Football season is finally here, and with it comes another favorite season. No, we’re not talking about autumn, we are talking about tailgate party season! If you have never hosted a tailgate party, or if you’re looking for some tips on how to make your tailgate party the one to remember this year, we have a few helpful tips for you:
- Bring the comforts of home to the stadium. Your family and friends love to party, but they also love the comforts of partying at home, so bring as much of home as possible to your tailgate party with thoughtful items like comfy blankets to snuggle under when the weather turns crisp, and comfortable seating options like folding director’s chairs or cushions to make those bleachers a little more bearable.
- Team color tablecloths. This is a great way to support your favorite team, and add a touch of class to your tailgate table. Whether you go practical with plastic, or high class with cloth, table coverings are a great way to dress up your tailgate party. Add a picnic table condiment holder, coordinating napkins, plates, and cups, and you have a team table ready to party.
- Pick a picnic basket. Your tailgate party will be more fun and festive if you use a traditional picnic basket instead of plastic bins, bags, or a box to store your tailgate treats. If all the essentials are too much to fit in the basket and you need a little extra space, consider a neutral or black and white tote bag for drinks and snacks. These colors won’t compete with your team colors, and will add functionality to your tailgate supplies
- Plant your flag. Literally. Pick up a personalized football garden flag featuring your family or team name below the message reading “Football Spoken Here” to add a little extra personality and fun to your tailgate party ambiance.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! When the cooler temperatures of the fall season arrive, sometimes we forget to drink as much water as we should. Be sure to bring a case or two of bottled water along to keep thirst at bay on game day. Don’t forget the nonalcoholic beverages for the younger crowd and teetotalers in your group.
- Let someone else do the cooking. Make a favorite homemade dish or two, and let someone else take care of the rest. Whether that means combining your efforts with friends for a potluck, or picking up some ready-made side dishes like marinated olives, hummus or dip, and chips or crackers, don’t take on the responsibility of the entire meal if you can share the load. The point of having a party is to enjoy yourself, and you can’t do that if you’re wiped out from all the food prep. Check out our cookbooks for ideas!
- Pre-mix some favorite drink combinations at home and label the containers. If you plan to serve alcoholic mixed drinks, consider making them at home and bringing the mixture along. This way you can control the amount of alcohol in the drink mix, and avoid carrying extra bottles or open containers in your vehicle.
- Single serving snacks. Serve snacks like popcorn, pretzels, and candy in small paper bags sporting your favorite team’s colors. This makes the goodies portable, and guests can carry them into the stadium when it’s time for the game, and toss the bags in the trash when they’re done. Have permanent markers available for guests to label their bags with their name, so there’s no mix-up. Paper bags offer the added bonus of less clean up for you!
- Don’t forget dessert. Prepare a tailgating classic a new way, by making s’mores on a stick at home and bringing them with you to the party. These fan favorites are simple to assemble, and sure to bring smiles to the faces of family and friends of all ages. Place marshmallows on wooden barbeque skewers, dip each one in melted chocolate and roll in graham cracker crumbs. You and your guests can enjoy these gooey game day favorites without the hassle of assembling them, and you won’t have the trash from the chocolate bar and graham cracker wrappers to clean up.
To add a touch of class and get everyone in the mood for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, add a neutral color table runner with an inspirational message of thanks. These are just a few of our suggestions for how to host a terrific tailgate party. We know that you’ll add your own personal touches to help make it a fun time to remember throughout the year. Party on, football fans!