The best tailgating parties are not only easy to throw together, but they’re also so much fun that some guests forget to watch the game! It’s like two parties rolled into one. So, whether you’re a pro or you’re hosting one for the first time, proper preparation is key. When you follow our tailgating checklist, you’ll cover all the bases and ensure that nothing important is forgotten. From grillware and cooking appliances to entertainment and equipment (and food and drinks, duh…), we have everything you need right here on this tailgating checklist.
Serving utensils, cooking appliances, and similar items
The first thing to have on your tailgating checklist are cooking appliances, serving utensils, and similar items. Most tailgaters enjoy whipping out the grill, so plan on packing a portable one, along with charcoal, matches, and lighter fluid. (Note that some stadiums place limitations on the types of grills allowed, so be sure to double-check the rules first!) You may also need the following items:
- Cooking tongs
- Basting brush
- Grilling utensils
- Serving tools (including a buffet server to keep the food warm)
- Hot plate
- Slow cooker filled with delicious food and kept warm with a thermal bag
And because accidents can and do happen, it’s also a good idea to bring along a first aid kit. Don’t forget the sunscreen and bug spray during the warmer months!
Essential gear to make your tailgating experience memorable
Some tailgating parties consist of little more than a cooler packed with food and a portable grill. That’s one way to do it, but to make your fangating experience truly memorable for all the right reasons, we say why not ramp things up a notch! It’s not easy to dig into a plate of ribs while you’re also holding the plate, so consider bringing along some camping chairs and a folding table. You might even want to grab a tent or canopy to keep your guests in the shade. And what’s a tailgate party without some team banners or flags?
Games and entertainment for guests of all ages
Because you’ll be in the parking lot for a while before game time, you might want to consider bringing a portable TV to watch the pre-game shows. Also, it never hurts to bring games or other activities to keep people entertained!
Consider the following:
Don’t forget the food and drinks!
This should be a no-brainer, but we had to say it! You’ve assembled all the grillware, cooking appliances, and serving tools, but your mission is not yet complete. You still need the raw ingredients to work your magic. We’ve got some mouthwatering recipes, like tater tot poppers, BBQ ribs, brats, chili cheese dogs, and yes, even some salads. Just follow the directions for a hosting experience that’s as easy as 1-2-3. Don’t forget the condiments!
You’ll also want plenty of drinks on your tailgating checklist, including both non-alcoholic and boozy options. If kids are attending, juice pouches are always a hit. When you’re selecting which alcoholic drinks to serve, think beyond the standard six-pack. You can easily wow your guests with mixed drinks like alcoholic slushies and lemonades, as well as cocktails, of course.
Check off your tailgating checklist
Whether you’re heading out to tailgate at the stadium or you’re planning a game day party at home, you’ll find everything you need at Hungry Fan. We’ve made it easier with products that take the stress out of party prep. From grillware that withstands the elements to drink machines to fun dessert makers, we’re your one-stop shop to ensure no fan leaves hungry.