5 DIY Outdoor Games You Can Play With a Beer in Hand

When I get back to the house from a hot afternoon playing disc golf (and shooting +27 over *cough-cough*), I like to knock out a cold, delicious beer. But that beer doesn’t quite compare to the ones you can drink while actually playing an outdoor game.


With tailgate season fast approaching, we’ve got the how-to for building your own regulation cornhole game with specs straight from the American Cornhole Association (and yes, that is a real thing).

Regulation Cornhole Game Set

I used these plans to make my own cornhole boards that I may-or-may-not be able to show you because they may-or-may-not feature trademarked logos of my favorite sports team.

Pro Tip: Once you’ve made the cuts and assembled the boards, give them two weeks to dry before you paint (due to the pressure-treated wood).


Another game that lends itself to, well, to … consumption … is horseshoes. Of course, you’ll want to keep the toddlers wrangled when that beautiful clang! of horseshoe striking post fills the air, but this is the godfather of beer-in-hand games and brings that old-school feel to a backyard. Get your horseshoes instructions here.

How to Build a Horseshoe Pit

Ladder Golf

New to the scene and getting more popular with every tailgate is ladder golf. Ages 2 to 92 are welcome at this party, and although it’s easy to turn loose of the bolos with your other hand gripping a long-neck, I’m just warning you now that there’s a nack to it.

How to Build a Ladder Golf Game


Now, if you’re the type that wants to build 32 forms and pour concrete, do I have the game for you: patio chess. You may have to set that pint down for a sec when you execute your next move with these bad boys, but nothing looks more fun for the thinking imbiber.

How to Build a Chessboard Patio

Giant Jenga

Finally, spreading across beer gardens (like my favorite) and backyards faster than stomach flu on a playground (I can tell you all about that, too) is giant Jenga stacked wood blocks. Four (4) 2 x 4 x 16 pieces of wood (all cut to 10-1/2 inch blocks, stacked in 16 levels) and a little sandpaper are all you need to have a spine-tingling outdoor game. You can paint the ends for a livelier look if you’re so inclined, or go au naturel like I did here.

Watson playing giant Jenga at the beer market

8 Responses

  1. Sheri McNamara says:

    Awesome ideas! Thanks for the link. It gets the brain cells functioning. Thanks again Virginia.

  2. Name says:

    I was wondering,could you use wood instead of concrete for the chess one?

    • Watson says:

      I think you could be as innovative as you like with pieces once you set the concrete. Larger pieces could be just as customizable as the myriad chess set pieces you see for smaller boards and as easy as large geometric forms.

  3. Carl Howell says:

    I am past due to win blog cabin !! Maybe this is my year to win & also win the custom corn hole game. A cold beer can best be enjoyed @ the Crystal Coast !!

  4. Sharion Powers says:

    I can't wait to win the Blog cabin and the corn hole game. The first thing I would do is to invite friends and family over and have a celebration including playing corrnhole. XOXOXO

  5. Watson says:

    Hey Desertclass, thank you so much for your enthusiasm for Blog Cabin and our outdoor games, but be sure to post your comment here to be eligible to win the custom cornhole set (by Thurs. 9/12 at 5pm/4c): http://blog.diynetwork.com/blogcabin/2013/09/05/g

  6. Desertclass says:

    WOW, the transformation on the older home is incredible! First thing I will do when I win the corn hole game is teach my four children how to play! When I win the new cabin, well this is the story. First I would teach my children that life is not all about iPhones, iPads, electronics. When we grew up it was all about family not distancing yourself to Facebook or tweet your friends. Life is going by fast for all of us and its a would of fast pace and anti depressants just to keep your head above water. The blog cabin will be a new beginning with family. Teaching children it's okay to be board and play outside, it's okay to cry when you are afraid, not shut yourself away and play on electronics. The corn hole is a fun game and especially a family game. In this world we have lost our family values, such as, eating all together at 5pm talking about the day of school and friendships. Today's society is all about microwaves and fend for yourself, when we win the blog cabin and corn hole we as a family are going to slow down and enjoy life as its racing by too fast, give my children a place to grow up without fear of walking around the corner or just taking the dogs for a walk. I look forward to our new adventure in this fast life. The house is beautiful and it was when the old photos were taken, the families looked happy, not stressed,! That's what I want to do in life, raise my family without fear and worries. God bless you all at DIY your generosity is amazing and the work you do is outstanding. I'm sure you get some type of inner self worth of helping people in need as I do with my work. I own and manage a home for people that are near death, I am their last resting place until the good lord calls them from me, I am blessed to be able to do this, the new retreat will be a resting place for me and my family

    • bogartandbacall says:

      I enjoyed reading your comment and agree with it about how our lifes have grown and changed and not that I see for the better. It is hard to get my 6 yr. old to have supper with us and to put down those games. They are mind controlling. I too want to do all the simple things in life and so hey- there is fun outside these computers. He is already asking for phone- phone is needed for right reason he quite has not the understanding yet, but day and time he does need one what do you do? I want my baby to have as happy memories as possible and a good happy life. to do all things we can together, I know he will get friends, and raise his family with happiness and good memories and to have God strong in his family. I know this can happen anywhere but in this home would be a plus there is nothing like the blog cabin Winter Haven Fla Ilove IT so MUCH


About Watson Hawkins 


I’m the Brand Manager for DIYNetwork.com. Outside of the office, I love digging around vintage shops to find stuff for our home, lovingly described as “’70s-Kitsch” style. I’m blessed with ...

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