Getting together to tailgate is an essential fall activity. Even if you have no plans to go to a game in-person, throwing a “tailgate” style party is a great way to cheer on your favorite team with friends and family.
I like to make my tailgate feel elevated and still spirited by using school colors with something cute like a block print tablecloth. This is an outdoor affair so I’m not using my best linens but Etsy has some cute tablecloths that won’t break the bank. For example, as a Gamecock fan, I think this maroon palm tree table cloth would be so cute at a South Carolina tailgate or party!
Flowers always have a place at the table in my opinion, no matter how casual the affair (casual affair just means casual flowers)! I mean into fall a lot with mums but dahlias would also be so pretty - bonus if you get a few that tie into your school colors (but no blue roses PLEASE).
Buffalo Chicken Crockpot Dip
This buffalo chicken dip recipe is SO easy. I use chicken from a rotisserie chicken for minimal cooking and everyone always love it. I serve it with scoop chips, ritz crackers, and celery!
P.S. if you're doing a lot of tailgates, it's worth investing in this power station so you never have to worry about outlets again! (within reason)
My tailgates have always revolved around SEC football, so, for me, some sort of fried chicken is a must. My go-tos are Chickfila and Publix. Chickfila for a nugget tray and Publix has great actual fried chicken drumsticks. Save yourself the headache of grilling out during a tailgate and give yourself more time to hang!
I really need to type up my mom's pepperoni roll recipe because it's a little simpler than what I could find online but this recipe is probably the closest. These have always been a hit in my family (and they're even better after the game when you've, um, had a little bit to drink).
When I called my mom to get her perspective on tailgate must haves, she mentioned Blondies, I think, 10 times. Something about a brownie/blondie is comforting in the fall, and I personally feel blondies are harder to mess up than cookies. This recipe is a winner for me.
Besides beer - which you have to have at a tailgate if you're with people who drink, no ifs, ands, or buts, it's fun to have another drink options at your tailgate.
For a day game
Bloody Marys! My husband swears by the Zing Zang mix and add some other ingredients to really up your bloody mary game. This recipe is similar to what he does and this is a great option for an early day game (or if you're just starting your tailgate extra early).
For the southerners
Tailgate. Tea. While Vanderbilt wasn't known for having a ton a tailgates with family like they do at other SEC schools, I did go to a few where my friend's mom served what she called Tailgate Tea, and it was delicious! Make it in bulk in a little serving jar and you don't have to worry about getting all your guests drinks because they will happily serve themselves to this stuff. Here's the recipe.
And don’t forget to be a good host! Anytime you’re joining a tailgate, it’s a good idea to offer up a food or drink. Personalize what you bring with a cute fall gift tag. Shop them here!