Top 6 Tailgating Tips

Themes Top Tailgating Tips GMC Acadia

Pack in tons of tailgating fun with a GMC Acadia, including seating for up to eight and fold-flat third seats to give you plenty of room for your tailgating items. 

Fire up your team spirit before the ball’s snapped by throwing a family-friendly tailgate so epic that you’ll be nominated for MVP. We teamed up with GMC Acadia to bring you these top tailgating tips.

Plan Ahead

You’ll want to show up about three to four hours before the whistle blows to have plenty of time to fire up the grill, enjoy the pre-game festivities, and pack it all up before heading to the bleachers. Scope out the facilities ahead of time so you’ll know whether or not a bathroom is available, and be sure to bring umbrellas and games that can be played inside the car in case the weather turns sour. If you anticipate a large crowd leaving after your team’s victory, you may also want to prep for a post-tailgate celebration so you can wait out the traffic.

Know the Rules

Check beforehand to see if the parking lot or facility has declared any items or activities off limits. Some don’t allow grills, for example, so you’ll want to plan accordingly. Also check if the facility allows outside food to be brought into the bleachers in case you want a more healthy and/or affordable option than the concessions.

Claim Your Space

If you can, park near a grassy spot or at the end of a row to give you more space to spread out. (Bonus points for finding a spot with a tree or other shade if it’s a scorcher.) Plan to arrive extra early if several other vehicles will be joining the gathering so that you can park next to each other and multiply your tailgating area. If you have younger kids, make sure you park as far away from the flow of traffic as possible so the little ones can play safely.

Food & Drinks

Make it easy on yourself and plan to serve only grab-and-go foods such as burgers, hot dogs, and chips. This not only eliminates the need to pack utensils but also makes it easier for tailgaters to hold their drinks and food, particularly if you’re not bringing folding tables. During colder months, fill thermoses with a variety of soups. If you really want to show off your culinary prowess, limit it to one or two special dishes. Remember, you’re there to have fun, not slave over the grill.

To really flaunt your team spirit, serve drinks in your team’s colors. Can’t think of a blue beverage? Adding food coloring to lemonade makes virtually any color combination possible. For dessert, get the kids to help make football-shaped cookies or cupcakes with color-appropriate frosting.

Decorate Your Drive

Little kids will have a blast wrapping the car with crepe paper in your team’s colors. You can also let them choose a helium balloon that you can float high above your car to make it easy for friends to spot you in the crowd. Hit a thrift store a few days beforehand so that kids can pick out T-shirts, bandanas, scarves, etc. in team colors, or draft a bigger kid to head up a face-painting station. If your kids have made signs to hang around the vehicle, be sure to use painter’s tape so you won’t damage the car’s finish.

Tailgating Checklist

For die-hard tailgaters, use a toolbox to organize your gear — condiments in one drawer; spatulas, tongs, and other utensils in another. Not only will items be easier to find, but it’ll also make it easier to pack for the next game. Use cardboard six-pack carriers for mustard, ketchup, and other spreads. Other items to consider when planning your tailgate:

  • Tent/shade
  • Folding table and chairs
  • Trash bags
  • Tin buckets or aluminum pans (to discard hot coals)
  • Spatulas and/or tongs
  • Bottle openers
  • Can opener
  • Basting brush (if you’re barbecuing)
  • Flashlight
  • Paper towels
  • Wet wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sunscreen
  • Ponchos
  • Plastic zip bags
  • Sharpie
  • Masking tape
  • Games, such as balls to throw around or a beanbag toss
  • First-aid kit (if you don’t already have one in your trunk)

Finally, be sure to clean up before you head in for the game. Not only is this common courtesy, but it also helps ensure that the facility doesn’t crack down on future festivities.

Ready to get your game face on? Start getting your team together for a tailgate with this Evite invitation.

tailgating tips