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Best Combination Game: Watermelon Ball at Amazon "Ideal for getting some exercise while cooling off in the pool."
Best After Dark: Starlight Swimming Games Glow at Amazon "Includes 18 different submersible lights such as lotus flowers, glow bracelets, dive diamonds and border lights."
Best Party Float: Floating Beer Pong Pool Table at Amazon "Made from high-quality vinyl, the lounger has a brilliant design that includes a cooler built right into the middle."
Best Team Game: BulziBucket at Amazon "Both the hacky sacks and the buckets float, and the buckets pack up for easily for carrying."
Best Bean Bag Toss: Lob the Blob at Amazon "The game includes a 10-inch hole to aim the “blobs” into...and tethering grommets on the sides to hold it in place."
Best Card Game: Swimline Game Station Set at Amazon "Comes with waterproof playing cards and two inflatable lounge chairs with sling seats and cup holders."
Best Pool Volleyball Net: Home Court Volleyball Net at Amazon "The weather-treated, black polyester net measures 16 feet long by 3 feet deep and has a four-inch square mesh netting."
Best Heavy-Duty Basketball: Dunrite PoolSport Basketball Hoop at Amazon "The sturdy basketball set includes a stainless-steel rim, ball, net and hardware."
Our Top Picks
Best Combination Game: Watermelon Ball
Create your own imaginative pool games with the unique watermelon ball for hours of fun in the pool. The game is a combination of football, basketball and rugby in the water, and the durable, vinyl ball can be dribbled like a basketball, kicked, bounced, and passed underwater up to 10 feet. It is ideal for getting some exercise while cooling off in the pool and has unlimited options ranging from tag to “keep away,” without the inconvenience of having to constantly chase the ball if it goes outside of the pool. Unlike traditional pool balls that are blown up with air, this ball is filled with water so it looks and feels like a watermelon.
Best After Dark: Starlight Swimming Games Glow
For pool parties that continue after hours, the Starlight Swimming Games Glow in the Dark set is a great choice to keep the fun going into the night. Perfect for kids’ birthday parties, the set includes 10 different pool games such as “Sharks and Minnows,” “What Time is it Mr. Shark?” and “Treasure Hunt,” all with a glowing twist. The game includes 18 different submersible lights such as lotus flowers, glow bracelets, dive diamonds and border lights. The lights are run on batteries (included) and can be submerged in up to 20 feet of water. Buyers raved about how much fun the game was and loved how bright the lights were.
Best Party Float: Floating Beer Pong Pool Table
Whether you’re going on spring break, vacation or just gathering friends together for a lazy day in the sun, the Floating Beer Pong Pool Table by Infloatables is sure to be a hit. Made from high-quality vinyl, the lounger has a brilliant design that includes a cooler built right into the middle, so players can stock beer and bottled water right in the float. Six pong balls are included, so the set can be used right out of the box, as well as a patch kit in case of wear and tear. In addition to the classic 12 cup holder set up, there’s also designated slots for rinse cups, as well as cup holders for those just socializing or waiting for their turn.
Best Team Game: BulziBucket
The popular beach game of BulziBucket is also a fabulous addition to the backyard pool or can be toted along to a hotel or resort. BulziBucket consists of stackable blue and black bucket targets for teams to take aim at and includes eight blue and green hacky sacks. Playing in the water adds an additional challenge of a slightly moving target. Both the hacky sacks and the buckets float, and the buckets pack up for easily for carrying. BulziBucket has three levels of scoring, and for convenience, the game can be kept in a backpack carry bag. It measures 18.8 x 18.8 x 6.2 inches and weighs eight pounds.
Best Bean Bag Toss: Lob the Blob
The classic game of “cornhole,” (also known as bean bag toss) can now be played on the water. It has 37 by 26 inches of playing surface and made from PVC, “Lob the Blob” from Airhead is a floating twist on “cornhole.” The game includes a 10-inch hole to aim the “blobs” into (four blue and four green) and tethering grommets on the sides to hold it in place. It is important to note that the game only includes one target, so if playing with teams, it’s best to order a second target. When playing, it helps to deflate the target slightly so that the “blobs” don’t bounce off.
Basic Card Game: Swimline Game Station Set
For a relaxing pool game that doesn’t take any physical exertion, the Swimline Game Station Set is a perfect low-key option. The set comes with waterproof playing cards and two inflatable lounge chairs with sling seats and cup holders to keep players cool and hydrated, as well as an inflatable table that can be attached together using bungee cords. One drawback is that the playing card table has slots for four people, but the set only includes two chairs – so you’ll need a second set if you want a group to partake. Buyers said that although they had hours of fun in the pool with this game, the cup holders could be improved on.
Best Pool Volleyball Net: Home Court Volleyball Net
Finding a sturdy volleyball net that is designed for use in the pool can be difficult, but the Home Court Volleyball Net is durable and reasonably priced. However, a volleyball is not included and some additional assembly is required. The weather-treated, black polyester net measures 16 feet long by 3 feet deep and has a four-inch square mesh netting. It also includes vinyl tapes and grommets, but it does not include poles for securing it, so you’ll need to supply your own or get creative with some PVC pipes. Buyers stated that the net was worth the price and added assembly, plus it is made of high-quality materials.
Best Heavy-Duty Basketball: Dunrite PoolSport Basketball hoop
If you’re looking for a basketball hoop that’s a great fixture for your backyard pool, the Dunrite PoolSport Basketball hoop is a top choice that’s priced lower than competitors. Standing 36 inches above the deck, the sturdy basketball set includes a stainless-steel rim, ball, net and hardware. The base of the hoop is 17 inches wide and 19 inches deep and is held in place on the deck by filling it with water until it weighs a hefty 115 pounds. The set weighs 27 pounds (empty) – so isn’t a great choice for travel. Buyers stated that although the set is fun and durable, it should be frequently treated with some rust-proofing spray.