Hosting the Ultimate Tailgate Party

Hosting the Ultimate Tailgate Party


Calling fellow sports enthusiasts and party aficionados.

From die-hard fans to those just looking for a reason to gather friends and family, hosting a tailgating party at home is a blast.  No need to brave the stadium crowds, you can bring the game day excitement right to your doorstep and we’re going to give you our tips on how to pull it off. Grab your foam fingers, put on your team jersey and let’s get this party started.


Decide if your party is best hosted indoors or outdoors.


Ring Toss

The Great Outdoors

Choose Your Setup: If you have outdoor space, take advantage of it. Set up a grill if you plan to cook and set up tables for food and drinks.

Consider seating and ask guests to bring chairs if they have them or offer cushions and blankets for sitting on the ground. If you don’t have an outdoor TV, bring your indoor TV out, or set up a projector.

Don’t forget to provide ample shade, and if your party extends into the evening, have outdoor lighting ready.

Weather Watch: Keep an eye on the forecast and have a backup plan in case of rain or extreme weather. Pop-up canopies or tents can be a lifesaver, ensuring your tailgating fun isn’t ruined by Mother Nature.

Team Decor: Deck out your outdoor area with team banners, shakers, flags, and colors. It’ll create an immersive game day atmosphere that your guests will love.

Entertainment and Activities: Keep your guests entertained with a variety of activities. Lawn games, like cornhole, frisbee and bocce ball, are great for casual events.


Person watching football on TV having snacks and drinks

Indoor Tailgating

Spacious Setup: Clear out a room with a large TV, like your living room or basement. Arrange seating for optimal viewing, ensuring everyone has a good line of sight to the screen. Consider bringing in smaller TVs so you can keep up with all the games of the day. Computer monitors work great for this too!

Cozy Atmosphere: Create a cozy and festive ambiance with team-themed decorations, throw pillows and blankets.  Ensure there’s enough seating for all your guests. Rent or borrow chairs and tables if necessary, and set up designated areas for lounging and mingling.

Bring on the Tunes: Music sets the tone for any gathering. Create a vibrant playlist that complements the vibe. Consider a mix of popular hits and timeless classics that encourage dancing and sing-alongs.


Bloody Mary with onion ring, celery, lemon, lime, bacon and boiled egg garnish.

Crafting the Ultimate Bloody Mary Bar

Now, let’s turn our attention to one of the crown jewels of any tailgate party – the Bloody Mary bar. A customizable, build-your-own Bloody Mary station will keep your guests entertained and refreshed throughout the game.

The Base: Start with a quality Bloody Mary mix as your base. You can even make your own if you’re feeling adventurous, but there are plenty of premade options available.

Spirits: Offer an array of spirits like vodka, tequila, and gin, so your guests can tailor their cocktails to their liking. While vodka is generally standard in a Bloody Mary, some people prefer a “Bloody Maria” made with tequila or a “Red Snapper” made with gin.

Toppings: Provide an assortment of toppings and garnishes like celery sticks, olives, pickles, bacon strips, and even shrimp. Don’t forget hot sauces and various spices to kick up the heat.

Glassware & Stirrers: Set out an assortment of glassware, from mason jars to highball glasses. Offer fun stirrers or swizzle sticks for mixing and decorating.

Display Creativity: Label everything clearly and encourage your guests to get creative. Some might prefer a spicy, savory masterpiece, while others may go for a sweet and tangy concoction.



 Stress-Free Food

Hosting a tailgating party involves a lot of prep work, so why not take some stress off your plate by opting for catering?

Tailored Catering: Choose a local catering company that specializes in game day favorites like wings and sliders. Many offer packages that can be customized to your preferences. We may be partial, but City Works and Old Town Pour House have great options for your game day needs.

DIY Platters: If you want to keep the DIY spirit alive, consider purchasing platters of pre-made finger foods and appetizers that require minimal effort to set up, but can have small elements added to make them festive. One idea is to buy a premade cheese ball, and shape it like a football, cover it in bacon and put small slices of white cheese on top to resemble football laces.

Time-Saving: By going with catering, you’ll have more time to enjoy the game and mingle with your guests. Plus, no one will have to miss a crucial play because they’re stuck in the kitchen.


The most important thing is to enjoy the game, the company of friends and family, and the delicious food and drinks. May your home tailgate be a touchdown-worthy success.

If you’d rather someone else host Game Day, check out our blog on why Bottleneck restaurants are the place to be.