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Tailgating Ideas for NFL and College Football Season

in Activities

When cheering on your favorite team, use our quick tailgating guide for recipes, beverages, décor, and spirit wear.


When the crisp air hits, one thing is certain for football fans—Saturdays and Sundays will be dedicated to watching games. If you’ve got tickets, or heck even if you don’t, tailgating is a great way to pass the time. Use these tailgating ideas to celebrate with friends old and new and cheer on your favorite team. Follow these tips and tricks so you’re confident and ready to head out the door every weekend during football season.



Comfort food, bite-sized appetizers, and anything that comes in a Crock-Pot are sure to be crowd-pleasers. If you have a portable grill, bring it along. You can’t go wrong with anything containing meat, cheese, or chips. Toss some burgers and hotdogs on the grill. Serve next to a pot of chili (prepped ahead of time and transported in a slow cooker) and an array of chips and dips.



Cocktails and mocktails bring a dash of fun to the game-day experience. Beer might be the standard but why not kick it up a notch? Apple cider, brought in already heated in a thermos, can be consumed plain or with a dash of Calvados (apple brandy from France) and regular brandy. Add a bit of maple syrup for a natural sweetener. Bring orange juice and champagne to mix together (1/2 and 1/2) with 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier to make a mimosa. Or just straight orange juice for the grandkids.



Team flags, tablecloths, and blankets all help set the atmosphere. Show your team spirit with color and logos. Camping chairs, folding tables, and extra seating pads for when the game starts are a must. Remember coolers make great seats. Bonus points for any cakes, paper plates, or napkins in team colors or in football shapes.


Spirit Wear

It’s an unspoken rule that you wear your team’s colors the day of the game. Whether that’s a jersey, a turtleneck or sweater, or even a team sweatshirt, by donning the colors, you’re not only showing your spirit, you’ll feel a sense of camaraderie with fellow fans. Bring layers since the temp will drop as the sun goes down and don’t forget comfortable shoes. If you have face paint, bring it along to help the little ones show their team spirit on game day.