5 Fun Outside Games to Play with Family, Friends, and Dogs!

5 Fun Outside Games to Play with Family, Friends, and Dogs!

In an era dominated by screens and indoor activities, finding ways to engage with family outdoors can be both refreshing and essential. Outdoor games offer not only exercise but also an opportunity for family bonding, laughter, and creating lasting memories. Including your furry family members adds an extra layer of fun and excitement. Here are five fun games that will get your family—and your dogs—off the couch and into the fresh air.

1. Capture the Flag

Description: Capture the Flag is a classic outdoor game perfect for families. It combines strategy, physical activity, and a bit of friendly competition. The objective is simple: capture the opposing team’s flag and return it to your base without being tagged. Just make sure to clear the playing field of your dogs landmines before you play! Or, leave those natural dog poop mines as an added obstacle…

How to Play:

  • Setup: Divide your playing area into two halves, each team claiming one side as their territory. Each team hides their flag somewhere within their territory.
  • Rules: Players must try to sneak into the other team’s territory, find the flag, and bring it back to their own side without getting tagged. If tagged, players can be sent to a designated “jail” area, from which they can be freed by a teammate.
  • Winning: The first team to capture the other team’s flag and bring it back to their base wins.

Why It’s Fun: Capture the Flag encourages teamwork, communication, and strategic thinking. It’s exhilarating to sneak through enemy lines or race back to base with the flag, heart pounding as you try to avoid being tagged. This game is suitable for a variety of ages, making it perfect for a family with kids and adults alike.

2. Cornhole

Description: Cornhole is a popular yard game that involves throwing bean bags onto a raised platform with a hole in it. It’s easy to learn, making it accessible for all ages, and it’s ideal for casual backyard fun. Corn hole boards can easily be purchased on Amazon, Walmart, or similar retailers.

How to Play:

  • Setup: Place two cornhole boards opposite each other at a distance of around 27 feet for adults or closer for children.
  • Rules: Players take turns throwing bean bags at the opposite board. A bag that lands on the board scores 1 point, while a bag that goes through the hole scores 3 points.
  • Winning: The first player or team to reach or exceed 21 points wins.

Why It’s Fun: Cornhole is a great game for fostering a relaxed, competitive spirit while barbequing with friends or camping!. It’s easy to set up and can be played virtually anywhere. The game’s simple rules mean that even younger children can participate, making it a family-friendly choice. Plus, it allows for socializing while playing, adding to the overall enjoyment.

3. Fetch Relay with Your Dog

Description: Fetch Relay is an entertaining game that includes your dog in the fun. This game is a mix of a traditional relay race and a fetch game, where family members and their furry friends team up to complete the course.

How to Play:

  • Setup: Create a relay course with several stations. Each station can have obstacles or specific tasks (e.g., running around a cone, jumping over a small hurdle).
  • Rules: The first human participant runs the course, handing off a baton (or a favorite toy) to the next participant, who continues the relay. At specific stations, the dog must fetch an object and bring it back to the human teammate before they can proceed.
  • Winning: The first team to complete the course with all tasks accomplished wins.

Why It’s Fun: Including your dog in a relay race adds excitement and unpredictability to the game. It encourages physical activity for both humans and dogs while fostering a sense of teamwork. This game is a fantastic way to bond with your pet and family simultaneously.

4. Water Balloon Toss

Description: Perfect for hot summer days, a water balloon toss combines fun and refreshment. This game tests coordination and teamwork as players try to toss and catch water-filled balloons without them bursting.

How to Play:

  • Setup: Fill up a bunch of water balloons and divide players into pairs.
  • Rules: Each pair stands close together and tosses a water balloon back and forth. After each successful catch, they take a step back, increasing the difficulty.
  • Winning: The pair that manages to toss and catch the balloon from the furthest distance without breaking it wins.

Why It’s Fun: A water balloon toss is a simple yet entertaining game that adds a splash of excitement to any outdoor gathering. It’s perfect for cooling off on a hot day and brings a lot of laughs as balloons inevitably burst. This game also encourages coordination and teamwork among players.

5. Scavenger Hunt with Your Dog

Description: A scavenger hunt with your dog turns your backyard, park, or neighborhood into an adventure zone. It’s an exciting game that involves finding specific items or completing tasks based on clues, with your furry friend joining the fun.

How to Play:

  • Setup: Prepare a list of items to find or tasks to complete. These can be natural objects (like leaves, rocks, or flowers) or man-made items hidden around the area. Include some dog-friendly items (e.g., a specific toy or treat).
  • Rules: Players or teams, along with their dogs, receive the list and must find or complete as many items/tasks as possible within a set time limit. Dogs can help by sniffing out the items or performing tricks as part of the tasks.
  • Winning: The player or team that finds the most items or completes the most tasks wins.

Why It’s Fun: Scavenger hunts stimulate curiosity and exploration. They can be tailored to suit different age groups, ensuring that everyone can participate. Including dogs makes the game even more dynamic, as they use their keen senses to help find hidden items. This game encourages problem-solving, teamwork, and a strong bond between humans and their pets.


Playing outdoor games with family, friends, and your dogs is an excellent way to enjoy fresh air, get some exercise, and create unforgettable memories together. Whether you’re sneaking around in Capture the Flag, tossing bean bags in Cornhole, racing with your dog in Fetch Relay, cooling off with a Water Balloon Toss, or hunting for treasures in a Scavenger Hunt, these activities provide fun for all ages.

Be sure that your play areas are clean of dog poop! Dog poop can quickly turn a fun time into a, “gross” time! With a subscription with Idaho Poop Scoop, your lawn is kept consistently clean so you don’t have to worry about cleaning up your yard. Take advantage of the consistency and not having to scoop yourself!