Tips For Hosting a Winning Tailgate Party
October, 2015 · By Coryanne Ettiene
Over the last few years we have learned a thing or two about hosting a winning tailgate party; almost by necessity because neither of us really understands football, but we do understand the value of a great party. I’m not sure if our parties are unusual in the fact that we have split camps of those who watch, those who mingle and those who play, but I can tell you that regardless of the camp, if you keep everyone happy, the party is a winner even if you team does to win.
Hosting a winning tailgate party is not so much about the color theme or the decor, but about the food …. a feat that can be even more stressful the bigger your tailgate party gets. Serving a big crowd at home means that you will need to consider your menu and table layout carefully before your guests arrive, and keep the younger guest entertained from kick-off to touchdown.
Tips For Hosting a Winning Tailgate Part
- Half-Time rotations & game changing positions is the key to hot, fresh food. Rather than putting everything out at once, consider a half-time rotation of your party foods to keep your table as exciting as the game. Start with heavier dishes in the first half, and ensure that your main dishes have more than one serving position on the table to move the buffet line quickly. And then replace the heavier dishes with sweeter, lighter dishes in the second half.
- Keep your little guest entertained by setting up a crafting station full of supplies needed to make pom-poms and megaphones. Pom-Poms are as simple as cutting strips of tissues and securing with a string — get my how to guide here. And the most fun, and quite honestly messiest project, is the megaphone. Something as simple as wrapping a craft cone with decorative paper, securing it with glue, and accenting with ribbons or stickers, is all it takes to create your own at home cheer leaders.
- Keep your drinks simple and easy. Go casual with an ice chest full of beer, and a drinks station with a variety of party punches, or non alcoholic options means that guest can help themselves when they get thirsty. With colder weather, a slow cooker filled with hot apple cider and a side bottle of a little something something is a great way to embrace the season with simplicity.
- Simple decor wins every time. If you are a team fan that you most most likely have a bundle of goodies saved for game day; but if you don’t have a supply of team decor, simple touches like a sheet of astroturf cut to match your table size is a fun way to add that game day feel, then accent with footballs and vintage football trophies. I’ve been pinning up a storm of vintage decor ideas to my Tailgating Pin board; grab the widget below to pin with me.
- Have an exit plan. Sometimes when your party is so great, no one wants to leave. When all else fails, and you start to find yourself watching the clock, start by wrapping up game boxes full of left overs and cleaning up the buffet table. It is a not so subtle, but simple solution, to getting the crowds moving.
For more ideas on hosting a winning tailgate party, check out my Tailgating Pinterest board here.