How to Throw a Thanksgiving Tailgate Party

General | Nov 18th, 2013

If there are two things to be thankful for this time of year, it’s great food and football.

And there might not be a better time for both than Thanksgiving Day, particularly this year, with some solid NFL games on tap for your Thanksgiving tailgate party – including Green BayDetroit, OaklandDallas and PittsburghBaltimore.

To get you geared up for this Turkey Day trifecta, here are some tips on how to throw a great Thanksgiving tailgate party (either at the stadium or at your own house):



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Game-Inspired Food and Drinks

For any big game, the food is always best when it represents the cities and/or regions participating in the game.

This year, think about side dishes that would be found in the cities where the games will be played (Dallas, Detroit and Baltimore). So whether that’s Texas barbecue, Kowalski kielbasa, or some grilled lake trout, be sure to get your taste buds in the game-day spirit with some classic tailgate grub.  Take the same approach with your drinks, pairing up your region-inspired dishes with classic cocktails, microbrews, teas, sodas or coffees that hail from the same parts of the country.


Barbecue, Even if it’s ColdWinter BBQ Tailgating

Even when temperatures are starting to drop, you have to grill outdoors if you’re throwing a Thanksgiving Day barbecue. It just wouldn’t be a tailgate without the sizzle of the grill (remember to complement your turkey with some grilled sausage, vegetables and finger-food appetizers).  Plus, firing up the barbecue gets the guys outside, which is the perfect segue for our next tip …


Tailgate Football

Throw the Pigskin Around

Pick up a nice new football for your Turkey Day tailgate party, and a game is sure to break out while you’re waiting on the grill at halftime.

And what’s better than awesome food, games and a good ol’ fashioned touch football game?



Set up Tailgating GamesCornhole Tailgate Games

Along with a good football, don’t forget to set up some tailgating favorites such as a cornhole for the spectators on hand. Other outdoor games such as Wiffleball can be a fun alternative for kids and adults alike. For younger children, bring some sidewalk chalk and see who can draw the best turkey, or Raven.





NFL_GearShow Your Team Spirit

Once you have your food and drinks in order, and friends and family are starting to show up, it’s time to bust out the gear of your favorite NFL team.  Whether it’s a hat, a shirt, a jersey, or all of the above, nothing gets the family talking like the logo from your uncle’s most hated rival.  (Just don’t let that rivalry on the field spill over into a family feud at home.)

Start a Friendly WagerSports Bet

Take your loyalty a step further and create a scoring pool or a head-to-head bet with a family member, with the loser having to wear a hat or shirt supporting your favorite team for the remainder of the holiday.

If you don’t have any extra gear on hand, come up with an odd concoction of different foods or drinks, and make the loser of the bet polish it off at the next commercial break.

Football FansSit Back, Enjoy the Game with Family

Like with any good tailgate, while the food is great, the game is typically the reason we’re coming together to celebrate.

On Thanksgiving, however, it’s all about family.

So while it’s fun to spend the day throwing the football around, and barbecuing, don’t forget why you’ve come together to celebrate.

Enjoy the game. Enjoy your food, and enjoy your drinks, in moderation. But, more importantly, enjoy your time with family, because that’s what we should be most thankful for this time of year.