Backyard Bucket List: 45 Fun Activities, Games & Things to Do

When the weather is warm (but not too hot!) is the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy the best that your backyard has to offer. From barbecues to bug hunting to blowing bubbles, there are plenty of fun backyard activities to keep everyone entertained. This bucket list of activities, games, and things to do that will keep you busy whether you’re looking for something new or just want some creative ideas for backyard fun, we’ve got you covered!

The Best Backyard Bucket List: Fun Activities, Games & Things to Do for Adults & Families

Backyard Activities, Games & Things to Do for Adults & Families

1. Camp in Your Backyard

Camping can be a chance to bond with family or friends, rediscover yourself, or take a break from our routines and away from distractions. Nevertheless, it is one of those backyard activities that could spark that adventurous spirit within you. Maybe you could even complete something off our Camping Bucket List?

Camp in Your Backyard

2. Host a Backyard Obstacle Course

You can make your own obstacle course using items like old car tires, jump ropes, hula hoops, anything! It may not be on par with American Ninja Warrior, but it is still a fantastic way to encourage everyone (adults and kids alike) to go outside and be active. You can even design one for your dogs as well!

There are lots of fun obstacle course ideas online, but HGTV’s DIY Dollar Store Backyard Obstacle Course is great and cheap!

3. Have an Outdoor Movie Night

Watching movies under the stars in the comfort of your own backyard is something you don’t get to experience very often. It can also be a fun and exciting way to spend your evening, either alone or with family or friends.

It does require a bit of setting up and equipment like a projector and a sheet or wall to project the film, but the effort is way more than worth it!

4. Blow Some Bubbles

Blowing bubbles is something that might not come to mind when camping in your backyard, but it is a simple way to have some fun, especially if you have kids with you.

It is easy to make your own bubble mix, and for some extra fun bring some of these bubble guns!

5. Go on a Bug Hunt

Insects come in all shapes and sizes, from the crawling critters to the flying ones. And being one of the most numerous species on the planet, it’s easy to spot (or miss) as long as you pay attention to your surroundings.

If you’re planning to look at night, you can attract flying insects by setting up a light trap using a white sheet of cloth and a flashlight or fluorescent lamp.

For the really adventurous, here are some edible bugs around the world.

6. Fly Paper Planes

Making a handmade paper plane is pretty simple. All you need is a sheet of paper and some easy instructions (watch this video for help!). After you’ve created your master flier, take it to the backyard, give your paper plane a throw and watch it soar through the air!

PS: there’s no need to worry about making a perfect landing – paper planes are very forgiving! 

7. Have a Corn Hole Competition

When it comes to outdoor pastimes, who wouldn’t want to play a game of corn hole while hanging out in your backyard? It is a fun toss game where players take turns throwing a small bean bag into a tilted board. The first one to reach a score of 21 wins the game, and scoring depends on whether you’ve landed the bean bag on the board or into the hole on the raised end.

GoSports sells a Classic Cornhole set that comes with 8 bean bags and a travel bag!

8. Cuddle in a Hammock

After hours of fun games and backyard activities, getting to relax and on a hammock is one simple pleasure in life.

If you don’t have a hammock, I am loving Stageya’s Boho Hammock.

9. Decorate your Fence

Let’s face it, sometimes a blank fence can be pretty boring. So here are some fun ideas to liven up your backyard fence.

One option is to hang plants from it. This can add a pop of color and life to an otherwise bland space. You can also use your fence as a canvas for artwork—paint a mural, hang a tapestry, or simply display some of your favorite pieces. If you’re feeling extra crafty, you can even weave colorful ribbons or fabric through the fence slats.

Another great idea is to string up some fairy lights or lanterns for a magical look, or go for something more festive with holiday-themed lights. You can also use light projection systems to create moving patterns or images on your fence.

Finally, don’t forget the power of accessories! Hanging signs, wind chimes, or even birdhouses can add personality and charm to any outdoor fence. So get creative and see what you can come up with!

10. Do Some Outdoor Exercise

Working out at the gym is good and all, however, mixing it up with an outdoor workout can be a great addition to your routine. Not only is it free, but being in the open air feels good for the mind and body!

11. Create a Backyard Chalkboard

A backyard chalkboard is a great way to add some fun and function to your outdoor space. If you have a blank wall or fence, simply hang a chalkboard and you’ve got an instant focal point for your yard. Or you can easily make one yourself using nothing more than a piece of plywood and some chalkboard paint. Just follow these simple steps and you’ll have your very own backyard chalkboard in no time.

