The 15 Best Beach Games of 2023

Our top pick is Spikeball — it's fun for all ages and doesn't require much space.

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15 Best Beach Games of 2022


Nothing is better than spreading out a towel or opening up a beach chair, enjoying some sunshine (with sun protection, of course!), and relaxing on the beach. But if you're looking to liven up your afternoon a bit, you can’t go wrong with a beach game, whether that's something super active like volleyball or more laid-back like playing cards.

We've researched both traditional beach games and newer ones, making sure that each is portable, waterproof (or at least easy to clean), and, of course, lots of fun.

Our top pick is Spikeball, a fast-paced, super-active game for players of all ages. It's portable and easy to set up, which makes it perfect for the beach.

Here’s our breakdown of the best beach games.

Best Overall

Spikeball Game Set

Spikeball Game Set


Why We Love It: It's portable and can be played in a relatively small area, and you can bend the rules to suit your group.

What to Consider: Technically you need four people to play the official game.

Volleyball might be a classic oceanside game, but it requires lots of space to play, which is not always available at a crowded beach. That's where Spikeball comes in. It's a combination of volleyball and foursquare in which two teams of two players spike a ball onto a center net in the hopes of making the other team miss their chance to return. It can be played on all sorts of surfaces, but it's particularly great for sand since you can make some pretty epic dives. Though the official rules require four players, you can use the equipment any way you like, altering gameplay to suit your specific group. It’s a great way to get the heart — and laughs — pumping in between dips. 

Price at time of publish: $55

Number of players: 4 | Recommended age: 6 years and up 

Best Football

Wave Runner Grip It Waterproof Football

Wave Runner Grip It Waterproof Football


Why We Love It: Its bright colors make it easy to see in the ocean...

What to Consider: ...but you can't actually pick which color you get on Amazon.

Playing catch at the beach, whether on the sand or in the water, is practically a national pastime. But traditional footballs usually don’t perform well when drenched, which isn't ideal for a beach day. This football is specifically made for water use, with an extra-durable bladder designed to last in rough conditions and an easy-grip texture. The 9.25-inch football comes in a variety of bright colors, and it floats in the waves. Popping it in your beach tote is no problem since it weighs a mere 8 ounces. The only downside is you can't actually pick your color with this specific deal.

Price at time of publish: $15

Number of players: 2+ | Recommended age: All

Best Volleyball Set

Park & Sun Sports Spiker Sport: Portable Outdoor Volleyball Net System

Park & Sun Sports Spiker Sport: Portable Outdoor Volleyball Net System


Why We Love It: The net height is adjustable.

What to Consider: It's a more expensive beach game, and it requires a long setup.

The most important factor to consider when searching for the perfect beach volleyball set is portability. Between the net, the poles, the tension cords, and the ground stakes, there's more equipment to carry than you might expect. That's why we love this set, which fits compactly into a carrying bag. We also love that the net has adjustable heights, from 8 inches to 7.3 feet, to adapt to the players' needs. It also includes a volleyball, so there's no need to purchase one separately.

Price at time of publish: $106

Number of players: 2+ | Recommended age: 10 years and up 

Best for Young Kids

Qrooper Kids Toys Toss and Catch Game Set

Toss and Catch Game Set


Why We Love It: Kids can play alone or with others.

What to Consider: The quality isn't the highest, so they might not last too long.

This can help little ones develop their hand-eye coordination, and they’ll have a lot of fun doing so. It's been around for decades — all it is is neon-colored Velcro paddles and balls that make playing catch a breeze. So while the teens and adults might play catch with a football, the younger children can play catch with the help of these paddles. Plus, if they outgrow the paddles, they can always just play catch with the soft tennis ball. We also like that the strap on the back of the paddles is adjustable for adults and kids alike.

Price at time of publish: $25

Number of players: 1+ | Recommended age: 3 and up

Best for Golfers

Original Beach Putt Golf Set

Original Beach Putt Golf Set

Original Beach Putt

Why We Love It: It's pretty much the only way you can bring mini golf directly to the beach.

What to Consider: It requires flat, packed sand to play.

Mini golf and beach vacations go hand in hand, but the courses are typically found somewhere off the sand. For golfers who want to give their putting game a go at the beach itself, this is the kit for you. It comes with everything you need to set up an on-beach putting green: putting cups, a sand scoop for digging holes for the cups, putt rings, flags and poles, golf balls, and a waterproof dry bag to carry it all. Plus, this specific set comes with two adjustable putters that work for both righties and lefties. Just be aware that you won't be able to play this game in loose sand. You need flat, packed sand in order for it to work.

Price at time of publish: $130

Number of players: 1+ | Recommended age: All

Most Portable

TidalBall Set

TidalBall Set


Why We Love It: You can play in as little or as much space as you want.

