Fall Football Tailgating Essentials

I am a fall girl. I love summer, but get more excited as the summer comes to an end and we can celebrate all things fall. Fall to me is all about being cozy, comforting flavors, scents, and warmth. I feel like family naturally spends more time together in the fall months and it usually forces me to slow things down a bit.

And besides all these wonderful things to come, I also get super excited about football! Tonight is the start of college football!! We already have tickets to see Stanford vs. USC in early September and then for NFL the 49ers vs. Eagles in the new Levi’s Stadium. I love dressing up for the game, tailgating, and then the energy of the stadium once the game begins.

Tailgating is one of the best parts of the game. You can play games like ladder golf and corn hole, cook up a feast, and listen to your favorite tunes before going into the stadium. I always enjoy the atmosphere and excitement in the parking lot!

Here are my ten fall tailgating tips and essentials:

1. Plan your menu. Beer and wine or cocktails for the game. Steaks, chicken, or brats? Condiment crazy? Veggies and dip? Brownies for dessert? Plan it out ahead of time and bring more food than you think to enjoy after the game.

2. Stock your cooler full of ice, water, and beverages. Ice is essential and water keeps you hydrated on hot afternoons.

3. Pack that grill and charcoal or gas. We have a mini grill that is perfect for cooking steak or burgers, which is easy to pack up and travels easily. After your grill, you should put the coals in a metal bucket and let the grill completely cool.

4. Bring utensils, tongs, platters, and plates. Grab what you would need from your acrylic picnic collection and also pack paper towels, napkins, and toilet paper. Then bring a bag or box to put in all the dirty dishes and utensils that you can bring right to your dishwasher when you get home.

5. Chairs and/or tables for comfort. We usually bring a small table and a few chairs to lounge in.

6. Lather up with sunscreen and chapstick. All that tailgating fun involves a lot of time in the sun, even for a night game you get there early enough to still get a little color. So bring sunscreen and be sure to reapply.

7. Red Solo Cups. These are good for drinking beverages and adult games. And really what says tailgate more than a red solo?!

8. Get your games on! Throw the football around or challenge your friends to ladder golf. Break a little sweat and have fun before the big game.

9. Prepare your tailgating playlist. Music is key to making the perfect atmosphere for your tailgate.

10. Tickets and cash in hand. Of course, you need your tickets, but you just don’t know what goods will be wandering around the parking lot. Maybe you see a $5 hat or $2 water you just had to have. Bring some money for last minute essentials you might have forgotten.

Next Level Tailgaters:

To make your tailgate one-of-a-kind, I would recommend four additional things: a canopy or tent to provide shade and legitimacy to your tailgate spot; massive fan gear like oversized flags and banners; a blender for mixed beverages on a hot day; and if die-hard, an ice luge makes a nice center piece and people will really want to come check out your tailgate then!

Happy football season and go Niners!!! FYI my husband is a Chargers fan so we are a divided house (for now!).

San Diego Chargers


At a Chargers game in San Diego.


   Go Niners!

My favorite hat!

My favorite hat!


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