Let’s be real — half the fun of going to the game is tailgating with all of your friends. Burgers. Chili. Face paint. Cornhole. Everyone has their own tailgating traditions, but we have a few tips you should seriously consider adding to your tailgate playbook.
Get there early
Don’t miss out on prime grilling real estate just because you wanted to hit snooze a few more times (we’re guilty of this one, too). Pre-plan where you want to be and be sure to get there early to set up. We know, sleep on the weekends is precious… but you won’t ever regret having the best spot!
Get a head start on your menu
Some people like to tailgate gourmet-style, but we prefer to keep things easy! Hot dogs and burgers are an inexpensive way to feed a bunch of people. You can also make cheap and easy snacks like this buffalo chicken dip that will make the crowd go wild (or at least your tailgate crew).
Once you have your menu sorted out, prep as much as possible before you leave! You don’t know the meaning of struggle until you try slicing tomatoes on a folding table in the wind. Dice onions for your hot dogs, slice tomatoes for the burgers and wash those celery sticks beforehand. And to make life even easier, put all of your toppings in one large plastic container with the cheese and condiments.
Behold, the tailgate toolbox
This tip is genius. (No modesty here.) We all know that grilling takes a lot of stuff to really do it right: tongs, spatulas, spoons, sauces, seasonings. It’s annoying to try to keep up with it all, right? Behold, the tailgate toolbox. Just pick up a plastic or metal toolbox from your local hardware store. They’re usually pretty inexpensive and make life on gameday a breeze. You can organize it however you want to, but we prefer to keep grilling utensils on top, and sauces and seasonings in the bottom. It’s also helpful to have stuff like duct tape and bungee cords in there just in case your tent breaks!
Keep the essentials handy
Nobody likes feeling unprepared, and things can change in a hurry at a tailgate party. We recommend keeping a couple essentials to make sure your gameday is worry-free:
It’s always a good idea to have a first aid kit with you! Burns and cuts aren’t all that uncommon, so keep a well-stocked kit just in case. Bandages, gauze, and ointments are must-haves.
Depending on where you live, extra clothes may be important. For the warmer months, rain jackets and ponchos are life savers, and if you live somewhere cold, keep some extra blankets, gloves, and hats handy in case things get chilly.
Don’t forget trash bags! No one likes a litterer and those on-campus trash cans get full pretty quick.
Paint your cooler
Okay, this one is just for style points, but it is suuuuuper easy to make your own custom cooler to show off some team spirit! Any cheap cooler will do. Just head to the craft store and pick up some acrylic paints, sponges, and brushes. Pick a design, decide where you want everything to go and start painting! Check out these steps to perfect your cooler painting process.
Can’t make it to the game?
No worries! Just because you’ve got a busy schedule doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the game from the comfort of home. Be sure to check out all of our TVs! We have some big screen options that’ll fit your living room and your budget.