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* 20+ Tailgate Party Ideas to Step Up Your Tailgate on Game Day

Gear up for Game Day

Tailgating is a beloved tradition in America that comes with the start of football season. Whether you're a die-hard fan or just enjoy the social atmosphere, tailgating is a great way to spend a game day. But with so many people in one place, it can be hard to make sure everyone's needs are met. That's why we've put together this list of tailgate party ideas that are guaranteed to satisfy football fans and give them an extra kick of excitement.

Game Day Must-Haves for Football Fans

When it comes to tailgating, the earlier you arrive, the better. If that makes for an early morning - it'll be worth it if you can get early access to the stadium or tailgating area.

It's a great way to get a good spot in the parking lot and have time to kick off your tailgate party before the game starts. Plus, it gives you more time to enjoy the atmosphere and have a few drinks before the game.

Remember the parking lot is your personal tailgate playground. You can set up a table and chairs, or a portable grill to cook up some tasty burgers and hot dogs. Also, a must-have is a cooler filled with ice to keep drinks cold, and a portable speaker to play music.

Just remember when it comes to music, it's not a rock concert. If fellow fans make comments about your music, please be respectful and don't turn into a battle of dueling sound systems trying to "out-loud" each other.


Tailgate Food and Drinks

When it comes to food, you can't go wrong with traditional tailgate-style favorites like all-beef kebabs, burgers, all-beef hot dogs, and bratwurst.

These classic tailgate foods are easy to cook on a grill (be sure to let them rest) and can be customized with different toppings and flavors to suit everyone's tastes for grab-and-go grub. Having a crockpot or slow cooker and filling it with your favorite dips or casseroles to keep your food warm throughout the tailgate party is always a great idea.

Tailgate food doesn't have to be complicated. In most cases the simpler the better. Think skewered meats and pepper(s), veggie trays, beef summer sausage, and cheese - whatever you love.

We've seen folks pre-assemble crazy stadium-shaped meat and cheese trays. Just remember to keep to keep your food options simple and easy to clean up - you're likely in a parking lot after all.

If you're hosting a tailgate party, be sure to pack a serving spoon, utensils, paper plates, napkins paper towels, garbage bags, and a few condiments.

Packing your favorite brand of ketchup or mustard can go a long way in making your hot dog or burger taste even better. You can also snag your favorite bbq sauces or rubs to give your grilled meats some serious pop.

Another great option for tailgating food is to pack a cooler with some tasty snacks and drinks. Some suggestions include chips and dip, pretzels, and peanuts. You can also a little flavor to your snaking options by serving some hot sauce or flavored olive oil to them.

Bringing some of those handheld snacks you can be a treat on your walk from the car to the stadium before kickoff is a pro-style move. Saves you money and helps fuel you up for the next few hours.

One essential item for any tailgate party is a keg of beer or a cocktail bar. It doesn't have to be complicated. A little pony keg of beer and bloody mary bar can make you the star of the pre-game.

It's a staple for tailgating and a great way to ensure that everyone has a good time. Just remember to keep the alcohol in check and abide by any alcohol policies in place at your stadium or designated tailgate area.

Tailgate Games and Drinking Games

In addition to food, drinks, and entertainment, it's also important to bring a few party games to play with friends and family. Some popular tailgating games include cornhole, ladder golf, and washers.

When it comes to Drinking games they can be another great way to dial up the spirit at your tailgate party. You can play classics like flip cup and beer pong, or come up with your own games.

It's a great way to get everyone involved and make the tailgate party even more fun. If you have the chance to meet with opposing fans have them teach you the other games they might play when tailgating at their home stadiums and what they are called.

These games are a great way to pass the time before kickoff and add a fun, competitive element to the tailgating experience.

It's a Tailgate Party - Be Social!

One of the best things about football season and attending a tailgate party is that it's a great opportunity to gather with friends, family, and fellow football fanatics to enjoy some delicious food and drinks before the big game.

With the right tailgate party setup and menu, you can make sure that your crew and company at your tailgate are satisfied and ready to cheer on their boys.

Be sure to bring enough seating and tables for everyone to sit and enjoy their food and drinks. Nothing worse than a tailgate with nowhere to sit.

If the weather is going to be a factor or you're planning to celebrate a bit after the game - PRO TIP - bring a firepit to stay warm and keep the tailgate party going.

Tailgating is not just about the game, it's also about the atmosphere. It's a great way to meet new people and make new friends while supporting your squad. And with as many games that are going on Saturdays and Sundays in the Fall, you can also join in the conversation and support other teams as well.

Tips from the Pros - Things to Remember Before your Next Football Game

As you're planning your tailgate party, be sure to charge your cell phone beforehand, and have a charger handy. It's easy to forget, but you'll want to be able to take pictures and videos of the game, and it's also a great way to stay connected with friends and family who may be at the game or watching from home.

On that note, be sure to bring a power source for TVs or Tablets to watch the day's slate of games, too. You may be able to watch your favorite College or NFL teams through your cable or satellite subscription app. That way, you and your friends can keep up with all the action, even if your team isn't playing.

If you're bringing along little fans you can also bring a portable DVD player or tablet to keep them entertained while you and your crew are setting up or tearing down for your tailgate. This is a great way to keep the littlest of fans happy during the less entertaining parts of the day.

Of course, this should be self-explanatory but be sure to bring your tickets. I can't tell you how many times I've had a personal panic attack thinking I had misplaced my tickets after leaving a raging tailgate.

More often than not stadiums are now using digital ticketing on your cell phone. Yet another reason to make sure your phone is charged.

If you're heading to an outdoor stadium, be sure to dress for the occasion. If it's an early season game in August be sure to bring sunglasses and sunscreen.

If it's getting towards the end of the season bring a warm jacket or blanket to keep you warm during the game. Something to also consider is grabbing yourself a fire pit to help add some heat to your pre and post-game festivities.

A football game in the late Fall can get pretty chilly particularly NFL games in December and January. Be sure to dress for the occasion before, during, and after the game so you can make it to 0:00 in the 4th quarter.

Kickoff the good times this tailgate season

The beauty of tailgating is that it's all about you and your crew supporting your squad. Tailgating in America is a great way to spend a fall afternoon before a football game.

Show up early in the morning, stay late, and prove that this week your team is bringing home the glory. Be sure to pace yourself throughout the day and you're bound to have a great tailgate experience.

With the right tailgate party setup and food menu, you can make sure that everyone is satisfied and ready to cheer your squad on to victory.


For more tips like this, check out our Ultimate Guide to Tailgating!

Topics:   Tailgating