25 Birthday Party Games Perfect for Kids & Adults
Everyone wants to throw the perfect birthday party. When all of you friends come together to celebrate, it usually is a receipt for a good time! No matter the age, birthday parties have made some of the most memorable times in our lives. Planning those special days can seem tedious, but luckily there are an array of games you can choose from, no matter the age group! Now, whether planning your own birthday party of your best friends, here are some of the best birthday party game to consider when planning your next party!
Should every birthday party have a game?
In short, “No.” However… birthday cake tastes a lot better with ice cream, doesn’t it? Just like adding ice cream with cake, entertaining games are the best thing to add to any birthday party, not matter the age! It’s guaranteed to make your party even more of a success!
The options are endless, but party games are the best way to get people to loosen up and have a good time. They are without a doubt one of the best ways to meet strangers at parties as well! What a better way to get to know someone than by a classic round of charades or an up close and friendly three legged race?! If any of those don’t ring a bell, don’t worry, they are explained thoroughly below with tons of other ideas to throw a party that no one will ever forget!
When should you play games at your party?
It can seem like a delicate dance trying to figure out when to get the games started. You don’t want to begin too early when people are still arriving, nor do you want to start too late when people are starting to leave. The best time to play games is about a third of the way into the party, once people are settled and more comfortable with their surroundings. At an adult party, start the games after the guests have had a few drinks! I strongly believe a birthday party with games is better than any party without. Use your judgement, any time can be a good time to start a game!
Outdoor Games for Kids
When Mother Nature is on your side.. may as well enjoy the fun in the sun! Here are ideas of the best outdoor games that will be guaranteed to make your children’s party a complete success!
- Balloon Stomp
This outdoor party game will definitely get the kids having fun! To get this game started, you will need a string to tie a balloon around every child’s ankle at the party. Please leave about a foot between the ankle and the balloon. The object of the game is for each kid to pop everyone else balloon before their own gets popped. The balloons must be popped with their feet as hands are not allowed to be used at all. Once a child’s balloon is popped, they are out and may no longer pop any other balloons. The child with the last remaining inflated balloon, wins!
- Potato Sack Race
Everyone at some point in their life must have a classic Potato Sack race at their party. This game is perfect for an outdoor party! The game involves each kid to stand inside their own potato sack. Now, if you don’t have one, you can find some potato sacks quite cheaply on Amazon or at a local party store. They really are a great resource to have for future parties as well!To play the game the kids all stand inside their sacks at the starting line. When the whistle blows, everyone hops as fast as they can to the finish line. The first child to cross the finish lines is the winner!
- Egg and Spoon Race
Another outdoor classic game for the kids. To get started, you will need an egg and spoon per child. Have the kids all line up at the starting line. When the whistle blows, each child must balance an egg on the spoon as they race towards the finish line. The first child to cross the finish line with the egg still balanced on their spoon, wins! Make sure to have enough eggs so you can play the game multiple times!
- Balloon Relay Race Game
Great outdoor game for the kids. There are a couple variations of this game. The classic way if for the kids to line up at the starting line with a balloon wedged between their legs. The goal is for the kids to race from the starting point to finish line without the balloon falling to the ground. If the player does drop the balloon, they must start over from the beginning (unless the children are quite young, in this case, you can always mend the rules to where they simply put the balloon back between their legs and resume from where they currently stand).There are plenty of variations of this game as well, so get creative! Another balloon relay race idea is to pay the children up with their backs facing each other. Now, place the balloon between their backs and have them balance the balloon between them. Have the pairs line up at the starting line and see which can successfully carry the balloon first to the finish line!
- Orange Race
This face will definitely get the children laughing! The object is to see who can roll an orange from the starting line to the finishing line the quickest! Except there is just one slight stipulation; The children may not use their hands and feet! Therefore, the kids must use their nose to push the orange all the way! Have the kids line up at the starting line on their hands and knees. Next place an orange in front of their noses. Blow the whistle and let the game begin!
