15 Day Challenge

Get Active At Your Next BBQ Party with These Fun Games

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer. Which also means it’s the start of backyard bbq party season! Backyard parties are the best. It’s what summer is made of: friends, bbq food, and fun. But we all know that even the best bbq can turn into a lot of sitting, talking, and eating.

Take your next bbq party up a notch and get active! Not only will you (maybe) burn a few calories, you’ll be too busy having fun and playing to sit around picking and grazing on the buffet table. It’s a great win-win way to stay on track to reaching your fitness goals without having to sacrifice your favorite summer pastime.


Volleyball is a backyard classic that is also family friendly. If you want to get competitive you can but a friendly volley can be just as fun. Teams can be as big or small as you’d like or you can rotate players to make sure that everyone gets a chance to play. If you’re inexperienced (or the other players are inexperienced) use a beach ball instead. It requires less technical skill but it’s just as fun!


Fun fact: I was on the badminton team in high school. So, while you might think that badminton isn’t an active sport, I can assure you that it is! When you play a one on one game there is a lot of court to cover. If you hustle to return every shot this easy breezy backyard game can turn into a serious workout. But if you want to get active without breaking a sweat I recommend doing doubles. Bonus: more people get to play when you do doubles.


Not every yard can accommodate a game of kickball but if you’re having your BBQ or cookout at a park, or if there is a park nearby, a game of kickball is a great way to get everyone involved. There’s running, kicking, catching, and throwing to get your whole body involved. Plus, it requires minimal equipment which is a major plus.

If you want to take your kickball game to a new level of fun, try slip and slide kickball! It’s so refreshing you won’t be tempted to reach for a soda once the game is over. Check out the video above to see how it’s done!


If you’ve never lived in the Chicagoland area then you’ve probably never heard of mushball, but you need to. Mushball is basically like softball but it’s played with a 16-inch, very softball. It’s a great game for BBQs because you don’t need a glove to play. The mushball is soft enough to catch with bare hands. And because it’s so big it’s easy to hit, throw and catch even if you don’t have much experience playing softball or baseball. While you probably won’t find a mushball at your local sporting goods store, you can purchase one online for pretty cheap.

If your yard isn’t big enough for a game you could always play a good old fashioned game of catch. You don’t even have to worry about anyone feeling left out because they don’t have a glove.

Frisbee/Ultimate Frisbee

Another great game that requires very minimal equipment is, of course, frisbee. To get moving even more, don’t aim straight for each other. You have to run for it to burn some extra calories and get your heart rate up.

If you have enough people and enough space you can even play a game of Ultimate Frisbee. The steady jog up and down the field will help you stretch your legs a little. Be careful though, this game can get addictive. The rules are pretty simple so even people who have never played before and can jump right in.

Backyard Twister

If you’ve never felt the burn playing twister, you’re not doing it right! Spray paint four lines of six circles using red, blue, green, and yellow spray paint. Do this ahead of time so that it has plenty of time to dry before you play. Create a DIY spinner that assigns each hand or foot its own color.

Think of this like a plank or a wall sit. You want to hold your body up so that you’re not touching the ground or resting on another person. To really make things hard you can pause for a minute between each spin to make people hold the position. When you fall over or touch the ground with something other than your hands or feet, you’re out!

Slack Lining

Slacklining is tightrope walking but much closer to the ground! All you need is two trees, two ratchets, and a piece of flat webbing. The trick is to steady and balance yourself like on a balance beam or tightrope Once you’ve got that part down you can try doing tricks or getting fancy. Balancing takes a lot of core work so it’s a lot more difficult than it might seem at first.

This is another great idea that anyone can try. You don’t need any kind of experience, there are no rules and all you need are your feet to join in!

Let’s Wrap It Up

Being fit isn’t just about working out or going to the gym when you’re supposed to. It’s about living an active lifestyle and making healthy choices all the time. Not because you have to but because it’s fun and you want to!

These backyard BBQ games are a great example of that. Get everyone at your party up and moving. Believe me, the fun is contagious and people won’t even realize they’re “exercising.”

Need some extra energy to get up and going? IdealLean Pre-Workout can help you feel energized and motivated to live actively and help you recover after hours spent doing some of your favorite summertime activities. 

Kirsten Jackson

Kirsten Jackson

Writer and expert

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