Family-Friendly Tailgating Party Made Easy

Score a touchdown at your next tailgate with these simple ideas to get fans of all ages pumped up for the big game.

1. Set it up.

Start by covering your buffet table with a plastic tablecloth you can roll up and toss later for a quick clean up. Next, organize utensils in paper cups and set them beside paper plates and napkins. For the food, arrange snacks and appetizers first, followed by main dishes, then desserts. Set the snacks out right away so guests can start munching. Make sure you have a convenient place for garbage—pop-up laundry hampers lined with a garbage bag work great!

2. Show your team colors.

Color-coordinated napkins and balloons are a start, but food can also be a decoration. Set out cupcakes topped in team-colored frosting, bowls of candies, and a team-colored fruit and veggie tray. For example, are your team colors green and white? A simple broccoli-cauliflower arrangement makes a statement. Red and yellow? Get creative with skewered cherry tomatoes and sliced yellow bell peppers.


3. Tackle thirst.

Set up separate drink stations for kids and adults. For kids, put bottled water and juice boxes in a shallow plastic bin filled with ice so they can help themselves. For adults, store drinks in labeled coolers to make sure ones with alcohol or glass bottles are out of kids’ reach. Set out plenty of paper cups along with markers so guests can label their cup with their name to avoid any mix-ups.

4. Kick up the fun.

Have the kids stack paper cups into a pyramid and knock them down with a mini football. For adults, make football-themed trivia cards and give a prize to whoever gets the most correct answers. Lawn darts, horseshoes, and corn hole are good options for all ages, or try one of these classic outdoor games. Don’t forget the football—it’s a must for tossing around during halftime.

5. Sack boredom.

Keep the kids busy by having them make a team banner for the table, set up the games, and blow up balloons. Buy team logo temporary tattoos for your kids to put on themselves or other guest who want to show off their team spirit!

Want another excuse to throw a fall party? Try one of these themes and find cool mix and match patterns for cups, plates and bowls here.