Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the best tailgate games to keep your party lively and engaging.
  • Learn how to play popular tailgate games and what equipment you'll need.
  • Get tips on choosing games that are suitable for all age ranges and skill levels.

Tailgating parties are a staple of sports culture, especially during football season. They're a chance to gather with friends, show team spirit, and enjoy delicious food before the big game. But what really takes a tailgate party from good to great are the games. Tailgating games not only provide entertainment but also foster friendly competition and camaraderie among fans. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore a variety of games that will make your next tailgate the ultimate pre-game destination.

Classic Cornhole: A Tailgate Staple

Cornhole is a classic game that has become synonymous with tailgating. The game requires players to take turns tossing bean bags at an angled board with a hole in the far end. Scoring is simple: bags in the hole score three points, while bags on the board score one. Cornhole boards often feature team logos, making it a perfect way to show off your favorite team. This game is easy to set up and can be played by all age ranges, making it a versatile choice for any tailgate party.

Ladder Toss: Fun for the Whole Family

Ladder ball, also known as ladder toss, is a popular tailgate game that's fun for the whole family. The game set includes a ladder structure with three rungs and bolas, which are two balls connected by a string. Players take turns throwing the bolas with the goal of wrapping them around one of the rungs. Each rung scores different points, and the first player or team to reach a predetermined score wins. Ladder toss is easy to transport and can be played on any grassy area, making it ideal for tailgating.

Beer Pong: The Ultimate Drinking Game

No list of tailgate games would be complete without mentioning beer pong, the ultimate drinking game. Participants throw a ping pong ball across a table, aiming to land it in one of the opposing team's cups. If successful, the other team must drink the contents of that cup. Beer pong is a high energy game that's sure to get the party started. While traditionally associated with drinking beer, it can easily be adapted for younger children or non-drinkers by using water or a favorite non-alcoholic beverage.

Giant Tumbling Timbers: A Larger-Than-Life Challenge

Giant tumbling timbers, often referred to as a larger version of the classic family game Jenga, is an awesome game for tailgating. The game requires a steady hand and a strategic mind as players take turns removing blocks from a tower and placing them on top without toppling it over. This game can be played on any solid surface and is suitable for a wide range of skill levels. Plus, the giant size adds an exciting twist to this beloved game.

Kan Jam: A Flying Disc Game

Kan Jam is a fast-paced flying disc game that has quickly become a favorite at tailgate parties. The game involves two teams, each with a goal that has a slot in the front. The objective is to throw the disc toward the goal and have your teammate deflect it into the can for points. It's a high energy game that requires teamwork and can be played by friends of all skill levels. Kan Jam is also easy to set up and can withstand outdoor elements, making it perfect for tailgating.

Spikeball: The New Age Fun Game

Spikeball has rapidly become one of the ultimate tailgating games, offering a high-energy blend of volleyball and foursquare that can be played in the parking lot or any flat surface. Teams of two bounce a small ball off a round, trampoline-like net that's close to the ground. This awesome game requires agility and teamwork, making it a perfect addition to your tailgate party. It's easy to set up and can be played by people of all ages, ensuring that everyone from kids to adults can join in on the fun.

Unlike most games that require a large field or specific court, Spikeball can be easily played in a confined space, making it ideal for tailgating. The compact design of the game's components allows for quick assembly and disassembly, which means you can get right to playing without a lengthy setup. Whether you're waiting for the big game to start or just looking for a fun way to pass the time, Spikeball is a dynamic and engaging option that will keep your guests entertained.

Dizzy Bat: The Ultimate Tailgating Game Challenge

Tailgating parties are all about the spirit of competition and camaraderie, and what better way to pump up the energy than with Dizzy Bat, often hailed as the ultimate tailgating game. This hilarious and dizzying challenge involves a player spinning around a bat, head down, a set number of times before attempting to hit a plastic cup thrown by another player. It's a game that requires minimal equipment and space, making it perfect for tailgating. Plus, it's a fantastic icebreaker for guests who are meeting for the first time.

