We’re all there. You have been shut in with your family or roomies for weeks now and you have pretty much knocked out every home improvement project you’ve been putting off for years. Junk drawers are even cleaned out. Home haircuts are now a way to pass the time.
How about throwing a backyard tailgate? Even if you can’t invite the neighborhood, plan a meal to cook outside – get a few outdoor games (if you don’t have some already) and set up a tourney in your backyard or driveway. In this article, I’ll share a few tips to throw an epic backyard tailgate for you and your family. Then when all this is over, you can invite the whole town because you’ll be a tailgating pro!
Backyard Tailgate Tip No. 1: Start out with easy backyard food
You’ve become an expert in cooking at home I’m sure…but have you mastered the grill? Some of you pros might be smoking meats on the regular (we’ve got that kind of time) but you newbies might wants to pick up a cheap gas or charcoal grill (I prefer charcoal).
A starter charcoal like this one on Amazon will work, but you should be able to find one for under $100 at your big box home improvement store. Then when you figure out what type of cooking (charcoal, gas, smoking, etc.) you can upgrade as needed.
The easiest of backyard grilling food is the hot dog. They’re usually already fully cooked, so you don’t have to worryabout undercooking meat and making your entire family spend a few days in close proximity to a toilet. You can also pick up a package like this one to help out with the presentation and really convince your family you know what you are doing.
You know what your family or roomies will eat – but you can also add pickle relish, diced onions or even chili to step up the hot dog game.
Have a favorite outdoor food you like to grill? Do some research before and figure out something new to go with it to surprise your family. For example, if your grilling go-to is hamburgers, think about different toppings (queso, chili, homemade salsa, etc.) you can add to your menu.
Backyard Tailgate Tip No. 2: Play tailgating games
Before, during or after you’ve served your fancy tailgate food, you’ll want to have something to entertain your tailgate guests. Backyard tailgate games are a great way to get everyone involved and there are a ton of options out there.
The most popular one is cornhole. That’s that game where you toss the bean bag into the hole in the middle of the board. It has become so popular you might have even seen it on ESPN (no – not The Ocho) in the early days of the sports shut-down. If you don’t have one already, you can purchase a cheap one like this – but beware – the cheaper ones are not really made to last.
There are tons of other games out there including washers, ladder golf and spikeball depending on how many options you want to have available. Do a quick search of tailgating games on Amazon and it should give you tons of options.
Looking for something a little cheaper? You can go to the hardware store and buy washers and a 2″ long piece of PVC (just make sure the washer can easily fit inside the PVC opening) to get a decent washer setup.
Backyard Tailgate Tip No. 3: Watch a favorite sporting event outside!
Tailgating was born around attending sporting events. Unfortunately right now watching a game live is not possible but you can still relive your favorite moments outside on an outdoor TV. Dig up an old game on Youtube and play it after everyone gets their food.
You’ll need a wifi signal if you plan on streaming to a device like Apple TV or an Amazon Firestick so make sure you test out your tech before as well.
If you don’t have a projector and screen to play the game on you can always move a TV outside temporarily or buy a lower end projector and shoot it up on a white sheet you hang on a wall. Just make sure it’s dark enough and try out your projector before your tailgate to make sure it works. The more sunlight that hits the screen the harder it will be to see the image your projecting.
Backyard Tailgate Tip No. 3: Don’t expect it to be perfect the first time
Don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself to get it right. Your first backyard tailgate might not be perfect. But with enough practice, you’ll figure out what works best for your (small) group and be able to fine tune your tailgate.
Take notes on what worked and what didn’t and ask friends and families if they have any tailgating experience. If you have questions – feel free to ask them in the comments and I’d love to help!
Related post: How to Throw an Amazing Tailgate Party
Note: I’m required to tell you – the links above are affiliate links. I get paid a very small fee by Amazon if you purchase something after clicking on one of those links. It doesn’t change your pricing in anyway, but definitely will help motivate me to write more articles like this! So thanks!