Tailgate Games Your Family & Friends Will Love!

Tailgate like a pro! See our ultimate guide to the best tailgating games, from classics like cornhole to new favorites that everyone will enjoy.
Tailgate Games Your Family & Friends Will Love!

Are you looking for some fun new tailgating games to play at your next party? If so, you have come to the right place! Here at Caliber Games, we are all about play. Even though tailgates are about football, we offer plenty of awesome games to help you get ready to kick back and enjoy the Sunday festivities.

Tailgates are about so much more than sports. You’ll grill burgers and dogs to absolute perfection and get some much needed quality time with friends and family — sometimes, old friends or family you haven’t seen in ages. Tailgates are truly about connection, and having some great outdoor game options can help with that.

Whether you are looking for something competitive or more laid-back, we have covered you. Here is the ultimate guide to tailgating games for the best tailgate ever.

What Is Tailgating

When most people think of tailgating, they think of grilling out and drinking beer in the parking lot before a big game. But tailgating can be so much more than that!

Friends hanging out at a tailgate and cheering as they play TowerBall

Tailgating is about coming together with friends and family, enjoying good food and drink, and celebrating your favorite team. It’s a time to relax and have fun before the game starts. But to have a successful tailgate, you must have the proper supplies and setup.

No tailgating party is complete without some great music to get everyone pumped up. Every tailgate also has to have ample food and drinks to keep everyone fueled - and every tailgate needs some great games.

Why Have Games At Your Tailgate?

Tailgate games are a great way to add some extra excitement to the already electric atmosphere. They're also a lot of fun and provide a great opportunity for people to socialize and get to know each other.

Games also give you something to do during your tailgate party. Remember that the main event for your tailgate party is the game, so the party itself has to provide some entertainment beforehand. The easiest and most effective way to do this? Games.

Plus, having games at your tailgate is a great way to show your team spirit and get everyone pumped up for the game. So if you're looking for a way to make your tailgate even more enjoyable, consider adding some fun.

What To Look For In a Tailgate Game?

There are a few key elements to look for when choosing tailgate games. 

  1. First, the game should be replayable to enjoy it more than once. It is better to have a game that can be played in ten minutes that is fun for twenty plays in a row rather than one game that takes an hour and is only good once.
  2. Second, it should be portable and easy to set up so that you can take it wherever you go. Tailgates tend to be in parking lots, fields, and other small areas where bringing large, heavy, and bulky equipment can be difficult.
  3. Third, the game should promote active play to engage people in the real world. You want people off their phones and engaging with real active play at your tailgate to have the most fun.

With these elements in mind, you can choose the perfect tailgate games you should bring along with you on your next tailgate.

Tailgating Game Ideas

  1. Cornhole
  2. Bottle Bash
  3. Chippo
  5. HOKU
  6. PutterBall
  7. TowerBall

If you have a tailgate coming up or are looking to expand your arsenal of games for tailgating season this spring, we've got your back. Here is a closer look at a few options we love at Caliber Games that will be perfect for your tailgating adventures.


Close up of cornhole board on grass with bean bags on top

Cornhole is the perfect tailgating game because it is easy to learn, and can be played by people of all ages. Cornhole is the classic bean bag tossing game in which players take turns throwing bean bags at a raised platform with a hole in the center.

Scoring is simple - players earn one point for every bean bag that goes through the hole and three points for every bean bag that lands on the platform. The first player or team to reach 21 points wins the game.

The Caliber Games Cornhole Boards Bundle is a great tailgating game set because it can be played anywhere, and includes a zip-up carrying case for easy portability. Plus, there are dozens of different ways to play, which is why it has remained a tailgating classic for years and will remain one for years.

When people imagine a classic tailgate in a stadium parking lot, with tents and burgers on the grill, they probably also see a game of cornhole going. If your tailgating games collection doesn't include Cornhole, then it isn't complete.

Bottle Bash

Friends hanging out in backyard playing Bottle Bash throwing disc at opponents bottle

Bottle Bash is an especially great game for tailgates near the beach or on a field, where you can drive the stakes into the ground to set up.

Bottle Bash takes inspiration from disc golf and elements of cricket to provide a super fun game that can even be turned into a drinking game for those 21 and over, which is always a plus for a great tailgate.

The game's concept is simple - each team has a pole with a bottle resting on top. Teams take turns throwing the disc at the opponent's pole and bottle to knock the bottle and disc to the ground. But from behind the pole, the defensive team will try to catch the disc and bottle before they can reach the ground to prevent the offense from scoring points.

It's a super fun game that can become a drinking game simply by having to hold on to your drink while you play! Once you give it a try, you'll never go back to other tailgating games. Check out our full play guide for Bottle Bash here.


