For some, the changing of leaves means a chill crisp in the air, PSLs, and fall-scented candles, while for others, it means mini beef sliders, the smell of pigskin, and a Carrie Underwood serenade every Sunday night. People are back in their college football and NFL era. Grill season has been extended by a few months, we’re dusting off our jerseys and bibs, and everyone knows that the best part of football season is tailgating.
Between the finger foods, dips, and booze, tailgating is a fun affair for those who follow the sport and the ones who tolerate football for the social aspect. Whether you’re reconnecting with your college friends or hosting a watch party at your place, consider this your tailgate checklist. Pillows to clench during a nail-biting play? Check. Festive (and disposable) napkins and dinnerware? We found those, too! Photo props and games? Check and check. Set yourself up for victory with these fun and festive tailgate essentials.
1. Life is Good Rocket Football Day Throw
As the temperatures continue to drop, you’re going to need a fuzzy companion to keep you warm and cozy this football season — or to shield your eyeballs from interceptions and lousy penalty calls.
2. Storehouse 2-Pack Woven Football Kitchen Towels
I always keep a variety of seasonal kitchen towels in storage because they’re one of the easiest “decorations” to swap out throughout the year. Plus, dish towels are kind of a necessity.
3. Picnic Time Touchdown! Serving Tray
Made out of carved bamboo, this two-in-one football-shaped tray doubles as a serving platter and chopping board (the underside is sanded and flat for cutting purposes).
4. Inflatable Ice Serving Bar Cooler
You and your guests will have no trouble locating the beer cooler — just look for the floating goalpost! The bottom serves as an inflatable cooler, while the top allows you and your friends to toss the ball in between commercial breaks.
5. Acookee Silicone Football Ice Cube Mold
If you want your tailgate to be the talk of the block, you need something to set your party apart from the rest. Enter: football-shaped ice cubes. It’s the attention to detail that will keep people coming back to your tailgate week after week.
6. Rainlemon Linen American Football Table Runner
Add a little pizzazz to your spread with a linen game day table runner. It’s super easy to clean and comes in three different sizes.
7. Jetec Football Photo Prop
Did someone say selfie station? Make memories that will last all football season long with this fun touchdown photo frame prop.
8. Umigy 100-Pack Football Disposable Food Boats
If you’ve hosted a tailgate party before, you already know that the worst part comes after the final whistle. Do your future self a favor and use disposable dinnerware instead of your everyday plates. Food boats are preferred because they have more room than bowls and provide a safety rail of sorts that plates don’t.
9. Gatherfun Football Theme Plastic Tablecloth
If you’re looking to protect your tables and countertops at all costs, you’ll want to invest in a few of these disposable tablecloths. They’re especially handy if your tailgate will have little ones running around. As you probably already know, spills and messes are more likely to happen.
10. 120pcs Football Party Napkins
A tailgating essential! We like that this pack comes with three different designs.
11. Maelstrom Cooler Backpack
If you’re traveling to an outdoor tailgate, you’ll need an insulated and leak-proof bag that will keep your valuables (i.e., beer and dip) safe and secure. This particular backpack — easier to carry than a shoulder or hand cooler! — features an oversized main compartment, a top zipper pocket, a front zipper pocket, cutlery storage, two mesh side pockets, and a hidden back zipper pocket.
12. Grill Caddy
Keep your grill tools and condiments contained and organized. In addition to two paper towel racks, this grill caddy comes equipped with seven compartments and six detachable hooks. And you can use it beyond football season.
13. Custom Cornhole Boards
Cornhole is to football as peanuts is to baseball — one cannot simply exist without the other. Kick your tailgate up a notch and show off your NFL pride with personalized cornhole boards. Each custom order is made using carved lumber, and the designer makes it so the board can be folded for storage.
14. Amscan Football Flag Picks
A tiny decoration that doubles as a utensil, you can stick these fun flag picks in sliders, cupcakes, pigs in a blanket, or any other finger foods you may be serving. You’ll get 36 picks to an order.
15. Ashland ‘Tis The Football Season Pillow
Decorate your living room or outdoor patio with some festive yet comfy decor. It’ll pair nicely with your football plush blanket.