No tailgate is complete without good food, good drinks, and great friends. But what if you’re planning an ultimate tailgate party?
These types of pre-game sporting events require upgrades. Ever watch the pregame show from the parking lot? On a portable entertainment system?
How about sitting in a hammock chair suspended from the back of your pickup? While drinking a frozen cocktail mixed in your gas powered blender.
You haven’t lived until you’ve experienced an ultimate tailgate party.
Get padded up and prepare yourself to learn everything you need to know to make your next tailgate party the talk of the parking lot.
No tailgate would be complete without food. And lots of it.
Football fans are generally large men who like to drink and eat mass quantities before entering the stadium — where chances are, they’ll drink and eat even more.
Tailgating grub is not what it used to be. Sure, you can still bring traditional burgers and hot dogs, but why stop there?
How about some ribs? A steak? Kabobs? Sausage? We’re talking about an ultimate tailgate party here. Food is a staple.
Pack the Essentials
If you plan to bring burgers and dogs there are some additions you can’t do without.
- Buns (yes, you need both hot dog and hamburger buns)
- Ketchup and mustard
No matter what your meat of choice is, you’ll need some paper goods. Though most guys are pretty talented at juggling a beer in one hand, a burger in the other and still managing to play catch.
It’s still a good idea to pack some plates, napkins, and plastic utensils — especially if your food choices are upgraded to ultimate tailgate party status.
An Upgraded Menu
So, you want to ‘wow’ your tailgating comrades, along with the rivals parked to your right and left.
There’s nothing better than throwing some ribs on the grill. You can cook up some steaks if you have the proper cutlery. Sausage is always a win! It can be eaten on a roll, or on a plate.
Want to get really fancy? Bring salads, pickles, beans or peppers and onions. The possibilities are endless.
Want to keep it simple? Throw some chips and pretzels in a bag and call it a day. If you do choose one of the upgraded food options we suggest a few additional condiments like BBQ sauce, salt, and pepper and relish.
A ‘Man’ Grill
If you plan on cooking any of these delectable meats listed above, you’ll need a grill that can handle it. And a chef, so make sure either you or one of your buddies know their way around a spatula and some propane.
If you want a grill that does it all, check out the Coleman Road Trip LXE Grill. It might be lightweight and portable, but it can cook a mean bratwurst.
The Coleman Road Trip LXE has two adjustable, independent 20,000 BTU burners, side tables, push button ignition and multiple cooking surfaces, including a griddle and stove.
Pregame pancakes, anyone?
Though the Coleman Roadtrip LXE comes with side tables, you might want to bring along some larger folding tables to hold your feast for service.
All of this delicious food, cooked on your beastly grill, won’t be any good if it’s not kept cold.
You need a cooler that can stand-up to potentially warm weather, long hours and perpetual opening and closing when you hear, “Throw another burger on the grill!”
Yeti is one of the most trustest names in keeping things cool. Created by 2 brothers over a decade ago, Yeti coolers are proven to withstand physical abuse and leakage, while keeping things cold and fresh.
There is a wide range of coolers to choose from, both soft and hard. Some of Yeti’s most popular designs include the Roadie and the Tundra. Both would be ideal for your ultimate tailgate party.
Beers, Booze and Soda Pop
No ultimate tailgate party would be complete without cold beverages. Both alcoholic and none.
We all love a nice cold beer before (and during) the game. You’ll want to invest in a quality cooler to keep your beers frosty. Another important component? Ice!
Be sure to bring plenty of ice. Nothing kills the vibe of a party more than running out of something. It’s not exactly easy to pack up your ride and run to the nearest supermarket when there’s an ultimate tailgate party going on!
Not everyone will be indulging in alcohol before the game. Pack some sodas, water, and non-alcoholic beverage choices for those who aren’t drinking.
It might not be a bad idea to bring some wine for the female football fans in your group. Boxed or bottled, just don’t forget the bottle opener and some cups.
Kegs & Portable Beer Taps
If you and your tailgating friends are serious beer enthusiasts, you might consider bringing along a keg and portable beer tap.
Get together prior to game day and decide on what type of beer you want. Majority rules on this one fellas.
You’ll need to safely transport the keg to and from the game and make sure one person is responsible for returning the keg the next morning. Not doing so could result in unwanted charges from the liquor store.
Since your ultimate tailgate party might involve setting up and hanging out hours before the game, you might need some entertainment (you know, when you’re not busy eating and drinking).
Bringing some games is an awesome way to pass the time and have some laughs.
Some of the best games for your ultimate tailgate party include tossing a ball, bean bag or frisbee.
Cornhole has quickly become one of the most popular games for backyard BBQs, camping trips, and now your ultimate tailgate party. There are many portable, lightweight options available that include easy set-up and clean-up.
Just don’t fight over who gets what color bean bags. Especially if one of them is your team’s colors.
Kan Jam is another popular outdoor game. The purpose? Two teams of 2 players try to throw a frisbee into the opposing ‘kan’.