Dizzy Bat not only tests your balance and coordination but also provides a hearty laugh for both participants and onlookers. It's one of those awesome games that can easily play into the competitive spirit of tailgating while keeping the atmosphere light and fun. Whether you're waiting for the big game to start or just looking for an excuse to enjoy the outdoors, Dizzy Bat is a surefire way to create memorable moments with friends and fellow fans.

Tailgate Mini Golf: A Few Games of Putting Perfection

Imagine bringing the green to the parking lot with a portable mini-golf course, transforming your tailgate into a golfer's paradise. This inventive addition to your tailgate party allows guests to showcase their putting skills in a fun and relaxed environment. A few games of mini-golf can easily play into the theme of any sports gathering, and with creative obstacles, you can independently evaluate the putting prowess of your friends. From simple ramps to challenging spirals, the course can be as easy or as complex as you like.

Setting up a mini-golf course at your tailgate is a breeze, and it's one of those outdoor games that people of all ages can enjoy. Whether you're using a bean bag as a makeshift golf ball or setting up a series of plastic cup holes, the game can be tailored to fit the space and resources available. It's a fantastic way to engage guests in friendly competition and is sure to be a hit at your next tailgate party.

Bocce Ball: A Classic Outdoor Game

Bocce Ball is one of the best tailgating games that has stood the test of time, offering a blend of strategy and skill that can be enjoyed by all. This classic game involves throwing a small ball, known as the pallino, onto the playing surface and then taking turns tossing larger bocce balls, aiming to get them as close to the pallino as possible. It's a fun game that can be independently evaluated by players, making it a great way to involve everyone in a friendly competition.

The beauty of Bocce Ball is that it can be played on a variety of surfaces, from grass to sand, making it a versatile choice for tailgate parties in any location. It's a game that requires minimal equipment—a set of bocce balls and a pallino—and can be easily transported in your vehicle. Whether you're playing for fun or engaging in a heated competition, Bocce Ball is a fantastic way to add a touch of elegance and tradition to your tailgating experience.

Washer Toss: A Simple Yet Competitive Game

Washer toss is a simple game that's similar to cornhole but with a smaller target. Players take turns tossing washers into a box or onto a board with a cup in the center. Points are scored by landing washers in the cup or the box. Washer toss game sets often come with a convenient carrying case for easy transport, and the game can be enjoyed by tailgaters of all ages.

Rubber Horseshoes: A Safe Twist on a Classic Game

Rubber horseshoes offer a safe and family-friendly alternative to the classic game of horseshoes. Instead of metal, these horseshoes are made of rubber, making them safer for younger children and easy to play in any tailgating environment. The game set typically includes stakes or a target mat, and players take turns tossing the horseshoes toward the stake. It's a simple game that can be set up in minutes and enjoyed by all.

Football Toss: Show Off Your Quarterback Skills

A football toss game is a must-have for any tailgate during football season. This game allows fans to show off their quarterback skills by throwing a football through holes in a target board. Points are awarded based on the difficulty of the hole, and the game can be played by people of all ages. It's a great way to get into the spirit of the game and engage in some friendly competition with fellow tailgaters.

Tips for a Successful Tailgate with Games

To ensure your tailgate party is a success, consider the following tips:

  • Choose games that can be easily played in the space available and that are suitable for the outdoor elements.
  • Consider the age ranges and skill levels of your tailgating crew to select games that everyone can enjoy.
  • Remember to bring all necessary equipment for each game, including any carrying cases for easy transport.


Tailgating games are the heart of any successful tailgate party. From the strategic play of cornhole to the lively competition of beer pong, there's a game for every tailgater. Whether you're looking to show off your team spirit with ladder toss or engage the whole family with giant tumbling timbers, the key is to choose games that are fun, easy to set up, and inclusive for all attendees. With the right selection of games, your tailgate will be the highlight of game day.

FAQ Section

Q: What are some of the best tailgate games for all ages?

A: Cornhole, giant tumbling timbers, and rubber horseshoes are great options that can be enjoyed by tailgaters of all ages.

Q: How can I make drinking games like beer pong family-friendly?

A: You can easily adapt beer pong for all ages by using water or a favorite non-alcoholic beverage instead of beer.

Q: What should I consider when choosing tailgate games?

A: Consider the space available, the outdoor elements, and the age ranges and skill levels of your guests to ensure everyone can participate and have fun.

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