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Rookies Guide to Hosting a Tailgate Party


There are few events that offer a sense of community like attending a live football game. But if you really want to immerse yourself in this communal experience, try hosting a tailgate party. From the recognition of fellow fans to the overwhelming sense of connectedness, a tailgate party personifies the very essence of a GameDay tradition.       

But maybe you’re unsure as to how or where to begin creating your GameDay community. Relax. That’s why you have us.  No matter where you align in the tailgating range, from all-in to on-the-fence, we’ve got the skinny on how to make your first tailgate experience a success. 

Research the Perfect Spot 

tailgate area

Whether you’re fishing or sitting on a patio, finding the right spot is crucial for getting the most out of the experience. The same is true with your tailgate spot. Do your research. Where exactly are you going to set up shop before and after the game? Will your tailgate be in a high-traffic area or off the beaten path? Will you be able to bring all the items on your list or will there be restrictions? These are all things you need to think about when hosting your first tailgate. 

Tailgating is a highly popular pastime, so spots get reserved even before the season starts. So don’t drag your feet. Reserve your spot. If after this first paragraph you’re re-thinking your decision, maybe throw a homegate party first to test the waters. This will give you a GameDay barometer as to where your “gating” skills are at. 

Invest In the Gear 

Tailgate tent

Don’t just grab a bag of chips, a 6-pack of beer, beach lawn chairs, and a few multi-colored streamers and think you’re good to go. Invest in practical, yet, cool gear that will make you feel proud. After all, your tailgate will be seen by many fans, so don’t cheapen the place up or you may be the GameDay goat. Aside from having gear that will turn heads and stop traffic, invest in gear that will save you from the elements. 

Be prepared! Just like the time you went camping in suddenly freezing temps with only a Coleman blanket and a pair of Zubaz, you never want to show up to your tailgate unprepared for the weather.  

Knowing the game day weather is a must. Will you need a sunshade? Wind protection? Rain gear? A heater? These are all things to consider before you head to the game. If you’re a Vikings fan, you certainly know that you may need a parka in September and shorts in November.  

Get the Basic Essentials

If you want to look like you know what you’re doing, get some gear that will stop wandering fans in their tracks. In fact, you can take the guesswork out of what to get by having the most exclusive team gear delivered right to your doorstep at GameDay Essentials. Being a rookie in all, you’ll want to begin with the basic essentials. 

That means primal essentials for grilling, eating, drinking, sitting, gaming, and also the weather-ready essentials. It will be a real bummer if you’ve left some basic essentials off your list. Check out GameDay Essentials and see all the cool and unique items we offer.

Create a Make-Shift Bar

tailgate bar

Whether you’re serving up margaritas for NFL Hispanic Heritage Month or setting up shots to get the party started, a well-stocked bar will make your tailgate experience all the more festive. But if you’re a simple fan, serving ice-cold beer is never a bad idea. Regardless of beverage choice, ensure you pour in moderation – a well-oiled tailgate crowd can quickly become unruly given the intensity of the environment.  

To add to the atmosphere, string some LED lights around the bar and play tunes out of your GameDay Bluetooth speaker. Try to make your bar as unique as possible.  

Here are some tailgate drinks that will have your guests cheering. 

Provide the Games


If you’ve read this far and are thinking “this is easier than I thought,” then you’re ready for the main stage. Earn those extra credit points by ramping up the excitement by providing games.

Bring tailgating games like KanJam,  Frisbeer, Flickboards or Cornhole to keep your party entertained while you’re waiting for kickoff. Games are a great way to get everyone involved and keep the competitive energy high.

Let’s face it, you can only mingle so much. So grab a cold one and a playing buddy and get out there and play.   


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* Featured image courtesy of Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

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