Family Tailgating Tips

| Seasonal, Get Organized

As summer begins to wind down, that can only mean one thing – it’s time to tailgate! Football, family, friends and good food, what’s not to love about the fall tailgating season? With college and professional football underway, as well as fall school-sports, it’s time to round up family and friends to cheer on your favorite teams. Here are ten family tailgating tips for the fall season.


Tailgating Tip #1: Create a Checklist

It may sound pretty basic, but organize all of your tailgating supplies on a checklist. You don’t want to forget anything, so put everything on it, even the most obvious items. Plan on tailgating more than once this season? Print out a paper copy of your official tailgating checklist then laminate it and use a dry erase marker to check off every item on your list once it’s packed. Be sure to attach it to an obvious spot, like the cooler or a reusable grocery bag.

Tailgating Tip #2:  Plan a Menu

Tailgating menus can range from simple dishes like hamburgers and hotdogs to more elaborate dishes like barbecue briskets and fried turkeys. Some side dishes can include antipasto platters, pasta salads, grilled corn on the cob, baked beans and roasted potatoes. Don’t forget dessert! Tailgate favorites include homemade cookies, brownies, cupcakes, dessert bars and even pies and cakes. Need some dessert recipe ideas? Head to the bottom of this blog post to access a fun and tasty dessert recipe. Tailor your tailgate menu to you and your guests’ taste buds, but anything goes when it comes to tailgating. Just remember to practice food safety by keeping raw meats and prepared foods separate.

Tip: When it comes to planning your tailgating menu, consider your guests and their taste preferences. Will there be children present or just adults? Are there any dietary preferences? These are all questions to keep in mind when planning your tailgate menu.

Tailgating Tip #3: Get the Kids Involved

If you have younger children, they don’t have to be a tailgate tagalong. Instead, make them an integral part of the tailgating experience. Have them create a family friendly music playlist, let them decorate the tailgate site and ask them to help create some of the menu items like homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Tailgating Tip #4: Prepare and Pack

Prepare as much as you can ahead of time, this will save you time (and stress) the day of the big tailgate.

  • Load the car with nonperishable items the day before the tailgate (i.e. the grill, tables, chairs, tents, games, cups, plates, cutlery and napkins).
  • Pack reusable grocery bags with food that won’t spoil overnight like hotdog and hamburger buns, bags of chips and homemade desserts like cookies and brownies.
  • For any items that are perishable like fruits, vegetables, dips and sides, make them ahead of time and place them in containers you can use to transport the next day. Make sure you have lids that properly fit to avoid any spills.

Tailgating Tip #5: Game Day Gear

Be sure to don your team colors on game day. Order some temporary team tattoos prior to game day to share with your crew. You can even purchase some nontoxic face paint to take your team spirit to the next level. Remember, this is a family atmosphere though, so be sure to practice good sportsmanship when interacting with fans from opposing teams.

Tailgating Tip #6: Bring Games

While adults can spend hours chatting, children tend to get bored rather quickly so keep them entertained with travel games, fun sports trivia and scavenger hunts. Let’s be real, the adults may even join in on the fun too!

Tailgating Tip #7: Expect the Unexpected

You can never be too prepared, so expect the unexpected. Pack items you wouldn’t necessarily think of such as:

  • First aid kit
  • Sunblock
  • Sunglasses
  • Hats
  • Warm clothes (If you live in a cooler climate)
  • Jumper cables
  • Ice

Tailgating Tip #8: Arrive Early

If you are tailgating with a large group of family members and friends, make sure to arrive to the stadium early. You would be surprised how quickly the parking lot can fill up, so remember the earlier the better. This will give you plenty of time to set up the grill(s), TVS (if you are bringing those along so you can watch multiple games) and games like sandbags and horseshoes.

Tailgating Tip #9: Have Fun

When planning your tailgate, strive for a tailgate party that appeals to the entire group and all ages. Enlist the help of your guests if needed and get everyone involved. At the end of the day, no matter whether your team wins or loses, it’s all about making memories with family and friends, so have fun and make it a good time!

Tailgating Tip #10: Clean Up

Don’t forget proper cleaning tools for clean up. Bring bags for recyclables and trash, natural cleaning sprays and a non-scratch scrunge to wipe down tables and chairs as well as bins or baskets to easily pack up the rest of your tailgating supplies.

Looking for a dish to bring to your next tailgate? Try this fun red, white and blue themed dessert everyone will enjoy and change the colors to represent your favorite team!



DIPPED CRISPY RICE TREATS

Ingredients:

    • 1 package vanilla sugar wafers
    • 1 package cream-filled chocolate cookies
    • 8 pack of pre-made crispy rice treats
    • 1 package of blue candy wafers
    • 1 package of red candy wafers
    • 1 package of white candy wafers
    • Assorted red, white and blue sprinkles (stars, if you can find them)
    • Party paper straws (cut in half)
    • 4” lollipop sticks (optional)

    Preparation

    1. Melt blue or red candy wafers in the microwave according to the package instructions

    2. Dip each paper straw into the melted candy and then stick it into the end of each crispy rice treat

    3. Set the treats on parchment paper to dry

    4. Melt the red and blue candy wafers in the microwave in separate containers according to the package instructions

    5. Holding onto the straw, dip each crispy rice treat into the melted candy, coating half of the treat with either the red or blue candy

    6. Place the treats standing upright on parchment paper

    7. Melt the white candy wafers in the microwave in separate containers according to the package instructions

    8. Add the white melted candy use a squeeze bottle or trim the corner of a resealable plastic bag, and drizzle the melted white candy over the candy-colored treats

    9. Place the treats on parchment paper to dry.

    Store decorated treats in an air-tight container until ready to serve.

    DIPPED SUGAR WAFERS

    Preparation:

    1. Melt the red and blue candy wafers in the microwave in separate containers according to the package instructions

    2. Dip half-of the sugar wafer into the melted chocolate, coating half of the treat with either the red or blue candy

    3. Place the treats on parchment paper

    4. Give the treats one minute for the chocolate to set, then add sprinkles

    Store decorated treats in an air-tight container until ready to serve.

    CHOCOLATE COVERED CREAM-FILLED COOKIE

    Preparation:

    1. Melt the red and blue candy wafers in the microwave in separate containers according to the package instructions

    2. Use gloves like Playtex® Clean Cuisine gloves to keep your hands clean

    3. Dip each cookie into either the red or blue melted candy 

    4. Place the treats on the parchment paper

    5. Give the treats one minute for the chocolate to set, then lift and add sprinkles

    Store decorated treats in an air-tight container until ready to serve.

Back to top

O-Cedar® Newsletter Sign Up!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.