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At-Home Tailgate Ideas for Football Season

Just because the Ravens and The Washington Football Team aren’t allowing fans due to COVID-19 doesn’t mean you can’t tailgate. Let’s face it, the tailgate party is half the fun when it comes to watching your favorite NFL team. And if your college team is playing sans fans as well, you can turn the weekend into tailgate heaven.

Instead of loading up the SUV and pickup with a portable grill, coolers, and tons of food, try these at-home tailgate ideas.


The Network Game or Livestream

If you don’t already have an outdoor TV set up in your outdoor living area, now is a good time to consider doing so. You’ll still get the crisp fall air feel that you would if you were sitting in the stands.

Outdoor TVs are specially designed to provide great picture quality, no matter the weather. They can handle bright sunlight and temperature fluctuations, and with an enclosure, don’t mind rain or snow. Or, you could go for a really big screen and use your projector and a streaming device to show the big game.

A less satisfying alternative is to move a smaller TV to the patio door area just for the game. It is not a good idea to bring an indoor TV outside, as it might get damaged.

If you have a really big space, you could have the game showing on several screens at once.

Tailgate Food

You probably have your tried and true tailgate food favorites. Use your outdoor kitchen to the fullest, so you can be out where the rest of the fans are. You can plug in a slow cooker early in the day to get your famous chili going. Check out this amazing recipe for DC-style Chilli Half Smokes!

You can also get your grill on with any number of tasty tailgate treats. Maybe even create some pizza pies to put in the outdoor fireplace pizza oven!

And don’t forget some sweet treats. Ask your guests to bring their favorites.

Click here for more game day snacks

Adult Beverages (and Something for the Kids)

Stock multiple coolers and your outdoor kitchen’s fridge with plenty of beer. Or take advantage of your kegerator. Because tailgating without beer is like football without touchdowns.  You can have some old standbys on hand, as well as the newest offering from your local microbrewery.

If you have an outdoor bar, so much the better. Have some top-shelf beverages available, as well as red and white wine. Who said you had to limit yourself to beer?

Juices and water for the kids should be kept in a clearly marked cooler where they have easy access.

The Décor

So you’re already wearing your favorite player’s jersey, and you’re decked out in team colors. Now it’s time to bring some team spirit to your patio or deck. Streamers, pennants, flags, tablecloths, plates, cups, and cutlery with your team’s logo or team colors will set the scene.

If you normally put up a tailgate tent when you go to the stadium, set it up out in the yard, as well.

Play Safe

COVID-19 is still spreading. That’s why the sports leagues aren’t allowing fans on game day. You can do your part to prevent the spread. Place chairs and tables at least six feet apart, and encourage your guests to maintain social distancing. Families can sit at tables together.

You should also plan on serving items in pre-portioned servings, or have one or two people serving. Ask guests to stay six feet apart while waiting to get food or drinks.

To really play it safe, have face masks with the team logo to hand out as guests arrive. They can wear them when they’re not eating or drinking, and it’s a great party favor.

And lastly, have fun!


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