You can use the chalkboard to write messages, draw pictures, or keep track of important information like the days of the week or the temperature.

12. Do a Fun Photoshoot

If you want memories that will last forever in a physical form, then organizing a photoshoot in your backyard is a great idea. You can hire a professional photographer and have the pictures with costumes on that will surely make the kids go crazy.

You can then organize the professional photographs into an album or scrapbook to remember the day for the rest of your life.

13. Set Up a She Shed

If you’re looking for a backyard retreat that’s all your own, a “she” shed is the perfect solution. These small structures can be used for anything from storage to a home office, and they provide a great space to unwind and relax. 

Don’t know how to start? Here is some help:

Don’t forget to add personal touches like flowers and cushions to make it feel like your own special space. With a little time and effort, you’ll have the perfect she shed to call your own.

14. Build a Fort

For many kids (and some adults), building a fort is the ultimate backyard activity. Forts can be as simple or as elaborate as you want, and they can be built out of just about anything. If you’re looking for ideas, try using blankets and sheets to create a teepee-style fort, or use furniture and chairs to build a more traditional fort with walls and a roof. You can even get creative and use recycled materials like cardboard boxes or old tires. The possibilities are endless! So grab some supplies and get started on your very own backyard fort today.

15. Find Different Star Constellations

The night sky has always been a source of great mystery and wonder. One of the most popular ways to enjoy stargazing is to look for different constellations. The constellations are patterns formed by groups of stars, and there are dozens of different constellations recognized by astronomers. 

Some constellations are easy to spot, like Orion the Hunter, while others require a bit more searching. You could even make it a game to find the most (Art of Manliness has list 15 constellations to find to get you started with).

Find Different Star Constellations

16. Enjoy An Inflatable Pool

Whether you’re looking for a way to beat the heat or simply want a fun place to relax, an inflatable backyard pool can be a great addition to your home.

They come in all shapes and sizes, and here are some of the best: The best inflatable pools

17. Find Shapes in the Clouds

Let your imagination run wild and see what shapes you can make out of the clouds. You can even play a game of I Spy with family or friends with this while relaxing in the comfort of your own backyard!

Find Shapes in the Clouds

18. Have a Backyard Scavenger Hunt

If you have a knack for laying out puzzles and clues,  then why not try your hand at planning a scavenger hunt. You don’t even have to wait for, say, Easter or Halloween to set one up, plus, it is an activity that anyone can join in for some friendly competition!

For ideas, see How to Set Up a Scavenger Hunt for Grownups.

19. Play Beer Pong

Beer Pong anyone? All you need to liven up your backyard party is some red solo cups, a ping pong ball and some beer (if you’re of legal age, of course). The beer pong rules are pretty easy, where the basic goal is to end up drinking all the opposing teams beer so they have no cups left.

Play Beer Pong

20. Learn To Do Cartwheels

Doing cartwheels is something you might have done as a kid, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do it anymore as adults.

Nailing the move can take as little as a few tries to even a couple of weeks, depending on your fitness level. If you don’t have the strength and flexibility to perform a cartwheel yet, you can consider this as a chance to jumpstart your fitness journey as well.

Learn To Do Cartwheels

21. Watch the Sunset & Sunrise

Find the perfect spot in your yard where you can see the sun set and rise, then plant yourself as you watch nature’s perfect show.

Watch the Sunset & Sunrise

22. Play Some Board Games

If you prefer a more chill day in your backyard, having a board game marathon with your favorite games could be fun. You can make it even more fun by adding prizes for the winner.

Unsure of which games to play? Check out this list: Board Games Bucket List: 50 of the All Time Best Ones to Play

23. Meditate

Meditating outside opens you up to different sensations that you may have never felt before, like the breeze grazing your skin, the sound of nature around you, the smell of grass, and whatnot.

Just be sure to look for a quiet spot for your meditation session to avoid distractions.

24. Learn to Hula Hoop

Not only is hula hooping something that was incredibly fun to try out as a child, but it’s a great form of exercising for adults as well. By hula hooping, you can strengthen and tone your body, especially around the core, but also hips and thighs, in addition to which it can also lead to improved flexibility. 

As a fun tidbit: hula hooping has actually existed as a form of exercise since the times of ancient Greeks! 

Learn to Hula Hoop

25. Run Through Sprinklers

For kids of all ages, who wouldn’t want to splash around and run through sprinklers, especially on a hot day? You don’t even need any fancy equipment, just turn on the water and let the fun begin!

