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"Watermelon Ball gets the whole family involved while staying in cool waters."
"Includes a floating net with grommeted pole bases that keeps the net in place while you're playing."
"Handy clips easily attach to a beach bag for toting along to a pool party or hotel pool."
"Keep the tradition of the chicken pool game alive, albeit without the human riders."
"Test your speed and aim with this exciting carnival game."
"Designed to be played on land or in water, this game is great for picnics and pools alike."
"Remove the cups to instantly transform the game board into a relaxing pool float."
"Whether in the backyard or the resort, this easy-going game will create a fun environment."
"Kids will stay entertained for hours as they dive and swim through these rings."
"Trade in pencil and paper for an inflatable version of tic tac toe."
Whether on a hot summer’s day or during vacation, cool pool waters are enticing. Some pools are see-and-be-seen spots, like in Las Vegas or Manhattan. While others are family-fun zones, like at the world’s best hotel pools for kids and those at Disney Resorts. Regardless of locale, after a few minutes of floating and splashing, you might be ready to dial up the fun.
From watery volleyball to splash-proof card games, here are our picks for the best pool games available.
Our Top Picks
Watermelon Ball isn’t a standard inflatable pool ball. It’s filled with water, rather than air, which gives the ball the feel of a watermelon and unleashes opportunities for play. The recommended game combines elements of football, basketball, and rugby as the ball is passed, dribbled, and kicked above and below the surface. Watermelon Ball gets the whole family—or a group of friends—involved all while staying in cool waters. It’s recommended for ages 8 and up.
Intex Pool Volleyball Game
Volleyball is a beach classic, and the game gets spiked into the pool with this inflatable net and ball set. The kit includes a floating net with grommeted pole bases that can be attached to the included anchor bags if desired. In other words, once anchored the net will stay in place and won’t float away. The kit includes an inflatable volleyball and a repair kit—though the sturdy vinyl is unlikely to rip even as gameplay gets fierce. Two individuals or groups can face off in this game. It's recommended for ages 3 and up.
Uno Splash Card Game
The timeless family card game gets a pool-side twist in this version, which uses durable, waterproof plastic cards that can handle getting drenched. Handy clips keep draw-pile cards from floating away during a game in the pool, and the set can also easily attach to a beach bag or backpack for toting along to a pool party or hotel pool.
Swimline Log Flume Joust Set
Many people are familiar with the popular pool game chicken. This equipment set keeps the tradition of that game alive, albeit without the human riders. In this game, participants sit on inflatable logs (rather than a person’s shoulders) and use blown-up boppers. Kids and kids at heart have to maintain their balance on the inflatables while suffering bops from their opponent and trying to deliver a few of their own. This game is recommended for ages 7 and up.
Swim Central Arcade Shooter Pool Game
This game brings all the fun of a carnival to the pool. Two players face off at a time at the inflatable station equipped with squirt guns. The play guns deliver a constant stream of water from the pool as competitors take aim at a set of five balls that pop into shooting range via a pipe. Just as in the carnival version, the player with the fastest and most accurate shooting wins—all without getting out of the pool. It’s recommended for ages 4 and up.
This multi-venue game can be toted along to backyard picnics, tailgate parties, the beach, and your favorite pool deck. It’s designed to be played on land or in water. The three-tier target buckets float, so your group can stay cool while throwing or deflecting hacky sacks into the buckets. The game comes in a carrying case and can be assembled quickly.
GoPong Pool Lounge Inflatable Beer Pong Table
GoPong's drinking game will be the life of your pool party. Adults gather around the 6-foot long floating beer pong table to try to toss a ball into one of the empty cups. The table includes sideline and main play cup holders, six ping pong balls for shooting, and four tethering grommets to keep the playing surface table during play—or at least as much as can be in the pool. When the game’s over, players can remove the cups to instantly transform the game board into a relaxing pool float to lounge on in the water.
Poptrend Inflatable Cactus Ring Toss
The typical carnival ring toss game comes to the pool with this inflatable version that promises to be a family crowd pleaser. The game set includes a floating saguaro cactus and six inflatable rings in rainbow hues that can be tossed onto the cactus’s arms. The easy-going game will help create a fun, festival atmosphere whether you’re hosting a pool party for your family or you’re creating your own fun at a resort.
Water Sports Swim Through Rings
These hula-hoop-like swim rings will keep kids entertained for hours as they practice diving and swimming underwater. The collapsible rings are easy to bring along poolside and feature adjustable air chambers that allow you to set the underwater depth for different swimming ability levels. Create endless ways to play, from setting up point values for different rings to creating underwater obstacle courses.
Poolcandy Jumbo Tic Tac Toe Game
This game trades in pencil and paper for an inflatable version of tic tac toe. An inflatable lattice board sets the stage for the game of strategy, and players can toss or place blow-up X’s and O’s in squares as they try to box out their opponent.
Battat Pirate Diving Set
Kids learning to dive will fall in love with this pirate-inspired diving set. The set includes several mock jewels, coins, and other booty that kids can collect from the pool floor and store away in the included plastic pirate chest. With 27 items to collect, this set is perfect for family afternoons in the pool or larger gatherings. It’s recommended for ages 8 and up.
If we had to pick just one game from our list—say for its ability to get multiple people in on the fun and liven up a day at the pool—it would be Watermelon Ball. The ball’s versatility creates endless ways to play, from basketball-inspired games to rugby. Plus, the wobbly, water-filled ball will have players flopping, splashing, and laughing as they try to direct it. It’s sure to get everyone in your party in on the action.
Why Trust TripSavvy?
Ashley M. Biggers started swim lessons when she was six months old. Lessons progressed to play in the warm summers of her New Mexico home, and she’s tried out numerous pool games since.