The 13 Best Beach Games of 2021

Pack an analog game for a beach day of fun, bonding, or exercise

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

TRIPSAVVY-best-beach-games

TripSavvy / Chloe Jeong

The Rundown

Best Overall: Activ Life Kid's Flying Rings at Amazon

"They’re ultra lightweight, making them easy to transport and comfortable for smaller kids to throw."

Best Budget: Hoyle Waterproof Clear Playing Cards at Amazon

"The cards are flexible, hand-washable, easy to shuffle, and 100-percent waterproof."

Best for Families: Outdoor Ring Toss at Wayfair

"This outdoor ring toss is chic enough for grown-up parties in the yard but versatile and durable enough to take to the beach."

Best for Kids: Hapinest Find and Seek Scavenger Hunt at Amazon

"This beach edition makes an especially ideal pick for an outing on the sand."

Best for Adults: Bucket Ball Beach Edition at Amazon

"Because of its overt nod to beer pong, it’s best as a beach game for adults."

Best for Pairs: 3-in-1 Giant Checkers at Amazon

"This soft, woven, two-sided rug serves as a playing surface for three different games: checkers and two versions of tic-tac-toe. "

Best Puzzle: Mindware Travel Qwirkle Game at Walmart

"The travel-size version of this strategy game is great for playing at home or at the beach. "

Best Strategy: Giant 4 Connect in a Row at Amazon

"The game sets up easily indoors or out."

Best Horseshoes: Triumph Steel Horseshoe Set at Amazon

"All the pieces are durable and fade-resistant to stand up well to outdoor wear."

Best Volleyball: Franklin Family Volleyball Set at Amazon

"Everything you need to set up and play a good game in the sand."

Best Badminton: Boulder Portable Badminton Net Set at Amazon

"It also adapts easily to pickle ball, tennis, or whatever other game you can dream up on the sand."

Best Cornhole: GoSports Bullseye Bounce Cornhole Toss Game at Amazon

"The whole set weighs less than 6 pounds."

Best for Exercise: Spikeball Standard 3-Ball Kit at Amazon

"A high-energy and competitive two-on-two game you can play anywhere, indoors or out." 

If you’re packing up for a family vacation, a weekend road trip, or just a day at the local beach, don’t forget to bring the entertainment. No, we’re not talking about loading up an iPad with movies—we mean an analog beach game for good old-fashioned fun. Reconnect with your partner, friends, or family with a beach game that's just right for your group’s skill level and attention span. Whether that’s a game of strategy, a sweat-generating exercise, a game of coordination and skill, or a kid-friendly contest, we've got the best beach games of 2021.

Best Overall: Activ Life Kid's Flying Rings

What We Like
  • Budget-friendly game

  • Lightweight for small kids

  • Floats in water

What We Don't Like
  • Breakable with hard use

Activ Flyers have all the makings of a perfect beach game: They’re ultra lightweight, making them easy to transport and also comfortable for smaller kids to throw (and gentle if they get hit with one). They also float in water, and they’re budget-friendly. These fun discs come in eight different color options, and each two-pack comes in a colorful gift box.

  • Pieces: 2
  • Weight: 1.2 ounces each
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Age Range: 3 to 12

Best Budget: Hoyle Waterproof Clear Playing Cards

What We Like
  • Affordable price point

  • Clear plastic card stock

  • Great for all ages

What We Don't Like
  • Cards can get lost easily

A deck of playing cards is one of the most versatile and budget-friendly indoor-outdoor games you can have on hand for all ages. Up the ante with this deck printed on clear plastic card stock. The cards are flexible, hand-washable, easy to shuffle, and 100-percent waterproof, so they’re perfect for the beach.

  • Pieces: 52 plus box
  • Weight: 0.8 ounces
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Age Range: 8 and up

Best for Families: Outdoor Ring Toss

Yard Games Wooden Outdoor Ring Toss

Courtesy of Wayfair

What We Like
  • Attractive and sophisticated look

  • Durable wood frame

What We Don't Like
  • Higher price point

This outdoor ring toss is chic enough for grown-up parties in the yard but versatile and durable enough to take to the beach with the family. included rulebook and carrying bag. This 15-piece version comes with a wood frame and six rings as well as a rulebook and carrying bag.

  • Pieces: 14
  • Weight: 5.5 pounds
  • Waterproof: No
  • Age Range: All ages

Best for Kids: Hapinest Find and Seek Scavenger Hunt

Hapinest Find and Seek Scavenger Hunt

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Educational game for kids

  • Play indoors and outdoors

  • Picture recognition for non-readers

What We Don't Like
  • Cards are not waterproof

Kids can play this scavenger hunt game indoors or out—but this beach edition makes an especially ideal pick for an outing on the sand. The set includes 35 find-and-seek cards, two instruction cards, and a drawstring bag for carrying and storage. It’s recommended for ages 3 and up (non-readers can play using picture recognition).

  • Pieces: 38
  • Weight: 3.52 ounces
  • Waterproof: No
  • Age Range: 3 and up

Best for Adults: Bucket Ball Beach Edition

 Bucket Ball Beach Edition

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Adaptable for all ages

  • Can play in water

  • Easy to carry with tote bag

What We Don't Like
  • Higher price point

Technically, this game works for players of all ages, but because of its overt nod to beer pong, it’s best as a beach game for adults. The kit includes 12 durable buckets, two balls, and a tote bag for carrying. The whole thing weighs less than 7 pounds and takes up less than a cubic foot of space.

  • Pieces: 15
  • Weight: 7 pounds
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Age Range: All ages

Best for Pairs: 3-in-1 Giant Checkers

3 in 1 Giant Checkers

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Play three different games

  • Large pieces are easy for kids to use

What We Don't Like
  • Does not include storage bag

Take on your favorite opponent at the beach with this soft, woven, two-sided rug that serves as a playing surface for three different games: checkers and two versions of tic-tac-toe. It includes 24 game pieces (12 red and 12 black), and the whole set is lightweight and easy to tote along on the go.

