10 Tips for Backyard Tailgating (Slideshow)
September 16, 2013
Host an at-home tailgate that's as good as one in the stadium lot
Know Your Space
The first thing you have to do when creating your own backyard tailgate is to measure your surroundings so you can create an atmosphere that has enough space and room for all tailgating activities. Most importantly, plan for how you are going to actually see the game: whether you are powering an outdoor TV or artfully angling a TV through a window. You want to utilize the space you have and keep the energy flowing. The more space you can create, the better the tailgate. Also make sure you have enough gas in your grill, and a designated grilling area. This should be your grilling domain, where food comes in and out of the tailgate with no problem.
Prepare For the Outdoors
This tailgate is best held outdoors, so plan accordingly. Find your outlets so you can broadcast the game outside and get some tents set up in case of the rain or any kind of weather. Get tents in your team’s colors to show your pride. Also keep extra hoodies or sweatshirts to help guests to battle the cold. And if it is too rough outside, just head inside to keep the party going.
Use Social Media
Since the advent of the Internet, tailgates have been getting easier and easier to set up and get your group of fellow fans excited. Create a tailgating group on your favorite social media platform to help organize your tailgate. If you organize a potluck, post pictures of the dishes to entice people to come back for the next one!
Always keep your tailgaters entertained and occupied, even when they aren't in the lot. Whether it’s tailgating games or drinking games between quarters, give your crew options of how to have fun. If your friends are bringing their kids, have an area designated for them to have their own fun.
Play With Your Menu
When it comes to hosting the ultimate backyard tailgate, you have to bring big stadium eats to your backyard. Don' forget to put that stationary grill to good use and load up on favorites like burgers, hot dogs, and brats. Since you have the full use of your kitchen, don't forget to serve some interesting tailgating recipes to make your guests forget they aren't at the big game.
Maximize Your Playlist
Music should accompany your tailgating night, but it is always good to have a wide selection of songs for your tailgating group. Think of songs to amp up your crowd. Consider compiling a list of your favorite team's entrance songs or a list of songs from the past 10 years of halftime shows.
Create a Ritual
Planning and managing a tailgate is an experience, so to coincide with the NFL season or whatever occasion you are celebrating, it is not uncommon to have a ritual. A tailgate group is essentially a family, so a ritual can be used to get things going and to give people something to look forward to. Every notable tailgating group has a ritual, so it can be fun to cite an oath, rub a mascot, or create a chant to give your tailgate luck and good vibes.
Create a Group Name
More and more tailgaters are starting to become more organized and are creating tailgating groups for themselves. They come up with a cool name, have shirts made, and it becomes a tailgating club. The more people in your group, the more wild and crazy your tailgate group becomes. It starts out with friends, then friends of friends, and then friends of friends of friends. This is comething you can bring to the at home tailgate even when the team is away!
Keep a Theme
With the NFL or the MLB being as the focal points of fall, have a theme for your favorite teams. Wear jerseys, decorate your area with the team logo, give your food an extra flair with some theme-inspired ornaments; it will definitely create some talk around the keg and keep the tailgate interesting.
Make Cleanup Easy
When all is said and done and the backyard soirée is winding down, you want to make sure it doesn’t take forever to clean up after yourselves. Designate a bathroom to use, a trash area to throw your garbage in, and keep it all in one place. The less you have to clean up, the better. With this system tailgates will be easy to set up and break down in no time.