12 things you'll need for the ultimate tailgating party

Don't forget the red Solo cups!

By Jack Roskopp - Graham Media Group
iStock / sjlocke

Not only is it back to school time for students everywhere, but it's also football season for diehard sports fans. Of course, football season brings along tailgating, the art of having a party before the big game. 

It doesn't matter if you're cheering for your alma mater or your favorite NFL team, tailgating is serious business if you want to have a good time before the game. We've compiled a list of fun items that will take your tailgate from a simple party to the best place to be in the entire parking lot. 

Oh, and if you want to purchase anything from this list, click on the photo for a direct link where you can buy the item shown.

Enjoy!

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This umbrella that attaches to your hitch

This umbrella that attaches to the back of your car on a hitch is perfect for any early season tailgate where the weather can still be hot, hot, hot. The 9 foot-tall umbrella easily attaches to the back of your truck or SUV and will provide ample shade for not only the tailgate, but even for camping or a day at the beach. 


This foldable tailgating table

Never fear where your drink or snacks will go again once you have this tailgating table. This collapsible table has four drink holders, a large holder that will fit your chips or pretzels and a holder at the bottom that works as a personal cooler for drinks.


This portable cooler

While essential to the perfect tailgate, coolers are clunky and big and can take up a ton of room in your car. Let us introduce to you this cooler that collapses into a flat surface that can easily be transported to and from tailgate. The cooler will keep your things chilled for hours on end with no ice, and it can keep hot food warm. 


A portable pizza oven

You will have the coolest tailgate in the entire lot if you roll up with your own pizza oven. This portable oven can bake a 12-inch pie with ease, or reheat a frozen pizza if you’re short on time. You can even order a pizza from your favorite restaurant and just keep it hot for the tailgate. The possibilities (and pizza) are endless. 


A beer pong table

The simple game of throwing a ping pong ball into a cup of water at the other side of a table has turned into a tailgating game staple, and will make or break any good tailgate. This portable pong table folds up nicely so you can take it anywhere and has precut cup holders so water doesn’t spill everywhere and make a mess.

 


This cornhole set

Another classic game that makes any tailgate complete. This cornhole set comes with enough bags for plenty of games, and the wood surfaces of the boards aren’t painted, leaving you to get your creative juices flowing and decorate them with your team’s colors.


This portable grill

While a lot of tailgating food can be made at home beforehand, some things just taste better fresh off the grill. This portable grill can travel with you anywhere, packs up nicely and will keep everyone fed and happy until kickoff time. You can also swap out the grill grates for a flat-top griddle in case you need to cook something else up.


This tailgating cookbook

The art of cooking for a tailgate is much different than cooking for a dinner party at your home, and this cookbook recognizes that distinction. Your food must be portable, quickly cleaned up and most importantly -- delicious. 


A portable garbage bag holder

If you’re not going to pick up after yourself, then you might as well not be tailgating in the first place. This portable garbage bag holder keeps things nice and organized, and packs up nicely when it’s time to enter the stadium for the first quarter. 


Fun, crazy football straws

Because tailgating needs some whimsy and fun sometimes!


A Bluetooth speaker 

You couldn’t possibly throw the ultimate tailgating party without some tunes, right? The best part about having a portable Bluetooth speaker is that the jams come with you wherever you go.


This tailgate power inverter

You’re going to need some power to get this party started, and this mini generator is perfect for a tailgate. It plugs right into your car (but please make sure you bring some jumper cables just in case) and has multiple plugs for whatever you may need during the tailgate.

Peak PKC0BO 400-Watt Tailgate Power Inverter

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Graham Media Group 2018