It's football week for The Preppy Planner!!! Ever since I can remember my family has attended football games, at James Madison University, multiple times each fall. With these gameday excursions have come many a pre and post-game tailgate that has truly evolved and grown since the standard cooler and popup chairs from long ago. For some tailgating has turned into a party unto itself as people travel with their own RV's, team tents, tables, chairs, games, and so much more. 

For my family's tailgate at JMU we always go above and beyond when it comes to hosting our tailgate party. No matter who or what you are tailgating for (concert, baseball, or football game) you will find all of these on your list of must-haves to make your tailgate a success. 

1. A Car/Tailgate. You can't really have a tailgate without a tailgate now can you? 
2. A Tent. This was the best investment that my family has ever made. The tent helps keep you cool on hot days and keeps the rain off of you on rainy days. It is also a great way to show your support of your team on gamedays.
3. A Table. Just like the tent, you can now buy a team's playing field as your tailgate table. When it comes to decorating this makes it easy and you don't need to buy a tablecloth!
4. A Grill. A newer addition to our tailgating standards is our tailgate grill. It hooks onto the back of the car, for easy transportation, and we have cooked everything from grilled cheese and chili, pizza, and ribs on ours.
5. Festive Cups, Napkins, Plates, etc. You can't just get the standard white paper plates, red solo cups and napkins for a true gameday tailgate. We stock-up on school colored items and custom JMU cups.

6. Games. I custom made a cornhole set for my family to use at tailgates. If you don't want to make your own you can buy a basic set at most any sporting goods store.
7. Music. What's a party without some good music? So you don't kill your car battery use a portable speaker and plug in your ipod with a fun mix. Don't forget to include your school's fight song in the mix!

8. Decorations. To really have a fun tailgate you need to include some fun decorations. I have used and seen others use everything from lights, plants, table decor, streamers, garland and more used to add team decor to the tailgate. Depending on how much space you have at your tailgate spot will determine how much decorating you can do. 
9. Food. With all the normal tailgate activities that go one it is really important to make sure you have some food. Everything from finger foods to full out catered meals are acceptable tailgate foods, though I always like the fun football themed items. These adorable JMU cookies were made by Kooking in Kate's Kitchen.
10. Drinks. And last but not least, the drinks. We always have a wide variety of drink options on gamedays with our marked adult and non-adult beverage coolers as well as tailgate bar set-up. Don't forget to enjoy your gameday beverage in a fun glass!!

For more great tailgate ideas you can checkout this Fall if for Football Pinterest board and by visiting my Pinterest page @PreppyPlanner.  What is a staple that you have at your tailgate on gameday? Share your tailgate ideas below!! 




Suzanne Ridgway
09/27/2012 11:27am

I think it's time to change your picture to fall clothing :-)

10/27/2012 8:00am

I'd like to exchange a link with your site and mine. I'd link you on my JMU game day page. Please look at my site and then we could link.
Joe Drozda

10/29/2012 5:20pm

Hey Joe! Feel free to link my tailgating post to your site! I love the tailgating 101 tips that you have on there!



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