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The 11 Best Beach Games of 2024

Summer vacations are all about spending lazy days at the beach, relaxing in the sun and catching waves in the ocean. But when you, your friends or the kids get a bit restless, it may be time to play a beach game for more fast-paced fun.

U.S. News editors researched review sites, including Amazon, online retailers, travel industry pages and more, to create this selection of the best beach games. Some of them may be familiar games like bocce. Others, such as Kan Jam, were invented by friends hanging out and playing at the beach (a cold brew or two may have been involved in the creative process).

Our top picks for beach games are all less than $100, weigh less than 18 pounds and guarantee hours of nonstop fun for your next beach vacation.

(Note: Prices and availability were accurate at the time of publication; they may fluctuate due to demand or other factors.)

Cornhole: GoSports Portable Cornhole Game Set

Courtesy of GoSports

Cornhole is a favorite pastime for adults and kids of all ages at backyard barbecues, tailgate parties and when you’re hanging out at the beach. This portable version with two lightweight PVC frame and nylon fabric cornhole boards, eight sand-filled bean bags and a carrying case weighs just 15 pounds, making it easy to carry with your other beach gear than the traditional wooden board and accessories. The style of play with the portable set is slightly different from the classic wooden game, so cornhole champs will have to rethink their strategy. Since the material is nylon fabric, the bags bounce on the boards rather than slide as they typically do on wood.

Beachgoers appreciate: Many say the set is easy to assemble and lightweight to pack. Reviewers also mention that it’s a lot of fun to play once you adapt to the difference (and the bounce) in the game.

TidalBall

Courtesy of TidalBall

Created by a few beachgoing friends along the sandy shores of Folly Beach, South Carolina, TidalBall is a cross between bocce ball and cornhole. The extremely lightweight game – at just 8 ounces – is sand-proof and waterproof, and it fits neatly into a beach bag. All you have to do is use the plastic shovel to dig a hole and a trench (which looks like a smiley face with a nose but no eyes, as this TidalBall video demonstrates), create two teams with two people each and start tossing balls across the sand. The main goal of the game is to have fun, but if you want to keep score you would count points up to 21, just as you would in cornhole. It’s one point if you get the ball into the trench, three points if you get it into the hole. The game includes the shovel, six balls (three red and three blue), the beach bag and two koozies for adult beverage-wielding game players.

Beachgoers appreciate: They like the ease of setting the game up on the beach and say there’s no learning curve to play. Fans of the game also appreciate that anybody (of any age) can join in on the fun.

Jazzminton

Courtesy of Funsparks

If you can’t decide between playing pickleball, badminton or pingpong, then Jazzminton is the beach game for you. The ultimate racket set includes four paddles, four balls, 11 birdies, and a carrying bag to transport your game-time fun to the beach, and it only weighs about 1.6 pounds. The game is usually played between two people. The birdies and balls come in different speeds for different levels of agility. You can also play on windy days along the coast with the wind birdies – and there’s even an LED birdie for nighttime matches. If you want to up your game, the company also makes a Jazzminton Sport version (at $199.99 or less on Amazon) that includes a net with a steel frame, anchor ropes, a comprehensive manual and more.

Beachgoers appreciate: Players appreciate the options for different physical abilities and skill levels, and say the game keeps kids entertained for hours. Many also say it’s a good value for the price.

Kan Jam

Courtesy of Kan Jam

The goal of this beach day game (likened to cornhole or horseshoes) is to “jam the yellow disc in the kan.” The winner is the first person to reach 21 points. You can also use the flying disc, or Frisbee, to play a four-player Frisbee slam, using the “kan” as the basket. Players take turns throwing the disc to get it to hit the basket, to get into the basket (via the front slot or top opening) or to be deflected into the basket by a teammate. According to the creators of Kan Jam, the inspiration for the American-made game started with a few buddies, mullets and trash cans. Now, the company offers other playtime sets and versions of the adult party game, including an LED adaptation that illuminates for nighttime fun. Our pick is the original version. It weighs about 1 pound and includes two plastic “kans,” the disc (or Frisbee), Kan Jam stickers, and a carrying case.

Beachgoers appreciate: With a 4.6 out of 5 stars and more than 15,100 global reviews, Kan Jam is clearly a hit. People rave about the game and comment that it’s fun to play anywhere, especially at the beach.

BucketBall

Courtesy of BucketBall

BucketBall is a beach vacation-inspired game that originated on the coast of Nags Head, North Carolina, in 2013 with beach buckets and tennis balls. The company’s BucketBall Combo Pack weighs less than 6 pounds and includes 12 durable plastic buckets, three different types of balls (pong-like balls, non-bouncing tailgate balls and yellow hybrid balls) and a tote bag. The hybrid balls are recommended for use on windy days. The goal of the game is to toss the ball into the bucket from 15 feet away (for beginners) to 25 feet away (for advanced players). For another level of gameplay, the Party Packs cost around $120 and come with inflatable racks to hold the buckets – perfect for pool play or games on uneven terrain..

