Tackle Your Tailgate Party
The winning game plan—essential tailgating accessories, tips and menus
Score a touchdown with pumped up tailgating accessories. Huddle up for solid tips on how to throw the best tailgate ever. Fuel up with mouthwatering menu plans and recipes.
Local stores' must-have tailgating accessories
Carries top of the line portable camp stoves, tables and chairs, as well as, premium outdoor gear to keep you warm and dry.
1939 Blackrock Turnpike in Fairfield, (203) 334-7006.
Store Hours: Monday - Friday 10am-9pm, Saturday 10am-8pm, Sunday 11am - 6pm.
952 High Ridge Road in Stamford, (203) 461-9865.
Store Hours: Monday - Friday 9am - 9pm, Saturday 9am - 8pm, Sunday 11am - 6pm.
Carries high performance footwear, ski and waterspouts gear and outerwear to keep you warm and dry no matter what the weather. Check out their perfect fall layering gear from The North Face and Patagonia among many others. We especially love the midlayer fleeces, the new Patagonia Nano Puff® Pullover, $149, and ultra lightweight down sweaters.
55 Arch Street in Greenwich, (203) 862-9696.
Store Hours: Monday - Saturday 10am- 6pm, Sunday 11am-5pm.
Has all the tailgating supplies you'll need! From pop up canopies to portable furniture to coolers, grills, and smokers like the Bradley Propane Smoker, $199.99. The lightweight and portable Bradley Propane Smoker® burns Bradley Flavor Bisquettes automatically with the power of AA batteries and propane, and comes with a sturdy carrying case. Whether you're looking to hot smoke or cold smoke in the great outdoors, the possibilities are all there. Use it to make mouth-watering buffalo wings at your next tailgate party. Go wild!
444 Connecticut Avenue in Norwalk, (203) 838-2583.
Store Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am-9:30pm, Sunday 9am-9pm.
Carries high quality gear for outdoor activities from outerwear to furniture and cooking tools like this awesome Camp Mini Kitchen, $53.93 (on sale from $109).
The aluminum roll-top table with 60 lb. capacity provides space to prep and cook food; and is sized to fit most 2-burner camp stoves. The Ripstop polyester storage compartment contains removable dividers and storage bins to help organize plates, utensils and spices (sold separately). The storage compartment also includes 2 waterproof, PVC-free wash bins or storage areas for damp items. Store your utensils in the zippered front compartment. A separate stove compartment securely holds most 2-burner stoves and two pockets on the side hold 16 oz. propane fuel canisters. Plus the whole thing folds up! The frame has integrated carry handles to help you transport your kitchen from the car to the tailgate.
189 Connecticut Avenue in Norwalk, (203) 838-1938.
Store Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am - 9pm, Sunday 11am - 6pm.
Even more cool gear
Some like it Hot or Cold
Tailgate Hotbag with Mesh Pockets, $179.95.
It is made of 1000 Denier nylon. The Hotbag is heavily insulated with independent thermostat controlled heating elements in the top and bottom. Simply plug the supplied 6’ power cord into any 12v outlet and the electric Tailgate Hotbag heats to 165-170 degrees to keep food hot and safe from the time it leaves the oven until it’s ready serve at your tailgate party, even if it's hours away. Tailgate chefs can now bring their favorite batch of chili from home and serve it steamy hot on a fall football afternoon.
The Kegger!™ Keg Coat (half-barrel) $99.99 (on sale from $119.99).
This is an insulated cooler specifically made for a beer keg. At room temperature, it will keep a keg cold for a full 7 hours with no ice at all. Imagine bringing a keg to your next tailgating party, without toting along bags and bags of ice! The Kegger!™ Keg Coat is equipped with two handles capable of lifting way more than a 150 lb beer keg! The liner is both tough and watertight. If your game lasts longer than usual, add some ice! The liner will keep any melted ice or condensation from leaking.
Coleman Micro Quad Led Lantern With Rechargeable Area Lights, $14.99 (on sale from $34.99).
Far and away the coolest, most adaptable lantern around. It's really 4 Lights in 1. The 4 removable LED light pods, each with its own on/off switch with a rubber lanyard for hanging, a clip for attaching to clothing, and a magnet for attaching to steel surfaces. The removable light pods are powered by (2) lithium ion rechargeable batteries, which are recharged when attached to the base. Runtime: up to 33 hrs (Lantern), up to 1 hr (Pod). The Lantern is powered by 4AA batteries.
Seating and Setup
Sports Fan Tailgate Table & Cover $119.99 (on sale from $125).
Connect this table to your hitch and serve up a good time. The 48" x 20" table top supports up to 50lbs of food and beverages with two table height settings (dining and bar height). It's light and easy to set-out (only 22lbs.) This table works with 1.25" and 2" receivers.
Game Day Cargo/Team Logo Hitch, $379 (on sale from $399).
Have a seat wherever you go! Multi-function, multi-position cushy seat allows the sports fan to sit facing away or towards your vehicle. When facing towards the vehicle you can drop your truck tailgate down and use the tailgate as a table or even open your SUV hatch and put your feet up and relax while watching the the game on your Big Screen TV! Fits a standard 2" Class III or IV receiver and is weight rated for 600lbs. The seat folds up and attaches nicely to your trailer hitch so you don't need to make room for storage space inside the vehicle.
Game Day Lounger tailgate chair, $49.95 (on sale from $59.99).
This chair is a comfortable way to show your school spirit. Only NCAA, MLB and NHL team logos are available at this time. Measures 34” x 22.5” x 32”. Folds flat for easy storage.
