Although food might be the main attraction at any BBQ, there needs to be more to keep everyone entertained once the burgers and chicken wings have all been demolished. If you’re planning on keeping your BBQ a child-free zone, you can be more adventurous with the amusements you choose.
One good thing about adult-only party games is the ability to include drinking into the mix, which can always end up with a real laugh so long as nobody gets carried away.
I have put together a list of varied party ideas, such as drinking games, games you can play on devices in your backyard, and some more energetic games.
So no matter who you invite, there will be something to keep everyone entertained throughout the night. After all, nobody wants to host a BBQ where everyone leaves as soon as the food is gone, right?
The Best BBQ Party Games Ideas for Adults
Boring! I have kept the games as straightforward and easy-to-understand as possible so that there will be no struggle to try to gather everyone around to listen to a long list of rules.
However, with each game recommendation, I will briefly explain how to play the game and what you’ll need to play it.
So, here are my favorite adults-only BBQ game ideas. Feel free to adapt them to suit your group.
1 Giant Jenga
You’ve probably already heard of the stacking blocks game Jenga, but were you aware that there was a giant Jenga that adults in the yard could play?
This is an excellent game of patience and concentration and keeps everyone’s attention. At the same time, you try to compete with your opponents.
If you’ve never played Jenga before, the rules are pretty simple. You start by building a tower of blocks, each row crisscrossing from the one below.
Then each player takes turns removing a block from the tower without collapsing. The first player to cause the tower to collapse is the loser, and the game begins again.
2. Liar Liar
This is a game similar to two truths, one lie, which can be played with no equipment and follows similar rules. Liar Liar is a game in which friends and family test how well they know each other or learn things they never knew about their fellow players.
The game aims for each player to state one lie and one truth, and the player, guessing, scores points for each incorrect answer they give.
I prefer this set, in particular to the freestyle version, because it gives you over 200 topics and role cards, so it means you never get stuck on what to say. I think it keeps people a little more engaged in the game.
3. Giant Chess
Now, stay calm; I am not talking about the giant wizards’ chess like they played in Harry Potter (although how cool would that be?) You can purchase this genuine game to play in your backyard.
Giant Chess is great fun, even for those who need help understanding the proper rules of real chess. It gets everyone involved and can become quite intense once things start to get serious.
Also, if you still need to figure out playing actual chess, you can simplify it and play checkers instead.
This game has me reminiscing about the field days back in school when parents and kids would compete in super fun games such as relay races, limbo dancing, hoop tossing, and of course, the tug-of-war.
The only rule of this game is to make sure that you have an even amount of people on each side, and of course, try and even it out, so you don’t have all the strongest people on one side; otherwise, it’s not fair.
If you didn’t already know, the aim of the game is for each team to grab an end of the rope and tug. The idea is to try and drag the other team over a line or boundary in the center. It’s great fun, even if it can end up with a few sore hands and butts.
5. Spike Ball
Spike Ball is a great game to invest in if you have a pretty large backyard and are looking for an energetic game for your guests to work up an appetite.
If you’ve ever played volleyball, you’ll already be familiar with the concept. After setting up your equipment, you’ll need to separate into two teams, and each team needs to take its place on either side of the net.
A player from one team serves the ball, and the players on the other side have three chances to return the ball to the other side or spike it into the net. Should they fail, the serving team scores a point. There are other ways to accumulate points throughout the game, too, and the first team to reach 21 points wins the game.
6. Beer Pong
Beer pong will be famous if you’ve any young adults at your BBQ who love to party. In fact, I’ve found it usually goes down with anyone who likes a drink.
Beer pong works with any group of two or more players, and you’ll need 12-20 plastic cups to play, a long table, and a ball.
I find wind balls work the best; they aren’t as heavy as tennis balls, so they don’t cause as much damage, but they are heavier than ping pong balls so that you can throw more accurately. Or, if you want to go all out, you can buy special beer pong sets.
You need to start by arranging the cups into two pyramid shapes at each end of the beer pong table (or any long-length table) and filling them with your beer of choice.
Players then take turns trying to toss balls into their opposing teams’ cups, and when they succeed, a player from the opposing team must drink the contents. The game ends when a team clears the other one’s cups.
7. Heads Up
My family and I love playing this game at any family gathering; its great entertainment and can be done by simply using someone’s mobile phone. All you need to do is download the Heads Up app to one person’s mobile phone, or if you don’t want to play with a phone, you can purchase the Heads Up card version.
You will be given a selection of categories, such as Blockbuster movies, accents, impressions, and animals gone wild.
Taking it in turns, each player selects a category and then proceeds to hold the phone (or card) against their forehead, so everyone else can see it while listening to clues from the other players hinting at what is on their head.
The player has just 60 seconds to determine the answer, or they need to get the point. The player, or team with the highest score at the end of the game, is the winner.
It’s a fast-paced game and almost always ends in tears of laughter for us.
Now I know you’ve already heard of this one, but how can I list my favorite games to play at a BBQ without mentioning the popular game of twister?
Twister has been going on for as long as I can remember. However, I find the original one just as fun. Still, when I purchased the updated game version, I was surprised to learn you can now get it to connect to your Alexa.
Twister is restricted to only 3 or 4 people; otherwise, you can end up in even more of a tangle than is anticipated. You will also need one person to be the moderator and tell each person where to put their hands and feet (if Alexa isn’t doing it for you, of course).
In case you aren’t familiar, the game starts with players standing at each end of the mat, the moderator spinning the arrow on the chart, and calling out a combination such as “right foot, red.”
The player must place their right foot on the red circle. When the next one is called, it could be “left arm yellow,” but you must leave the previous body part on its designated spot until asked to move it. Of course, this eventually ends up in a tangle of bodies.
If at any point your elbows, knees, or face touches the mat. The winner is the last person still in place on the mat. You are eliminated from the game.
9. Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity is definitely a game you don’t want to involve the kids in, mainly due to its vulgar language and crude tone.
To play the game, the card czar takes a black card and gives each other player ten white cards. The other players must then choose what they think is the funniest card to fill in the blank on the card czars card. The card czar then selects a winner, and they receive several points.
This will be a great addition to your party for anyone looking for a guaranteed laugh that isn’t easily offended. You should check out this more in-depth guide on playing Cards Against Humanity.
10. Ring of Fire
To begin the game, place a cup in the middle of your table or playing area, and surround your deck of cards around it in a circle. Each card represents a different action, which you can read more about in this Ring of Fire rules guide. One at a time, players should take cards from the ring and perform the action required.
This is not a game of scoring points as such, but more so about drinking and having a great time. How adventurous can you be with them is the question? You can also make this game entirely unique by adding your own actions instead of following the recommended ones.
A Closing Word
So, that is my top 10 favorite games to play at a BBQ. Hopefully, the list is varied enough for you to be the host with the most at your next BBQ and keep your guests entertained all night long.
Also, you can stick to the rules. The great thing about all the games I’ve discussed is that they are carefree and can be adapted to suit your group, making your BBQ more unique and memorable for your guests.