Football season is here! And before you gather the crew to head out and cheer on your favorite team, check out this list of must-haves when it comes to a great tailgating party (trust us: some of these will be surprises you haven't thought about before).
1. Meat: Let's talk about this one first. Obviously, grilling is essential for a good tailgating party. Don't forget to pick up varieties of meat including hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken and steak.
2. Fruits and Veggies: Add to the grill-fest with a few fun fruits and vegetables, such as peaches, watermelon and, of course, corn on the cob. Variety is key when you're trying to throw the most epic tailgating party of the year!
3. Themed Treats: Using Wilton's Color Mist, spray your cookies, pretzels or whatever you'd like your team colors. Your guests will be blown away with these themed treats!
4. Icy Treats: Tailgating parties are perfect for root beer floats—kids and adults both love them. Or, pick up some ice cream sandwiches and put a popsicle stick in the end then, draw on a few lines of a football and you'll have a football ready treat! Both are easy and portable.
5. Baked Potatoes: Baked potatoes are an easy crowd favorite, especially when tailgating.
6. Drinks: Here's where you can get creative. If you have quite a few guests, you might want to serve mixed drinks or even a bubbly punch.
7. Games: Many times, tailgating parties often involve kids, too. Think through the party a bit and have some fun games ready for the kids to enjoy while you handle the party. Frisbee or tossing a football are great options.
8. Lawn Chairs, Blankets, Umbrellas + More: Think through the gear a bit depending on where your party will be. If you're at the stadium, be sure to bring plenty of blankets and chairs to sit and an umbrella to block the sun or the rain.
9. Must Have Utensils: Don't forget the grilling gear, forks and spoons as well as the necessary wet wipes, napkins, plates, etc. Nothing is worse than being caught without your gear at a big party!
10. Reusable Decor: If you'd like to reuse your decor, stay neutral and purchase "football" colors instead of team colors. For example, use solid green or brown plates that can be reused at other parties. If you would rather use team colors, pick up solid color paper plates instead of team labeled paper goods—you'll save a bundle!
11. Display: Have you ever seen anything like this? Using cardboard containers leftover from the pop, this blogger created a football stadium display for snacks. Wow!
12. Treats to Go: Grab a brown or white paper bag and fill them with popcorn, chips, trail mix or any other good-to-go treat. These bags are great for kids and are less likely to spill, they will love running around holding their very own treats.
13. The Playlist: Before the big game starts, be ready to blast out some festive tunes. Gather up your favorite party mix and make sure it can play loud. If you can get your hands on a mixed tape and an old school boombox, you'll be the talk of the town!
14. Goodie Bags: Get together some inexpensive goodie bags filled with treats and mini-footballs. Kids will love them and it will also give them a little something to do on the drive home.
15. Coolers & Inflatable Pools: Be sure to bring several coolers for drinks. But, if you'd like to take it to the next level, grab an inflatable pool instead. Fill the inflatable pool with ice and load up with your favorite drinks. Not only are they easy to grab, it's sure to be a talking point, too.