There has been a major break through in my home…. about two weeks ago, my seven year old daughter Brooke asked when would football season would start up again. I nearly wept with joy when she asked me this pressing question. To that I will add, this epiphany occurred without a family intervention.  For the last few years I questioned… “How a child of mine could not embrace every aspect of the game of football?” So with Brooke’s question,  you know I was beyond relieved.  My baby has even sat through a few of the preseason games and asked poignant questions.  Hallelujah!!!

But please don’t get it twisted though, this is the same child who has always been about BIG PARTIES…more food, more people, more games, more drink (she believes in lots of options), and all of the goodies that make a great gathering..So here are some of our favorite must haves for a wonderful tailgate…

Some of the essentials that make for a successful tailgate at the stadium or in your backyard…..

Stansport Hilo Screen House (10x10) - Dick's Sporting Goods

Start with a canopy….I like the type that can be closed to keep out the unwanted insects or opposing fans….

Quest Oversized Arm Chair - Dick's Sporting Goods

Over-sized arm chairs with cup holders…..this is something you can never have enough of….”Why you ask?” Well.. when people come to a party without their own chairs…they try to take yours!! Buy these bad boys on sale and stock up..Dicks Sporting Goods always has a nice selection…

RIO Portable Camp Table - Dick's Sporting Goods

A couple portable tables and this one rolls for convenience in packing and space conservation..this appears to be close to beer pong regulation as well…my friends and I are such good parents our kids play “juice pong”

Coleman Roadtrip LXX Grill - Dick's Sporting Goods

Love this cool portable propane grill….sleek and easy to transport..I don’t work with charcoal in a tailgate situation..I believe in simple

Masterbuilt Double Burner Camp Stove - Dick's Sporting Goods

Now for your chili, soups, sides and spiked apple cider to keep you warm…the double burner stove…

If you tailgate all the way through January, or you live in Green Bay….this is a must…a very cool portable heater…

It is really a rough road when you don’t have some fire for your propane…make sure you have more than one lighter..

Your grilling utensils…the plastic ware does not work…FYI

Igloo Island Breeze 50 Quart Rolling Cooler - Dick's Sporting Goods

Cooler on wheels….live and learn my friends. Carrying a cooler to a destination or even from your house to your car is a pain butt..wheels are a must!! If there are children, you want at least two.  Separate the kids drinks from the adult… Also, you can never have too much ice…

A bottle opener/cork screw all in one combo is the best bet for your tailgate…..

Wild Sports Football Tailgate Toss - Dick's Sporting Goods

Anyone who has ever followed my blog or knows me personally is aware…. corn hole/bean bag toss whatever you want to call it is my FAVORITE tailgating game!! Games are a must…decks of cards, Frisbee, ladder ball, of course a football, and yes quarters, flip cup, or beer pong..This can only enhance the fun…

iLive Boombox - Black (IBP182B)

MUSIC…please don’t make the terrible mistake of not having good tunes..I like up beat songs all of my guest will know…Nothing like some “Brown Eyed Girl, It Takes Two, Margaritaville, September, Poison, Billy Jean, Sweet Caroline, We Are The Champions…so on and so forth. Not having music is a big NO…NO

Tripplite PV150 150 Watt Power Invertor - Dick's Sporting Goods

Watt Power Inverter/Charger…do not let your “boom box” go dead or a cell phone for that matter….

 Depending on the time of day for your game….flashlights trump using a cell phone as a light me on this one…

Extra batteries…it’s like when we have no batteries at home when the wii remotes die. It’s a bad scene. You don’t want to go for a flashlight or a battery operated radio and it has no juice….

Adventure Medical Ben's 30% DEET 4oz. Pump Spray - Dick's Sporting Goods

Bug Spray…..I am a popular target for mosquitoes …so I have learned this is a must for you and your guests 

Last year at an Eagles game with Mark Levin, Director of Salary cap and agent administration, I saw several vehicles with these Koozies…this is impressive….

PSU Flutter Flag

A flag to identify your tailgate for your friends…..Yes..I am Penn State

Penn State Nittany Lions 50

A throw or blanket….always keep the weather in mind!! I am notoriously’s common knowledge with all of my friends

Rain gear is very important…..believe me!! Once I had to accept some camouflage rain gear at a Ravens game..The gentlemen were very kind, but not the look I was going for…

Not to be Debbie Downer…..but don’t be left without a first aid kit…it brings good karma for no injuries..

One of the best inventions ever…

Lot’s of paper towels…they double as toilet paper too 🙂

Wipes…no need for the spray at a tailgate………. these are quick and easy…

Paper plates, cups, napkins, and  plastic ware in mass quantities…it really stinks if you run out!!!

Penn State Nittany Lions White Team Logo 54" x 108" Plastic Tablecover

Table clothes for an easy clean up process and so classy….

Disposable, aluminum pans….another must..unless you have a fabulous Winnebago and can wash your dishes on the spot…disposable pans…stands and Sternos to keep the food warm..The stands and water pans can be recycled for several seasons…..

Ziploc bags of all sizes…these come in more handy than one would ever know….

Foil… another underrated necessity of a tailgate….it you don’t have a football…a foil ball works very nicely for tossing around or a  dodge ball like game 

Make sure you have plenty of trash bags…. nothing worse than not having a means of getting rid of your trash…get a medium sized can you can transport for the’s easier than trying to keep the bag open or the trash from flowing out

And a large plastic storage container for all of these odds and ends…it is best to keep all of you paper products, cleaning products, trash bags, flashlights, first aid kit, foil, and other small items for tailgating in one central location….this way you know what you have and what needs restocked for the next outing…

And of course a camera to capture all of the fun….a disposable works just as well…tailgating is something the creates memories that you will certainly want to treasure for years to come….. 

So this is part one of my tailgating essentials…..part two will be all of the great food and drink that will give you…I am here for you!! 🙂

Remember…Who Do You Want In Your Kitchen On Game Day?