Football Party Tips to Make Tailgating Fun

Bring Big Game Excitement with These Backyard Tailgate Party Ideas
July 26, 2023

The Big Game calls for a big tailgate party! Whether your favorite team is playing, or you have no rooting interest at all, the best way to celebrate the day is by hosting a football party in your backyard!

While a tailgate party is an outdoor bash that takes place before a sporting event at the parking lot of a stadium, you can also host a home tailgate party that you hold in your backyard. A home tailgate party will include a grill, a tailgate canopy, portable folding chairs, a sturdy but compact camping table, a trusty metal cooler, and plenty of food and drinks.

While the big game atmosphere can make tailgating a unique experience, you can replicate the feel in your own backyard. In fact, when you’re tailgating at home, you aren’t restricted to just one or two parking spaces. You’ll have more room to set up tables and chairs, games like cornhole, and to generally just stretch out. Also, you’ll have the convenience of setting up and breaking down your backyard in your own time frame, and not while the stadium parking lot is open.

From food to shelter to fun, here's how to plan for a successful.

Quik Shade Solo Steel tailgate tent for the big gameQuik Shade Solo Steel tailgate tent for the big game

Bring The Right Gear

Whether you're hosting the football party, you're invited to a tailgate party for The Big Game, or you're already thinking about next season, there is certain must-have tailgating gear that you can't do without. 

Of course there's a grill - whether it's a camp stove for the game or a backyard grill that can hold all the burgers, dogs, and more that you want to serve. There's also the cooler, the drinks, tables, and the soundtrack that will set the tone for the day. 

But don't forget the most important essentials: pop-up canopies and portable folding chairs

Pop-up canopies are one of the most versatile options when it comes to weather preparedness. Pop-up shade tent shelters you from both the sun and the rain. Even though the sun will not shining it's brightest on the day of The Big Game, the UV rays can still do damage to your skin. Also, you never know when it's going to rain or snow on your tailgate party, so you can run for cover under the canopy.

A good football party often starts hours before the game commences and lasts throughout the game. That's why portable folding chairs are important. Whether you stock up on them for your guests or you bring your own to the tailgate party in the stadium parking lot or someone's backyard, portable folding chairs could be The Most Valuable Accessory for The Big Game. 

Here are a few of our pop-up canopy and portable folding chair recommendations:

ShelterLogic Party TentShelterLogic Party Tent

Quik Shade Expedition Straight Leg Pop-Up Canopy Tent

  • This unit offers three height positions and hardened thru-bolt assembly for a sturdy canopy unit.
  • Patented overlapping eaves for excellent stability.
  • 5D polyester top with Aluminex provides 99% UV protection
Tailgating with a Quik Shade Pop-up CanopyTailgating with a Quik Shade Pop-up Canopy

Weekender Elite Slant Leg Pop-Up Canopy Tent

  • Quik Release Pull Pins allow you to change between 4 height adjustments.
  • The patented overlapping eave construction gives the unit stability and strength.
  • Nylon feet for stability and floor protection, and ground stakes for each leg for adequate anchoring.
Get a grill gazebo and enjoy cooking out in the shadeGet a grill gazebo and enjoy cooking out in the shade

Quik Shade Full Size Shade Folding Chair

  • Stain and moisture resistant fabric chair with polyethylene coating.
  • Chair and canopy feature an attractive American flag print.
  • Aluminex shade canopy raises, lowers, and tilts with no extra adjustments.
Portable Camping Tables from RIOPortable Camping Tables from RIO

Quik Shade Heavy Duty Max Shade Chair

  • Features a higher arched back and 25" wide seat; supports up to 500 lbs.
  • Stain- and moisture-resistant polyester fabric provides durability and comfort.
  • Unique and innovative tilting shade functionality gives exceptional sun protection.
tailgating football partytailgating football party

Bring the Right Dish

Next to football, food may be the most-important element of a home tailgate party. You may just want to cook some burgers and dogs or be a little more creative with the menu. Here are some fun suggestions for your football party menu.


Easy Homemade Salsa (Yield, 3 cups. Serves 10)

Who doesn’t stand around the table eating chips and salsa until the bowl is empty? This recipe for restaurant-quality salsa is simple to make and fun to serve.

