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Planning a tailgating party can be a lot of fun but sometimes you run out of tailgating party ideas—and what kind of theme do you go with if you know there will be some non-sports fans at your tailgating party?
We’ve got you covered with five great ideas!
1. Make a Football Photo Booth
Use a sheet to make the backdrop (hang it off the side of a truck or van or from the top of an open trunk of your vehicle). Decorate it with team banners or streamers and balloons. Add some props like foam fingers, helmets, footballs, pompoms, or any other sports memorabilia you have to complete the scene. From there, just sit back and enjoy while everyone takes turns posing for the perfect tailgating party photo op!
2. Nacho Making Contest
If you’re up for a little pre-tailgate coordination, get your friends to agree to participate in one of the most delicious tailgate party ideas: a nacho contest! Everyone makes their platter of nachos ahead of time and brings them to the tailgate to be judged for quality, creativity, and tastiness. The nachos can be ranked by formal ballot or you can designate one or more people to be official judges. The winner gets a free drink when you go into the game, paid for by the other contest participants, but let’s be real: if you spent the tailgate stuffing your faces with nachos, everyone’s a winner!
3. Most Team Spirit Contest
It’s like a costume contest for adults, except dressing up like a sexy cat isn’t going to be enough to win! You should think team colors, jerseys, mascots, iconic coaches, whatever you want as long as it’s team spirit-related. Just like the nacho making contest, judging can be as formal or casual as you want it to be: you can make up ballots, write down your favorite on pieces of paper, or declare a select number of judges in advance.
4. Cornhole Tournament
America’s favorite backyard game is tailgate-ready with the simple addition of a tailgater stand to your scoreboard so you can play it in the parking lot! Your tournament can be casual or you can get more organized and run a full bracket, which is explained in detail in our post on How to Plan a Cornhole Tournament (if it’s your first time, here’s how to get started!).
5. Hot Sauce Eating Challenge
Line up all your favorite hot sauces and see who can eat the spiciest sauce! This one’s great to get all your friends involved: have everyone bring their hottest sauce to the party (the bringer of the hottest sauce gets bragging rights, obviously). The sauces can be eaten on wings or chips or—if you want to go really hardcore—straight off of a spoon with nothing to dull the heat. The winner is the first person to get through all the sauces or the person who taps out last! Here is a list of the hottest hot sauces if you want to get really serious – purchase with caution.
Try any of these tailgate party ideas as-is or make a few changes to make it perfect for your group and you’ll be hosting an amazing tailgate party in no time!