Football season is here, and to get the most out of this exciting time you need to be prepared for the ultimate tailgating experience. From grilling to games, here are some helpful tips to get you ready to host the best tailgate in your area.
1. Prepare your vehicle
You’ll need to be sure you have the right vehicle when you’re getting ready to tailgate. While a sedan can carry some tailgating items, an SUV or pickup truck works best. They both offer incredible cargo space for things like grills, coolers, chairs, tents and entertainment. Truck beds can also double as a seating area once you have all of your tailgating items out on the pavement or grass. If you don’t have a truck or SUV, try to see if you can borrow one from a friend or even opt for a rental.
2. Get the grub
Tailgating isn’t a refined experience, so you can forego foods that need to be eaten with forks and knives — it’s all about hands-on grub. If you’re going to grill, be sure to get hamburgers and hot dogs as well as all the toppings your guests desire, such as ketchup, mustard, pickles (or relish), mayo, cheese and buns. Chips make for an easy side, and if you want to go an extra step, nachos are usually a crowd favorite. With just tortilla chips, nacho cheese, ground beef and jalapenos or salsa, you’re ready to go. Don’t forget bowls or plates (and napkins).
If you’re trying to impress, you can even make food that can be quickly reheated right before game time. Burritos, wraps and hot sandwiches (think pulled pork) can be made the night before and wrapped in aluminum foil. Once you’re at your tailgating location, fire up the grill and warm up your portable food before serving.
3. Games and entertainment
While eating is fun, things can easily get dull if everyone is just standing around chomping on burgers. Be sure to pack some entertainment for your tailgate, whether it’s games like cornhole, playing cards or even table tennis, if you’ve got the space.
Another entertainment option that’s a little more adventurous is providing a television for pre-game coverage. Some vehicles have power outlets and most smart TVs can connect to a mobile hotspot. If you’ve got an unlimited data plan, you should be all set. But if not, and you’re still hoping to entertain with pre-game coverage or just some great tunes, a radio will work as well.
With these tips in mind, your next tailgate should be a big hit with your friends and family. The biggest tip of all is to have fun and don’t stress out about the little things. Just root for your team and hope they win!