Friends playing Chippo a backyard game that combines cornhole and golf

If you and your fellow tailgaters love golf, then we have the ultimate tailgating game for you. Chippo is another variation on Cornhole, but rather than tossing bags, you'll be chipping golf balls towards your opponent's board.

Each board comes with two small holes and one large hole, set in against the turf-covered board. The goal is to chip your balls onto your opponent's board or into the holes to score points - the more accurate your shot, the higher your score.

Working on your short game with your friends has never been more fun with Chippo. Better yet, you don't have to worry about damage or injury from stray balls since Chippo comes with a set of high-density foam balls that are perfect for indoor and outdoor practice. The rubber turf chipping mats will also keep your lawn or floors from damage, giving you a safe surface to chip from wherever you go.

The next time you are tailgating with your golf buddies, think about bringing Chippo with you for a good time.


Group of 4 men playing Crossnet at the beach - man diving for the ball about to hit the sand

Another great option for the beach or a field is CROSSNET, a four-player crossover between volleyball and the classic playground game four square. The net divides the quart into four quadrants, just like in four squares, leaving you playing each man for themselves volleyball.

This game is a riot on the beach, on a field, or in a parking lot! It is also great that CROSSNET is height adjustable, allowing net heights appropriate for children through adults to have a good, challenging, but doable. Setup is easy, and the whole game fits into a convenient carrying bag, so it is easy to bring with you no matter where your tailgate is.


Promotional image of hoku game, with throwing stars, and green storage bag against a white background

Another Caliber Games original perfectly at home at a tailgate is HOKU! HOKU is another toss game, but one that offers room for variation and strategy like few others. HOKU is the perfect combination of mental and physical gamesmanship that your tailgating party will love playing.

The best part about HOKU for tailgates is that it is incredibly portable and lightweight, consisting of a small rubberwood game board and a set of throwing stars with its convenient carrying case. This makes it the perfect tailgating game for away games.

HOKU is a game of accuracy, rewarding players in a system that combines darts with the best aspects of horseshoes to create a fun and dynamic backyard and tailgating game. 

You and your opponent take turns tossing the stars at the board. You score points by getting a star closest to the center of the board or with the point of a star resting within a notch on the board.

HOKU is the perfect addition to your tailgating game roster with several different ways to play.


Man setting up for his turn playing PutterBall outside by the lake

Golf comes back to the front and center with our next amazing tailgating game to include on your next outing: PutterBall. PutterBall combines the basics of putting with the scoring system of cup pong to give you another great backyard game to work on your short game. With PutterBall and Chippo, you've got a perfect setup to hone your skills near the green.

PutterBall provides you with a putting green and six holes in a pyramid shape at each end rest. Each player takes turns putting towards the other green attempting to sink each hole, plugging them with the provided plugs as they are scored. The first player to plug all of their opponents wins.

You can play exactly how you might play cup pong or adjust the rules. If you love golfing, then PutterBall lets you bring the fun of mini golf to your tailgate.


Group of friends setting up TowerBall on the grass at the park

TowerBall is a Caliber Games original and has been shaking up the world of backyard games since it came out.

TowerBall combines the fun and skill necessary for a toss game like Cornhole while throwing in a 360 playing area and progressively more challenging levels to up the ante and leave you wanting to play over and over again.

The aim of the game is simple - score more points than the opposing team by tossing more balls through the holes at each side and difficulty level. The team with the most points wins. But there are many ways to play, from the classic rules to versions of Horse and other fun variations.

The best part about TowerBall is that it is built tough to last, so you can be sure that TowerBall can withstand the wear and tear that comes with tailgating. You can check out our TowerBall Bundle and learn more about the rules and possible rule variations for you to try.

Tailgate Games: Takeaways

Everyone loves a great tailgate, and every great tailgate has games. We've covered everything you want to know about tailgating games, from what to look for in a match to our favorites.

You need to choose games that promote the mindset of play. Not every game is created equal. We've all bought a game thinking our friends and family would love it; instead, it sits on the shelf. That's why we've designed a few games of our own and curated the best games around to provide you with exactly what your tailgate needs.

You can find great games like HOKU and TowerBall - our Caliber Games originals to golf games like PutterBall and Chippo, or even CROSSNET and Cornhole that your tailgating group will love. There are tailgating games for everyone to enjoy; you just need to find the right games.

No matter what kind of tailgating party you're throwing, these games will make it more fun. All of these games make the perfect backyard weekend game as well - and with summer just starting, there's no better time to grab a few new games to enjoy.


Bring your A-game: Tips for tailgating like a Pro | LA Times

The benefits of play for adults | Lumis Health

College Football Tailgating: The 28 Must-Haves for a Great Tailgate | Bleacher Report