Family gatherings are great for catching up with loved ones and creating new memories. While you can always count on delicious food and family lore when everyone is together, sometimes a sprinkle of entertainment can turn the get-together into an unforgettable time. Whether there are lots of little ones to keep entertained or you want to see who the most competitive family member is, games are guaranteed to level up your next family gathering.

Before you pack up the football, we’re shaking things up from the normal game of toss. These games are sure to get everyone involved, even if it’s just cheering from the sidelines. So, grab your family and get ready for some friendly competition!


The kids will love this one! For each team, string an empty watering can through a piece of clothesline and attach to trees or poles (be sure they are the same length for each team). Each player gets a squirt gun to spray at the watering can. The first team to get the can to the other side wins!

Be prepared for the water gun fight that is sure to follow with a bucket of water balloons!


With a set of inflatable bumper balls, there’s no question you’ll have the coolest house on the block. Although just trying to walk in a giant bumper ball can be entertaining enough, kids and adults will get a kick out of trying to play a game of soccer while navigating a human hamster ball. Games like King of the Hill, sharks and minnows and even catch all become a hysterical challenge as players do their best not to topple over. Although you can purchase bumper balls, it may be better to rent them from an event center if you won’t make regular use of them.


As seen on Shark Tank, Spikeball is a fun mashup of volleyball and four square. Played by two teams of two, participants line up around the net, standing across from an opponent; then a ball is served from one team to the other.

Once the ball is served, players can move anywhere around the net to set up their teammate for a point or to prevent the ball from hitting the ground. Play continues until the ball hits the rim of the net or the ground.


Imagine all the classic yard games combined into one giant competition and you’ve just planned the Yard Game Olympics.

Okay, it may need a bit more planning than that. When thinking through what games to have, make sure there is at least one game for each of the various ages and skill sets in the family. It’s also okay if the games only need a few players and not the full team — after all, athletes don’t compete in every Olympic event. Also, make sure to assign a scorekeeper and referee for the moments that are too close to call!

Set up games like cornhole, Jenga, bean bag tic-tac-toe, croquet, an egg and spoon race and horseshoes for a day of nostalgia and fun!

In addition to the game supplies, you’ll also want a scoreboard and, of course, gold medals for the winning team. Who knows, it may be the start of a new tradition!


Depending on the age of your family members, a scavenger hunt can be as simple as searching for items on a list or as complex as figuring out clues and finding items in secret locations. You can also customize the hunt to find family-related items.

If you want to make it more difficult for older kids, you can write clues that send each team to random areas of your house and lawn, where they must find hidden items. Scavenger hunts are a fun way to challenge everyone in the household and form bonds and memories that last a lifetime.


Having an axe throwing competition will surely add some thrill to your family game night. Kid-friendly kits can be found online and are typically made of foam axes and a sticky hook and loop target or play axes designed to stick to a bristle target. However, if you’re looking to raise the stakes with older participants, you can have a real axe throwing range set up in no time. Small hatchets are perfect for throwing, and you can use pine or cottonwood to make a sturdy target.

No matter what kind of axe you’re throwing, you can create your own rules and scoring or follow the official guidelines found on Of course, don’t be afraid to raise the stakes with a friendly bet. Nothing brings out the competition like putting laundry duty on the line!

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