Open up the tailgate and follow these tips for a perfect pre-game party.
- Make a list of what you need to bring; and don't forget the tickets!
- When in doubt, bring extra food and drinks. It's better to have leftovers than to leave a partygoer hungry or thirsty. Also bring plenty of non-alcoholic drinks for the non-drinkers and kids.
- Make cleanup easy by using disposable containers, such as zip-lock baggies or tinfoil pans, instead of Tupperware that has to be cleaned. Also bring paper plates and plastic silverware.
- Don't forget the condiments! Ketchup, mustard, relish, etc.
- Bring plenty of chairs. Folding lawn chairs or expandable camping chairs make for portable and inexpensive seating.
- Get there early. Not only will you secure a good spot, you won't have to fight massive crowds.
- Choose a parking lot that is close to the stadium, and to other tailgaters. You'll want to be in the middle of the action.
- Don't forget to bring water and sunscreen. Spending hours in the sun, especially if you're drinking, can cause dehydration or a bad sunburn. Plus, you'll need water to put out the fire.
- Bring a radio so you can hear what's going on inside the stadium. If you have tickets to the game, you'll know when to head inside. If you don't have tickets, you can still hear what's going on.
- Dress in layers. It can get much colder once the sun goes down.
- Pay special attention to food safety. Food can spoil easily, especially in warm weather. Bring a cooler with plenty of ice to store food. If something's been sitting out too long, throw it away.
- Make your tailgate more festive by choosing a theme. Base it on a holiday (turkey sandwiches for Thanksgiving), or the opposing team (Philly steaks when you play the Eagles).
- Be respectful to other tailgaters and clean up after yourself. Bring trash bags in case you don't have access to a trash can.
- Bring paper towels or napkins in case of spills or messy barbecue.
- You may also need to bring some kitchen utensils, such as a bottle opener or knife.