Suggestions for Hosting an Amazing Tailgating PartyJanuary 1, 2020
There are good game day parties, then there are perfect game day parties. There is no better feeling than hanging out with friends and family on a cool, sunny day in the fall before a great football game. Tailgates outside of the stadium are a major part of any homecoming weekend, and it’s basically an American tradition. There are a lot of great ideas that tailgaters have come up with over the years for game day parties. Here are some great ideas for hosting a tailgate party that people will remember for all the right reasons.
1. Choosing the menu
Often at a tailgate party, menus cover everything from chips and dip, barbecue and wings, chili, veggies and dip, brownies, cake, and much more. All of these are great options on their own but if you serve this all at once, it’s a bit much and overwhelming. Instead, consider your tailgate menu like any other special occasion menu. Think about the foods that are appropriate for the season, that work well together, and that your guests will love.
Balance the menu with entrees, veggies, and sweets. Don’t use flavours that don’t go well together like the hot buffalo sauce and spicy salsa, or your guests will have tummy trouble later. If it’s fall time, choose some favorites like caramel apples or pumpkin spice cake.
2. Deciding on the amount
At this point, you should choose how much food to prepare. This is tricky for tailgates because a lot of people can stop in unexpectedly. You want to have enough but not have to have too much to bring there, set up, then pack it home. As per Monica Harrison, a food blogger at Writinity and Last Minute Writing, “the ideal scenario is to plan for 25% more guests than you know have confirmed. You should also bring extra snacks that can be reused if they haven’t been opened, like gourmet crackers and nuts.”
3. Keeping food the right temperature
It’s pretty much impossible to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Instead, try to select menu options that are best at room temperature, and serving only one thing, maybe two that are more high maintenance and need to be hot or cold. For instance, if you have hot items like ribs or burgers, invest in a small grill, Weber-style, which is perfect for tailgating. For cold items like crudités or dip, put the platter on a bowl of ice, which will keep things fresh as well as crisp.
If you’re serious about tailgating, you can even invest in a tent for game days which is perfect for overcast days or sweltering days but will protect your food from the elements and in the shade.
4. Décor is key
It’s football season, but it’s also fall. Decorate your tailgate party with seasonal touches like pumpkins to add splash to your food display. If the pumpkin doesn’t match the team colors, or it’s the color of the opposing team, you should paint the outside of the pumpkin, which will look great as a centerpiece.
You can add team colors in other ways to the table display, in addition to flags or mascots. Make a pennant banner for the table by using paper and fabric glued to a ribbon. This looks great hanging above a mantlepiece as well if you have a watch party. Something else you can do to incorporate your team colors is to look for a plaid blanket as a table cloth, which is a fantastic rustic look. You can also use burlap which is cheap and comes in loads of different color options.
You should also use boxes and baskets instead of plastics. According to Jeanie Dalton, a lifestyle writer at Draft Beyond and Research Papers UK, “you don’t need to serve your food on cheap plastic containers, so look for cloth napkin covered baskets or boxes, which are lightweight but sturdy and won’t fall apart.”
5. Menu suggestion
If you’re looking for food inspiration, here’s a delicious menu that has always been successful at tailgating parties I’ve hosted. Start with pulled pork sliders, with an appetizer side of creamy spinach dip served alongside tortilla chips. Follow that up with pigs in a blanket, always a popular option, and finish it all off with some tasty football whoopie pies.
Ashley Halsey, a professional writer for Lucky Assignments and Gum Essays, is involved in lifestyle and party planning projects. She enjoys helping people organize parties as stylish as the professionals and often gives low budget suggestions. She also travels in her free time with her two children.