20 Exhilarating Picnic Games For Large Groups

Fresh open-air, nice weather and good company create the perfect recipe for a picnic gathering of any size. Games are a must-have at any large picnic gathering. We have rounded up 20 exhilarating picnic games for large groups such as church groups, field days, company parties, and family reunions.

Our picnic games for large groups will have your crowd chatting, competing, and enjoying the day outdoors!

Sports Games

1. Giant Soccer

Soccer is a great picnic game while waiting for lunch. Instead of playing soccer the usual way, add a fun twist with a giant soccer ball! The large soccer ball will even the playing field among the participants. Even the old men will want to join in on the schoolboy fun!

To set up your field, create two goals by using cones or anything you have available. The goal of soccer is to kick the ball through the opponent’s goal without it being deflected. No hands are allowed to contact the ball while it is in play.

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Last update on 2022-11-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


2. Ultimate Frisbee

The only equipment needed for ultimate frisbee is a frisbee and something to mark the endzones with. Pick an open field about the size of a soccer field and mark the endzones using cones or anything you have readily available.

Teams start at opposite ends of the field where one team throws the frisbee. The frisbee can be intercepted, caught, or deflected by the teams during play. The goal is to successfully catch the frisbee in your opponent’s endzone at the opposite end of the field. Check out more of the specific rules here.

3. Wiffle Ball

Wiffle ball is a sport-related to baseball with less equipment needed. All you need to play wiffle ball is a wiffle bat and ball.

The official rules of wiffle ball state that you do not run the bases. However, you can adapt the rules to suit your group and needs to include base running. If the area you are having a picnic at has a baseball field, then you can use that field to play wiffle ball. To create your own, head over to this article to learn how to make a wiffle ball field.

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Last update on 2022-11-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


4. Kickball

Do you remember kickball during your elementary recess days of the past? Kickball is a game fun for all ages!

Kickball is usually played with a round, red rubber ball. To prevent the ball from being kicked too far, you can also play with a giant kickball (pictured below).

Kickball can be played on any softball or baseball field, or you can set out your own boundaries and bases. To play, first divide your group into two teams; one on the outfield and one kicking. Teams switch roles after each inning.

You can decide how long to keep your game by the number of innings or the amount of time you have. Keep the game fair and allow each team the same number of times up to kick.

Basic Rules of Kickball:

  • Three strikes and you’re out!
  • When pitching, the ball must be rolling and not bounce more than twice before reaching home plate.
  • If the pitched ball rolls through the strike zone and is not successfully kicked, it counts as a strike.
  • Balls that do not cross the strike zone or bounce too many times are balls.
  • Four balls grant the kicker a walk to first base.
  • A foul ball after the second strike counts as the third strike.
  • Fly balls that are caught, constitute an out.
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Last update on 2022-11-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


5. Water Balloon Volleyball

Water balloon volleyball is a great picnic game for large groups on a warm day.  Supplies include sheets or towels, a volleyball net, and water balloons.  If using sheets, have groups of 4-8 players on each sheet.  You can also use beach towels for partners.  Each team can have several towel partners on their side.

At least one group on each side of the net is needed to play.  The serving side will place a water balloon in the center of their sheet or towel.  Working together, the goal is to launch the balloon into the fair boundaries on the other side of the net.

The opposing team must safely catch an intact balloon and return it to the other side.  Continue a volley until the balloon is dropped or pops. If the balloon pops on your side, the other team gets a point.

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Last update on 2022-11-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Races

Guests of all ages can enjoy these classic racing games!  Who will be first across the finish line?

6. Potato Sack Races

You will find yourself giggling in this old fashion race. Use large burlap potato sacks or buy some large bags online.

Set a start and finish line. “On your mark, get set, go!”. The first person to hop in their sack to the finish line wins! Make it a team game by turning it into a relay race!

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Last update on 2022-11-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


7. Four-Legged Race

A four-legged race goes beyond the traditional 3-legged race. Have your group get close and comfy by tying them together in a four-legged race. Four players will be connected at the ankles and must coordinate to run to the finish line. Who can coordinate with their team and not fall over?

