How to Throw a Winning Tailgate Party
It'll be the talk of the parking lot.
When it’s time to cheer on your favorite team—be it in the NFL or your kid’s high school squad—you know you’ll want to bring more than just a big foam finger. You’ll want to bring the whole cheering section in the back of your SUV. There’s no better way to do that than through yummy homemade food, beverages and super stylish decorations that scream “super fan!”
Set the Scene
taste of home
For this party, we went with a rustic green, black and white palette with touches of aged wood and steel. To get the look, cut out triangles of green felt and string them together to create a banner. Hang it off your tailgate or across your hood. Don’t forget signage to proclaim your tailgate party timeline and the food and drink options available at your parking lot party.
While you’re picking up groceries, swing through the entertaining aisle, where you’ll find cool black cups, plus straws, plates and cutlery. On Etsy, purchase some football-painted mason jars to hold your utensils, straws or napkins (or, paint your own if you’re the crafty type!). Then finish the scene with these buys:
Let’s Talk Food
taste of homeSure, you can make burgers, or you can go one step further and by taking a spin on some classics. Make sure there are plenty of sweet treats, too. Display them in a snack stadium if you’re feeling ambitious.
- Grill up Tailgate Sausages that you can top to your heart’s content.
- Pile those sausages with this Three-Pepper Coleslaw or have it on the side.
- Serve this Dijon-Bacon Dip and watch it disappear.
- Finish the meal with these much-loved Peanut Butter Cake Bars.
Want a grab-and-go snack? Let fans fill up these cute gridiron bowls with their favorite store-bought treats—think M&M’s, peanuts, popcorn and more.
Set up a Bloody Mary Bar
taste of home
Indulge guests with a midday cocktail by setting up a build-your-own Bloody Mary station. Make a big jug of Big-Batch Bloody Mary Mix guests can add vodka to, with chasers of beer nearby—a staple for many Midwest Bloody Mary fans.
Assemble garnish skewers ahead of time using a variety of classic fixings, such as cubes of cheese, beef sticks, olives, pickled mushrooms, pickles and cocktail onions. Let guests add a splash of other accompaniments, such as hot sauce, Worcestershire or horseradish.
Get Pumped Up
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with this specially curated Tailgate Party playlist on Spotify. Why yes, that is the old-school “Jock Jams” collection. Don’t tell me you forgot how to do the Tootsee Roll.
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