Drinks on the patio. Is there anything better? Actually, yes. Games on the patio. These 20 bar patio games can turn your outdoor seating area into a spot for socializing – and a little friendly competition.
3 Reasons Why Bar Patio Games Rule
1) Living Billboard
Research shows that outdoor seating at bars and restaurants can drive up sales by 30%. One of the reasons for the increased revenue is that your patio becomes a “living billboard,” showing people passing by all the fun they’re missing. Adding bar patio games to the mix creates a lively social scene that will catch the eye of anyone nearby.
2) Events Made Easy
When the weather is nice, bar patio games give guests a reason to leave their own backyard. Set up an event around your bar patio games – from cornhole tournaments to beer pong playoffs. P.S. Always run a Facebook event for extra promotional power.
3) The Golden Hour Factor
Also known as the magic hour, the golden hour – right before and during sunset – is the ideal time for flattering photos. (Every millennial knows this.) When those selfies are snapped, your bar patio games get free Instagram and Facebook exposure…making your bar the “it” spot on social media.
It’s Game Time: The Top 20 Bar Patio Games
1) They Might Be Giants
Think outside the game box and go big with your bar patio games. Jenga is fun. Giant Jenga is irresistible. Use this simple DIY guide to creating a set of XL Jenga blocks.
Or, paint a giant checkerboard on your patio floor. Plastic red and black plates become the game pieces. You could even paint blue, green, red, and yellow circles on the floor to create a permanent Twister game.
2) A Round of…Sholf?
This list of bar patio games is about to get weird. Say hello to “Sholf,” a mashup of shuffleboard and golf. This quirky game took off at football tailgates about a decade ago. You can order the official kit or create your own using a putting green mat, a putter, golf balls – and this Sholf guide.
3) Shuffleboard: Not Just for Florida Seniors
If Sholf isn’t your thing, consider straight up shuffleboard – especially if you want your bar patio games to attract millennials.
You can thank the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club in Brooklyn for making this senior-approved game a hipster’s delight. A regulation court is 52-feet long, but if space (and budget) is an issue, opt for a demure 9-foot tabletop version.
4) Bean Bag Toss AKA Cornhole
You can’t talk about bar patio games without the iconic bean bag toss – also known as cornhole. This bar “sport” is becoming so popular, venues are holding tournaments.
Get your DIY on again and use this tutorial for building cornhole boards. Paint your logo onto the boards or get a large decal printed. After all, #cornhole is trending on Instagram so this keeps your brand in the picture (literally).
5) Skittles (No, Not the Candy)
Woudst thou liketh to playeth a game of ye olde Skittles?
Skittles, or lawn bowling, has been played in Europe for centuries. No lawn? No problem. Set up the 10 wooden pins on the floor and let the good times roll with the most traditional of bar patio games.
6) Today’s Arcade is Tableside
Think lawn bowling is too old school? Give guests the latest tech instead. Put touchscreen bar tablets from Buzztime in the hands of every guest. They can tap into realistic arcade games 24/7 or join in nationally scheduled trivia that runs 7 days a week, 15 hours a day. With over 10 million register players nationwide, Buzztime bar patio games can attract new patrons to your place.
7) Live Trivia for the Win
Take your bar patio games to the next level. Host a live trivia event! The same bar tablets that hook up guests with arcade games double as scoring devices on trivia night. No need to hire a trivia host, you get everything needed to host live trivia yourself.
8) Hoops Contests
Score a slam dunk with guests. Set up a mini basketball hoop and let the bar patio games begin. Run a trick shot contest and let audience applause determine the winner. Or, create a contest with a high stakes prize if someone makes a shot from across the patio.
9) How Low Can You Go?
Everyone loves to limbo (well, except really tall people). Purchase a limbo set for under $50. Play Flo Rida and T-Pain’s hit song Low. Now, you’ve got a limbo contest to add to your bar patio games lineup.
10) Card Games for Cool Kids
Time to toss that dusty Trivial Pursuit game. Upgrade to today’s trending card-based bar patio games like Cards Against Humanity, and What Do You Meme? Fair warning: these games are NSFW and definitely for the 21+ crowd. But millennials love ‘em. In fact, Cards Against Humanity is the #6 best-selling game on Amazon.
Take inspiration from backyard classics when planning your bar patio games. Granted, you’ll need sand pits and a strip of lawn for horseshoes. But the payoff is giving your outdoor bar space a homey, cool, sorta-country vibe.
Next up on this list of bar patio games is a newer backyard favorite. KanJam involves two players who each guard a “goal” (which looks like a black trash bin). Players try to aim their frisbee into the bin.
13) Table Tennis
You’ve already got the tables. Push them together. Then just add ping pong balls, a net, and paddles. It’s bar patio games made easy. Run a table tennis tournament and watch guests get their game on all night long.
14) Flippin’ Fun
You could say Flip Cup is America’s unofficial college sport. The equipment? Red Solo Cups. Here’s how to run a flip cup game like a pro:
Two teams with an equal amount of players line up on either side of a long table. Every player has a cup in front of them. One player from each team begins the flip off by attempting to…flip their cup over. Once they land their cup, the next player goes. The team who successfully flips all their cups first, wins. It’s simple. It’s fun. It’s going to be one of your most popular bar patio games.
15) Beer Pong
Ah, beer pong. It’s another favorite college game involving those Red Solo Cups (and ping pong balls). Like cornhole, many bars run beer pong tournaments to turn their bar patio games into cool competitions.
This beer pong tutorial shows you how the game is played. But chances are, you already know how…
16) Croquet, Dahling
Let’s step away from the college games and explore the refined game of croquet. Again, this is one of those bar patio games that requires a small lawn area. Players strike colorful croquet balls through wire hoops using a wooden mallet. This sophisticated game can inspire the perfect summer event: croquet and cocktails.
17) Video Bar Patio Games Under the Stars
Fortnite isn’t just a video game, it’s a national obsession. That’s why bars across America are hosting Fortnite tournaments. If you’ve got TVs on your bar patio, consider getting in on the Fortnite insanity with a tourney at your place.
18) Texas Hold ‘Em Tourney
Bar tablets come into play again. This time, they become a virtual deck of cards so guests can throw down in Texas Hold ‘Em on your patio. Raise the stakes and run a tournament to maximize the ROI of your poker bar patio games.
19) Scrabble Supersized
Scrabble tiles are tiny. Create your own larger set using plywood or cardboard and set them out on the patio floor using this easy DIY guide to “Lawn Scrabble.” Yes, we had to sneak in one more giant game onto this bar patio games list.
20) Chalk it Up
Sometimes the best bar patio games are the simplest. If you’re like many bars, you turn a section of your parking lot into a patio during warmer months. Boom, you’ve got a blank canvas for chalk-based games. Think retro hopscotch or simple rounds of tic, tac, toe. Set out buckets of sidewalk chalk so guests can get arty.
When it comes to fun and games, take it outside. Bar patio games create a social, upbeat atmosphere that no guest can resist. Let the (outdoor) games begin!