Step Up Your Game: How to Tailgate Like a Pro

November 9, 2016 / Category Tag, Firestarters

For many sports fans, tailgating is more than just a hobby. It’s a lifestyle. From party buses to feasts fit for a king, tailgaters in today’s arenas don’t mess around — they go all out. If you’re new to the art of tailgating, it’s time to step up your game. Keep reading for four ways you can join the ranks of seasoned tailgaters and put together a tailgate party like a pro.

Wear Plenty of Fan Gear

Football Fans

If you’re not decked out in your team’s colors, you’re doing it wrong. The key to a successful tailgate is ensuring you stand out from the crowd. And to stand out from the crowd, you have to dress the part. Not sure where to begin? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Wear a jersey
  • Paint your face
  • Apply temporary tattoos
  • Make signs to bring into the stadium
  • Get creative — DIY a superfan costume
  • As you prep your gameday uniform, let these NFL superfans inspire you.

Create an Atmosphere


A tailgate space should be approached just like any other party. That means that as you plan it, you should be considering the type of atmosphere you want to create. While it might seem silly to plan out the minute details of a tailgate, down to the types of cups and plates you provide, these are the elements that will really take your setup to the next level. Consider the following:

  • Music: Create a playlist that will put you and your crew in the right mindset. Classic rock and jock jams are never a bad idea. Beverage selection: While you can’t go wrong with cases of classic, American beers, doing something out-of-the-ordinary like serving a craft cocktail will make your tailgate memorable.
  • Seating: Make sure you have plenty of fold-up chairs on hand so people can sit down and eat. If you really want to go above and beyond, pack in some tables, too.
  • Food and drink labels: You never know what allergies someone might have. Create cards to set in front of your food and drinks so that everyone knows what they’re getting themselves into.

Play Games


When you’re waiting for the big game, why not enjoy some fun and friendly competition with your own games? Tailgate games are standard in a high-quality tailgate experience. Below are some of our favorite tailgate games:

  • Cornhole
  • Ladder Golf
  • Washers
  • Spike Ball
  • Horseshoes

If you need some more ideas (and a primer on how these games work) check out this list of family-approved tailgate games that are sure to be a hit for crowds of all ages.

Fire Up the Grill


Tailgating Meat on the Grill

The best part of any tailgate is, undoubtedly, the food. At the core of your game-day menu should be plenty of grill-able selections like hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled chicken, steak, and/or pork chops. A portable charcoal grill like this one is a wise investment if you’re planning to become a tailgate professional. To help you get the grill started quickly, our ExtremeStart™ Firestarters can help you light charcoal with ease.


Other than the grilling staples, here are some foolproof tailgating selections to add to your menu:

  • Slow-cooker chili
  • Chips and dip
  • Breakfast casseroles (if it’s an early game)
  • Cole slaw
  • Buffalo Wings

For more great recipes, check out this lengthy list of game-day-approved snacks.


Our ExtremeStart™ firestarters can help you achieve the perfect tailgate experience. Click below to watch how these firestarters can help you get your grill going quickly and easily with time to spare before kickoff.  

Watch Now >>

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