What to Consider: It's a little expensive for such simple equipment.

Like Spikeball, TidalBall is a hybrid beach game — this one combines bocce with cornhole. Not only is the game fun, but it's extremely portable, weighing just 8 ounces. The only things in the kit are lightweight balls, a sand scoop, and two koozies (which are not actually part of the game). Use the scoop to dig a hole surrounded by a horseshoe trench, one on each side of the playing field. Teams score three points if they toss the ball into the hole and one if they toss it into the trench. It's almost absurdly easy to pick up, and, of course, you can change the rules however you see fit.

Price at time of publish: $30

Number of players: 4 | Recommended age: 4 years and up 

Best Drinking Game

BucketBall Giant Yard Pong Edition

BucketBall Giant Yard Pong Edition


Why We Love It: It's just like beer pong, but there's no table needed.

What to Consider: If you put actual beverages in the cups, they’re likely to get sandy.

Imagine a giant beer pong setup, and you're imagining this yard pong set. It comes with 12 red buckets — yes, it's a smaller rack than what's used in traditional beer pong — that you can anchor into the sand. The set also includes three pairs of balls, each with a different style: standard, bouncy hybrid, and tailgate, which do not roll or bounce. Now there's one important thing to note: You’ll probably want to use a (normal-size) side cup for your adult beverages! Not only are the buckets a bit large for filling with beer, but a lot of sand will likely get in them.

Price at time of publish: $60

Number of players: 2+ | Recommended age: 6 years and up (21+ if drinking alcohol)

Best Bocce Set

GoSports Backyard Bocce Set

Bocce Set


Why We Love It: The resin balls are high quality for an affordable set.

What to Consider: The soft rubber balls don't provide the satisfying "knock" sound.

You can't go wrong with a classic bocce game, whether on the lawn or at the beach. With this set, you can play on both. You can also choose between classic resin balls and soft rubber balls, which are typically better for hard playing surfaces but work just as well in sand. Both balls are the same size and weight, but the soft rubber balls don't make the same "knock" sound as the resin ones. If you're not familiar with the game, the rules are pretty simple. Teams take turns throwing their bocce balls as close to a smaller ball, called the pallino, as possible. After all the bocce balls are tossed, the team whose ball is closest to the pallino wins a point.

Price at time of publish: $40

Number of players: 4–8 | Recommended age: 12 years and up

Best Cornhole Set

GoSports Portable PVC Framed Cornhole

GoSports Portable PVC Framed Cornhole


Why We Love It: It's lightweight and portable.

What to Consider: The surface is bouncy, which slightly alters the physics of the game.

Cornhole is a backyard favorite, but the wood boards are certainly not convenient to lug to the beach. This portable set solves that problem. All in, the two targets and eight bean bags only weigh 15 pounds, and they collapse down to fit into a carrying case. The one thing to consider is that because the targets are made out of fabric and PVC pipes, the surface can be a little bouncy, which may mess with established cornhole players' techniques. There's a slight learning curve, but it's easy to overcome.

Price at time of publish: $40

Number of players: 4 | Recommended age: 3 years and up 

Best Horseshoe Set

WIn Sports Outdoor Indoor Rubber Horseshoes Set

WIn Sports Outdoor Indoor Rubber Horseshoes Set


Why We Love It: The mesh carrying case makes sand removal a breeze.

What to Consider: The rubber horseshoes are lighter than metal ones, so you'll have to toss them with a slightly different technique.

We'll admit it: Real metal horseshoes have a lovely clang to them, but they're not the safest pieces of equipment to toss around with kids nearby. This horseshoe set includes heavy rubber horseshoes, which are far less likely to cause any bruises. Some players might find it frustrating that they are lighter than metal horseshoes, though. But for a lighthearted game at the beach with kids, this set will do the trick. You can also use the game indoors, and the mesh carrying case makes it easy to hose off all the sand first.

Price at time of publish: $21

Number of players: 2 | Recommended age: All

Best Frisbee

Kan Jam Original Disc Toss Game

Kan Jam Original Disc Toss Game


Why We Love It: The cans flatten to be put inside a carrying case.

What to Consider: The plastic spikes used to keep the cans in the sand are a bit weak.

You could always play a regular game of frisbee on the beach, but if you want something a bit more intense (in a good way!), check out Kan Jam. Teams of two players compete to score the most points; scoring revolves around throwing a frisbee at a trash can–like structure. The can has an open top and a slit in the front, and one player throws the frisbee at the can while their teammate attempts to deflect it into the can. You score a variety of points based on where the frisbee ends up and whether or not there was a deflection involved. There's one way to instantly win: throwing the frisbee directly into the slot or the open top.

