19 Tailgating Tips to Make the Most of Football Season

19 Tailgating Tips to Make the Most of Football Season

Everyone has their own opinion about how a tailgating party should go. Some set up at night, camp out, then tailgate all day during the game. Maybe you tailgate for a couple of hours, then go find your spots in the stadium, to come back after the game and tailgate until the gates close. Regardless of how long you do it, having a strategy can help in any situation. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for the big day.

Detroit Lions fans (via CraveOnline)

GIVEAWAYS

With Instagram and Facebook becoming the new digital scrapbooks of our time, why not share real mementos to remember the game?

1. Sunglasses – DiscountMugs.com has a wide selection of reasonably priced sunglasses. Show your support for your favorite team by adding another dimension to your wardrobe. You can even design your own!

2. Can Cozies – Can cozies provide another way to revisit those tailgating memories, for months to come. Add the team’s insignia, or your own name as an added custom feature.

3. Grab Bags – Give away grab bags with whistles, key chains, and more. No one can forget the familiar sounds of horns and whistles, when you and your friends have been making a ruckus all night. You could even go down in history for being the most rambunctious bunch.

FOOD

It could hardly be called a party without any food, right? Get out the grill and bring your friends together with a whiff of kebabs or roast corn for the ultimate crowd pleaser.

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Individual Taco Dips (via Jo and Sue’s blog)

4. Appetizer  Nothing’s better than never-ending apps! Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to buy five bags of chips, two cans of queso, and a thousands napkins for use every few minutes, right before you dip your hand back into the bowl again. You can dole out finger foods until you’re tired of refilling the snack dish, or you can set the table with shot glass-sized portions for your friends to grab and go. 

5. Soup – You may think this is a bit of overkill, but when you’re visiting (or living in) a Northern or Midwestern state, you’re going to wish you brought more layers of clothing. In the fall, you might be cold, but you’re not alone when you’re huddled around the fire pit, cradling a cup of hot soup. This will keep you warm, if only until you finish the stew.

6. Main  For the main course, try a regional recipe to homage to location of the game. For example, you could bring in BBQ-baked chicken wings to represent the southern side of Texas or try some pan-fried Cajun shrimp in honor of the heritage of New Orleans.

7. Dessert – There are all manner of football-themed desserts out there. Try football-shaped Rice Krispie treats, brownies or cookies for dessert.

GAMES

While food will keep your gang entertained while they’re filling their bellies, what do you do with the rest of your time? This is where the games come in.

8. Cornhole – In some states, the name of the game is “Bags”, but most people are familiar with the age-old tradition of “Cornhole”. The goal is similar to your run-of-the-mill state fair, which is to get as many bags in the highest-scoring holes for the chance to win. Start practicing your hand-eye coordination!

9. Horseshoes – If you’ve ever been to the beach or sidestepped a game of volleyball in favor of Horseshoes as kid, you’ll remember this classic.  

10. Lawn Darts – In contrast to Cornhole or Horeshores, Lawn Darts is an overhand game. Remember to take wind-speed into consideration! 

DECORATIONS

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Identify your drink with pipe cleaners (via UnileverUSA on Pinterest)

Whether you want to be your own decorator, or enlist your mom in the design, adding a little extra flair can’t hurt the overall awesomeness of your tailgate party.

11. Tablecloth – Make your own tablecloth using a swatch of green tarp and Scotch tape to mark out measures of the yard lines to add some festivity to your setup. 

12. Drink holdersAttaching color-coordinated pipe cleaners are a frugal way to get your team in the spirit of the game, by sprucing up your drinks with your team’s colors.

13. Balloon or Flag – Have you ever found yourself lost on the way back from the bathroom? Those other trucks may seem similar after an entire day is spent tailgating. Separate yourself from the pack with a bright balloon or colored flag and guide your friends back to their safe haven with style.

14. Decorate the Cooler – Add spots for Bengals or stars for Cowboys. It’s up to you! Show your team spirit in another way, by decorating the water cooler.

ORGANIZATION

There’s nothing worse than seeing your fresh-grilled food or handmade goodies spilling all over the concrete, due to a sudden updraft. Protect your party with a plan beforehand.

15. Setup Stations – You don’t want to set up a game of cornhole downwind from the grill, or people will up and leave in the middle of the game in favor of food. When that smell hits their noses, there’s no telling what they’ll do. Take care of the problem beforehand by designating stations for different activities.

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Reusable swag bag (via Alli on Intelligent Domestications)

16. Swag Bag  Did you save those leftover plates and Solo cups from the last party? Stick it in a bag and keep it in your car for this party, then refill what you’ll need for the next party and never run out of those pesky paper plates again!

17. Food – Label everything! From the apps down to the dessert, you don’t want your friends to think that you’re mixing serving spoons, right? Make even the most sensitive stomachs happy by separating the hot and cold foods, the meat from the vegan, and so on

18. Condiments – Reuse the cardboard from your six-pack to organize condiments in a handy carry case that’s easy to pass around.

19. Games – When you get home from a game, you don’t want to go through the hassle of counting cards or finding an extra set of darts rolling around on the floor of the car. Keep everything in its own place with plastic containers or shoe boxes.

While you wait for the game to start, get caught up with With the KING Quest, and a home subscription to DIRECTV, you get access to the NFL Sunday Ticket that gives you all the games you can handle, right there on your TV. Whether you’re on the field or in a parking lot, you can get your favorite channels wherever you go, with one of KING’s satellite TV antennas.