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Fun Water Games for Adults: Spice Up Your Backyard Gatherings

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When summer rolls around, it’s not mandatory to sit inside and pant like a dog from the heat. In fact, it’s usually better to find something to distract you from the heat, so we’ve put together a few water games for adults that you can play right in your own backyard.

While most water games are simple and geared towards children, they can become quite complex if you add a little bit of a twist to them, making almost any game fun AND challenging for adults; therefore, we are bringing you the eight hottest backyard water games to play so you can chill out. 

The Top 8 Backyard Water Games for Adults

While playing in the backyard sprinkler is often seen as only for kids, why shouldn’t adults get in on the fun? To help, here’s a handful of games to get the fun started. However, the most fun comes when you start changing them around and making up your own rules, so just have fun with it!

Water Wars: Simple Free-for-All Competition

This game is either played by individuals or on teams.  The concept is pretty simple: don’t get wet!

Here’s what you need:

  • Water
  • Anything that will hold and spray water (water hose, spray bottle, water balloon, etc.).

Rules of the game:

  • He who gets sprayed or wet is out of the game.
  • Whoever is the last person standing and not soaking wet wins!

Slip and Slide: A Timeless Classic

For this blast from your past, EVERYONE is a winner!  Just make sure that your slide is not on a downhill slope where you might find yourself slipping a bit farther than you’d bargained for.

Here’s what you need:

  • Water hose hooked up to the water to keep the slide wet
  • “Slide” – if you don’t have a traditional slide for this game, make one out of a tarp or trash bags
  • Tie-downs for slide
  • Soap (VERY optional)

Rules of the game: Well, to paraphrase the classic 80s movie Better Off Dead, run, then slide, and if you get to a tree: turn!

Everything is pretty straightforward.  Once the slide is tied down and the water is turned on, one at a time, each person will run towards the slide, then hurl themselves onto their stomach as hard as they can, and slide till they can’t slide no more! Trick or speed competitions are popular.

For some extra adult fun, put some dish soap on the slide.  This will make it SUPER slippery and hard to even stand up.  Everyone knows it’s hysterical when someone falls…well, as long as it is someone else, right?

Water Gun Cup Race

All big boys love to play with toys, and water guns tend to be a favorite.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Two cups (or the number to equal however many are facing off at the same time)
  • Two water guns (see above)
  • Twine
  • Scissors
  • Hole puncher

Rules of the game:

Hang the twine till it resembles something like a clothing line, making sure that you place a cup with a hole punched in the bottom on each row of twine.  Line each shooter up, and let the good times roll!

How to Win:

  • The players shoot water into the cups, moving it down the line.  Whoever gets to the end of their rope first is the victor.

Soggy Potato

This twist on hot potato is sure to make you cool down.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Several water balloons
  • Water
  • Music


Rules of the game: This is a pretty easy game, but it will make everyone wish they were the hot potato for the first time.  Participants sit in a circle and pass the water balloon around until the music stops.  When the sound of silence steps in, the lucky player holding the “soggy potato” gets to break it over their head, giving them an instant cool down.

Water Balloon Dodgeball

Just like doge ball, but this one has water balloons instead of balls.  When you get hit in this game, you get to cool off rather than walk away with a red spot where the ball smacks you.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Several filled water balloons
  • Tape, cones, or something else to mark the lawn with

Rules of the game:

  • Players divide into two teams, one on each side of the tape that makes the line separating them. 
  • Several water balloons (you can either do an even number on each side, or you can do a balloon per person) are placed on each side of the line.  
  • When the signal is given, it’s game on!

Because we ARE adults, the rules are a bit more complicated in this version than the kids: 

  • In the kids’ version, if they are simply hit with a balloon, they’re out.  But in this version, the balloon has to explode on the person hit.  
  • If a player catches a balloon, then the thrower is out.
  • If a player tries to catch the balloon, and it explodes, then the player it explodes on is out.

The team with the last dry player wins!

Water Balloon Baseball

What better way to beat the heat than with a good ole game of baseball…with WATER BALLOONS!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Filled water balloons
  • bat(s)
  • Something to signify bases

Rules of the game:

This game is played just like baseball.  Someone throws the water balloon just like they would a baseball.  It is the batter’s purpose to hit the balloon as hard as possible, just like they would a baseball.  If the batter doesn’t bust the balloon, then it’s time to start running!

If the balloon bursts, then that’s a strike. Vary the amount you fill the balloons until you find a sensitivity that works best for your group.

Water Balloon Pinatas

The close cousin to water balloon baseball, and once again, us big kids will be swinging for the fences!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Lots of  filled water balloons 
  • bat(s)
  • String or twine (optional)
  • blindfold(s)

Rules of the game:

  • Tie the filled balloons to the branches of a tree either with string or twine or with the balloons themselves.  
  • It is recommended that each person take turns swinging the bat at the balloon to prevent any accidents.
  • Take a couple of blindfolded swings at-bat.

This is a much looser “game.” Everyone is going to be laughing their heads off watching their friends playing “blind man’s bluff” while trying to swat the balloons.  And when the balloons burst, everyone gets to cool down! If you really want to add some competition, you can race to see who can knock out the most within a set time.

Marco Polo

This is the quintessential backyard water game!  We all know it.  We all love it.  Everyone cheats at it.  Has a game EVER been finished?

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A swimming pool
  • A blindfold if you’re trying to be legit
  • A bunch of goofy friends who aren’t afraid to cheat

Rules of the game:

  • All participants but one decide to be “Marco.”
  • With their eyes wide shut, the one person who is soloed out, supposedly just going off of echolocation and good old honesty, will tiptoe around the pool edge saying the other half of the name and alluding their pursuits.
  • The other participants will try to chase and catch the player who has been handicapped by their decision to play it blind and hoping to hear the scoundrels before they reach them…and then jump on their back and halfway try to drown them.

If one person gets caught, then they become the seeker and you get to hide.

School’s Out for Summer!

Just like that, you have been given eight excellent ways to keep the heat at bay all summer.  So, get some water, round up some friends, and get your butts into the backyard and have a blast.

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Jena Slocum Co-Founder

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