Host The Best Game-Day Party Ever — At Home

Host the Best Game-Day Party Ever — At Home

Although ideally we would be able to spend almost every weekend tailgating at the game, feasting on hot dogs and beer in the stadium's parking lot, it's not always possible. For those of you who can't make it out to your team's tailgate every weekend, don't despair; there's another option for you, which has become hugely popular this football seasonhomegating. It's everything you want from tailgating, but slightly more convenient and less time-consuming, as it takes place in your own (or your friend's) home.


Kick your party off in the tastiest way by setting out appetizers for your guests to snack on as soon as they arrive. These don't need to be fancy, finger foods: Keep things simple, in true tailgating style, and serve a selection of chips and dipsnachos, and jalapeño poppers to immediately impress and satisfy your hungry game-day guests.

For the Game Day Hoagie Dip recipe, click here.

Cold Beers

Even though you're hosting your tailgate at home, it's important to stick to the game-day essentials: An ice bucket or cooler filled to the brim with beers is central to every tailgate, whether you're at the stadium or in your own home.


No homegate party will feel complete if you're not surrounded by your team's colors and appropriate football-themed décor. Hang up flags and shirts, decorate with colored balloonsbake cookies in football shapes, and maybe even try turning your dining table into a mini football field.



Don't get so caught up in the guacamole, beers, and pulled pork that you forget about dessert. Game-day parties tend to last for a fairly long time, and everyone will be in need of a sweet treat once all the hot dogs have been eaten. Classics such as brownies and cookies are always popular, and you could even make the most of being at home and having an accessible freezer by serving ice cream covered in hot fudge.

For the Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies recipe, click here.

Dress Up

Just because this tailgate is at home doesn't mean you can ignore the dress code. Wear your team colors, put on your football jersey, paint your face with colored stripes, and make sure you have enough spare team merchandise to share with any guests who turn up in non-football attire.


Try not to stray too far away from the classics, even though it can be tempting to change the typical tailgate menu entirely now that you have an oven to use. We love to serve a warming pot of chilipiles of pulled pork, hot dogs, brioche buns, all the toppings, potato salad, and mac and cheese, and let everybody help themselves to the food whenever hunger beckons throughout the day.

For the Hearty Chili recipe, click here.

Fancy Cocktails

Although cocktails aren't part of the typical tailgate menu, given that you are at home with more space and preparation ability, stirring up a couple of big-batch cocktails is actively encouraged. We love this fall harvest beer cocktail or a batch of this cherry bourbon smash, and on the colder days, a cup of spiked hot chocolate is just perfect.

For the Spiced and Spiked Hot Chocolate recipe, click here.


Make sure your guests are entertained throughout the party, not just when they're occupied with watching the game. If it's a sunny day and you have a backyard, set up a mini game of football. If nobody wants to step foot outside, beer bottle ring toss can definitely be played indoors without risking breaking anything.

Keep It Simple

Just because you're homegating rather than tailgating, this doesn't mean you should serve everything on your favorite tablewareseat everybody at the table, and pour beers into glasses. Instead, keep the tailgate atmosphere alive with disposable plates, forks, spoons, napkins, and cups.

Make It a Potluck

What with decorating your home, dressing up, sorting the guest list, setting up the screen so everybody will be able to watch the game, and preparing the drinks, cooking all the food can be just one thing too many to do. Don't be afraid to ask your guests to bring a dish or a dessert.

Serve Buffet Style

Don't force yourself to play host for the entire party by serving food to your friends individually. Instead, set all the food, paper plates, plastic knives and forks, plastic cups, and paper napkins out on the table so they can help themselves whenever they want, without you needing to do anything extra.

The Big Screen

Obviously, the key to a perfect game-day party hosted in your own home is enabling everyone to actually watch the game. Make sure your TV is big enough and set up in a space where everybody can sit around without obscuring anyone else's view.