Tailgates have become a pre-game tradition.
They’re a great way to spend an afternoon before a professional sporting game, college sporting game, concert, or any other large event. They allow you to get together with friends and family before you head into the stadium to watch the game or show. A proper tailgate requires you to show up early with a few essentials to make sure that everyone can enjoy themselves from start to finish. Below is a list of the top 10 things to bring to a tailgate.
Beer is the most popular drink at a tailgate. You’ll need to pack your cooler full of your favorite beers to sip on while eating and playing games. For cooler weather tailgates, beer can be replaced with thermoses of hot apple cider, hot chocolate, or coffee, spiked with your favorite liquor. Make sure check ahead of time if alcoholic beverages are allowed in the parking lot.
If you have children coming, pack some juice or soda for them to enjoy. Bring waters for everyone to stay hydrated throughout the day.
2. Ice & Cooler
These are essential to keep the drinks icy cold. During summer events, ice melts quick, so make sure to grab a few extra bags to replenish it. You’ll need a large enough cooler to store all the beverages you want, and still have room for perishable food.
Meat is the staple food of a tailgate. You can have hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, steak, kebobs, or all of the above. Marinate the meat the night before for more succulent flavor.
Snacks are also a tailgate party necessity. Bringing sides to go along with your meat will make your tailgate into a meal, and they usually can be prepared ahead of time. A fresh garden salad or potato salad go great alongside barbecue. If you want to keep it simple, bring a few bags of chips to pass around.
Unless you plan on eating your meat raw, you’ll need a small portable grill. Make sure you have the proper fuel necessary for it, whether that’s propane or charcoal. Don’t forget the lighter either!
Condiments and sauce are meat’s best friend. Every hot dog and hamburger needs some ketchup, mustard, and relish. Pack some hot sauce or barbecue sauce to really impress your friends and family.
You’ll need utensils for both eating and grilling. Plastic forks, knives, and spoons are the best to bring to a tailgate because of how easy it is to dispose of them. Plastic cups and paper plates are also easily disposable eating utensils. Bring tongs and a spatula for cooking and serving the food.
Tailgating can take all afternoon, so bringing a few chairs to get off your feet for a little while is a good idea. Chairs allow you to eat sitting down or just relax and enjoy the afternoon.
Playing games are a fun way to kill time before going into the stadium. Many yard games are great for tailgates, such as a bean bag toss or ladder ball. Bring a football to toss around between friends as well.
The sun is strong during the beginning of football season, or concerts during the summer. Nothing can ruin a tailgate more than getting a bad sunburn, so while you’re out enjoying the sun, make sure you put on sunscreen. Even if your tailgate has shade or a canopy, applying sunscreen is an extra precaution to take when protecting your skin from the sun.
10. Trash Bags
It’s just as important to pick everything up as it is to bring everything there. Some facilities will have large trash barrels, but you should bring your own trash bags to keep at your tailgate. That way you can clean as you’re finished with the food and drinks, and don’t have a mess to come back to after the game or show.
If you’re heading to a tailgate party, make sure you stop by Julio’s Liquors in Westborough, MA, on the way. Our Beer Shop has a diverse and eclectic mix of beer, and a large selection of domestic and imported beer as well. If you’re looking for unique and delicious sauces, rubs, or marinades for your meat, then visit our Burn Center. Our staff will be happy to help you pick out the things you need for your tailgate party.