The Home Field Advantage: Mastering the Art of At-Home Tailgating
Tailgating is an integral part of the football experience. But what if you can’t make it to the stadium or prefer the comforts of tailgating at home? With a little preparation and creativity, you can bring the spirit of game day right to your doorstep.
From mouthwatering recipes and themed decorations to engaging activities and spirited fanfare, we’ll guide you through the essentials of how to throw a tailgate party at home.
The Essence of Tailgating
If you’ve never been tailgating before, picture this: It’s four hours before your favorite team faces off against their rivals at your local stadium and you’re already pulling into the parking lot. Like you, thousands of other fans have gathered for this occasion — children race around playing games of cornhole, adults nurse ice-cold beverages under pop-up canopies, and pit-masters char succulent meats to perfection at their portable grills. Few events can compete with the wondrous sights and sounds of a pre-game tailgate, and even fewer evoke such strong camaraderie.
Backyard Tailgate Party Ideas
As much as we’d love to make it to every football game in person, it’s rarely feasible. Fortunately, at home game-days can be equally as exciting (and maybe even a bit more comfortable). So don your team jersey and learn about the four crucial steps to planning an at-home tailgate party:
1. Draft Some Awesome Invites
Sending out party invitations is a fantastic way to get an idea of how many guests you’ll be hosting. That way, you can prepare enough food and activities to keep everyone satisfied. You can either get crafty and make your own or purchase premade templates online — just make sure that your invitation includes these components:
- A clever invitation phrase. (Ex: Touchdowns, tackles, and tasty grub — join us for a tailgate bash at our cozy hub!)
- The date, time, and location of the event.
- Items you’d like your guests to bring, if any — chairs and food are always a good idea!
- A phone number or email address that guests can RSVP to.
2. Make Some Delicious At-Home Tailgate Food
No tailgating party is complete without comfort food, so build your menu accordingly! If you have a lot of guests coming, going pot-luck style can help relieve the stress of feeding the whole team by yourself. Make some appetizers and a main dish, but also encourage guests to show up with their favorite drinks, snacks, and dishes. Though tailgating classics like burgers, chili, and hot dogs are a must, creative appetizers and desserts undoubtedly earn extra points.
Our Game-Day Lasagna Cupcakes are sure to have your guests running back for more. Even better, they’re bite-size and can be made in advance — enabling you to spend more time with friends and family rather than cooking the day of. For more dishes that can be made in a snap and won’t break the bank, check out the recipes in our article, “Football Party Food for Big Fans on Small Budgets” — from slow cooker chili queso to Oreo cookie balls, it has something for every team member.
3. Recreate the Game-Day Atmosphere
Every amazing at-home tailgate party blends stadium energy with home comfort. Here are some tips for recreating the game-day atmosphere at home:
- Team Spirit and Decorations: Bring the spirit of the stadium into your backyard or living room by decorating party areas with team colors, flags, banners, and balloons. Encourage guests to show their football spirit by wearing team jerseys, face paint, and accessories (we’re partial to giant foam fingers).
- Games and Entertainment: Keep the energy high by organizing pre-game activities for your guests. Set up a friendly cornhole or horseshoe tournament, organize a football toss, or even create a mini obstacle course.
- Seating: Ensure that there’s adequate seating for your guests. Fold-up camping chairs add to the tailgating vibe, but comfortable outdoor furniture can make your huddle more enjoyable. Pop up canopies can also provide much needed shade and relief.
- Create and Share Memories: Boost the camaraderie by setting up photo opportunities with signs and props. Encourage everyone to post their goofy pictures on social media with a unique party hashtag so they can look back on them later.
4. Immerse Yourself in the Game
It’s time for the big game! If you want your at-home tailgate to be an absolute shutout, you’ll need to immerse your guests in the game by providing phenomenal audio and visuals. After all, a great television and sound system are two of the most important things for a successful game-day.
If you’re in the market for the ideal at-home tailgating TV, look no further than this Samsung 70” QLED 4K Smart TV. The quick refresh rate and ultra high definition of its massive 70” screen bring every touchdown, tackle, and highlight to life with breathtaking clarity. Even better, its HDR capabilities and Quantum Dot technology offer exceptional color accuracy and contrast — team colors have never looked so good!
Once visuals squared away, it’s time to consider sound quality. The Samsung Q60B delivers impressive audio, but if you want your guests to truly feel like they’re at the game, you’ll need crisp highs and chest-resonating lows. For that, consider getting your hands on this Bluetooth compatible Gemini Home Party System. With two 12” subwoofers and 4” tweeters, every roar of the crowd and cringe-inducing hit sounds like you’re sitting in the stands.
Planning Some Backyard Tailgating? Rent-A-Center Can Help.
Tailgating at home can feel like the real thing with the right set-up. Go from stadium to backyard extravaganza with ease when you shop name-brand, updated technology at Rent-A-Center. From rent-to-own televisions and home party sound systems, you can have the home field advantage. Shop online or stop by your local Rent-A-Center today!