Tailgating Checklist Back to Event Details
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 good tunes
- Folding chairs
- Umbrellas, tarps and waterproof gear
- Large blankets
- Antibacterial wipes to keep hands clean
- Garbage bags for easy cleanup
- Bug spray
- If you plan to grill: grill, charcoal, lighter fluid, spatula and tongs
Here are some additional tips to ensure a successful 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 plenty of ice to keep food cold, and store coolers in a shady spot until you’re ready to eat. Ice packs or blocks of ice last longer than ice cubes.
- 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.