats, so it can be used in the pool.
It comes with few pieces, so it’s easy to set up and break down. You can easily transport this game to different locations using the black carrying case that comes with it. Choose from one of three different color combinations: green/back, blue/black, and red/white/blue.
Price at the time of publish: $70
Set Includes: 2 collapsible bucket targets, 6 hacky sacks, 1 backpack carrying case | Number of Players: 4 | Age Range: 5+ | Weight: 8 pounds
The Paddle Smash Pickleball game is the ideal game for those that love tennis or badminton. The game comes with a foldable court and net, four paddles, and two balls. (Just keep in mind that no more than four people can play at one time.) To play, you stand on the opposite side of the court from your teammate and bump, set, and smash the ball into the court so it bounces off the court and over the net. If you miss or don’t clear the net, the other team scores. When playing time is over, you can break down the net so it functions as a carrying case for the paddles and balls. Keep in mind that this game is a bit more active and has more rules, so it’s only recommended for those ages 13 and up.
Price at the time of publish: $199
Set Includes: 1 foldable court and net, 4 paddles, 2 balls | Number of Players: 2-4 | Age Range: 13+ | Weight: 20.2 pounds
ApudArmis Ladder Toss Game Set
This classic backyard game is best suited for teenagers and adults. The game is played in rounds, and each player has three bolas and must throw all three before the next player can go. The object of the game is to get the bolas to catch on one of the rungs, and the higher rungs are worth more points than the lower. The first player to get to 21 points exactly (not over) wins.
The set comes with two wood frames that are easy to assemble and disassemble, and it all packs up easily into the included zipper bag. In addition to tailgates, you can use it for birthday parties, backyard barbecues, outdoor office parties, holiday parties, and other events.
Price at the time of publish: $52
Set Includes: 2 wood frames, 3 blue bolas, 3 red toss balls, 1 zipper bag | Number of Players: 2-6 players | Age Range: 15+ | Weight: 10.6 pounds
Go! Gater Battle Bags
At a glance, this game may look complicated, but the object is simple. Like cornhole, it involves tossing a bean bag into a hole, but unlike cornhole, there are multiple targets with varying point values. And the buckets spin freely for an added challenge. You can easily set this game up at your tailgate, the beach, in your backyard, or by the lake. The folding target is weather-resistant and easy to take on the go.
Price at the time of publish: $67
Set Includes: 8 bean bags, 1 folding target | Number of Players: 2+ | Age Range: Not listed | Weight: 6 pounds
Victory Tailgate NFL Battle Hook and Ring Game Set
Test your hand-eye coordination with this simple ring toss game that’s fun for all ages. It comes with a printed NFL logo for the team of your choosing, so you can show your team spirit while you play. Plus, at less than half a pound, it won’t weigh you down on your way to the tailgate. Just make sure you keep it under your pop-up canopy and away from the rain since it’s made from wood.
Price at the time of publish: $53
Set Includes: 2 support frames, 1 string, 1 ring, 1 hook, 1 baseboard, 1 scorekeeper piece | Number of Players: 2 | Age Range: Not listed | Weight: 0.3 pounds
SpeedArmis Giant Wooden Yard Dice Set
The set of six giant dice can be used to play a variety of games, including 21 points, truth or dare, and more. Regardless of which games you play, you’re sure to get many seasons worth out of these dice, thanks to the coated pine wood construction. Each dice has rounded edges for easy rolling, and the larger size means little ones can’t put them in their mouth. The set includes a scoreboard and dry-erase marker, as well as a zipper carrying case with a top handle for easy carrying.
Price at the time of publish: $30
Set Includes: 6 wooden dice, 1 scoreboard, 1 zipper carrying case | Number of Players: N/A | Age Range: 13+ | Weight: 5 pounds
Tips for Choosing the Right Tailgate Game
Number of People
Before purchasing any tailgate game, consider the number of people you’ll be hosting at your tailgate. Most of the time, the manufacturer will include a range of how many people can play the game. Most games on our list can accommodate two to four people at a time, although many of them have a quick playtime, so you can take turns throughout the party.
If you know for a fact that only adults will be in attendance, then any of the games our list can work. On the other hand, if you’re unsure about the age range of your tailgate audience, we suggest purchasing game(s) that both kids and adults can safely play and enjoy. Be sure to check the suggested age range for each game and consider whether a game may be too complex for younger children.
When it comes to games, everyone has a different skill level. While many games on this list are designed to be easy for all, some are a bit more physically strenuous (such as PaddleSmash Pickleball). And at a tailgate, you generally want to avoid games with too many rules, because most folks aren’t going to take the time to learn them before kickoff. Having a couple different options is the best way to make sure there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Why Trust Southern Living
This article was written by Moriah Mason, a commerce writer for Southern Living who has over a year of experience writing lifestyle content. To come up with this list, she thoroughly researched tailgate games across a variety of age ranges and skill levels, considering key factors like portability, durability, and the number of players.
For more Southern Living news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on Southern Living.