It’s also incredible how even the simplest activities can turn into hours of fun, especially when spent with your loved ones.

Run Through Sprinklers

26. Play Tin Can Bowling

Looking for a fun and easy game to entertain everyone? Look no further than your own pantry. All you need to play tin can bowling is a few empty cans and a small ball. You can set up the pins by lining up the cans in a triangle formation, with the heaviest can at the bottom.

Then, take turns throwing the ball at the pins and see how many you can knock down. This simple game is sure to provide hours of fun, and it’s a great way to recycle those empty cans.

27. Build A Treehouse

If you have kids of your own (or are a kid at heart), experiencing the fun and excitement of playing in a treehouse can be one of the most memorable things you can give them, so why not try your hand at building one?

Build A Treehouse

28. Do A Little Bird Watching

Birdwatching is one of the least strenuous things you can do in your backyard, and it is easy to get started. All you need is a bird book (it can be an app as well), a pair of binoculars, and a good amount of patience.

You can check online for a list of birds in your local area that you can see, and see if you can spot some of them.

29. Play Giant Backyard Jenga

Jenga is a classic game that is perfect for outdoor fun. The giant version of the game is even more fun, and it can be played with two or more people. To play, each person takes turns removing one block from the stack and placing it on top. 

The goal is to keep the stack from toppling over. If the stack does topple, the person who caused it to fall is out of the game. The last person standing is the winner.

 Jenga is a great game for outdoor parties or picnics, and it can be played by people of all ages—kids to adults!

Buy it here: Giant Jenga

Play Giant Backyard Jenga

30. Plan a BBQ

Good food, good company, cold beers and warm outdoor weather, what more could you ask for in this world? Having an ultimate BBQ is one of the best ways to spend a boring Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

31. Have a Picnic

Even if it’s only in your backyard, make it official by packing a traditional wicker basket with your favorite picnic foods. Real Simple magazine can help you out with their Picnic Packing Checklist. If you want to set up an Instagrammable picnic, here’s a cute red checkered picnic basket.

Have a Picnic

32. Play Water Balloon Dodgeball

What could be more fun than a game of water balloon dodgeball? This classic summertime activity is the perfect way to cool off on a hot day. All you need is a group of friends, a supply of water balloons, and a little open space. Once you have your supplies, simply start pelting each other with water balloons! The object of the game is to avoid getting hit by a balloon, so be sure to duck and weave. If you do get hit, don’t worry – simply step out of the playing area and wait for the next round to begin. 

33. Have Fun Slip n’ Sliding

A Slip n’ Slide is a fun warm weather toy that can provide hours of amusement for kids of all ages. All you need is a water hose and a smooth, flat surface, and you’re ready to go. Just connect the water hose to the slide, and turn it on. The water will create a slick surface that will allow you to glide down the slide. You can even add soap to the water for an extra-slippery ride. 

They now have dozens of different versions of slides, and you can see some of the best ones on Amazon: Amazon Slip and Slides.

34. Make Some S’mores

If you haven’t had these yet, drop everything you are doing and go make some—s’mores are absolutely divine. As the perfect campfire treat, making S’mores is something that the whole family can get into and thoroughly enjoy.

Make Some S'mores

Allow me to elaborate: The best kind of S’more, the ones I like most, go a little something like this – You take a fire-roasted marshmallow, sandwich that with a layer of your favorite chocolate and then cover it all up with two pieces of graham cracker.

This recipe should help to get you started on the right foot. This treat has been a campfire staple long before most of us here were even born. The very first recorded s’mores recipe was published in 1927 in ‘Tramping and Trailing With the Girl Scouts’, a Girl Scouts handbook. So you are in good company. And if the traditional style doesn’t do it for you, pick a unique one from the 12 Creative S’mores ideas.

Make Some S'mores

35. Play Hide and Seek

Classic games such as hide and seek are popular for a reason: they are enjoyable and easy to play. Plus, people of all ages can join—adults and kids.

Play Hide and Seek

36. Make a Tire Swing

An outdoor tire swing is a great way to add some fun and excitement to your backyard. Plus, it’s a project that you can easily do yourself in just a few hours. Here’s what you’ll need: an old tire, some sturdy rope, and a drill with a large bit. Then follow Bob Vila’s instructions for how to make a safe tire swing and that’s it! You now have a fully functional tire swing that your kids (or grandkids) are sure to enjoy.