Indoor Games for Kids
Sometimes the weather doesn’t go as planned and it may end up raining on your birthday. Well, no rain can dampen your spirits! Here are some perfect indoor games to keep any party going no matter how Mother Nature decides to behave!
- Freeze Dance
Get the radio pumping because everyone loves music at a party! This classic game will definitely get a lot of energy out of the kids! To get this game started, turn the music up loud and encourage everyone to show off their silliest of dance moves! When the music stops.. everyone must FREEZE! Anyone left moving when the music stops is eliminated… Now, turn the music back on and keep playing! The last person standing is the winner! Feel free to play q and again!
- Mystery Bag
For this party game you will need to prepare a few items before the party actually begins. Don’t be distressed.. you most likely have all of the items already in your house!To get started, simply put one mystery item in a brown paper bag. Have at least 8 items each in their own paper bag to make the game interesting. Have each kid try to guess using only their hands what is inside the bag. The child to guess the most is the winner! Here are some fun ideas but don’t be afraid to use items not on the list!Mystery Items Include (but not limited to): Toothpaste tube, Piece of broccoli, Remote control, Grapes, Half an apple, Spoon, Comb, Play doh
- Duck Duck Goose
A traditional childhood game that every kid will love! Simply have the children sit in a circle facing each other. One child who is “it” will walk around the circle tapping the children on their heads lightly with his hand each time saying “duck.” The child will continue to pat each child on the head saying “duck” until he chooses to randomly pick a child by saying “goose.” Whoever is chosen as the “goose” must stand up and chase the picker to avoid becoming “it” (AKA the next picker).The children run around the circle once in a race back to the “goose’s” empty seat. If the child who is “it” sits down before tagged by the “goose,” they “it’ is safe and the “goose” is now “it” (the new picker). However, if the “goose” DOES tags “it” (the picker), then the “goose” wins and may sit back in their seat and the previous “it” picks all over again!
- Hot Potato
Another simple yet classic game! All you need is a beanbag or something small to be considered the “hot potato.” The object is to not get caught holding the hot potato when the music stops playing. Have the children stand in a circle and toss the hot potato around the circle. When the music stops the person who is caught holding the hot potato is now eliminated. Continue the game until there is one person left. That person is the winner!
- Cotton Ball Race
This is a great indoor relay race if Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate! All you need for this game are some cotton balls, two bowls and a big spoon. The goal is for one child to move cotton balls from one bowl (filled with cotton balls) to another empty bowl which is about five feet away. The catch is that you may not use your hands, only the spoon! It becomes a balancing game and with everyone cheering them on and it can really bring up the atmosphere in any party!To play give each child a minute to see how many they can move from one bowl to the other with the spoon. Keep a record of how many cotton balls each child transferred and the one who moves with the most is the winner!
Games for Adults
Some of my favorite parties as an adult have been at birthday parties. As an adult, you really want to make sure you friends have a good time at the party you are throwing. Here is a list of games to get everyone loosening up and laughing!
Charades is the perfect game to play for adults, especially after a couple drinks! This game is guaranteed to get people laughing. The key of the game is for one person to act out a words or phrases and have the others guess what they are trying to say. The player may only use actions with no words so make sure you get creative!To start you will need a Charade Cards (http://www.fun-stuff-to-do.com/charades-cards.html) with words or phrases on them, a timer and a pen and paper to keep score. Next divide into two teams split as close to equal as possible. Now, “Team 1” will pick a charade card and show it to one player in “Team 2”. Next, that player in “Team 2” will have 3 minutes to act out the word or phrase to the rest of his teammates. If the other teammates guess the correct word or phrase, they get one point. If they do not guess it correctly, they receive 0 points that round. Next, “Team 2” will choose a charade card and show it to one player in “Team 1”. Now, the one played in “Team 1” will have 3 minutes to act out the word or phrase to the rest of his teammates on “Team 1”. If the other teammates guess the correct word or phrase, they they get one point. If they do not guess it correctly, they receive 0 points that round.The first team to get to 10 is the winner! Feel free to make this “extra adult” and add a drinking element to it! Let’s say, the losers of each round has to drink!