Margaritaville Tailgating Grill $399.99 (on sale from $499.99).
This high quality barbecue serves up a home grilling experience on the road. The grill allows you to lock it onto the hitch receiver and drive away with it attached to the back of your car, just like a bike rack. No more fumbling around with a hot grill inside your trunk.
Coleman Dual Fuel™ 2-Burner Stove, $99.99.
This 2-burner liquid fuel stove with Dual Fuel™ technology allows the stove to burn Coleman® liquid fuel or unleaded gasoline. 14,000 BTU in two powerful, high performance Band-a-Blu™ burners with a runtime of about two hours with both burners on high. It's roomy enough for up to two 10" size pots. Heavy duty nickel chrome grate is removable for easy cleaning.
3-piece BBQ Tools Set, $20.
Stainless steel tools— a 25" long spatula with built-in bottle opener in blade, an 18.75" pair of tongs, and a 19" long forkin rolled up in a convenient Fold & Go Carry Tote that can be customized with your team's logo.
These spirited goodies will add more to add sis to your boom bah.
College Logo Grill Brands, from $18. Stamp your team's logo on your burgers!
Inflatable Mascots/Logos, $109.99. These inflatables stands 5' tall, simple to set up, lightweight, durable and awesome.
Ultimate Tailgater's Flagpole Package, $72.99.
Flags make it easy to find your car in the parking lot and show off your team spirit. This package combines their popular 17' Flagpole To Go and the Tailgaters Tire Mount— just roll your tire over the mount and your flag stays in place all day. The flagpole accommodates two flags from 1'x2' up to 3'x5'. The pole closes down to less than 44"; and the Tailgaters Tire Mount collapses to just 2" tall for easy storage. It is lightweight, durable aluminum construction that weighs just 3 pounds.
UConn Huskies fans check out this website for your spirited gear »
Frizby Football Game, $62.99.
Throw your frisbee through the uprights to score!
Swerve, $58.99 .
A ring-toss frisbee game, totally portable, easy to set up, and light to carry.
The ultimate bean bag toss game in a smaller size for tailgating portability.
The Gas Can by Campfire In A Can, $279.99.
Stay warm with The Gas Can it is literally the hottest campfire on the market! Safe to burn on a wood deck or patio carpet, The Gas Can is the only certified campfire with a zero clearance to combustibles. The natural looking logs combined with an adjustable flame allow you to create the ultimate campfire experience. The long propane hose stores conveniently inside the canister. Its compact size and lightweight design make it a go anywhere.
Pinwheel Canopy Tent, $227.95
This large 9’ x 9’ two-color pop-up tent can be customized with your teams' name, colors and mascot like the CT Huskies!. The durable water resistant canopy is made of 200 Denier polyester. The tent boasts a 6-foot height clearance and stands 9-feet at the tallest point. It retracts to only 4 ft for easy moving and storage. Ground stakes for extra stability and tough nylon carrying case with wheels are included. Easy set up and take-down for two people, takes only a few minutes. Add side panels to keep you toasty later in the season!
20' Inflatable "Game Day" Dome Tent (in your school colors) $1,195 (on sale from $1,299.99).
Your fellow tailgaters will be jealous of for a long time to come. Choose your team colors an add on a customized logo for an additional charge. Each 20' tent comes with a blower, choice of sandbags covers or ground stacks and repair kit—everything you need to set-up and go!
To make sure you have a blunder-free tailgate party, the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association offers these checklists for every level of tailgater.
The Rookie - If you've never planned a tailgate before, keep things simple the first season with the basics:
- The Grill - Charcoal or propane - make sure it's small and transportable
- Tools: Grilling accessories, propane, or charcoal and charcoal starter (if necessary)
- Set-Up: Table, chairs, cooler
- Food: Burgers, hot dogs, chicken, snacks, dips and dessert
- Drinks: Whatever quenches your thirst (don't forget ice for the cooler)
- Other must-haves: plates, napkins, trash bags, cups and condiments
The Routine Rally - For fans who have tailgating down pat from seasons of practice, remember there is always room for improvement. Upgrade your tailgate with some new twists in addition to the tailgate basics!
- The Grill: Raise the stakes with a grill that has more room for more food.
- Set-Up: Bring a grill pad and tools with your school colors and logo, or favorite NFL or other sport team paraphernalia.
- Entertainment: Get pumped up with your team's fight song and/or alma mater.
- Real Time Sports: Invest in a generator to hook-up your TV and stay up-to-speed with rival teams and all the stats.
The Extreme Team - For serious tailgaters only! Being part of this team takes experience and a passion for tailgating and will keep your friends talking for years!
- The Grill: Upgrade from a stand-alone grill and go all out with a tow-behind or attachable-to-vehicle grill.
- Vehicle upgrade: Rent a large van or RV, or bring multiple vehicles and claim two to three spots
- Bigger is better: Use large speakers and giant TVs.
- Team spirit: Hang banners and team flags to show ultimate team spirit.
- Theme team: Give your weekly tailgate a theme.
For Any Tailgate
- Know all the rules and regulations of the tailgate park.
- Make sure you have ample seating.
- Provide plenty of room around the grill for the chef.
- Get there early to set-up and get the grill going.
- Bring water along to extinguish the fire and make sure it is out before leaving the game.
Menu ideas and recipes
The key to a good tailgating recipe is that most or all of the prep work can be performed at home before the tailgating event. You don’t want to spend your whole day prepping food when you should be having fun.
These recipes and menus will make you the envy of all your tailgating neighbors! Serve up Shish Kabobs, Blackened Tuna or Cincinnati Chili to name only a few delicious ideas.