Master Tailgating Checklist Back to Articles
When game day rolls around, advance party planning allows you to focus on family, friends and, of course, your favorite team—instead of worrying that you left the folding chairs in the garage.
Whether you’re picking up your meal at Publix or planning to grill at the stadium, kick off a winning day by double-checking that you have these tailgating essentials:
- Game tickets
- Jerseys, face paint, car window paint, pom-poms, and other gear to cheer your team to victory
- Ice-filled coolers for storing food and drinks
- Food for snacking and grilling
- Cold or warm beverages (depending on the weather) and water
- A radio for pregame updates and some good tunes
- Folding chairs
- Umbrellas, tarps, and waterproof gear
- Large blankets
- Antibacterial wipes
- Garbage bags for easy clean-up
- Bug spray
- Sunscreen, visors, sunglasses, and coverups
- If you plan to grill: grill, charcoal, lighter fluid, spatula, and tongs
- Here are additional tips to help you get the most out of your tailgating experience:
- Dress for the weather. It’s smart to wear layers—if the weather changes, you can always remove or add a layer.
- Prepare as much food ahead of time as possible. Until you’re ready to leave, keep food that needs to be chilled in the refrigerator.
- Take care to avoid cross contamination by keeping raw meats separate from other foods in sealed disposable bags.
- Pack an extra jug of water to cool coals if they’re still warm when it’s time to clean up after grilling.
- Arrive early to secure a good spot.
- Offer a selection of finger foods, especially if table space is limited.
- Allow plenty of time for pregame cooking so you’re not rushing to eat right before you enter the stadium.