Your partner is allowed to deflect your throw by pushing the frisbee into the ‘kan’ with a slap. Your partner can also hit the ‘kan’ with the frisbee or, for an instant win, throw the frisbee through the small slot in the ‘kan’ and prepare to gloat.
This one seems like a no brainer. Bring your favorite pig skin and toss the ball around with one, or more, of your friends.
You can practice being quarterback, catching the winning touchdown or punting a field goal. Just be aware of your surroundings.
Tailgating draws a crowd. You’re likely to be surrounded by many other fans hosting their own ultimate tailgate party.
When playing any game that involves throwing a ball, don’t spread yourself too far across the lot. This could result in someone, or something, being hit by the ball. And that would be a major buzz kill.
Yeah, that’s right. There’s actually a portable entertainment system that will allow you to watch all the pregame action during your own pregame festivities.
Sure, you’ll need a TV that fits into the unit, as well as a satellite antenna and services to pick up the game.
If this sounds a little extreme to you, maybe just a Bluetooth tailgate speaker will do for your ultimate tailgate party. Your speaker can pump out your favorite party jams to get you and your friends ready for kick-off.
Not everyone enjoys sitting on a tailgate, cooler or a case of beer for hours prior to entering the stadium.
There are countless chairs available that will provide comfort and a nice place to rest your bottom when taking breaks from cornhole and cooking.
Folding chairs are a simple and cheap way to make your ultimate tailgate party guests comfortable. Options are endless.
If you want some real comfort, consider the Hammaka trailer hitch stand and cradle chair set. This set of chairs can easily mount to the back for your truck or RV. The hammock design and foot rest guarantee to deliver ultimate relaxation at your ultimate tailgate party.
These reclining chairs offer superb comfort and are perfect for taking a quick nap before entering the stadium. Most chairs are designed to be lightweight and reduce pressure and tension.
This will ensure you’re perfectly relaxed and ready to cheer your team to victory.
Ultimate Tailgate Party Themes
So, you want to get creative with your next tailgating party. Maybe having the best grill, coolest chairs and the coldest keg isn’t enough. Or maybe your girlfriend or other loved one wants to get in on the action.
Planning a themed tailgate party is the best way to take it from ordinary to ultimate.
Just because your ultimate tailgate party is themed doesn’t mean it can’t be cool, tough and dude-approved. Bring some decorations and banners showing pride for your team. Hang them from your tailgate, tables or across your coolers.
Wearing your team’s colors is a must at any ultimate tailgate party. Encourage all those in attendance to wear a team jersey, T-shirt or hat. Some might decide to bring signs, blankets or even face paint.
The more team spirit, the better.
Table cloths, themed cups, and plates or even an inflatable chair decorated with your team’s logo will make your team affiliation undeniable.
Tailgating Rules to Party By
Yes, your ultimate tailgate party should mainly be about sharing laughs, drinks and good food with friends. You might even make some new friends when meeting parking lot neighbors that share your same passion for football and partying.
But, there is some basic tailgating etiquette that will serve you well.
Ditch the Body Paint
We’re all about cheering on your team and being a fanatic football fan. That’s what ultimate tailgating parties are made of. But body paint is never a good idea.
It’s almost a guarantee that at some point in the day or evening, you’ll sweat, wipe your face, give a hug or rub up against someone. Your body paint won’t make it past the first quarter. Wear a shirt and call it a day.
Don’t Try to Outdrink Your Buddies
We all love a nice, relaxing drink before we watch our favorite team play. One, two, even three or four beers for most is enough to create a nice, relaxed feel without much impairment.
Don’t be that guy who tries to drink the most. This can (and probably) will result in stumbling, falling, becoming rowdy, potentially running to the nearest bathroom to get sick or missing the game.
If you prefer to watch football games while intoxicated, we suggest doing so from the comfort of your own. A public parking lot isn’t the place.
Leave With Everything You Came With
With so many accessories making your ultimate tailgate party the best it can be, there will be a lot to keep track of. Be sure to make a mental note of your supplies when you arrive at the stadium and before departing.
It’s not a bad idea to take note of where you’re parked too. Often times light posts are numbered or color-coded for this very reason. We’ve all been there — you walk out into the parking lot, toward the spot where you parked your car, only to discover it’s missing.
Once the initial panic that you’ve been robbed subsides, you realize you simply forgot where you parked. Don’t let this be you.
Keep track of not only your possessions but your friends. Make sure you leave with the same number of people you arrived with. And always select a designated driver.
Tailgate Party Like a Rockstar
Tailgating is an awesome way to spend time with friends and make new ones — all surrounding a true love of the game.
Football fans are some of the most dedicated in the sports world. So, it’s no surprise they take the game and their ultimate tailgate party very seriously.
So, pour yourself a beer, throw some meat on the grill and proudly wear those team colors as you head out for your next ultimate tailgate party.
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