Homegating is a popular trend that involves having a tailgate party at your house before during and after a sporting event. With the college bowl season, NFL Playoffs, and Superbowl season just weeks away, follow these tips for a successful tailgate party in the comfort of your own home.
Depending on the time of the game, you first must consider when to serve your main course. For early afternoon games, you can serve your main course as lunch before the game and serve appetizers throughout the game and during halftime. If you don’t want to worry about timing, you can easily serve dishes that can be served throughout the party. Meatballs, hot sausage, pulled pork, chicken or beef can be kept warm in a crockpot for the duration of your event. Sandwich rings are another easy option that can also be served throughout your event. Baked beans, cole slaw, and salads make good accompaniments to your main dish.
Everyone will remember the appetizers if you prepare delicious and unique items. If you or your guests have a signature appetizer, ask them to bring it. Try to serve at least two kinds of dip. My favorite dips are buffalo chicken dip, spinach/artichoke, and melted cheese with sausage. Each of these is relatively easy to make, and recipes for these are readily available all over the internet. In addition, if you cut the veggies yourself, this can be fairly inexpensive. A do it yourself cheese and charcuterie platter is also a good way to cut costs. Local Italian markets always offer an interesting variety of meats and cheeses that your guests may not have tried. Dessert can be something light and easy to serve.
Obviously beer is a must. At a minimum, offer a light beer and a regular pilsner, lager, or dark beer. If possible, feature a craft or microbrewery beer from the hometown of the teams that are facing off. Offer both a red and white wine for non-beer drinkers or mix up a bowl of punch using one of the endless recipes available online. Be sure to serve non-alcoholic soft drinks and water for non-drinkers and designated drivers.
Arrange plenty of seating so that your guests can be comfortable while enjoying the game. Depending on the size of you rooms and the number of guests, you may have to consider viewing the game on multiple televisions in different rooms.
A small version of the traditional office block poll can be created with as little as 25 squares if you assign two numbers randomly to 5 rows and 5 columns. Sell each block for $1 and award $5 for end of the 1st , 2nd, and 3rd, quarters and $10 for the end of the game. Some people may have to buy multiple blocks so keep the cost low. It will keep everyone interested in the game. If weather and space permits, be sure to have a football to toss around in the back yard before the game and during halftime.