  • Pieces: 25
  • Weight: 1.39 pounds
  • Waterproof: No
  • Age Range: 6 and up

Best Puzzle: Mindware Travel Qwirkle Game

Mindware Travel Qwirkle Game

Courtesy of Staples

The travel-size version of this strategy game is great for playing at home or at the beach. While it was made with children in mind, it's definitely challenging enough for adults as well. This set comes with the 108 mini wooden tiles, a travel pouch, and an instruction booklet. One downside is that it does not come with an accompanying board to play on, but that could make for some interesting game surface choices.

  • Pieces: 108
  • Weight: 0.2 pounds
  • Waterproof: No
  • Age Range: 6 and up

Best Strategy: Giant 4 Connect in a Row

Giant 4 Connect in a Row

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Easy to set up

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • Higher price point

  • Heavier to carry

Test your strategy with this giant 2.5-foot-tall board, made of quality wood and finished with natural stain. Patterned after the classic board game Connect 4, this game comes with the 42 solid plastic coins (21 red and 21 blue). It includes a carrying case with zipper and handle that allows for easy transport and sets up easily indoors or out.

  • Pieces: 48
  • Weight: 12.72 pounds
  • Waterproof: No
  • Age Range: 8 and up

Best Horseshoes: Triumph Steel Horseshoe Set

Triumph Steel Horseshoe Set

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Durable, solid metal game

  • Appeals to all ages

What We Don't Like
  • Metal is heavy to travel with

Horseshoe is one of the most iconic and timeless outdoor games for players of all ages. This steel set is made with powder-coated gold and silver hammer finish. It includes two 20-inch stakes with a silver hammer finish. All the pieces are durable, fade-resistant, and stand up well to outdoor wear.

  • Pieces: 6 (4 horseshoes, 2 stakes)
  • Weight: 12.55 Pounds
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Age Range: 1 and up

Best Volleyball: Franklin Family Volleyball Set

Franklin Family Volleyball Set

Courtesy of Franklin

What We Like
  • Includes everything needed for a game

  • Comes with pump for ball

What We Don't Like
  •  Smaller than standard size

Bring the party with you when you arrive with this beach volleyball set in tow. The kit includes a net with steel poles, a polyester volleyball, stakes, ropes, and an inflating pump with needle—everything you need to set up and play a good game in the sand.

  • Pieces: 10
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Age Range: All ages

Best Badminton: Boulder Portable Badminton Net Set

Boulder Portable Badminton Net Set

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Versatile

  • Easy to set up

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • Critical reviewers find the net lower than expected

This easy-to-set-up net (raise it in 5 minutes flat) is great not just for badminton but also for pickle ball, tennis, or whatever other game you can dream up on the sand. Lightweight and foldable, all of the included parts pack down into a small included carry case. The durable, high-quality net is made from hard-wearing nylon and rust-resistant painted steel, so it’s made to last.

  • Pieces: 2
  • Weight: 8 pounds
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Age Range: All ages

Best Cornhole: GoSports Bullseye Bounce Cornhole Toss Game

What We Like
  • Has three games in one

  • Lightweight and foldable

  • Includes carrying case

What We Don't Like
  • Sand can leak from bags after hard use

Cornhole is a classic, but bulky wooden boards aren’t easy to transport to the beach. This solution makes it easy: The bullseye target is lightweight and foldable, and the whole set weighs less than 6 pounds. It also comes with eight bean bags and a portable carrying case.

  • Pieces: 10
  • Weight: 7.5 pounds
  • Waterproof: No
  • Age range: all ages

Best for Exercise: Spikeball Standard 3-Ball Kit

Spikeball Standard 3 Ball Kit

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • High-energy game

  • Adapts to your level of fitness

  • Foldable legs for easy storage

What We Don't Like
  • Higher price point

Spikeball (featured on Shark Tank) is a high-energy and competitive two-on-two game you can play anywhere, indoors or out. The game comes with a rule book to get you started (pick up the basic gameplay objective in just a few minutes), three balls, and a drawstring bag for storage. Foldable legs make the product easier to store.

  • Pieces: 6
  • Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Age Range: 6 and up

Final Verdict

Hoyle’s waterproof playing cards (view at Amazon) make a great all-around choice for a beach game: They’re affordable, waterproof, ultra lightweight. You can take them anywhere and they're versatile for gameplay for all players’ tastes and skill levels.

What to Look For in Beach Games

Weight

Portability is key for a beach game, but your needs will vary based on your specifics. Packing for a beach vacation by air? A small deck of waterproof playing cards is a great solution. Taking the subway to the beach? Look for a lightweight product with a handled carrying case. If you’re traveling by car, you have more leeway with weight and dimensions.

Price

Outdoor games have a lot of exposure to the elements, and that’s especially true when playing on the beach with sand, water, and salty air. So consider how much you want to pay for a beach game that probably won’t last a lifetime. Generally, you should look for products under $100. There are plenty of budget-friendly games on our list, as well as a sampling of splurge-worthy games made of durable, high-quality materials.

Player Age

Consider the ages of your participants. Avoid games with small pieces that could be choking hazards for the youngest players, and include non-readers with games that require picture recognition instead of words when relevant. Engage older players with a revved-up strategy or physical activity that challenges them.

 Why Trust TripSavvy

Los Angeles-based Alesandra Dubin is a frequent beachgoer with friends and family of all ages. She heavily researched—and test drove—all kinds of beach games, especially while trying to entertain her 6-year-old twins outdoors locally under the restraints of the pandemic.

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