Gear up for game day by throwing a touchdown of a tailgate. Read below to get our top 10 tailgating tips, brought to you by Evite in partnership with Hefty® Ultimate™ Easy Grip® Cups.
1. Personalize your party invitation: Start getting the team together for your tailgate by sending a football-themed invitation like the free EVITE invitation below. You can even customize it to match your team’s colors by uploading your own design or photo. Take a look at out our Tailgating invitations or Watch the Game invitations to find your favorite football design.
2. Do your research: Before the big game, scope out your tailgating site and research the rules regarding parking, grilling and drinking. Also be sure to take note of the number and location of restrooms. Check the weather and plan accordingly (bring an umbrella to be on the safe side since it can protect you from both the sun and rain), then get directions to the stadium so you don’t get lost on the way.
3. Prep your party supplies: Keep a toolbox of tailgating essentials in the truck of your car — you can use it to easily organize your supplies (condiments in one drawer, utensils in another, etc). You can also use a caddy or cardboard six-pack carrier to store silverware, sauces and condiments. Don’t forget to pack some of these other must-haves:
- Folding tables and chairs
- Trash bags (we recommend Hefty®)
- Hefty® Slider Bags
- Paper towels
- Hand wipes/hand sanitizer
- Bottle and can openers
- Cutting board
- Masking tape
- First-aid kit
4. Go disposable: Buy disposable dishware, utensils and cups so you don’t have to haul home dirty dishes. With disposable partyware, there’s no need to worry about broken glass. (Tip: Hefty® Ultimate™ Easy Grip® Cups are crack resistant, meaning they can withstand even the most over-the-top, out-of-hand parties.)
5. Pack plenty of ice: Nobody likes lukewarm beverages. Keep drinks cold by packing plenty of ice (or ice packs) for your coolers — chill cans and bottles beforehand, then pack them at the bottom of the cooler and layer ice on top.
6. Get your grill game-day ready: Do as much grill prep as possible prior to the tailgate. Get your grill in tip-top shape — start by scrubbing the grates with a grill brush, then soaking them in a soap-and-water solution. Take inventory of your barbecue tools so you won’t be without any of the essentials — and don’t forget to stock up on charcoal or lighter fluid.
7. Keep the menu simple: Stick to snack-sized finger foods so guests can grab them and go while they watch the game. Score big by serving barbecue favorites like burgers, hot dogs and potato chips. For dessert, make or buy football-themed cookies or brownies frosted in team colors. Do food prep the night before (including marinating, chopping and packing ingredients) to prevent last-minute pre-party stress.
8. Stake out your space: Be sure to give yourself adequate time to score a good spot, since die-hard fans arrive early. You should plan to arrive at least 3-4 hours before kickoff so you have plenty of time to break out the BBQ, participate in the pre-game and pack up your gear before the game. Aim to park somewhere with plenty of shade and space to spread out. If you have kids, park as far away from traffic as possible so they can safely play. If your group is arriving in multiple cars, arrive extra early so you can all park together.
9. Stay hydrated: As you and your fellow football fans are pre-gaming with beers and cheers, remember to hydrate with good ol’ H2O (especially if it’s warm out).
10. Show your team spirit: Show your support by repping team colors, sporting a team jersey and painting your face. Or go all out by decorating your car and dressing up your tailgating tent with colorful balloons or banners. Recruit the kids to paint signs so you can continue to cheer on your team during the game.
NEXT: Get more tailgating tips and football party ideas!