By Jenny Gumbert
After a summer of traveling and adventuring outside the home (don’t let anybody tell you that taking the kids to the local waterpark isn’t an adventure), it’s time to slow down and adjust to new routines. With temperatures finally cool down, tailgating is the perfect opportunity to invite your friends to gather, eat, and take a break from this busy season while enjoying time outside—even if it’s a stadium parking lot.
Here are some helpful do’s and don’ts so that everybody can enjoy the best part of football season.
Do’s and Don’ts of Tailgating
Do make a game plan. Most stadiums and arenas have a helpful FAQ online that explains opening times, prohibited items, and other rules. Be sure to respect the rules so that everybody can have a good time.
Don’t let the sun get the best of you: Hydrate, sunscreen, repeat. And be sure to have drink options beyond beer; seltzer, soda, and plain ol’ water are always crowd pleasers. Most important, keep everything good and cold with plenty of ice in a high-quality cooler.
Do make sure there are plenty of activities to entertain everyone, including those with the shortest attention spans (see: kids). Think: Giant Jenga, cornhole, or get a friendly football toss going. Games also have the added bonus of serving as an easy way for your friends who may not know each other to interact.
Do have a space for your guests to gather and talk. A bonfire provides the perfect invitation for your friends and family to chat or just relax. Also: s’mores. Just be sure that it’s allowed where you’re tailgating and that you follow our instructions if using one of our fire pits.
Do provide plenty of food. And keep the menu simple, accessible, and easy. Think: burgers, hot dogs, brats, chips, fruit, veggies and dip. If your friends and family have dietary preferences or restrictions, ask them to bring something that they like that can be thrown on the grill.
Don’t leave any flame, grill, or fire pit unattended. And be sure to extinguish and properly dispose of any wood or coals before you head to the game.
Don’t exclude your non-football-loving friends and family from your invite list. Spending time outside with good food and good people is for everyone.
Do be a good neighbor. Clean up after yourself, bring something to store dirty cooking tools, and keep your noise to a reasonable level.
Most important: Have a great time! Tailgating is about building excitement before the game, but it’s also an opportunity to rebuild relationships that may have fallen off during the craziness of summer.
Looking to up your tailgate game this fall? The fire pit season sale has been extended—take advantage of 10% off site wide while it lasts!