Tailgating Must-Haves to Please Any Fan

To commemorate a new tailgating season, I have come up with a list of my very favorite tailgating recipes, games, apparel, and ideas.

To commemorate a new tailgating season, I have come up with a list of my very favorite tailgating recipes, games, apparel, and ideas along with some new ideas I can’t wait to try.

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It’s that time of year again, when the weather is, hopefully, starting to cool down a bit, the leaves are beginning to change, and all that is amazing about fall is on the horizon. And one of the greatest things about fall, especially in the South, is tailgating. In the South, we will find any reason to tailgate, but the very best tailgating is enjoyed at the first kickoff of college football.

I was raised on college football and will always be partial to college over professional; to me, there is just something a little more exciting and passionate about college sports. All the memories I have growing up watching games with my dad and going to games with the entire family are moments I cherish. Now, I get to cherish these memories with my own kids!

So, to commemorate a new tailgating season, I have come up with a list of my very favorite tailgating recipes, games, apparel, and ideas along with some new ideas I can’t wait to try.

Who’s ready to go Tailgating?!

Tailgating cocktails and recipes

The foundation of any proper tailgating event is food. There are more tailgating recipes, grilling ideas, and desserts than I can even believe, but below are just a few of my very favorites and a few new recipes I cannot wait to try this season.


My Pick: Bourbon Slush

Can’t Wait to Try: Sparkling Pumpkin Cider Beertail



My Pick: Buffalo Chicken Dip

Can’t Wait to Try: Rice Krispy Whiskey Treats


Grilling and Tailgating Accessories

Essential for any kind of tailgating is a grill and comfortable setup. We have used a plethora of portable grills over the years and this year it may be time for a new one. Below are the essentials for a comfortable and well planned tailgating experience.

My Pick: Comfortable Lawn Chairs

Can’t Wait to Try: A New Tent


Tailgating Games and Activities

No tailgating experience is complete without pre-game activities for the tailgater of any age. Below I have listed the quintessential games and activities for the entire tailgating season and beyond.  What makes these games even better is that most of them can be made or put together at home.

My Pick: Tailgating Scavenger Hunt

Can’t Wait to Try: Yard Yatzee



Tailgating Apparel

Ah, tailgating; fall’s biggest fashion event. From casual cocktail dresses to cargo shorts and flip flops, you will see every known fashion trend when tailgating. We usually play it super casual and stick with jeans and hoodies, but every now and then we will mix it up with something a little more fun. Below is a list of my go-tos for tailgating apparel and accessories.

My Pick: Twelve Saturdays

Can’t Wait to Try: Skreened


Tailgating Fun Stuff

There is always some new item and gimmick for any activity or event, and tailgating is no different. Below is a few of the latest kitschy items and crazy ideas for tailgating this season.

My Pick: Belt Buckle Bottle Opener

Can’t Wait to Try: Watermelon Keg


Tailgating Tips and Tricks

Tailgating is not a complicated concept; you come, you eat, you watch, you play. But there are always new ideas to make any activity a little bit easier. Check out the list below for some interesting and cool ideas to make game day a little bit smoother, especially when your team may not bring home the “W.”

  • Keep a toolbox packed with all your tailgating/grilling essentials on hand and at the ready
  • Freeze water bottles ahead of time to use in the cooler instead of ice. Once they’ve thawed, they are cold and ready to drink
  • Use a pill bottle or Altoids can as a mini first aid kit with Band-Aids, ointment, and Advil
  • Use empty laundry detergent containers as a mobile handwashing station
  • Float large helium balloons above your tailgating camp so your group can be easily found
  • Hang paper towels from a bungee cord on your tent or canopy
  • Use cupcake paper to keep pesky bugs out of your drinks
  • Use cupcake tins for cup holders or when serving drinks to friends
  • Turn a cooler into a warming rack
  • Chill your drinks twice as fast using salt; Fill a cooler with ice and enough water to submerge your all your cans or bottles. Add a generous amount of salt to the ice water then place your drink into the mixture.

My Pick: Cupcake Paper Drink Covers

Can’t Wait to Try: Helium Balloon Tailgating Camp Marker


No matter if you are with the winning or losing team this tailgating season, you are definitely going to be a winner with these tailgating tips, tricks, and ideas. (Yes, I am fully aware of how cornball that was, but give me a break, if I didn’t say it, someone was going to.)

I can’t wait to hear some of your favorite tailgating recipes, pastimes, or tricks?  Let us know what your family favorites are and how your teams do this season.  Please remember to be safe and responsible.


About Tara Lewis

I share a blessed life with my amazing husband & children, and created The Pinspired Life: a place dedicated to inspiring the mind, body, & spirit!

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Katty's Kitchen

Thanks kindly for including my Rice Whisky/Maker’s Mark-mallow Treats here. 🙂 Pleased to be a virtual guest at your tailgating party. If you’d like to try a homemade Arnold Palmer, happy to share: