Every once in a while, it’s what happens before the game that’s the most exciting part of the whole trip to the ballpark. Tailgating is one of the highlights of almost any game, especially when it comes to NFL games. Your tailgating party can be a small thing, just you and your family having a couple hotdogs before you go in to watch the game, or it can be epic, with people from several parking rows over hearing the excitement and coming over to join you. Whichever fits the occasion, go with it. This is definitely one of the perks of going to a live game. You might have a good time hanging out in the man cave with your buddies watching the game on TV, but you will never be able to mimic the excitement of a party in the stadium parking lot from your own home.
What makes a perfect tailgating party? That’s a great question, and the answer is going to be a little bit different for everyone. First, think about what kind of crowd you’re going to the big game with. Is it your wife and kids? Is it some friends from college that you haven’t seen in five years? Is it your boss and some coworkers from the office? Each of these groups will have different dynamics, and that’s going to set the tone for the party you create. Obviously you’re not going to want to have a raucous party with strangers and tons of free flowing alcohol in some instances. Look at your group, and then go from there.
Regardless, you can make the party as elaborate or as simple as you want. Sometimes a cooler full of ice and soda and a couple hotdogs is more than enough. Other times, you will want to bring your best. Setting up a grill can be a hassle, but depending on what you want to eat, it’s worth it. You can do the simple dogs and burgers, or you can go beyond that to creating a veritable gourmet meal from the back of your car or truck. You can have cold cans of soda and beer, or you can customize this a little. Some people even like to bring a blender (and a way to power it, of course) and make their own mixed drinks right on the spot. You can go in any number of directions here. The point is to have fun. If you don’t want to grill your own food, you don’t have to, so don’t worry. You can buy or make yourself some premade snacks and have these in the parking area. The choice is yours.
Finally, do be aware that some stadiums have strict rules against tail gating or alcohol consumption outside designated areas, so before you go to your game, know what the rules are so that your fun isn’t interrupted. There’s a lot of fun to be had either way, so there’s point in pushing the boundaries of your pregame party too far and having the rest of the day ruined. An epic party is one thing, getting kicked out before the game even begins is another. Tailgating is fun, but it’s a prelude to the event. Let the fun start here, and carry over for a few more hours as you enjoy your favorite team.