Beachgoers appreciate: Participants like the versatility of the game, the ease of use, the portability of the set and the fun had by all (beer or no beer involved).

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Bocce: GoSports Backyard Bocce Set

Courtesy of GoSports

For a more traditional take on beach games, the GoSports portable bocce set has everything you need for family-friendly fun, including eight high-gloss, poly-resin balls, one pallino ball, a measuring device and a canvas carrying case. At 14.6 pounds, the set weighs more than some of the other games, but it’s still compact and easy to pack into your beach bag or on your beach wagon, along with your beach towels, sunscreen and flip-flops. Bocce is a great way to spend an afternoon, whether you’re at the beach with the kids or hanging out at home in the backyard with friends.

Beachgoers appreciate: Reviewers say the quality of the set is excellent, and they like that the balls are weighted. They also say it’s the perfect game for all ages.

Spikeball

Courtesy of Spikeball

This outdoor beach game, also called Roundnet, is competitive and fun for adults and kids alike. Playing the game begins with setting up the round net, which takes a few minutes. Once it’s together, you can leave it assembled and carry it flat by folding in the legs – and it’s designed so you can adjust the tightness of the net, depending on your skill level. The game is played much like volleyball, with four players and two people on each team. The Spikeball kit weighs just under 4 pounds and includes the collapsible net, three balls, a rule book and a drawstring storage bag. Short videos on the company’s website give brief instructions on setting up the net and how to play the game. Serious players may want to upgrade to the Spikeball Pro Kit, which includes a stronger playing net, new balls with better spin and other features ($99 or less on Amazon). If the game looks familiar, you may remember that the original version debuted on “Shark Tank” in May 2015.

Beachgoers appreciate: Spikeball players like the game’s portability and ease of setting up. They also say it’s high-energy fun, and you’ll end up playing for hours.

Horseshoes: Champion Sports Indoor/Outdoor Horseshoe Set

This lightweight rubber version of an old-fashioned favorite is perfect for toting to the beach. The colorful design – with red and blue rubber horseshoes, yellow pegs and red dowels – weighs just 3 pounds and includes everything you’ll need to set up and play as soon as you arrive. It’s also reasonably priced at under $30.

Beachgoers appreciate: Reviewers like the weight of the rubber horseshoes and how quickly they can set up the game. They also mention that it’s an entertaining game to play with everyone in the family.

CROSSNET

Courtesy of CROSSNET

CROSSNET combines volleyball and four square – and it’s a fun and challenging game for players of all ages. The one-of-a-kind design features a fully adjustable, four-way volleyball net to change the height for younger players. And the easy-to-learn rules and objectives make it a great game for friends or families spending a day at the beach. A travel backpack allows beachgoers to carry the steel uprights, a volleyball, a pump, boundary lines and the rule book with ease. The entire set weighs about 17 pounds.

Beachgoers appreciate: Reviewers like that it’s a unique game that anyone can play and say it’s easy to set up and break down. However, some people mention quality issues with the net and ball.

Ladder Toss: GoSports Pro Grade Ladder Toss

Courtesy of GoSports

Test your hand-eye coordination skills with this modern update of a classic throwback game, ladder toss. GoSports’ new version weighs less than 11 pounds and features two pro-grade targets with sturdy, reinforced PVC and built-in score trackers, six soft rubber bolos, a set of rules and a carrying case. Many parts are already assembled, so you can start tossing bolos and scoring points right away.

Beachgoers appreciate: Players comment that it’s a fun, colorful and easy game to set up and transport. They also say it’s very entertaining and a great value for the price.

Waterproof Football: Wave Runner Grip It Waterproof Football

Courtesy of Wave Runner

One of the easiest things to pack up with your beach gear is this lightweight (8 ounce) waterproof football from Wave Runner. And some of the best, unplanned beach fun comes when you simply toss a ball around on the sand and play a game of catch. The heavy-duty football is double-laced for spiral throws, measures 9.25 inches long and comes with a pump. It’s also the least expensive game pick, priced at less than $20 on Amazon.

Beachgoers appreciate: Reviewers say the football offers great entertainment value for the price and that it’s a lot of fun to use at the beach or in the pool. They also mention that the grip is good, and the ball holds up well.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Gwen Pratesi is an avid travel adventurer and beachgoer who lives less than a mile from the ocean in Amelia Island, Florida. She curated this list of classic and fun new beach games based on extensive research and years of playing games at the beach and at home with family and friends.

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Bernard Greenhall
Bernard Greenhall

Bernard is a sports and physical education expert with years of experience. He's passionate about promoting health and wellness through physical activity, and he's worked with athletes and non-athletes alike to help them achieve their fitness goals. Bernard holds a degree in Physical Education and is dedicated to staying up-to-date with the latest trends and research in his field.

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