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Last update on 2022-11-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


8. Run Mat Race

Have you ever been mesmerized by a hamster on a hamster wheel? This run mat race may give you a glimpse into the fun of a hamster wheel. Work with your team to move the mat from the start to finish line while the mat rotates under feet and over heads.

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Last update on 2022-11-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


9. Chariot Race

The chariot race originated with the Roman Empire and can still be enjoyed in picnic games today. The chariot race is played in partnerships. The first partner, or charioteer, holds the ankles of the second partner, or chariot, whose hands are on the ground.

The charioteer drives forward while the chariot walks their hands forward.  The first team to successfully cross the finish line as charioteer and chariot wins!  You can have as many chariots and riders racing at once as you desire.  It is usually honorary to aware of the winners some kind of prize.

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Last update on 2022-11-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Group Competition Games

Who doesn’t like some adept competition? These group competition games will have teams competing to be declared the champions.

10. Tug-of-War

The classic game of tug-of-war is just as fun as you remember! All you need is a long rope with a flag or ribbon tied around the center. Create two crossing lines about 4-6 feet apart.

Start with the flagged part of the rope centered between the crossing lines. All players should grab the rope on their team’s side. Make sure the teams are even in strength to have a lasting game.

On the count of three, both teams pull in their direction. The goal is to get the flag to cross the line closest to them.

Last update on 2022-11-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


11. Capture the Flag

Capture the flag is a combination of tag and hide and seek. It will test a player’s problem solving, stamina, strategy skills, and agility. It is played with 2-4 teams. Divide your group evenly between the teams.

Designate territories for each team, such as a line down the middle of the field. Including playgrounds or wooded areas into the territories creates a better challenge for the game. Each team is given a flag to protect in their own territory.

The goal of the game is to capture an opposing team’s flag and bring it safely back to your own territory without getting tagged.

Anytime you cross into an opposing team’s territory, you can be tagged and sent to “jail”. “Jail” is usually somewhere near the flag.

To be freed from jail, a teammate must safely reach the jail and tag you. Both get a “safe” walk back to home territory. Check out this page for more detailed capture the flag rules.

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Last update on 2022-11-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


12. Kan Jam

Kan Jam is an exciting and thrilling game that is perfect for any gathering. A Kan Jam kit can be purchased online, or you can use any frisbee and make the Kan Jam bucket yourself.

For large groups, you can have several Kan Jam games going at once or create bracket competitions. This game is just as fun to watch as it is to play!  Here is a video of the rules:

13. Wizards and Werewolves

Bored of the same kind of games over and over? Keep your picnic games for large groups going even after dark with glow-in-the-dark Wizards and Werewolves.

This game is a role-playing game with elements of hide and seek, tag, and scavenger hunts. If you have ever been interested in LARP (live-action role play), this game is for you!

The goal of the game is for the wizards to find glowing crystals and destroy the alpha werewolf. The werewolves hide the crystals, infect wizards, and protect the alpha.

The game has different levels of difficulty making it engaging combined play for kids and adults. Game variations also allow you to play with small or very large groups.

Will you hide, hunt, howl, or run in this clever action-packed game?

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Last update on 2022-11-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


14. Scavenger Hunt

Get out and enjoy nature with a scavenger hunt. You can buy pre-made versions or make your own.

Have a list of items that each team must successfully find at the picnic. Some examples may be a flower, a person wearing a hat, an oak tree, a four-leaf clover, or a bird’s nest.

Teams can check off that they have found the items on a checklist. For more solid proof, have teams use their phones to take a picture of each item on the list. The first team to bring back a list with all the items found is the winner!

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15. Reverse Charades

Charades, or riddle games, have been around since the 18th century. Reverse charades take the classic game and makes it perfect to add to our picnic games for large groups.

Instead of having one person getting the team to guess the answer, it is flipped. The entire team tries to get one person to guess as many correct words in the time limit as possible. The team gets one point for every correctly guessed word or phrase.

