There’s no better way to bond with friends, family and fellow sports fans like a good, old-fashioned tailgate. What is it about eating and drinking outside in a parking lot near your favorite sports stadium that makes it so fun? That we can’t answer, but we can give you some tips and tricks that will help you kick-off your next tailgating party right.
Prep For Success
There’s nothing worse than arriving at your spot only to discover you’ve forgotten something essential like reusable cups, utensils or — heaven forbid — the snacks! Before your tailgate, make a checklist you can use to ensure you remember all the basics. Most importantly, remember to bring trash bags and supplies to clean up after your tailgating party. Leaving trash and equipment behind is bad tailgating etiquette and could lead to bad karma for your team!
Food & Drinks
When it comes to the food and beverages at your tailgating party, simple is better. Get foods that are easy to eat standing up like hot dogs, hamburgers and sandwiches. Beverage-wise, separate your beer and wine from your non-alcoholic drinks in different, clearly labeled coolers so that guests aren’t constantly opening and closing coolers searching for what they need and letting the cold escape. Check out this article on how to best pack your cooler here.
It may seem obvious, but an easy way to show team spirit at your tailgate is to surround yourself with your team’s colors as much as possible. You can even coordinate your side dishes and condiments to showcase only those that match your team’s theme. Keep your guests engaged and entertained by playing games like cornhole or having a friendly cocktail or hot dog crafting competition where the loser has to do the bulk of the cleaning at the end of the game or wear the craziest team accessory.
After the game, keep the party going with a post-game tailgate. Post-gaming is a great way to discuss the hits and misses of the day and wait out the rush of people trying to pack up and leave the lot. Prepare for your post-gate by setting aside treats and beverages in a separate cooler that will stay fresh in your car through game time. When the crowd dies down, just pack up what’s left, clean up your space and head home for a well-deserved rest!
A Winning Move
Whether your team wins or loses, the best part of tailgating is being with loved ones and enjoying a time-honored tradition, so be a good sport! Celebrate the wins, stay hopeful through the losses and no matter what you do—don’t forget the snacks!
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