Tailgate Party Ideas

Tailgate Party Ideas

Tailgating is the ultimate pre-game tradition for sports fans. With the right food, drinks, activities, and of course plenty of team spirit, you can pump up the fun before the big event. Use these ideas to throw an unforgettable tailgate party!

Tailgate Essentials

These basic elements form the foundation of great tailgating:

  • Food – Grilled favorites like burgers, hot dogs, and kabobs are tailgating classics. Prepare additional substantial appetizers and sides to fuel fans.
  • Drinks – Keep a variety of chilled beverages on ice – beer, soda, water, and game day cocktails. Offer non-alcoholic options too.
  • Shelter – A canopy tent, pop-up awning, or RV provides shade and coverage for your provisions and guests.
  • Seating – Folding chairs, camp chairs, or benches allow comfortable gathering and eating space. Have seating for all attendees.
  • Tables – Portable fold-out tables create surfaces for food, drinks, and activities. Include a few different heights.

With this basic infrastructure handled, it’s time to elevate your tailgate!

Delicious Food Ideas

Wow guests with creative dishes:

  • Game day chilis and stews – Hearty and portable in crockpots
  • Fresh grilled kebabs – Marinated steak, chicken, shrimp, or veggie skewers
  • Meat smoker creations – Spare ribs, pulled pork, or chicken are sure to please
  • Ultimate grilled cheese sandwiches – Gourmet takes on the classic
  • Crowd-pleasing wraps – Chicken, veggie, or deli fillings wrapped up
  • Dips and finger foods – Queso, guacamole, meatballs, fried snacks
  • Sweet treats – Custom cookies, cupcakes, or popcorn in team colors

Satisfying food keeps everyone energized and in good spirits for cheering.

Theme Your Tailgate

Rep your team with decorative touches:

  • Team flags and banners – Fly your colors high!
  • Custom napkins and tablecloths
  • Themed disposable tableware like plates and cups
  • Team logo balloons, streamers, and signs
  • Players’ jerseys framed and on display

Showcase your spirit through all the visual elements and decor.

Lawn Games and Activities

Keep guests engaged with fun and friendly competitions:

  • Cornhole – The classic tailgating game with team beanbags
  • Ladder toss – Target toss rings onto a ladder
  • KanJam – Frisbee toss game at a trash can “goal”
  • Waffle ball – Volleyball with a waffle ball and tailgating net
  • Spikeball – Fast-paced volleyball played with a small trampoline net
  • Football toss – Test accuracy aiming into a life-size end zone

The right games create camaraderie and don’t take up much space.

Rock the Tailgate Soundtrack

Get in the team spirit with audio:

  • Portable speaker for playing upbeat playlists to pump up fans
  • Team rally songs and sports anthems to sing along with
  • Microphone and PA system for impromptu pep talks or contests
  • Memorable audio clips of past game highlights

Let the music inspire cheering and nostalgia!

Celebratory Extras

Go big with special touches:

  • Live face painting station in team colors
  • Custom photo booth with team props
  • Slow motion video booth to capture party action
  • Team mascot appearance – Check if you can book the real deal or hire a performer
  • Marching band – A few musicians can rouse team spirit

Find ways to create an unforgettable fan experience!

Keep the Good Times Flowing

An Artic Refresh Ice and Water Machine keeps beverages optimally chilled with an endless supply of fresh ice on demand. This self-contained unit continually produces ice so you’ll never run out even with crowds.

The advanced filtration creates purer, better-tasting ice for the ultimate cool sip. And the hands-free dispenser makes filling coolers and ice buckets easy as can be.

With Artic Refresh delivering icy goodness 24/7, you can focus on fun with total peace of mind!

FAQs About Tailgating

How much food is needed for a tailgate party?

Plan for approximately 1-2 lbs of food per person. Tailgates tend to involve heavy snacking over long hours. Include a variety of hearty apps along with main dishes.

How much should you budget for a tailgate party?

Expect to spend $15-25 per person, excluding any major equipment purchases. Food, drinks, disposables, decor, and entertainment can add up with large groups.

What items are essential to bring tailgating?

Must-haves include seating, tables, food, grill, cooler, ice, beverages, shade/cover, trash bags, paper towels, plasticware, and napkins. Prepare for mealtime and cleanup.

What drinks work well for tailgating crowds?

Tailgates tend to involve lots of beer. But also offer bottled water, sports drinks, sodas, and a Signature cocktail. Have non-alcoholic choices too.

How much ice is needed for a large tailgate?

Estimate 1 lb of ice per person as a baseline, more in hot weather. Allow 7-10 lbs of ice per cooler. And stock extra bags for backup and replenishing throughout the day.

What games work best for tailgate parties?

Top tailgate games are cornhole, ladder ball, spikeball, football toss, flip cup, beer pong, and washers. Choose easy, active games for all skill levels.

The best tailgate parties bring people together through great food, drink, remembrances, and camaraderie. Use these ideas to throw an epic pre-game bash that gets everyone pumped for the big matchup!