Embrace the sun-drenched afternoons with a spin on your outdoor rendezvous. These eighteen picnic games for adults are designed to infuse laughter and competitive spirit into any alfresco gathering. Dive into a world where playtime isn’t just for kids, and let the games elevate your picnic from pleasant to truly memorable.
Ice-Breaker Games for Starting the Picnic
When the blankets are spread and the baskets unpacked, the right ice-breaker can set a welcoming tone for the day. These games are designed to break down barriers and get guests giggling from the get-go.
1. Two Truths and a Lie
Start with everyone seated in a circle, indulging in light refreshments. One by one, each person shares two truths and one lie about themselves, while the others guess which statement is fiction. The key to making it fun is to encourage outrageous truths and believable lies, creating a playful debate that reveals interesting tidbits about each guest.
2. Human Bingo
Human Bingo is an interactive game that encourages movement and conversation. Create bingo cards in advance, with each square containing a statement like “Has traveled to more than three countries” or “Speaks two or more languages.” Guests need to find a person who matches each description to sign their card. The first to fill a row shouts “Bingo!” This game nudges people to mingle and discover commonalities, setting a friendly and energetic atmosphere.
Team-Building Games for Group Bonding
After breaking the ice, shift to games that require collaboration, highlight diverse strengths, and forge alliances. These team-building activities are perfect for forging connections.
3. Tug of War
This classic test of strength is not just about brawn but also about strategy. A well-coordinated team often outmatches a physically stronger but disorganized opponent. To set up, mark a line on the ground and place a flag at the center of a rope. Each team grabs an end, and at the signal, they pull!
The objective is to pull the opposing team across the mark. Before the match, teams can huddle to plan their approach, choosing the order of participants based on weight and strength, or determining a pulling rhythm. It’s a compelling display of unity and force.
4. Relay Races
Relay races are a quintessential picnic activity that gets the blood pumping and teamwork flowing. Set up a course with various stations — each requiring different skills like balancing, agility, or quick thinking. Teams must complete each station before passing the baton. For an adult twist, incorporate tasks like solving a puzzle, flipping a cup, or wrapping a teammate in streamers — amusing challenges that demand cooperation and strategy.
Classic Picnic Games with an Adult Twist
Reinventing classic games with an adult flair can transform the familiar into a source of new excitement and challenge. These activities combine nostalgia with a touch of sophistication, perfect for adult players looking to revisit childhood favorites with a twist.
5. Frisbee Golf
In Frisbee Golf, or ‘Frolf’, players aim to hit targets with a frisbee in the fewest possible throws. For an adult picnic, you can set up “holes” around the park using objects like trees, picnic tables, or even temporary flags. To add complexity, assign different point values based on difficulty, or introduce a handicap system to even the playing field between novices and seasoned players. It’s a game that combines skill and strategy, with a dose of friendly competition.
6. Sack Race
The sack race is a picnic staple that everyone remembers from childhood. For an adult version, use larger sacks and set up a more challenging course with obstacles like cones to weave through, a “tire” run with hula hoops, or a puzzle station where they must solve a quick brainteaser before moving on. It’s not just about speed but also agility and problem-solving under pressure. Encourage teams to dress up or bring their own customized sacks for an added layer of fun and team spirit.
Brain Games for the Strategically Minded
Not all picnic games need to involve running around. Some adults prefer to engage in activities that require wit and strategy, offering a different type of challenge that can be equally thrilling.
7. Giant Chess or Checkers
Larger-than-life board games are not only visually impressive but also offer a unique interactive experience. With giant chess or checkers, adults can step into the game, moving pieces as tall as themselves. This can turn what is typically a sedate, sitting-down affair into an active one, with players walking around the board to view the game from various angles and discussing strategies with their teammates.
8. Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt can be an incredible adventure for adults, particularly with the integration of smartphone technology. Develop a list of items to find or tasks to complete, then send teams on their way with a phone to take photos as evidence. Incorporate riddles that lead to different picnic spots or use GPS coordinates for location-based clues. This modern take on a scavenger hunt encourages exploration, teamwork, and the use of technology, making it a hit at any adult picnic.
Water Games for Hot Days
When the temperature rises, water games provide the perfect excuse for adults to cool off and bring out their competitive edge in a refreshing way.
