As summer begins to wind down, that can only mean one thing - it’s time to tailgate! Football, family, friends and good food, what’s not to love about the fall tailgating season? With college and professional football underway, it’s time to gather up family and friends to cheer on your favorite teams. Here are eight tips for a more mindful tailgate this fall season.
Tailgating Tip #1: Arrive Early
If you are tailgating with a large group of family members and friends, make sure to arrive at the stadium early. You would be surprised how quickly the parking lot can fill up, so remember the earlier the better. This will give you plenty of time to set up the grill(s), TVS (if you are bringing them so you can watch multiple football games) and tailgating games like bags and horseshoes.
Tailgating Tip #2: Create a Checklist
It may sound pretty basic, but organize all of your tailgating supplies on a checklist. You don’t want to forget anything, so put everything on it, even the most obvious items. Plan on tailgating more than once this season? Print out a paper copy of your official tailgating checklist then laminate it and use a dry erase marker to check off every item on your to-do list once it’s complete, that way you can reuse your list multiple times for each and every game.
Tailgating Tip #3: Expect the Unexpected
You can never be too prepared, so expect the unexpected. Pack items you wouldn’t necessarily think of such as:
- Bags of Ice
- First Aid Kit
- Jumper Cables
- Warm Clothes (If you live in a colder climate)
Tailgating Tip #4: Plan a Menu
Tailgating menus can range from simple dishes to more elaborate culinary creations. Channel your inner top chef and set up a build your own burger bar complete with toppings and sides. Hosting an early morning tailgate? Try these Breakfast Egg Cups or Chipotle Chicken Avocado Toast. Other fan favorites include:
Tailor your tailgate menu to you and your guests’ taste buds, but anything goes when it comes to tailgating. Just remember to practice food safety by keeping raw meats and prepared foods separate.
Tip: When it comes to planning your tailgating menu, consider your guests and their taste preferences. Will there be children present or just adults? Are there any dietary preferences? Keep these questions in mind when planning your tailgate menu.
Tailgating Tip #5: Prepare and Pack
When tailgating, prepare as much as you can ahead of time, this will save you time (and stress) the day of the big game.
Tailgating Tip #6: Game Day Gear
On game day, be sure to don your team colors. Order some temporary team tattoos prior to game day to share with your crew. You can even purchase some non-toxic face paint to take your team spirit to the next level. Remember, this is a family atmosphere though, so be sure to practice good sportsmanship when interacting with fans of opposing teams.
Tailgating Tip #7: Have Fun
When planning your tailgate, strive for a tailgate party that appeals to the entire group and all ages. Enlist the help of your guests if needed and get everyone involved. At the end of the day, no matter whether your team wins or loses, it’s all about making memories with family, friends and your community, so have fun and make it a good time for all.
Tailgating Tip #8: Clean Up
No one wants the tailgate party to end, but when the game is over, it’s time to clean up and pack up. When it comes to cleaning, keep things simple. Clearly label recycling bins so everyone knows where to place cans, glass bottles, and water bottles. Place 1-2 trash bags near your tailgate spot so guests are never unsure of where to place used napkins and plates.
Follow these eight tips for your next tailgate party and your football Saturday or Sunday is sure to be a total touchdown. Now the only question is, are you ready for some football?