It’s that time of year again…time to roll back the clock, add a blanket to the bed, mulch the roses, and tailgate! For a lot of people, fall means football season and football means tailgating. Tailgating, of course, is not limited to football games nor is it limited to an actual tailgate. From what I have learned researching for this blog post, the concept of tailgating can be as simple or as elaborate as you choose!
Below, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite ideas that I have personally done or witnessed as well as some tried-and-true tidbits from my partying younger sister-in-law and all of her friends. Please share your ideas with me in the comments below because I plan to revisit this topic at least once more after doing a little more tailgating research this season! It’s a hard job, but I do it for you, our readers! I would love to see any pictures you would like to share as well. Just email me your craziest tailgating party pics!
- Make a list. We’ve compiled a checklist for you to download as your starting point. Use it a few times and add/subtract as necessary. We left some blank boxes at the end to list items for a specific recipe you might have, since the food you take each time will probably change.
- No matter what food you serve, try to pre-cook it the night before so that you can just throw it on the grill to re-heat when you get there. If you use disposable aluminum pans, you can cook, re-heat, serve and toss! This works well with ribs, baked potatoes, chili, pulled pork, and even corn on the cob.
- Have everyone wear the same color glow necklaces/sticks after sunset. This works great for keeping your party together when it gets dark in the tailgating area. It’s also another way to show team spirit if you get them in the team colors!
- Get your corn hole set ready to play. One friend commented, “Corn hole is all the rage. If you drove by and didn’t know there was a ballgame, you’d think there was a corn hole tournament going on.” I must admit, this is one of my favorite lawn games now, second only to croquet! You can buy sets for different teams or you can make your own. (I have a set right now that is sadly just blank wood. Stay tuned for a post from me on how I decorated my corn hole set.)
- Another popular entertaining option is karaoke. Building off the popularity of “Rock Band”, these singing machines are showing up at the coolest of tailgating parties. There’s nothing better than singing off-key to your favorite tunes.
- Have some shelter. The pop-up canopies they make now are so easy to put up and fold down to a very compact size. Make sure you have at least one, if not more, depending on the size of your group to help protect from the sun or the rain.
- Define your space. Use balloons, banners, inflatables, and even make a football field rug like Chica did to help define the party space and make it easier for your guests to find you in the sea of tailgaters.