9. Water Balloon Toss
The Water Balloon Toss is a summer classic that adults can enjoy just as much as kids. Pairs stand opposite each other and toss a water balloon back and forth, taking a step back with each successful catch. The challenge increases with distance, and the inevitable splash adds to the fun. To spice it up for adults, consider adding a ‘truth or dare’ element: whoever drops the balloon must answer a truth question or perform a dare.
10. Slip ‘n Slide Kickball
Combine the childhood joy of a slip ‘n slide with the competitive structure of kickball to get Slip ‘n Slide Kickball. Use plastic sheeting and a bit of soap to create your slides for bases, with a kiddie pool for home plate. As adults run and slide their way around the bases, this game guarantees laughter and lively competition. This activity also offers a hilarious way to cool down and is perfect for encouraging teamwork and strategy in a lighthearted setting.
Quiet Games for Relaxing Moments
Amidst the laughter and high-energy activities, it’s also nice to have some quieter games that allow adults to unwind but still engage with one another.
11. Adult Coloring Contest
Coloring isn’t just for kids; it’s a meditative activity that has gained popularity among adults for its stress-relieving benefits. Set up a coloring station with intricate coloring pages and a variety of colored pencils or markers. Participants can enter their finished pieces in a contest with categories such as ‘Most Creative Use of Color’ or ‘Most Artistic Design’. This serene activity provides a peaceful retreat from the more active games.
12. Card and Board Games
For strategic minds looking for a less physical challenge, card and board games can be a welcome addition to any picnic. Classics like ‘Settlers of Catan’, ‘Cards Against Humanity’, or ‘Codenames’ can provide hours of entertainment. You can also include more traditional card games like ‘Poker’ or ‘Bridge’. These games encourage critical thinking and social interaction and are an excellent way for guests to bond while seated comfortably under the shade of a tree.
Evening Games to End the Day
As the sun begins to set and the picnic winds down, evening games can create a magical atmosphere that caps off the day with warmth and camaraderie.
13. Glow-in-the-Dark Ring Toss
This game adds a luminous twist to a classic. By using glow sticks to create rings and attaching glow-in-the-dark tape to poles or bottles, you can set up a ring toss game that’s perfect for the evening. The glowing components add an element of enchantment to the game, and the cool evening air provides a comfortable environment for play. It’s simple, yet captivating, and offers a soft transition from the high-energy games of the day.
14. Campfire Storytelling Game
Gather around a campfire or a circle of lanterns for a storytelling game that enthralls and entertains. One person can start a story, and each person around the fire adds a sentence or two, weaving a tale that can be as whimsical or mysterious as the group desires. This game sparks creativity and often results in a lot of laughter, with the narrative taking unexpected turns. It’s a cozy way to foster a sense of togetherness as the evening closes in.
Kid-Friendly Picnic Games That Adults Can Enjoy Too
When children are part of the picnic, including games that bridge the age gap ensures that everyone has a great time. These games are selected to appeal to both the young and young-at-heart.
15. ‘Duck, Duck, Goose – With a Twist’
A childhood game that gets everyone running, ‘Duck, Duck, Goose’ can be adapted for adults by adding funny challenges. For example, the “goose” might need to run with a spoon in their mouth carrying an egg, or the last person caught could be required to do an impromptu dance move. It’s an opportunity for both kids and adults to laugh and be silly together.
Organize a Mini-Olympics with a variety of events that include both children and adults. Sack races, egg-and-spoon races, three-legged races, and bean bag tosses can all be included. To keep it fun for adults, add in a frisbee throw or a soft javelin toss using pool noodles. The competitive spirit gets a gentle outlet where kids can compete alongside the adults, and everyone gets to cheer each other on.
17. Animal Charades
Charades is a game that transcends age, and an animal-themed version adds an extra layer of fun. Participants act out different animals while others guess, making for a humorous and engaging activity. Adults can enjoy the challenge of acting without words, while kids delight in the fun of animals and the excitement of guessing correctly.
18. Balloon Pop Challenges
Set up a series of balloon pop challenges where teams of adults and kids work together to pop balloons in various ways, like sitting on them or using teamwork without using their hands. Inside some balloons, you could place notes that dictate a silly task or a riddle to solve. It’s an excellent way for everyone to expend any leftover energy before packing up to head home.
Picnic games for adults offer an array of benefits, from breaking the ice to promoting teamwork and simply enjoying the great outdoors. By including these seven games in your next picnic plan, you’re not just preparing a meal—you’re crafting an experience. So, grab your picnic basket, a Frisbee, and maybe even a water balloon or two, and watch as an ordinary day at the park becomes an extraordinary one.