Win MVP of Parking Lot Tailgating With These All-Star Ideas
March 12, 2017
Fall means cooler weather, back-to-school shopping, and, for football fans, a new season of gridiron action and tailgate parties. Kick the season off right and become the star of the parking lot with a pre-game party setup that gets the entire crowd cheering. These simple tailgating party ideas are sure to make a lasting impression.
Fire Up the Tailgate Grill
A tailgate party without a grill is like a football team without a quarterback. Serve up plenty of pre-game burgers and bratwursts by choosing a model with adequate surface space, or bring along two or three smaller, portable grills if space is an issue. Cooktops and side burners are perfect for chili, baked beans and other warm dishes. Invest in a power inverter for your car's auxiliary socket so it's easy to use your favorite electric grills and cookers while you're tailgating.
Ice-Cold Drinks With Team Spirit
Let your coolers do more than chill food and drinks on game day. Large, hard-sided coolers do double duty as temporary seating, and they're easy to paint in your favorite team's colors. Soft-sided coolers are great space savers, and they're often available with licensed team logos to show off your spirit at the tailgating party. Keep soft drinks, water and other kid-friendly beverages in an open bucket, and use frozen, team-colored water balloons to keep things cold until kickoff.
Personalized Drink Solutions
Drink mix-ups are all too common when people get together for a tailgating party. Avoid lost and forgotten cups, bottles and cans by providing your fellow tailgaters with an easy way to identify their beverages. Use your home printer to create football-themed tags on card stock, and attach them to cups or bottles with twine or ribbon. Alternatively, print the labels on sticker paper and skip the twine. Provide an assortment of colored markers near every drink station to let your guests get creative. If your guest list is small, attach magnetic tape to the back of drink koozies in assorted colors and attach the beverages to the side of your car for convenient access.
Bring On the Games
Get ready for the game with a few games of your own by inviting your tailgating neighbors to join you for some friendly competition. Cornhole is a classic, and many sets feature team logos. Licensed beer pong tables are also available, along with logo-printed flying discs and footballs that are perfect for tossing around the parking lot. Start up a spirited game of limbo, a challenging round of Jenga®, or let your artistic side go wild with colorful sidewalk chalk. Ring toss games are also a blast, and making your own is easy. Paint a few wine bottles in your favorite team's colors, place them in a mesh basket, and make some rings from heavy twine or plastic and you’ll be ready to toss some rings before the coin toss.
Essential Tailgating Technology
The right combination of electronics can make any tailgating party more exciting. Turn up your favorite songs and playlists with the help of a Bluetooth speaker. Choose a model that delivers plenty of volume, and consider investing in a speaker that also functions as a charging station. Additional charging docks are always a plus, especially when you're spending the day with lots of people. Download any necessary apps or bring along a portable radio so everyone stays up-to-date on all the pre-game action.
Creative Ideas for Tailgating Food and Decorations
Simple and unique decorations can make your tailgate party stand out without emptying your wallet. Decorate your car windows with washable window markers, and surround your party space with team-colored garlands made of giant pom-poms or card stock pennants. Repurpose an old coffee can into a football windsock with team-colored streamers. Empty water bottles make excellent spirit shakers when filled with beads or small pebbles and glitter. Include a few decorative foods on your menu, such as cookies with colored icing and pennant-shaped cookies.
It doesn't take much to make your next tailgate party one of the highlights of the season. Incorporate food, fun and plenty of team spirit to put your pre-game celebration in the center of the tailgating action.
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