Best garden games: 8 staycation must-haves for fun in the sun

The best garden games will make any afternoon spend in the sun a blast. Get ready for summer fun in your own back yard

The best garden games
The best garden games

So, you're on the hunt for the best garden games to entertain the kids? The British summer might be hard to predict, but fun in the sun is always guaranteed if you have plenty of garden toys and games to keep the family entertained. Whether you are having family round for a (social distanced) barbecue, or just need to keep the kids busy while you crack on with some gardening, we have found plenty of garden games to get everyone outside.

These aren't just for the kids though – our choices are suitable for all ages and some carry a nostalgia kick for the adults. What's more, lots of them are portable, so take them with you for a picnic or a day at the park. So read on to see our top choices of the best garden games, then for more garden deals check out our garden furniture sales to get staycation ready.

The best garden games

The best garden game

1. Jaques of London Giant Tumble Tower

The best garden game for the whole family: a giant version of an old school classic

Reasons to buy
+ Over 3ft tall+Great for most ages and abilities+No gathering is too big or small for this game
Reasons to avoid
-Not suitable for small children and you will want to play carefully with pets nearby

Everyone loves Jenga: it is a game that has provided generation after generation with fun. And this giant version only makes it better. You’ll get blocks that tower over 3ft tall but it's still lightweight and suitable for children to play with safely, and also makes it great fun for the adults too. It comes in a handy carry bag so you can store it away when not in use, and you could even use this game indoors during the winter. 

Giant Garden Chess Pieces is the best garden game for all the family

(Image credit: Wayfair)

2. Giant Garden Chess Pieces

The best garden game for chess players: another classic strategy game that’s been inflated for outdoor fun

Reasons to buy
+ Great thinking game+Weatherproof pieces so could become a permanent garden fixture
Reasons to avoid
-Demands a fair bit of storage space-Pricey and mat not included

You can really get your guests involved at your next garden party with this giant game of chess. Whether it’s one on one or a team effort, this strategy game is a well-loved favourite among many. The chess pieces measure up to about 64cm but are lightweight and easy to move by all ages. The mat is not included, but as the pieces are weatherproof you could make it part of your garden design with a chess board section of paving!

Frescobol Carioca Trancoso Beach Bat Set is the best active garden game

3. Frescobol Carioca Trancoso Beach Bat Set

The best garden game for kids with energy: a luxury wooden bat and ball set

Reasons to buy
+ Handcrafted  +Look and feel beautiful
Reasons to avoid

These wooden bats with two balls are beautifully handcrafted and are perfect for hours of fun in the garden or at the beach. They are finished with a hard-wearing resin which makes them weather resistant and means they will wear well over time. The neoprene grip makes them easy to hold and swing with and they come in a few different distinct designs.

Butterfly Slimline Outdoor Table Tennis Table is the best garden game for active couples

4. Butterfly Slimline Outdoor Table Tennis Table

The best garden game for games rooms, too: a competitive game you won’t be able to stop playing

Reasons to buy
+ Includes four bats and three balls +Weatherproof frame and play area and includes cover+Folds away to just 66cm depth
Reasons to avoid
-Demands a large level space for use

Table tennis can get extremely competitive, so what better form of entertainment at your next BBQ than this outdoor table tennis table. With four bats and three balls, you can have a few people playing at a time for a super-fast paced game. The table is height adjustable on all four legs, so you can ensure the table is level on the grass, and it has wheels to make it easy to manoeuvre. 

Uber Games Rounders Set is the best family garden game

5. Uber Games Rounders Set

The best garden game for team players: the ultimate team game wherever you are

Reasons to buy
+ Includes four rounders bats+Portable for fun at the beach or park  
Reasons to avoid
-Needs a good number of people to play

Rounders is the ultimate bat and ball game and is perfect for summer entertainment. This is a premium set that includes everything you need – four bats, two balls, four posts and bases and two rubber mats to make you feel like a pro. Set up in your garden or take to the beach in the handy carry case. Users say it’s great quality and wears well with summer use. 

Pro Swingball All Surface garden game

6. Pro Swingball All Surface

The best garden game for small gardens: a compact garden game for one or more people to enjoy

Reasons to buy
+Only requires one player but can be played by two+Portable fun for all ages
Reasons to avoid
-The most expensive Swingball set

Swingball is a great way to get the kids outdoors even if they’re on their own. This new version of the game now comes with a base that you can pack the game away into so you can take it anywhere and store it compactly. Whether playing on your own or with a partner, this classic bat and ball game can become easily competitive so it’s a great game to get out at garden parties and BBQs. Users say the base is sturdy and the bats feel of good quality. 

Twister Picnic Blanket is the best companion to a garden game

7. Twister Picnic Blanket

The best garden game for families: get your next picnic moving with this Twister mat

Reasons to buy
+Waterproof+Multipurpose+Portable and quick to set up on the go
Reasons to avoid
-Play isn't great on soft ground as it moves and crumples so a firm, trimmed lawn is best

Twister is the ultimate party game and you can now take it outdoors as a garden game too. Whether you’re off on a picnic or simply catching rays in your garden, you can instantly liven up the party with this Twister mat blanket. It’s got a fully waterproof backing so it won’t get soggy and it comes with all the regular game pieces you need. It’s a great novelty product that is functional as well as fun. It rolls up small with carry handles for easy transportation.  

We have the best picnic blankets for you choose from in our buyer's guide.

Thumbs Up Roller Wheel: the best solo garden game

8. Thumbs Up Roller Wheel

The best garden game for solo fun: use it indoors and out

Reasons to buy
+Can be used indoor and outdoor+Pump included
Reasons to avoid
-Should only be used on grass outside to avoid punctures-Not suitable for children under 36 months

Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use (we suggest outdoor for the sake of your home decor, and sanity), this inflatable wheel is designed for kids to climb through or roll around in, and it has colourful balls inside that bounce around. It also comes with a pump included and is easy to set up. Heaps of fun is almost guaranteed, especially if your garden's on a slope, and the neighbour's kids are bound to be jealous.

What is the best garden game?

We think the most versatile option is the Jaques of London Giant Tumble Tower. It can be played by 2 or more players so a great choice for gatherings big and small. It also comes with a bag to take on holiday or for a day out at a local park. 

Team games such as the Uber Games rounders set are perfect for big gardens and big get togethers – or for family days out – and allow everyone to get involved. If you are super competitive then you might want to invite your mates round for a table tennis tournament on the Butterfly Slimline Outdoor Table Tennis Table – you just need the space (and the budget).


Anna Cottrell
Anna Cottrell

Anna is Consumer Editor across Future's home brands. She moved to the world of interiors from academic research in the field of English Literature and photography. She is the author of London Writing of the 1930s and has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening.