How to Throw a Tailgate Party

Whether it's a simple picnic or an extravagant affair with a candelabra and linen tablecloth, many people say tailgating is the best part of the game.


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You Will Need

  • A vehicle, preferably one with lots of cargo space
  • Cooking equipment, like a grill
  • Plenty of hearty food
  • Drinks, like water and beer
  • Music
  • A radio or TV
  • A power converter to plug into your car
  • A cooler or thermal tray
  • Team jerseys
  • Face paint


  1. Step 1

    Get a car

    Secure a car with enough cargo space to carry the food, beverages and whatever else you want to bring -- cooking equipment, a table, folding chairs, a keg. An SUV, pick-up truck or van is ideal.

  2. Step 2

    Invite friends

    Invite your friends, making sure beforehand that everyone will be able to get tickets to the game. Try to show up at the venue together.

  3. If it's too late to go to the game, you can still throw your party; just bring along a radio or a TV and a power converter that plugs into the car's cigarette lighter.

  4. Step 3

    Plan the menu

    Plan your menu. Good tailgating foods include salads, chicken, nacho layer dip, and ribs.

  5. Football season can be cold! So serve something hot that can be made the night before, like chili or mac and cheese. And bring a special hot drink, like mulled cider or hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps.

  6. Step 4

    List non-food items

    Compile a list of all the non-food items you need so you won't forget anything. Frequently forgotten items include a corkscrew, water, garbage bags, sunscreen, and sealable plastic bags for leftovers.

  7. Step 5

    Chill the beverages

    Start chilling the beverages you plan to bring. Freeze some bottled water to throw in the cooler. If you have a large crowd, consider bringing a keg.

  8. Check the stadium's rules on alcohol; kegs and glass bottle rules vary from venue to venue.

  9. Step 6

    Prep food

    The night before the game, prepare any food that you're not planning to cook on site.

  10. To prevent food poisoning, use a cooler and/or a thermal tray to transport food.

  11. Step 7

    Arrive early

    Show up at the stadium early! You'll need time to set up everything and do the grilling. Turn on the tunes!

  12. Step 8


    Enjoy yourself. Eat, drink, relax in folding chairs, toss a football around, sing fight songs-- do whatever gets you prepped for the big game. Just don't get so drunk before the game that you make an ass of yourself.

  13. Step 9

    Clean up

    Clean up after yourself, then cheer your team on to victory.

  14. The NFL banned tailgating at Super Bowl XLI in 2007, citing security concerns, making it the first Super Bowl without tailgate parties.