  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1  10 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 jalapeno deseeded and membranes removed
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  1. Roughly chop up 1/2 an onion, 1 jalapeno (remove seeds as desired, the seeds will add heat), and 3 cloves of garlic. Add to food processor.
  2. Add in 1 can of diced tomatoes and 1 can of diced tomatoes with green chiles.
  3. Add in honey, salt, 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, and juice of 1/2 lime (start slow with the lime as it can overpower, you can taste and add more if desired)
  4. Blend in food processor for about 30 seconds or until desired consistency.


5 Ingredient Easy Chili (serves 4-6)

Served in bowls or cups, chili is very easy to eat while standing around a tailgate. Additionally, you can pour chili over tortilla chips, add topping, and create a serious tray of nachos.

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 3 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans beans, drained (black beans, kidney beans, a combo, or whatever you like)
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder

(optional toppings: shredded cheese, chopped green onions, sour cream, cilantro, etc.)

  1. In a large stockpot, cook ground beef over medium-high heat until browned, stirring frequently.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked beef to a separate plate and set aside.  Leave 1 tablespoon of grease in the stockpot and discard the rest.
  2. Add the onion to the stockpot and saute for 4-5 minutes, or until soft.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and the cooked beef or turkey to the stockpot, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately, garnished with optional toppings if desired.


Buffalo Chicken Dip (Yield, 5 cups. Serves 20)

Buffalo wings are a fun finger food, but they can be awkward and messy to eat. Plus, where do you put the bones? This version gives you everything you love about wings without the mess.

  • 2 (10 ounce) cans chunk chicken, drained
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup Ranch dressing
  • ¾ cup hot sauce
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 bunch celery, cleaned and cut into 4 inch pieces
  • 1 (8 ounce) box chicken-flavored crackers
  1. Heat chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat, until heated through.
  2. Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended and warm.
  3. Mix in half of the shredded cheese and transfer the mixture to a slow cooker.
  4. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover, and cook on Low setting until hot and bubbly.
  5. Serve with celery sticks and crackers.


Grilled Chicken Kebobs (Serves 4)

Who says tailgate and homegate food can’t be healthy? Grilled chicken kabobs are low in fat and have plenty of vegetables. Your kids will have fun eating them, too.

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 in. pieces
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into 1 in. pieces
  • 1 yellow bell pepper cut into 1 in. pieces
  • 2 small zucchini cut into 1 in. slices
  • 1 red onion cut into 1 in. pieces
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  1. Place the olive oil, soy sauce, honey, garlic and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
  2. Add the chicken, bell peppers, zucchini, and red onion to the bowl. Toss to coat in the marinade.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours.
  4. Soak wooden skewers in cold water for at least 30 minutes. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium high heat.
  5. Thread the chicken and vegetables onto the skewers.
  6. Cook for 5-7 minutes on each side or until chicken is cooked through.
  7. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.


Playing cornhole at a tailgate party before the big game. Playing cornhole at a tailgate party before the big game.

Bring the Fun!

You can sit around and eat and drink at a tailgate football party, or you can have some fun, too. Those who are athletically inclined may want to throw a football around or play some cornhole. Others may want to play a game or two. Here’s a few suggestions for some non-strenuous homegate fun.


Also known in different regions as bags, sack toss, or bean bag toss, Cornhole is a lawn game in which players take turns throwing 16 ounce fabric bean bags at a raised board with a hole in the far end. During each frame, every player throws four bags, alternating teams between each throw. When a bag goes through the hole, it's 3 points. When a bag is on the board, 1 point is scored. Play continues until a team or player reaches or exceeds the score of 21.

Ladder Toss

Ladder toss, which is also known as ladder ball, and ladder golf, is a lawn game played by throwing bolas onto a 3-rung ladder-type frame made of plastic pipe, wood or other materials. A bolas is two balls connected by a string. Each rung has a different point value: usually, bolas suspended on the top rung count as 1, the middle is 2, and the bottom is 3. The first team that reaches or exceeds 21 points wins.


In Bingo, each player matches numbers printed in different arrangements on cards with the numbers the caller draws at random, marking the selected numbers with tiles. When a player finds the selected numbers are arranged on their card in a row, they call out "Bingo!" to alert all participants to a winning card, which prompts the caller to examine the card for verification of the win.

That is Bingo in its simple, traditional form. You can also play Observational Bingo, and create bingo cards based on things that may happen during the football party or The Big Game (for example, instead of G4, the card could read, "Guest Brings Guacamole" or "Cincinnati Wins Coin Toss"). 

Get Social with Quik Shade!

For additional ideas for The Big Game, football trivia, recipes, giveaways, and more, be sure to get social with Quik Shade! Our social media handles are below:


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