- Bar Crawl
Everyone loves a good bar crawl. Nothing like getting a group of people around together and having them race around from bar to bar collecting clues while drinking with one another. It is a definite hit if you are throwing a party for a big group of people!Bar Crawl’s have no set rules but to have fun! There are some ways to spice it up. The main way is to designate a theme for the night. If it is a party for your soccer team, maybe have everyone dress up in their soccer uniforms. If it’s someone 40th birthday party, maybe have everyone dress up like grandma and grandpas. Now, to coordinate the game the organizer must create a list of bars each team must go to. A clue must be left at each bar that leads them to the following bar. At each bar, the clue to the next bar will also give you a required drinking challenges that must be completed before the team can leave onto the next. Here you can get creative as well. The drinking challenges can range from one person chugging a beer to the entire team taking a shot. This part is completely up to you! Feel free to make a scene and have the team (for example) sing a song or do something silly at the bar and have it someone filming or documenting it. This will make for great laughs and memories later. The first team to make it to the final bar and complete the drinking challenge wins!
- Power Hour
Now, this is a game that everyone underestimates. The challenge seems simple, “no big deal” most will say. The idea is simple: one shot of beer, every minute, for an hour. 60 shots in 60 minutes. Using the stopwatch on your phone, start the process and see how far you can make it. How far will you go?Want to make this game even better? Feel free to google “power hour mix” and stream some pre made mixes where the song changes every minute. When the stereo blasts a new song, it’s time to drink! Definitely a great way to get the party going!
- Crime Against Humanity
This card game that recently hit the market up by storm. This game is fun because as players complete fill-in-the-blank statements while using words or phrases that are usually in any other occasion seen as offensive, risque or politically incorrect. There are many versions available online where players may print out their own cards free of charge. Feel free to do a quick Google search and get you party started! This game is guaranteed to have tons of laughs!
Quarters is another classic game played for generations on end. The concept is simple: bounce a quarter off a table in an effort for it to land in a desired area such as a drinking glass (or cup). Sit around the table with your friends and place in the center the drinking glass filled with some beer (or a shot in a shot glass). Take turns going in a circle having each player attempt to bounce the quarter off the table and have it land in the glass (or shot glass). When a player makes it, they get to choose which player must drink the beer or take the shot! This game has room for many variations so feel free to make up rules together as you go!Another variation of the game is to give everyone a quarter. This method has everyone all at once trying to bounce the quarter into the cup. The first person to make it land inside, wins! Again, the winner gets to chose who drinks!
The perfect outdoor game to get the party entertained! So many parties I have attended have this as a side game going on throughout the entire party. It’s perfect ice breaker game too for strangers!To begin, you need a to have a “Corn Hole Starter Kit” which you can find cheaply on Amazon or a similar site. Next, set up the two goals about 25 feet apart. Next split into two teams and have one player on each team stand behind one of the goals. Therefore, two people at each of the goals, one from each team. This part is fun because you are actually standing next to your opponent! Let the friendly trash talking begin!The goal of the game is to toss the bags from one side to the other trying to land in the bean bag inside the hole of the goal across from the player. To start, give all of the bag to two players standing behind one of the goals. Therefore, four bags to one player and four to the other. Now, each player alternates turns throwing their bag from one end towards the goal on the other. The scoring is as follows:
- A bag that lands through the hole is 3 points.
- A bag lands on the goal and part of the bag is hanging over the hole, yet the bag does not fall through the hole itself is 2 points.
- A bag that lands on the surface of the goal but no where near the hole is worth one point.
- The first team to make it to 20 points wins.
