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Playing yard games is fun but it seems like during the winter time it’s almost impossible to have that kind of fun outside. Cold weather and snow make it tough to play your summer games, even when you’re wanting to get out of the house. That’s why we’ve dug up some of the best outdoor winter yard games so you can have fun all winter long.
The Best Outdoor Winter Yard Games
Playing outdoor winter yard games is tough for a few reasons. First of all, snow makes it hard or impossible to play a lot of games. If the ground is frozen you also won’t be able to stake anything into the ground, which means badminton is a no go.
Winter days are also shorter than the summer, which means you’ll find yourself playing in the dark if you want to get out in the evening.
Then there’s the issue of weather. While it might be mild enough to play, winter can take a toll on yard game equipment. You’ll want something that can be brought in after you’re done to keep it out of the elements.
Why Get Outdoor Winter Yard Games?
It’s so easy to be tempted to stay inside all winter long. But you should be active all year long! Yard games are a great way to pass the time outside and actually give you a reason to get outdoors. Especially when there’s less to do during the winter.
Yard games are also great to get kids playing outdoors on the weekend or after school. Some of these games would be great for birthday parties or family events, too.
Some games are better for winter than others, though. These winter yard games are perfect for cold weather, snow, and dark evenings.
OTTARO Giant Tic Tac Toe Game Set with Light
Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned game of Tic-Tac-Toe? Of course, this one is giant, so that makes it even cooler. All you need is a flat surface and you can make any part of your yard (including frozen ground) into a giant outdoor game.
The PVC tubes have LEDs inside so this game also works in the dark. Unfortunately the bags don’t glow, but it’s still fun. One word of caution, though – plastic, like what the tubes are made of, could crack when they get really cold.
- Glow in the dark tubes make it easy to play during dark evenings
- Easy to set up and put away
- Lays on any flat surface
- Bean bags don’t glow in the dark
- Plastic can crack when it’s cold and gets hit with something
- You will need to put it together, which may be hard to do with gloves on
ArmoGear Laser Tag
Laser tag is a great activity for a mild winter day or somewhere that you can run around. Since everything is handheld or on the body there’s no special set up that won’t work in the wintertime. You can also get everyone geared up inside before going out!
What I really like about this laser tag set is that it also works in the dark. There’s also different game modes so you can play multiple games without getting bored.
- You can get it set up inside before stepping outdoors
- Fun for kids and adults (you can even play together)
- Multiple game modes
- Works in the dark too
- Relatively short range on the guns
- You’ll need a total of 24 batteries to power the vests and guns
- Aiming doesn’t work well in close range
Ladder Toss Ball Game Set
Ladder toss is one of those outdoor games that works almost as well in the winter as it does in the summertime. Since it’s free standing the game can be set up easily on frozen ground or even on top of snow. (Bury the legs in snow for extra support.)
The only downside is some players may want to remove their gloves to play, which might not be comfortable in chilly weather. Otherwise the game can be played normally!
- Can be played in summer or winter so it’s a purchase that can be used more frequently
- Brightly coloured bolas are easy to spot in the snow
- Can be set up on frozen ground or in snow
- Fun for all ages, especially at parties
- Gloves need to be removed to play
- If there is a lot of snow it won’t be fun retrieving a missed bola
- Should be set up inside and brought out if it’s quite cold
- Plastic could crack if struck while cold
The Ultimate Freeze Tag Game: Vikings of The Northern Lights
There aren’t a lot of outdoor yard games out there that are specifically designed for winter, but this is one of them. It’s basically a variation of capture the flag with freeze tag elements. One team tries to capture the crystals while the other team tries to stop them.
Some of the handy winter-friendly features are that it lights up (great for those early sunsets), it’s easy to set up and put away, and that up to 10 people can play together.
- Designed to be played in all seasons so it’s very winter friendly
- Glow in the dark pieces are great for evening play
- 3-10 people can play at once
- Collected gems are added to the wand, but they fall out too easily
- Rules may be too complicated for younger kids
- Wand can break if you drop it
Snowman Toss Games Banner
If your family (especially younger kids) like corn in the hole or other throwing games they’re going to love this one. It’s basically a vinyl banner with holes, but that doesn’t make it any less fun!
Although the set does come with fake snowballs, part of the fun of this game is taking it outside in the winter and creating your own snowballs to try and toss through the holes. Kids will especially love it if they’re not normally allowed to toss snowballs at things.
- Easy to set up, you just hang it up
- Comes with fake snowballs if you live in an area without snow
- Should be able to withstand winter weather
- You’ll need a good place to hang it
- Best for little kids, may not as fun for older kids or adults
Which of these Outdoor Winter Yard Games is the Best?
There are honestly a lot of great and fun options on this list, but only one can be the best outdoor winter yard game, right?
Honestly, it’s hard to pick, because everyone has their own way they like to play outside. Still, speaking purely to what makes a great outdoor yard game for winter, there is one that stands out: The Ultimate Freeze Tag Game: Vikings of The Northern Lights.
While it may not be the most durable game since everything is made of plastic, it makes up for that by bringing a completely unique winter experience to backyard gaming.
It’s designed for kids ages 8 and up, but what I really like about it is how easy it is for kids and adults to play together. Of course, kids love this on their own too; especially young teens.
The gameplay is simple enough that most older kids will get it, but there’s also more challenging rules available for teens and adults.
Besides it being a fun game, it also works very well in the wintertime. First of all, it’s designed to be played in the dark, which is easier to do when the days are short. Second, there isn’t a lot of set up or equipment – which means no messing around in the cold. Third, it keeps everyone active while they play so that you don’t end up as cold as other outdoor games.
In fact, this game actually plays better in the snow because you can hide the gems in it!
The biggest downsides are that the game is a bit tough for younger players, which means you might want to save it for the older kids or buddy up with little ones. Another problem is the quality of the wand – it’s not awful, but definitely won’t hold up to rough play or being dropped frequently.
Batteries are included (which is nice!) but they are those button style ones. You might want to get extras and have a small screwdriver on hand, just in case.
The Best Outdoor Winter Yard Games – Conclusion
As I mentioned before, all these outdoor winter yard games were chosen because they can be played in the cold or snow. Any of them are good options depending on the ages of who’s playing, your budget, and what kind of winter you get in your area.
Whether you’re playing ultimate freeze tag or having a fun game of snowman toss, you can have fun outside even in the wintertime with the right games and activities!