Make a Tire Swing

37. Host a Garden Tea Party

What can you do on one sunny afternoon? If you have a garden you can host your own tea party—don’t forget the tiny little sandwiches! Get inspired dreaming and planning by checking out this gallery

38. Read a Book

There is something about reading a good book under a tree’s shade that makes the experience more satisfying and enjoyable. Is it the sound of the rustling leaves? The ambiance of the outdoors? Or is it something more inborn that just feels right?

One thing is for sure, that feeling of getting lost in a book while under a tree is something that you will know the answer to once you experience it.

If you love the classics then check of the Classic Books Bucket List: 25 of the Best Must-Read Novels. You can easily download many classics to your Kindle for free. Find a ton of free classics on Amazon.

Read a Book

39. Make a Tiki Bar

Tiki bars are perfect for entertaining guests or simply enjoying a relaxing evening at home. Fortunately, it’s easy to create your own backyard Tiki bar with just a few simple supplies. Start by setting up a small table or bar cart in your outdoor space. Then, add some festive Tiki decorations like lanterns, palm trees, and straw umbrellas. 

Be sure to stock the bar with all of your favorite tropical drinks, and don’t forget the Elvis Presley records! With a little effort, you can turn your backyard into a true Polynesian paradise.

40. Play Card Games

Card games are a fun and entertaining way to bond with family or friends. It only takes a deck of cards, your wits, and just a bit of luck to play.

You can have a game of the classics like Old Maid or Poker, even ones like Uno (which has its own deck of cards.). 

Need more ideas? See our Card Game Bucket List that has 100+ fun ones to play with family & friends.

Play Card Games

41. Have a Water Gun Fight

A water gun fight is the perfect activity for a hot summer day. Not only is it a great way to cool off, but it’s also a lot of fun. To get started, all you need is a few water guns and some friends. Once everyone has a weapon, simply start shooting at each other. The object of the game is to soak your opponents as much as possible. 

If you get hit, don’t worry – just keep firing back. The driest person standing is the winner. 

If you don’t have any water guns, check out these High Capacity Soaker Squirt Guns.

Have a Water Gun Fight

42. Paint Rocks

Painting rocks is a fun and easy way to add a personal touch to your garden or landscaping. The best part is that there are no rules – you can be as creative as you like! To get started, you’ll need some rocks (smooth ones work best), a selection of acrylic paints, and a few paintbrushes. Once you have your supplies, simply choose the colors you want to use and start painting! 

You can paint any design or pattern you like, or even spell out words or phrases. If you’re not sure what to paint, try looking for inspiration online (Rock Painting 101 has tons of ideas). Once you’re finished painting, let the rocks dry completely before placing them in your garden. With a little bit of creativity, you can easily transform plain rocks into colorful works of art!

Paint Rocks

43. Host a Dance Party

What could be more fun than having a dance party outdoors? If you have a large backyard, that’s ideal, but even a small patio or deck can be transformed into a dance floor. Just clear away any furniture or obstacles, crank up the music, and let loose! If you want to take things to the next level, you can even string up some lights or decorations to create a more festive atmosphere. 

44. Make a Time Capsule

You can say that making a time capsule and burying or hiding it away until the agreed-upon time is one of the most memorable and unique fun family activities you can do together.

The items that you would want to put inside the time capsule can be anything: letters, drawings and memorabilia—literally anything that can fit inside it.

45. Play Charades

Charades is a classic game that is suitable for all ages. It’s simple to play, all you need to do is act out words, phrases or movie titles that are written on slips of paper. If you don’t know how to play, then this how-to has detailed instructions. If you need some easy topic ideas (or picture cards for those children who don’t read yet), these charade cards will help.

There are limitless possibilities for fun backyard activities. If you enjoy being outdoors, you can go for a swim in your pool, play a game, or just relax a hammock. No matter which ideas you like best, there is sure to be plenty of enjoyable things to do in your backyard whether you’re an adult or a kid. So get outside and enjoy the fresh air!

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through my links, I earn a commission that helps to keep this blog running—at no extra cost to you. For more information read my full disclosure.

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8 thoughts on “Backyard Bucket List: 45 Fun Activities, Games & Things to Do”

  1. Hi Annette! I want my next summer to be filled with fun and memorable experiences. I also want to try different outdoor activities with my family and friends, especially the kids. Honestly, I grew up spending less time outdoors. But after I became a mother, I got interested in outdoor fun. So, I’m so glad you have shared plenty of backyard bucket lists. I can have fun with my husband and kids, even in our backyard. My kids love playing in the mud whenever they visit their cousins. Do you have tips on creating a mud pie station?


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