Price at time of publish: $33

Number of players: 4–8 | Recommended age: 9 years and up 

Best Card Game

Mattel Games UNO Splash Card Game

UNO Splash


Why We Love It: It's budget-friendly, and up to 10 people can play.

What to Consider: Cards can blow away if it's windy.

Uno is a simple card game that anyone can learn quickly. The goal is to get rid of your hand by placing cards down on a main pile, matching the top card's number or color. The problem with standard Uno cards at the beach is that they're not waterproof, but this set is, so you don't have to worry about ruining them at the beach. They also come with a handy clip that connects them all, so you can easily attach them to your beach bag. Just beware that the cards might blow away in the wind.

Price at time of publish: $10

Number of players: 2–10 | Recommended age: 7 years and up 

Best Badminton Set

Funsparks Paddle Ball Game Jazzminton Deluxe

Funsparks Paddle Ball Game Jazzminton Deluxe


Why We Love It: It comes with different birdies to alter the style of gameplay.

What to Consider: Traditionalists won't like that there's no net.

Setting up a badminton net on a beach isn't very fun, which is why we love Jazzminton — it eliminates the net from gameplay. You can stand as close together or as far apart as you want, with the main goal of keeping the birdie off the ground (or out of the water, even though they do float). Speaking of birdies, this set comes with multiple styles, some of which travel faster than others, so you can always keep the game spicy. If you love an active beach vacation, don’t leave home without this lightweight set.

Price at time of publish: $25

Number of players: 2 | Recommended age: 6 years and up

Best Toss Game

GoSports Pro Grade Ladder Toss Game Set

GoSports Pro Grade Classic Ladder Toss Indoor/Outdoor Game Set


Why We Love It: You can play this game solo if you desire.

What to Consider: The ladders aren't weighted, so they can fall over if not anchored.

Ladder Toss is a very straightforward game. You just toss a bolo (a short length of rope with a weighted ball at each end) toward a ladder and get it to wrap around one of the rungs. Each rung has a different point value. Typically you play in teams for a certain number of rounds, but if you want to fudge the rules of gameplay a bit, you can even play alone and just hone your tossing technique. There's a little bit of assembly involved if you plan on using the beach bag since the PVC pipes need to be connected to form the ladder.

Price at time of publish: $30

Number of players: 2–4 | Recommended age: 6 years and up 

Best Board Game

Multiflex Designs Jumbo Checkers

Multiflex Designs Jumbo Checkers


Why We Love It: The "board" is a rug and it's machine-washable.

What to Consider: The storage bag is made of flimsy plastic, so you might want to upgrade to a mesh or canvas bag.

Board games are not usually the easiest to play at the beach, given the lack of stable surfaces and the likelihood of losing pieces in the sand. This jumbo checkers set, however, is the perfect one to take to the beach. The "board" is actually a rug, and the pieces are extra-large so you won't easily lose them (and they're easy to grip with little hands). Best of all, the rug is machine-washable, so it's nearly effortless to get sand off after the beach trip.

Price at time of publish: $13

Number of players: 2 | Recommended age: 5 years and up 

Tips for Buying Beach Games

Consider available space

Some beach games, like volleyball, take up a large amount of space, which isn't ideal for more crowded beaches. Figure out how much space you'll have available to you — or how much space you want to take up — before you decide which game to take to the beach. Other games, like beach golf, require flat, damp sand, which may not exist at every beach.

Be mindful of age ranges

If you're traveling in a group with children, keep in mind their ages when it comes to packing games. You might want to bring a game that everyone can play, or, if you have the capacity, you could bring separate games for children and adults.

Don't forget ease of portability

You'll need to take your games with you in the car (or on public transportation), then lug them from the parking lot (or bus/train station) to the beach. And if your beach is particularly large, you might need to bring them quite a distance to get a good spot. So make sure that your game, no matter its shape and size, is able to be packed into an easy-to-carry bag.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Are games allowed on all beaches?

    Most games are allowed on most beaches, but ultimately it's up to the discretion of the town. Some towns in the U.S. have ordinances that ban the playing of sports or games on the beach. Others might have restrictions on the types of games you can play or the hours you can play them. Always refer to the municipality's rules before planning your day around a beach game.

  • What’s the best way to pack beach games?

    Most beach games come with a carrying case. If they don't have one, make sure you have a bag large enough to fit all the pieces. Mesh bags are ideal, as they let the sand shake out more easily. They can also be hosed down with your game inside if it is waterproof.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Stefanie Waldek is a freelance travel writer with nearly a decade of experience. For this article, she evaluated her own experience with beach games (she grew up going down the shore) and read dozens of customer reviews.

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