Whether you're tailgating before a big game or just to celebrate sunny weather, you'll want the event to be a bash in and of itself. The good news is you don't need a whole lot more than the excuse and the guests, but just to make sure you don't have a party foul, we've compiled a quick list of eight tailgating essentials.
1. Food and drink: A must for any party is obviously tasty snacks and cold beverages, and tailgate party vittles are casual and comforting. Think chips and salsa, burgers and hot dogs, brownies and ice cream. Wash it all down with a frosty beer, soda, lemonade, or bottled water.
2. Portable grills: Don't bother hauling out bulky charcoal or gas grills when you can save space, energy, and manpower with an easy-to-use tabletop grill.
3. Coolers: Keep drinks chilled with a cooler or two. Simplify beverage picking by assigning separate types of drinks to single coolers, and label the contents on each cooler's lid.
4. All-weather preparation: As with any outdoor event, you need to be prepared for inclement and hot, sunny weather alike. Sunscreen, face-protecting hats, rain ponchos in team colors, and wide umbrellas will keep you alternately cool and dry.
5. Blankets and chairs: All your guests will need a place to sit - especially any little ones in attendance who might tucker out early thanks to all the excitement. Folding chairs are easy to transport and set up, and blankets can either serve as a cushion or, if the weather turns cool, an added layer of warmth.
6. Music: Of course, getting guests pumped might not be all that hard, but a little rockin - music is always welcome. Prep a few mix CDs of arena or classic rock, and maybe a little jazz when the party starts to cool down.
7. Binoculars: If your party is on game grounds and you don't have killer seats inside the stadium, make sure to tuck a pair of trusty binoculars in your tote bag to keep score.
8. Games: And finally, make sure you have some quality entertainment before the big game begins. Horseshoes, beanbag toss, and ladder ball are classic tailgate party games everyone will know and expect - and you can get supplies right here.