We’ve seen some beautiful days in Madison this summer. For The Hub Team, that only means one thing… spend as much time outside and on the water as possible! 

Here’s a list of our favorite family-friendly beach/yard games to play on the Mendota and Monona lakeshore.

Kan Jam

Kan Jam is kinda like frisbee golf… but with a defense team. It’s a team game, and you take turns throwing the disc and trying to deflect your opponent’s hit. There are a few different ways you can score a point.

1 Point- Dinger- The deflector redirects the disc, and it hits any part of the goal. 

2 Points- Deuce- The thrower hits the side of the goal.

3 Points- Dunk- the deflector redirects the thrown disc, and it lands inside the goal.

3 Points- Interference- If the throwing team interferes with a play to defend the goal

21 Points- Done Deal- The throwe lands the disc inside the goal.

The first team to reach 21 points wins the game!

This is a great game to exercise your competitive spirit. It practices your aim, throwing, and agility.

Confused? You can read more about the rules here.

Kan Jam is $40 on Amazon.


Spikeball is also known by some as  “that trampoline game.” It has totally taken over Madison beaches this summer, and for good reason! It’s super fun. It’s kinda like foursquare… but with pizzazz. Here’s how it works:

  • Divide your friends or family up into two teams
  • Start by serving the ball down into the Spikeball net
  • The returning team has three hits between them (bump, set, spike… like volleyball!) to return the ball to the net.
  • The other team returns the volley.

Keep going this way until a team can’t return the ball in 3 touches!

This game is a surprisingly good workout. Before long, you’ll need to take a dunk in the lake to cool off. But then you’ll want to get right back at it.

For extra info, here’s a video on how Spikeball works.

Buy Spikeball on Amazon for $65.

Bocce Ball

Bocce Ball is a much more chill game than Kan Jam or Spikeball. It doesn’t require any athleticism. It’s friendly and easy fun. You’ve probably seen bocce ball courts at local bier gardens around town. But it doesn’t require a court to play. A sandy beach or grassy lawn works excellently. Here’s how to play:

  • Divide into teams
  • Flip a coin to determine who goes first
  • Whichever team wins the coin toss will toss the white bocce ball. 
  • Then take turns throwing the colored balls to try and get as close to the bocce ball as possible.
  • When all the balls are gone from your bag, evaluate to see which team was the most successful in getting close to the bocce. Sometimes it’s down to the millimeter!

Bocce ball is easy, relaxing, and fun. The only downside is that the bocce set can be a bit heavy. But that’s no problem if you’re already hauling your beach chairs and umbrellas in a wagon.

Read more about Bocce ball rules.

Buy a bocce set on Amazon for $40.

Ladder Ball

Ladderball is easy. The goal is to have the bolas (2 golf balls attached by a nylon rope) wrapped around the ladder’s rungs. Give it an underhand toss and see what happens! The top rung is worth 3 points, the middle rung 2 points, and the bottom rung 1 point. The first team to 21 wins.

Read more about Ladder Ball Rules here. (regulation rules say you must stand 15 feet away from the ladder).

Buy Ladder Ball on Amazon for $30.


If you’re a Wisconsinite that doesn’t know the rules of cornhole, we’re gonna have to ask you to move.

JUST KIDDING, of course!

Cornhole has been super popular in the area for the past ten years. A board can be found in garages and restaurant patios throughout the city. It’s a classic. We love it because it’s a low-key game, but it’s much more complicated than it looks.

Buy a cornhole set on Amazon for $70.


Jazzminton is like badminton but without a net. And thank goodness, because those nets are a bit of a hassle to haul out to the beach! Jazzminton sets include paddles and birdies. Simply volley back and forth, diving and dipping on the sand until you’re ready for a break.

Buy Jazzminton on Amazon for $14.

Not ready to go home at the end of your outdoor fun day? 

We get it. We never want to leave the waterfront either.  If you love the beach and are in the market for a home, let us know! We can show you some fantastic Madison lakefront properties. You can also start educating yourself on the pros and cons of Madison’s waterfront property by reading this informational article.