36 Tailgating Party Ideas

A tailgating party is a good reason to get to the game early.  What's a tailgate party?  It's a gathering of super fans before the game to enjoy delicious food and passionately debate the impending game.  And if you can't make it to the game, host a tailgating party right at home.  Tailgates have grown from eating off an open tailgate to watching pre-game shows in tents, lounging in comfortable chairs, all while celebrating the love of the game.   

36 Tailgating Party Ideas

It's Time For A Tailgating Party

Socializing is an important part of a tailgating party.  And if the host wants to socialize too, advance planning is key.  Take a look at the party ideas below that are sure to make this laid-back occasion a win-win.

1.  Tailgating party supplies.

Show off your team spirit with themed party supplies.  With these kits, there's no mistaking whose side you are on.  Not all party supply kits are created equal, so read the description to see exactly what is included.

2.  Nascar tailgating supplies.

If your tailgating event will be held trackside, take advantage of the theme.  Take a look at these checkered flag party supplies and a Nascar themed flag that drive the racing theme to the finish line.

3.  Tailgating food grill.

Grilling has become an essential part of the tailgate experience.  Whether you are planning for a small or large group, there is a grill to fit your needs.  These grills are powerful and lightweight making them ideal for a tailgating party.

4.  Grilling supplies.

Up your game with the right equipment.  A themed apron can make you feel like a cook and the right tools will make you look like one.

Amazon Shop Tailgating Collegiate Aprons

A little something for grill enthusiasts...

Drinks for tailgating.

5.  Water bottle labels.

Stay hydrated by keeping plenty of water on hand.  To make it easy, fill coolers with frozen water bottles.  When the water bottles melt, you have cold water to drink.  Take a look at these water bottle labels that make a simple drink of water look like part of the game plan.

Amazon Shop Tailgating Water Bottle Labels

6.  Tailgating cooler.

Do you know about this trick?  After filling coolers, cover the cooler with a white blanket to reflect the sun and prevent ice from melting.

7.  Reusable ice packs.

Simplify keeping beverages cold with reusable ice packs.  Choose the size that best fits your cooler and avoid cleaning up the melted mess that comes with ice.

Amazon Shop Tailgating Party Ice Packs

8.  Tailgating Koozies.

A creative can cooler is sure to inspire instant replays.  Not only will fellow fanatics enjoy them at the game, but they will certainly be used again and again after the game. 

9.  Drink up.

Never lose possession of your cup again.  These cup organizers include a marker, so that as guests grab a cup they can also write their name on it.  Saves cups and makes it easy to keep up with your drink.

Amazon Shop Tailgating Cup Holders With Markers

10.  Best tent for tailgating.

Yes, tents are a staple at a tailgating party.  Whether you're looking for a traditional pop-up tent or an awning that attaches to your vehicle, choose the style that works best for you.  Tents are a good investment because they can be used in many other ways than tailgating...beach trips, birthday parties, pool side, etc. anytime a covering or side are needed.

11.  Tailgate chairs. 

Score points with guests by providing comfortable places to sit.  Chairs that are easy to set up and break down make it a snap.  Take a look at these chairs that feature team logos and versatile seating options.

Amazon Shop Tailgating Collegiate Chairs

12.  Tailgating safety.

Safety first!  Being prepared for whatever comes your way is as important off the field as it is in the game.  Keep safety items within reach and that everyone can see.  And when the need arises, you're ready for action...first-aid kits, fire extinguishers, etc.

13.  Tailgate invitations.

The goal is to send an invitation that will have guests all pumped up and ready to go.  Let them know the location of the tailgating party and when the pre-game celebrating begins.  Upload a photo and add personalized text to make it even more fun.

Football Tailgating Party - black gold Invitation
Football Tailgating Party Invitation
Tailgate Party BBQ Football Invitation

14.  Tailgating table.

Folding tables are ideal at any outdoor celebration.  Easy to transport and set up, they're the perfect place for food and drinks.  Take a look at the options below that go from expected portable tables to a cool table that offers guests a chance to play.

Amazon Shop Tailgating Folding Tables

15.  Table covers.

Looking for table covers that you don't have to fight to keep on the table?  These fitted table covers are the answer.  They don't blow in the wind and are styled with favorite team logs. 

16.  Food for tailgating party.

Our favorite food for tailgating party?  Tailgating chili recipes are our go to food choice for cold weather games.  Chili can be made ahead and kept warm in a slow cooker.  It goes great with hot dogs and disposable bowls makes serving and cleanup one less thing to do.

