If you’re like me, I consider my pontoon boat to be an extension of my own home, and that means I am always looking for fun things for the family to do, and ways in which we can have entertain ourselves whilst out on the water for the day.
The only limit to having pontoon boat fun is really just your imagination. With a large open deck on most boats, there’s plenty of room to play fun games. But you also have the water you can make use of, which can bring a whole new dimension to your pontoon boat fun and games.
Here is a selection of just a few games you could play, or simply just fun activities that will make it a day to remember whilst our boating this year, whether it’s with a pontoon, yacht, or any type of boat for that matter.
I have categorized them into games you can play on deck, and games you can play in the water. Have fun!
Pontoon Boat Fun in the Water
1. Stomp Rocket Swimming Fetch Game
This year my son got a stomp rocket for Christmas (here are some gift ideas by the way for pontoon owners). We played it at the local park for a couple of hours, but then it occurred to me that this would be awesome to play on our pontoon.
The premise is pretty simple. I set the stomp rocket up on deck, stamp down on it with my foot, it fires into the air over the water (you would be surprised at how this thing goes), and then the kids (or adults) compete to see who can retrieve the rockets from the water first. We also occasionally take our dog pontooning too, and he loves this game of water-based fetch.
I implore you to go and buy a stomp rocket on Amazon. They don’t cost a lot and can provide hours of fun. Just make sure whoever is playing is a strong swimmer and has a life vest or flotation device on as safety is key with this one.
2. Water Basketball Game
You can attach this portable basketball net to the side railings on your pontoon boat, then sit back and relax, whilst everyone else gets in the water to see who wins.
This mini basketball net comes is brightly colored and floats, so you won’t be able to miss it if you drop it into the water and is made with a sturdy backboard. You will need to buy a mini ball separately though which is a bit of a shame.
3. Floating Volleyball Game
Another game you can play which will get everyone having fun in the water is this floating volleyball set on Amazon. It’s nearly eight-foot-wide once fully inflated (and you can blow it up just using your own breath in minutes. Unlike the basketball set, comes with its own ball so you don’t need to buy anything extra to start having fun.
It does help to be able to play on a calm water surface, as it will tend to float around a bit, but my advice would be to anchor it down to the lake floor with stones or small weights attached to the ties if you want it to be in one place whilst playing. It takes minutes to do.
It’s best for two players on each side due to the size, can be easily deflated and stored after play, and is a great way to spend an afternoon near the shore or beach.
4. Cornhole on the Water
Airhead make amazing inflatable tubes that you can pull behind your pontoon, but they have also recently expanded their product selection to provide their Airhead Lob the Blob game… which is essentially the same as playing cornhole, but in the water (as you might have guessed!).
You play it just like you would on land, as it’s like a hybrid of cornhole and beer pong in one game. It comes with the inflatable floating cornhole deck, and 8 different blobs in two colors that your players can throw into the hole to see who wins.
When we play, we have two teams. One team will be the defense, whilst the other players have to get their blobs into the floating hole. The fact that it will move around on the water makes for even more fun in the sun and adds a lot of unpredictablity. If the water does get too choppy or rough, you can move it onto the rear of the pontoon deck and continue to play, albeit in a more static mode!
5. Water Chicken Game & Jousting
Not sure what this is? Take a look on Wikipedia. The premise is pretty simple though; one team member sits on the shoulders of their team mate and attempts to knock the other sitting person on the rival team, down into the water.
You can combine the game of water chicken with jousting, and swimming noodles are great jousting sticks to add a different element of fun into proceedings.
Be careful, as this game can quickly get out of hand, especially if you have over-excitable kids or adults playing. There could be some tears at some point, but if played responsibly, it’s a great fun thing to do on your pontoon boat.
6. Floating Beer Pong Game
When you think of beer pong, you would think it’s just something for the adults to play, but it doesn’t have to be that way as you can offer rewards and soft drinks for the kids too.
You can buy an inflatable beer pong game on Amazon which comes with two floating racks, the plastic cups you will need, and the ping pong balls required. As with the cornhole game, half the fun is not knowing where the inflatable will float to next!
7. Pontoon Olympics
By combining all of the games above, and some of the ones listed further down the page in the games to play on a pontoon boat deck, you could arrange your own Pontoon Olymipics competition.
Just use a scrap of paper or your smartphone to keep track of each event, who won what, and then hand out a prize at the end of the day.
With your family and friends competing against each other, it will keep everyone entertained for hours, and once you’re done, I can virtually guarantee that everyone is going to be so hungry and worn out, so are going to love whatever you serve up in front of them that evening.
