Outdoor Games for Socially Distant Fun

After multiple months of being at home, it’s no wonder that outdoor gatherings in parks and backyards have emerged as a popular way to socialize. But you can only take so many hangouts on your porch from 6 feet away before it feels more like a Facetime call than an in-person hangout.

We have the perfect solution: add some socially distanced lawn games to the mix! Active games can bring a fun element of surprise to your get-togethers and help create new memories to cherish.

Always remember before shouting, “Let’s Play!” that per the recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, maintaining 6 feet of distance from anyone not living in your household and wearing a face mask that covers your nose and mouth is important—even outside. It’s also a good idea to carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you in the event of touching shared surfaces, such as playing equipment.

Now, let’s get to gaming!


This backyard classic is a staple to any get-together. The best part? It lends itself well to social distancing! 

A tip for these times: After each round, leave behind tossed beanbags and rotate player position. This helps reduce shared handling of bean bags.


This game reminds us in many ways of miniature golf, but it’s easier to set up and play at home than your favorite put-put spot. Croquet entails using a mallet to knock colorful wood balls through a series of wickets staked in the ground. There are plenty of variations on this centuries-old lawn game; one modern riff is “extreme croquet,” which involves setting up the wickets in challenging terrain like mud or overgrown grass. Make up your own challenges for some added fun!

All you’ll need is a basic croquet set to get the game going. Conveniently, croquet etiquette calls for plenty of personal space when players are taking their shots—good manners for good health! Any spectators should space themselves at least 6 feet apart from each other, as well.

Water Bottle Bowling

Instead of dropping your empty bottles in the recycling bin, reuse them as outdoor bowling pins! Refill any 10 bottles of the same size with water, set them on the ground in triangular formation, and you’re ready to rack up strikes. For a fun variation, try soccer-style bowling, kicking the ball to topple the pins.

To keep this socially distant: as one player bowls, station another near the bottle pins to help retrieve the ball. If multiple players are touching the ball, use hand sanitizer frequently throughout the game.


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