Imagine it: sunshine, warm sand, and cool, blue water. Add to that a good group of friends, and you've got a perfect summer day at the beach. The only thing could possibly make it better:
the best beach games.
There are tons of games to choose from, but it's important to consider your group before you buy one. For example, if you're hanging with a super active bunch, you may want to invest in a
sports beach game with lots of movement (and a little healthy competition). But if you're with people who prefer to chill, a waterproof deck of playing cards or even a puzzle game may be your best bet.
You'll also want to keep in mind the weight and portability of any game you choose. Most games come with several moving parts, so you'll want to look for
games with a carrying case that zips or seals so you don't have to worry about losing pieces. You'll also want to make sure the parts are lightweight enough to carry, but not small enough to lose in the sand.
Badminton or bocce ball? Playing cards or puzzles? It's not easy to pick the
best beach game for your group. Here's a round-up of some of the most popular games out there to help get you started.
A Fan-Favorite Net Game: Spikeball
Forget volleyball — with
Spikeball you can play anywhere and anytime without waiting for the net to become available. Spikeball is an active, innovative game that involves one small net with collapsible legs and three balls. That's it! Set up the net on any surface and get playing. To start, you'll need four players, so team up with a friend. Then, each team takes turns "serving" the ball by spiking it into the net. Once the ball bounces, the other team tries to return the serve. There's a reason why this game has so many fans — reviewers swear it's "easy to play and addicting."
A Tossing Game That Also Floats: BULZiBUCKET
unique tossing game is simple to play and perfectly portable. Think cornhole but without the huge, heavy boards. Each set comes with two collapsible buckets, six mini bean bags, and a carrying case. To play, just pop open the buckets, team up with a friend, and start throwing! Each bucket level gets you a certain number of points, and you can play to whichever number you decide. Even better? The buckets float so you can even play this game in the lake or ocean. One Amazon reviewer raves, "Excellent game! I give it five stars for the fun factor. It's an awesome game for adults and even little kids. It's hard to find a game that parents can play with their little kids, but this game fits the bill. The first time we played Blulzibucket with our relatives, everyone wanted to keep playing even in the hot Hawaii sun. I love how it packs down into a pretty compact shape for portability."
A Family-Friendly Bocce Ball Hybrid: Boochie
updated bocce ball game combines all the best parts of bocce while taking the stakes up a notch. Instead of using just balls as targets, this version includes small balls and hoops; you have to land both close to the target to earn points. Start by throwing the soft, foam Boochie ball and then try to get your ball and hoop as close as you can. Each player keeps score on the individual wrist trackers. While these trackers are helpful for keeping tabs on the score, they also flash a different throwing challenge for each player on each round — anything from throwing with your eyes closed or even behind your back! Both silly and simple to play, this game is perfect for people of all ages.
A New & Improved Badminton: Jazzminton
improved badminton game has all the fun of the classic version, only with way more options. It features two water-resistant paddles and four birdies: two red and two yellow. The red birdies are specifically made for slower play, and yellow are designed for fast play. The birdies even have real feathers attached with water-resistant glue so you don't have to worry about any part of this set getting wet. Plus, it comes with directions to play five different versions so you'll pretty much never get bored. One reviewer says, "These things are awesome! My 6 [year] old son and I love playing this. It's easy to play anywhere outside and the birdies fly at just the right speed. You can really hit them hard and get a good game going."
A Frisbee Game With A Twist: Kan Jam Ultimate Disc Game
addicting disc game combines the fun of frisbee with the challenge of golf. Plus, it's incredibly easy to set up and start playing. Just pop up the two portable "cans" and set them apart at whichever distance you prefer. Then team up and try to toss the discs in! While the set-up is simple, this game is more challenging than it looks. Reviewers insist that it keeps them busy for hours whether they're at the beach or in their own backyard. Nearly 1,500 Amazon reviewers have weighed in and most love this frisbee-golf game for the beach: "First, I love beach games. Bocce, football, frisbee... You name it, and I play it. This game is the best out of all of them.Frisbee meets horseshoes meets basketball. It's a game that gets anyone to feel competitive, and it provides hours of entertainment. Also, it is a game that makes you new friends. Set this up on a beach and I bet that you will get at least a couple passersby who stop to ask how you play. Easy to learn, and once you do, you won't want to stop playing."
A Giant Jenga-Type Game: Yard Games Giant Tumbling Timbers
Think mega Jenga with this
enormous puzzle game. Played similarly to the popular tabletop option, this game combines the fun and strategy of pulling the right pieces without making the tower fall with the portability of the best beach games. This game comes with a sturdy, nylon carrying case that zips so you can take it anywhere without worrying about losing pieces. Plus, it's over 2 feet tall when it's set up and can grow to over 5 feet tall during gameplay, so you won't have to search to find all the pieces in the sand when your tower eventually falls.
Waterproof Playing Cards That Won't Fade: Hoyle Waterproof Clear Playing Cards
You don't have to give up on traditional card games at the beach with this
waterproof playing deck. These cards are made of a thick card stock that's then coated in plastic so that no water can get through. You can play these at the beach (or even in the water!) without worrying the cards will get ruined. They're so durable that some reviewers mention that they even hold up to spills — just wipe them clean and keep playing! Fans on Amazon love these cards, saying, "Love them because they are a legitimate brand of cards, only in clear, durable plastic! They are a hit when out on the boat or near/in the pool. (Soggy playing cards, anyone?) Excellent quality." Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.