From Turkey to Tailgate: Throw the Perfect Football Party

I love turkey and pumpkin pie as much as the next girl, but I can’t be the only one who is ready for a break in the Thanksgiving monotony, right? I think it’s about time we shift our focus from Thanksgiving dinner and turn to another well-loved tradition, tailgate parties! There’s a lot to consider when throwing a tailgate party, but the important thing to remember is that it should be fun and low-stress.

If you want to do the traditional tailgate you’re going to need a couple things:

  • Music! (And I advise not depending on your car stereo.)
  • Chairs, hats, hoodies, scarves, gloves and blankets. Bring extra in case any other tailgaters forget theirs!
  • Beer, beer and more beer. Okay, you’ll probably want some other beverages, too! Bring a cooler to keep it all cool, unless it’s cold enough to stick right in the snow. Bonus points to anyone that springs for a keg.
  • Bags for all the garbage you don’t want to leave behind.
  • Decorate your car and paint your face to reflect your team’s mascot and colors. Bring extra supplies so that everyone else can deck themselves out, too.
  • It’s possible that food is the most important element of a tailgate party. Bring a grill and go with all the old standbys: hot dogs, hamburgers and the like. Or, if you want something less high maintenance, you could always bring super-sized, sub-style sandwiches.

It’s not as traditional, but with colder weather coming in, outdoor tailgate parties are being replaced with cook-inside-your-warm-home alternatives. There’s nothing wrong with that, especially if you have a big screen TV or can get to the stadium before kick-off. In fact, for an at-home tailgate party you have even more options. If you don’t want to grill outside then you can still go with sub-style sandwiches or slow-cooker recipes like chili. I’d like to add that making chili in a slow-cooker is extremely low maintenance and would allow you to fully enjoy the party and the game!
Whatever kind of party you decide to throw, remember to be bold! As the host, its your job to set the mood. Attitude is everything so be sure you’re not stingy with the high-fives and hollers. Everything you do to enhance the sense of camaraderie will ensure the tailgate is a success. Also, streamers, face paint and balloons are not just for kids!