17.  Trash cans.

There are no penalties when problems are solved before they become a problem.  Trash is inevitable and these collapsible trash cans and trash bag holders are a convenient way to keep the party space clean.  Providing multiple containers makes recycling an easy thing to do as well.

Amazon Shop Tailgating Trash Cans

18.  What to wear to tailgate party?

A tailgating party is the one time that being dressed like everyone else at the party is a good thing.  And not only will your favorite team apparel be noticed at the game, but wearing it at home while watching the game on tv is the next best thing to being there.

19.  What to bring to a tailgating party?

Food, beverages, and all the necessary items that it takes to keep the pre-game party rolling.  Remember there will be no mad dashes to the store, so make a list so that you have everything you need...grill, charcoal, food, drinks, sanitizing wipes, paper towels, you know the drill.

20.  Hand sanitizers.

Give guests a way to keep their hands clean with hand sanitizers.  Whether you prefer packets or bottles, make sure there are plenty of them available for guests.

White Alabama A Hand Sanitizer Packet
White Alabama A Hand Sanitizer
Football Sports Design Hand Sanitizer Packet

21.  Tailgate party music.

Go big or go home with amped up tunes.  It's a fact that music affects our moods, so put together a playlist of upbeat songs and game day anthems.  So that everyone doesn't miss a beat, set up a portable Bluetooth speaker so that everyone is fired up before game time.  (We have had the JBL Flip 4 for several years now and love using it.)

Amazon Shop Tailgating Bluetooth Speakers

22.  Cold finger foods for tailgating.

Most cold finger foods can be prepared in advance, kept in the refrigerator, and transferred to the cooler when it is time to go.  That's a good reason to cheer if you're the host that's want to enjoy the party too.  Think fruit, dips, deviled eggs, potato salad, etc.

23.  Tailgate cornhole boards.

Add some extra fun to your tailgating party with a friendly game of cornhole.  These cornhole sets feature team logos and provide hours of entertainment at the tailgate or at home after the game.

24.  Serving ideas for tailgating foods.      

What's all the hype about tailgating foods?  It's about easy to use serving pieces that embrace the theme and make the food look even more enticing.  Take a look...

25.  Tailgate party decoration ideas.

Are decorations necessary at a tailgating party?  Just like any other party, anything you do to reinforce the theme adds to the festive atmosphere.  Hang banners, pennant string flags, or fly balloons to express your team spirit in an uncomplicated way.

26.  Portable ice bin table.

Veteran tailgaters know that self-serve is the best option on game day. These portable open top cooler tables are an ideal solution for filling and chilling cold drinks for a crowd.

Amazon Shop Tailgating Ice Cooler Tables

27.  Easy food for tailgating.

Tailgating foods that are easy to make and transport work best.  There are a multitude of choices that will satisfy food cravings...salsa and nachos, sandwiches that can be bought or prepared ahead of time, French onion dip and chips, sliders, chili, etc.

Easy Food For Tailgating

Scoop and score with these chip and dip sets...

28.  Tailgate party photos.

Set up a photo booth so guests can show off their team spirit.  It's as much an activity as it is a photo opt, and everyone will want to get in on the action.  Take a look at these themed photo props that will make picture taking a blast and you'll have the pictures to prove it. 

29.  Face tattoos.

Let's face it, tattoos are fun.  Choose tattoos that capture your team spirit without a permanent commitment.

Amazon Shop Tailgating Party Face Tattoos

30.  Best tailgating dips.

The best food for tailgating party always comes back to dips.  Everyone loves them and most of the preparation can be done in advance.  Check out our favorite dip recipes that have been kitchen tested and family approved.

31.  Organization is key.

Being organized is crucial with a tailgate.  It's no fun if you get to the parking lot and find you left the grill at home.  Creating a list on the computer is a great time saver, simply print and repeat.  We love these easy to carry caddies that allow you the convenience of grabbing one item filled with everything you need.  Great for camping too!

32.  Blankets.

It's the one thing you can't control...the weather.  While the excitement of the game is sometimes enough, make the most of weathering the cold with blankets featuring team logos.

Amazon Shop Tailgating Collegiate Blankets

33.  Tailgating dessert.

Even your tailgating desserts should make a shout out to the theme.  Edible images, cupcake liners, and picks should get guests cheering before the gates even open.

34.  Flags.

Make your presence known by flying your team flag high and proud.  It looks great at the game and also can be flown at home on game day.

35.  Toss games.

Play your own game.  These games are easy to set up and provide hours of fun entertainment.

36.  Card games.

Should a card game break out at your tailgating party, be prepared.  A folding card table is always a handy thing to have and no one will expect themed playing cards. 

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