Plan your tailgate with these amazing tips!
Tailgating season is here, and you know that at Townley Pool and Spa we love grilling, and we love tailgating!
We want to share our love of tailgating with you, so we put together 11 tips for planning and having your own! Check them out.
#1: Do Your Research
If you haven’t ever tailgated before, you want to research your chosen location. Find out if it’s allowed, and if it is, find out what the rules are.
For example, some football stadiums and venues won’t let you set up in the parking lot. You definitely want to find out before you go. Do some research also, to learn if there are limitations on grills and fire.
#2: Reserve Your Spot
Some stadiums have people purchase spots for tailgating. You want to pick out your spot for before and after game fun and get it reserved and/or purchased early!
#3: Check Out the Schedule
Next, you want to find out how early you can set up. For example, if the game starts at 3 pm, you want to find out if you can come by 11 am, or later.
You always want to err on the side of caution and plan to be at your tailgate spot at least four hours early. This way you can take your time setting up and putting your food on the grill.
#4: Check the Weather
It always pays to be prepared. Plan for any type of weather.
At any time in Arkansas, you may find it’s hot, cold, windy, or rainy. Check your weather forecast, so you know how to plan.
You might need umbrellas, tents, a heater, and more. Pack your car with everything you need ahead of time.
#5: Invite Friends and Family
Don’t forget to invite people to your tailgate. You can send out traditional paper invites, and you can send them through email, or a service like Evite if you want it to be more formal.
Be sure and tell your guests what time to come, if your tailgate is both before and after the game, and if you want them to bring something.
#6: Decide on Your Decor
If you’re really going to go all out, you need some team spirit. First, you want some festive banners and streamers and perhaps some balloons.
Everything should be team colored! Think table cloths, plates, cups, silverware, etc. You can even make a dessert with a team spirit theme.
Don’t forget a trash can – you can even find one in team colors!
#7: Designate Drivers
This is a good idea to do before event day. It’s likely that many of your guests will be drinking all afternoon and evening, so make sure to have a few people set up to help take people home.
You can ask for volunteers. If you routinely invite friends and family to tailgates, be sure and rotate this duty!
#8: Get Your Grill Lighted
The first thing you want to do after you’ve set up at your location is heat up your grill.
Depending on what you’re cooking, your food may take a while to cook.
So, if you’re taking your Big Green Egg, get it started!
#9: Plan Your Menu
What are you going to cook at your tailgate? What sides are you either making ahead or cooking during the tailgate? What’s for dessert? These are all things you want to consider.
You can also have your guests bring part of the meal. This is especially helpful if you routinely tailgate with the same folks.
For your meal, you can check out our blog for some great Big Green Egg recipes from drinks, to main courses, to sides, and desserts.
#10: Plan Your Drinks
Again, you can either bring the drinks, or you can ask others to do it.
Whichever way you choose, don’t forget cups and napkins if you’re mixing drinks. If you are packing coolers with beer, soda, and water, make sure to buy a lot of ice before hand.
A fun idea is to set up an area (aka bar) for mixing drinks. Your guests will love it!
#11: Bring Additional Items to Plan Your Tailgate
Every tailgate is as successful as the food, the people, the drinks, and… the extra things you bring!
Here’s a checklist of some items you want to bring for the comfort of all your guests (and yourself, of course!)
- Extra Ice and Coolers
- Trash bags, trash can, and recycling can
- Extra napkins
- Hand sanitizer and wipes
- Extra chairs
- Water Bottles
- A bottle opener and other items for mixing drinks
- Hot sauce – because most people love it!
- Something to put dirty dishes in
- Something to send food home with guests
- Guests for kids and adults alike
Final Thoughts to Plan Your Tailgate
With this list, you are well prepared for your next tailgate!
Finally, don’t forget to wear your own team colors! This sets you apart and shows that you are a top-notch tailgater. Bring a camera, or your smartphone, and be sure to take photos for the memory books.
Lastly, clean up your spot and leave it just as you found it. This way the venue doesn’t have any room to complain or cancel your reservation for next time!
At Townley Pool and Spa, we love every occasion to grill. Stop by and talk to us about our favorite grill, the Big Green Egg!