Things to Do with Friends Outside

blogger hoang-kim cung shares her favorite things to do with friends outside in her backyard

We absolutely view our house as a gift for spending time with family and friends. With the 4th of July next week, I wanted to share some of our favorite things to do with friends outside in our backyard. A lot of these are games, which I love because it’s a dedicated activity for people to do together. I promise, even something as simple as cornhole can help create a connection and bond! 

A lot of these things can also be done indoors obviously, but I do think there’s something special about being surrounded by the smokiness of the grill with some music on in the background, and if we’re lucky, some fireflies buzzing around! 

blogger hoang-kim cung's list of things to do with friends outside

Where Should We Begin

Johnny and I absolutely love listening to this psychotherapist named Esther Perel and she came out with this really cool “game” to get to know your friends better. While I wouldn’t play this with people you just meant, we played it with a group of six couples and had some GREAT conversations as a result. We love having conversations with our friends and hearing different viewpoints, and it’s been an interesting new take on “game night.”

Settlers of Catan

This one is a classic! For more advanced board game enthusiasts, we couldn’t recommend it more. There is a bit of a learning curve, but you can learn by either reading the manual or watching a quick 5-minute YouTube tutorial. Watch out, the friend you don’t think is super competitive might reveal their true colors! 

Mexican Train

We love Mexican Train for a shorter game night, especially with beginners. After being introduced to it at a friend’s house, it quickly became a favorite. It’s surprisingly fun and so easy, you can play with your entire family!

Traeger Pellet Grill

We’ve had our grill for a couple years and it’s been so fun to take advantage of with friends! We’ll put together a meal with them from start to finish, and I swear it makes eating it that more satisfying. Our friends also have this grill and we love going to their house to do the same! I have a full, super in-depth review on my blog if you want to learn more about it.


Is there any more quintessential outdoor activity than cornhole? This is a mindless, low-commitment activity great for waiting for people to arrive or food to be done grilling. This can also become surprisingly competitive!

Tumbling Timbers

Tumbling Timbers is basically a giant version of Jenga, and one of our favorite things to do with friends outside. Even if that’s not normally a game you reach for, I promise this will be a hit! Honestly it’s actually kind of addicting, both as a player and a spectator. 

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