To make the proceeding even more fun with additional activities, I recommend you also invest in some of the following inflatables for a more action-packed Olympics style event.
- Towable inflatable tubes (read my reviews of the best)
- An inflatable pontoon slide kit (read my reviews of the best)
8. Floating Water Mat
Things really can’t get much more fun than having a floating water mat or foam pad tethered up to your pontoon boat, and here’s a list of the top 5 floating mats.
They were once very expensive, but they are now starting to come down in price and offer hours of fun for kids, adults, and even your dog. It’s almost like having an extension patio on your boat, they don’t sink, they don’t flip, and the larger ones can take up to 8 adults in one go.
Pontoon Boat Games on Deck
9. Board Games
Board games can be a little bit bulky and fussy, but still make for a great way to pass the time and have fun with your family on board.
We have a little bag of travel board games rather than the full-sized versions – just like the ones that you take on planes when going on a vacation. We prefer these as they are easier to carry about, plus tend to have magnetic pieces with them meaning it’s not as easy to lose the pieces.
You can buy a magnetic travel board on Amazon, which comes with 12 games included such as checkers, chess, tic tac toe, backgammon, solitaire and many more games. It’s super cheap to buy too!
10. Mega Checkers
There are times in life when you just want to supersize things. Checkers is one of those times. Not convinced? Then take a look at this large fabric rug checkers board.
It measures just over 2 foot by 2 foot, so you will have space for it on deck, and has 3-inch-wide checker pieces. Even if you don’t play checkers on it, it makes for a cool looking rug to go underfoot.
It’s reversible too, so turn it over and you can play Tic Tac Toe on the other side.
11. Pontoon Twister
If you have ever tried playing Twister on a boat, especially if some drinks are involved, then you simply haven’t lived.
It quite simply has to be the best game you could ever wish to play when on your pontoon deck. Throw in family members, a few drinks for the adults, a little bit of sway from the waves, and you’re all set for one of the funniest things you could ever do on a pontoon boat.
If you haven’t got a Twister set, you can buy one on Amazon. You won’t regret it!
12. Battleship Game
Battleship is the classic game of maritime warfare and tactical thinking. If you have a competitive family like I do, then nothing beats beating the others at this game, and it’s a very well themed game to play whilst out on the water.
As with my other recommendations for pontoon boat games, you can get a set on the Amazon website. It’s small enough to keep stored under the seats to be brought out when the kids get bored.
13. Card Games
Everyone has a pack of cards, even if it will take you hours to find your own pack (pro tip: it’s at the back of that drawer you never open!).
If you need any ideas for card games, here are some classics you can play with links to the rules just in case you need a reminder of what to do:
- Basic Poker
- Crazy Eights
- Gin Rummy
- Go Fish
- Texas Hold ‘Em
The great thing about card games is that they provide entertainment for all members of the family. Kids can play a game of snap by themselves (here are some ideas you can teach them), whilst the adults can play classic card games after dinner or late into the night.
You will need a flat surface, and so often we will put a picnic blanket down on the deck floor and play for an hour or two. Cards are portable too, everyone will have room to put a pack cards somewhere on their boat. Cheap entertainment, easy games, it’s a no brainer!
14. Other Group Activities
Using group activities, you can provide hours of entertainment, and get to know your fellow passengers that much better. It doesn’t have to involve any of the games referenced above and can be done without spending any money at all.
- Charades (see how to play)
- Pictionary simply using a pad of paper and pen
- The “Yes or No” game where you answer questions without saying yes or no
15. Host a Pontoon Boat Party
Any of the fun games that you do decide to play on your boat or in the water can be combined with a pontoon boat party. I’ve put together an extensive guide on how to plan the perfect boat party, with ideas on themes and things you can do.
To find out more about how to plan yours, click here for pontoon boat party ideas.
I will be adding another 7 ideas next week so please visit back!
Conclusion on Fun Things to Do on a Pontoon Boat
I know of many pontooners who bought their boat thinking it would be something that would never lose its appeal for their family, friends, and children. Unfortunately, over time, the appeal can sometimes start to lessen a little, especially with others who might not be as passionate for the water and boating as you are. I am thinking of the kids in particular.
That’s why it’s so important to keep things fresh, having a set of ideas and solutions that you can bring out at the drop of a hat to make sure that every single hour spent on your pontoon is a fun and rewarding one that will live on in the memory for years to come.
With the games and ideas listed above, you can keep your pontoon boat fun and day outs being something that everyone will always look forward to no matter what the weather.
Handy Hint: For more fun, how about some pontoon boat jokes. See all 44 puns and one liners in this other blog post.