Now, it is important that points are not tallied until all eight bean bags have been thrown. This makes the game more interesting as you are able to knock off your opponents bags eliminating their chance of receiving points for that particular bag. However, if you are not careful, you may make a mistake and knock your opponents bag through the hole that was previously dangling over the goal, effectively giving them three points opposed to two. So be careful, you never know how the game is going to unfold!
- Kings Cup/Ring of Fire
This game is not only going to get people laughing, it is also going to get people drinking! This game is always a hit. To begin, all you need is alcohol, a cup and a deck of cards. The game is set up with an empty cup in the middle of the table and all 52 cards scattered face down around the cup. Now, each player takes a turn going around in a circle picking up a single card. Each card has a specific rule or action (see below) that must be completed before the next person may draw a card. The goal is to go through all of the cards completing the task assigned to each card. The game is over once all cards have been played.Now, as mentioned, each card has a specific rule. The following rules apply to each card:ACE: “Waterfall” – For the waterfall everyone must start chugging and the person who picked the card may stop whenever he or she wishes. Next, the person to their left may then stop whenever he or she wishes, but no sooner than the person to their right. Next, the person to their left may stop whenever he or she wishes, but no sooner that the previous two people to their right. This goes on and on and effectively the last person drinks the longest as they are not able to stop until the person before them has quit drinking. Basically, if you are sitting to the right of the person that chose the “Ace”, you are drinking for a while!Two: “You” – The player who picks the card get to point randomly at whoever and say “You.” That person chosen now has to drink.
Three: “Me” – The player who picked the card must drink.
Four: “Whores” – All of the girls must drink.
Five: “Thumb Master” – Whoever picks a “Five” is thumb master until someone picks another five, at which point that person is now thumb master. As thumb master you may at any point in time nonchalantly rest your thumb on the edge of the table. The rest of the players must notice this and mimic your actions. The last person to notice and rest their thumb on the table drinks!
Six: “Dicks” – All of the boys must drink.
Seven: “Heaven” – All of the players must reach towards the sky. The person not paying attention who is the last to reach for the sky, drinks.
Eight: “Mates” – The person who picked the card chooses someone else to drink with them. Now both people, the original player and their mate, must drink!
Nine: “Bust a Rhyme” – The person who choose the card can say a word or a phrase. Now, again always in a close wise motion, the player to the left must make a rhyme to that word or phrase in a timely manner (let’s say within 3 seconds or less). It keeps going around the circle and the first person who can’t think of a rhyme (without recycling one that has already been used) must drink!
For example, one person says “I woke up at eight”. The next person says “I felt great” followed by the next saying “I called my friend Nate”. Now, let’s say the fourth person can not think of a phrase in a timely manner, than it is their time to drink!
Ten: “Categories” – The person who chooses the card picks a category and everyone must go in a circle and say something new from that category. The first person that can’t think of a new answer or repeats an old one, drinks! Categories may include: state capitals, brands of cars, types of liquor, etc.
Jack: “Rule Master” – The rule master is one of the best cards in the deck. Here, you create a rule will be applied to the *rest* of the game. Anyone who breaks this rule at any time, must drink. Some of the best rules are: no cursing, no saying first names, tapping the table twice before drinking, not saying the word “drink” or any variations (drunk, drank, etc). Once these rules are implemented, if anyone breaks them (ie: curses) they they must drink!
Queen: “Question Master” – Whoever picks a Queen is the designated question master. Therefore, if they ask someone a question, and they answer then that person who answers must drink. Now, the person is the designated question master until the next queen is chosen, at which point that person is now the new designated question master. In other words, there is only one active question master. Get creative, there are plenty of ways to sneak in a question, especially after a few drinks and people start forgetting!
