Fall is finally upon us, and that means it’s time to tailgate before the big game! Whether you’re tailgating in the parking lot, your driveway or even your house — these tips will help you host with ease.
Show Your Team Spirit
It’s not a party without some decorations! You can create a fun and inviting atmosphere — even in the parking lot. Add banners, balloons and signs to your space to make it feel festive, and make sure your necessities, like napkins and cups, match team colors. These details will create a fun atmosphere and make your tailgate zone stand out.
You want to be part of the action, not behind the scenes on game day, so be sure to plan a simple menu and prep ahead if you can. If you’re grilling at the game, pick foods that cook quickly, like burgers, brats, chicken, steaks, fajitas or seafood. Chop peppers, onions and other items the night before so you don’t have to at the game. Think about foods you can eat with your hands, like burritos, wraps or sandwiches.
Don’t feel like grilling? Try walking tacos! Make taco meat ahead of time, and bring individual bags of chips and taco toppings. Guests can pick their bag of chips and fill it with taco goodness to have an easy-to-carry meal while they hang out.
Slow cooker meals are another grilling alternative (or supplement!). A nice hearty soup or stew can warm up those chilly tailgaiting days. Serve up bowls of chili or chicken tortilla soup to warm everyone up and feed a crowd relatively easily.
To lighten your load as host, provide the main dish and ask your friends to bring the sides and desserts! Create a list of what people are bringing and share it with everyone, so no one brings the same thing. If anyone needs help, offer ideas, and let them pick.
It’s Game Day
Football doesn’t have to be the only game of the day. If you’re planning on tailgating for a while, bring along yard games like cornhole or giant Jenga. Kan Jam is also a great addition to your party, and everyone from kids to seniors can participate.
Have an After Party
Instead of fighting traffic when the game is over, plan to linger in the parking lot for a bit with a tailgate after party. Rehash the highlights of the game over drinks, snacks or dessert.
No matter your plans, the important thing is to have fun! Make friends with your tailgate neighbors (no matter who they’re cheering on) and share some of your treats or challenge them to a game of cornhole!
Bins for washing and rinsing
Bottle and can openers
Easy-up canopy or tent
Grill and charcoal
Paper cups and plates
Tables and tablecloths for prep and for eating
Team flags and banners
Water for cleanup