Fall means football, and for many fans, that means tailgating. In the football hotbed of Florida, people show their pride for the Buccaneers and root for their college alma maters every weekend. Tailgating is a great way to enjoy good food, hang with friends and family, and get ready for the big game.
Here are some tailgating tips for your next gathering, whether you’re a football fanatic or a gridiron novice.
Don’t wait until the last minute to figure out what to serve. Planning ahead allows you to do prep work, pre-pack certain items in containers and determine how long things will take to prepare. Try a few of these delicious tailgating recipes from Southern Living and from Food Network. Keep your food selections simple – before the game is not the time to break out a complex recipe, and don’t forget to purchase your perfect parking spot early.
Bring the fun
It’s not a tailgate without games, so keep everyone in a spirited mood with playing cards, easily set-up games like cornhole or, if you’re “home-gating,” horseshoes. Bring a football along and practice your last-second touchdown re-creation for the big game.
Make a playlist
Get fired up by creating a tailgating playlist that features classic stadium songs, TV football themes, college fight songs and anything that gets the blood pumping. Check out this cool hack to turn some of your tailgate items into a homemade speaker system.
Go for double duty
Be smart and make some of your tailgate items work twice. Freeze water bottles before putting them in your cooler. It’s like having another ice block, and when it melts, you’ve got cold water. Plus, bring your supplies in a plastic bin with a lid, and stick dirty dishes in there when the party is over.
One of the best parts of tailgating is meeting new people, even if they’re cheering against your favorite team. The experience is fun to share, and they may have some yummy food you can sample. If you’re home-gating, invite the neighbors over for a backyard party.
There are hundreds of other tailgating hacks on the internet, including these NFL tailgating tips. Every game is another chance to experiment, until you come up with the right combination of fun, food and football.