We recommend using a reverse charades game that has all of the ideas on cards for you. Have your camera ready for some hilarious team moments!

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16. Giant Twister

Get tangled up in a game of twister. This giant outdoor Tangled game is a perfect twist on the original Twister. You can customize the pieces by laying them as close or far apart as you like. You can also personalize the arrangement of the colors on the board.

Just spin the spinner and jump on the board! The last person still standing is the winner!

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Games That Require No Equipment

Head straight to the picnic with these games in your back pocket! Don’t worry about loading equipment and setting anything up with these game ideas.

17. Giants, Wizards, and Elves

Giants, wizards, and elves take the traditional game of paper, rock, scissors and creates an entertaining picnic game for large groups. To play, divide your group into two teams. Have the teams face each other in two parallel lines. Each team will secretly decide to be giants, wizards, or elves. On the count of three, each team makes the sign associated with their character.

  • Giants: Raise their hands over their heads, stand on tippy toes, and say “Roarrrr”.
  • Wizards: Crouch slightly, stick arms straight out, wiggle their fingers as if casting a spell, and say “Shazam”!
  • Elves: Squat down low, cup hands around their ears, and squeal “Eeeee”!

The following rules determine the winner. Giants beat the Elves because they can step on them. The Elves outsmart the Wizards. The Wizards cast a spell defeating the Giants. The winning team then chases the losing team to a “safe” line. Anyone who is tagged before reaching the line is now members of the opposite team. Play can continue until all players of one team are completely captured.

18. Sardines

The game of Sardines is the opposite of Hide and Seek. Instead of everyone hiding and one person seeking, one person hides while everyone else seeks. Once a person finds him or her, they join and hide with them in the same spot. The game continues until everyone has found the person who is “it”. The last person to find the hiding group is “it” for the next round.

19. Piggy Wants a Signal

Piggy Wants a Signal is a great game to play where there are many hiding places surrounding an open area. The person who is “it”, or the wolf, draws a circle in the open area. The wolf then counts out loud to ten. The rest of the group, or piggies, run and hide.

When the wolf has counted to ten, he begins searching for the pigs. He only needs to see the pig and shout, “1, 2, 3 on (name of piggy) by the (where the pig is seen).” If the wolf has correctly seen the pig, the pig is caught and must stand in the circle.

The pig in the circle shouts “piggy wants a signal!”. Another pig gives a signal by waving their hands or arms in view of the pig in the circle. They then can sneak from the circle and hide again when the wolf is not looking.

If a pig is caught three times, the game is over, and they are “it” for the next round. If all the pigs are caught, the wolf wins and the game is over.

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Last update on 2022-11-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


20. Never Have I Ever

There are many versions of this game, including board game sets with pre-made questions. However, you can easily come up with your own questions. Some versions you can just hold up fingers, then put them down if you have done something. However, we prefer the active version for picnic games for large groups.

To play, have your crowd sit in a circle. One person will stand in the middle and say “Never have I ever…” and finish the sentence with something they have never done. For example, “Never have I ever broken a bone”.

Anyone in the circle who has done that must get up and switch seats with anyone else who stands up. Meanwhile, the person in the middle tries to steal one of the vacated seats. In our example, everyone who has broken a bone would stand up and switch seats.

The person left standing without a seat must come up with the next “Never have I ever…” statement. This game does not have a winner, but all will have a great time and get to know each other better!

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Last update on 2022-11-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Game on!

Your next picnic is sure to be a hit with these 20 exhilarating picnic games for large groups. We have included something for everyone with sports, races, competition, and no-equipment-needed games. Some of our favorites are water balloon volleyball, tug-of-war, and “Never Have I ever”.  Looking for more ideas? Check out our post on 33 Fun Outdoor Games for Large Groups to Enjoy.

Enjoy a stress-free picnic day out with friends, family, and church groups with these fun games! Pack your checkered blankets and picnic baskets and head to the park! Your guests will be begging to play these picnic games for large groups again!