King: “Kings Cup!” – If you pick up a “King” then you must pour a good amount of whatever you are drinking into the cup in the center. The person who picks the last king must drink whatever is in the cup! Recall, the fun (and gross part) is that the cup is filled with various types of alcohol that was added together by the previous three “King” cards holders. The goal is definitely to NOT get the last king.. or maybe that IS the goal? You decide!
Horseshoes is a great outdoors game for any adult party. You will need two stakes and four horseshoes to get this game started. Most horseshoe sets are quite cheap online so check Amazon or a competitor.Once you have acquired your horseshoe game set, hammer in each stake to the ground leaving about 2/3rd of the pole exposed above ground. Keep the stakes roughly 40 feet apart. Now that you have the game setup, it’s time to play! This game is best played with two people or two teams of two. Either way everyone stands on one side next to one of the stakes. They alternate turns throwing the four horseshoes towards the other stake 40 feet away. The aim is to hook the horseshoe around the pole.There are three different ways to score points in horseshoes. The highest is called a “ringer.” A “ringer” is worth 3 points when the horseshoe rings around the stake when it lands. A “leaner” is awarded 2 points and is when the horseshoe lands leaning on the stake but not wrapped around it. If there is not a “ringer” or a “leaner” then the team whose horseshoe is closest to the stake is awarded one point. However, to qualify for a point, the horseshoe must be within a shoe’s length distance of the pole. Only one team can earn points per inning and the first to 15 wins!
Games for BOTH Kids and Adults
Some of the best party games are those that can be enjoyed by both the kids and the adults. If you are brainstorming the perfect game that every age group will enjoy, then look no further! Here are some ideas to get everyone involved!
A colorful piñata can brighten up any party! You will need a piñata, rope, bat and blindfold to get this started. However, that is not everything.. of course you have to fill the piñata! This is what makes this game unique as it is suitable for both children and adults.At a child’s party, fill the piñata with an array of candy. You can get innovative too and stuff the piñata with mini bouncy balls, plastic toy rings, necklaces, baseball cards, tiny stuffed animals, erasers, pencils, etc. Give each child a little plastic bag and let them go go nuts!At an adult’s party, fill the piñata with a little more age appropriate stuff. Although, as much as I know you would love a plastic toy ring, wouldn’t you like a pocket shot of your favorite type of liquor instead? How about throwing in some condoms or NSFW deck of cards/mini photos to get people laughing. Of course, make it as PG onwards as you please, just make sure not to offend your guests (too much!).
Now, after you have filled your piñata tie it to a rope. Next, throw the rope over a branch outside and hoist the piñata up into the air. Choose who is going first (usually it’s the birthday girl or boy) and blindfold them. Next, have someone spin the blindfolded person around in circles until they are dizzy. Next, hand them the bat and face them in the direction of the piñata. Have the dizzy participant swing in attempt to break open the piñata as another person moves it up and down with the rope attached. The onlooking crowd can feel free to give (false) directions to the person blindfolded to make it more entertaining!
Feel free to switch batters as many times as you would like. Some prefer to let the birthday boy/girl swing until they successfully break it open! Once the piñata is broke open and the inside treats are scattered, have everyone race into the middle and collect the various prizes! Remember to warn the blindfolded person that the piñata is broken and to stop swinging before people start swarming the prizes! That would be a bad way to end a perfect party!
“How low can you go!” Turn up some lively music and get everybody’s limbo on! Have two people hold a pole parallel to the ground about chest high from the ground. Feel free to use a yardstick, hockey stick or a long branch as your prop. Next, throw on some music and have everyone attempt to walk under the pole bending backward without using their hands to balance, stomach towards the sky. Make the first attempt quite high so that everyone will be able to succeed. Next, lower the pole and repeat until people start falling or using their hands! Once someone falls or uses their hands, they’re out. The last person to complete most difficult limbo is the winner! Time to find out who is most flexible!
- Tug of War
Tug of War is one of the most ancient games known to mankind. There are evidence of the game being played in ancient Greece, Egypt and China. The concept is simple, which team is physically stronger? You will need a rope long for each team to take hold of it on both ends while keeping a ~15 foot gap in the center between them. Next, both teams at once start tugging on the rope pulling it in opposing directions. Mark where each team begins and the first team to get the center of the rope across their starting point, wins!Everyone loves a little bragging rights so this game is perfect across all ages. I would suggest maybe keep it all kids or all adults because towards the end of the game it is common for people to fall down. I definitely would not want an adult to accidentally fall on a child. To avoid this, have the children towards the center and the adults towards the back. With safety being considered, it will make sure to be a real hit at your party!
- Three Legged Race
An outdoor classic that can be enjoyed by any age group! Now this is a game that may be even funnier to watch than it is to play! To get started, pair in two’s and have each child stand side by side facing the same direction. Now tie their legs together, a common method is to tie once above the knee and again above the ankle. You can use any string or rope you have laying around the house. Next, have each pair stand side by side at the starting line. Each pair must use their three legs and at the blow of the whistle race towards the finish line. It sounds simple, but when you try you will see, it’s not as easy as it seems! Feel free to play the adult version after a few beverages!
- Treasure Hunt Game
The treasure hunt game is perfect because it can be played both inside and out. No way will mother nature rain on your parade with this game!Treasure is hidden inside and/or outside the house and individuals (or teams) are sent to find it! Give each individual (or team) a list with certain number of treasure they must and the first team to gather all the treasure wins! Pretty simple.. but fun because it leaves room for so much creativity! Now treasure can come in many forms, from party favors to clues leading to the next treasure. So get those wheels turning and get creative! This is guaranteed to make for a fun party, no matter the age!If hosting a gathering with kids, this game can be played with treasure hidden throughout the house or backyard. That way if it does rain, you can always bring the game inside.If hosting a party with adults, you can get creative and can incorporate treasure clues scattered throughout town. Create clues that lead from one place to the next incorporating bars and other random challenges. Random challenges can include a photo by a famous statue in town or someone must jump in the ocean, etc. You can stay at home and play the game yet maybe incorporate more age appropriate prizes for your guests (ie: whiskey shots, condoms, etc as prizes).Whether for adults or children, this came is sure to be a great hit at your party!
- Pin the Tail on the Donkey
This classic game may catch some by surprise to find it in both the children AND adult section. That is because there are tons of variations to this game that make it a perfect game idea for any demographic!For the childhood version, acquire a Pin the Tail on the Donkey game set at your local party story or create one from scratch at home. To create one from scratch, simply draw a donkey (without a tail) on a large sheet of paper and tape it to the wall so that it can be reached by the kids. Next, draw and cut out some paper tails for the children to pin on the donkey. The goal of the game is to blindfold the first person and have them walk up to the donkey and tape a tail on the tailless donkey. The person to get the closest to the donkey’s tail, wins! For the adult version, let your imagination roll. A classic one is to pin the beer in the hands of a cutout of the birthday boy/girl. This is a great idea for bachelorette parties as well as you can get creative with the human anatomy and make some light hearted laughs! I will let you brainstorm and be innovative for adult variations of this game!
“Jenga.. Jenga..” I can still hear the commercials from my childhood. I started playing it then and I still find myself playing it now! Whether you already own Jenga, borrow it from a friend or acquire it online, you are guaranteed to get some points for having this at your party. The game starts out with a tower built with the game blocks provided. Simply check the instructions or have a quick Google search if you are unsure how to build the tower. The object of the game is to keep the tower standing. Each player takes their turn removing one block from the body of the tower and placing it on the top. The block you remove must be at least four completed rows from the top. As the tower gets taller and thinner, the chance for it failure increases! Whatever you do.. Don’t let it fall!The nice thing about Jenga is that it can either be the main attraction at the party or it can be a side game enjoyed in the background. Either way, when you hear “Jenga!” you know that a crashing sound and laughs are soon to follow!