Okay sports fans let’s be honest, from time-to-time some of the best memories when attending a sporting event are not always the stellar plays or scores. In fact, oftentimes the best moments are the tailgating with friends that happens before the big game. Pre-game games amongst friends and family, delicious food and great conversation can set the tone for a lot of fun. Instead of partaking in the normal corn hole and grilling, be sure to keep things fresh.

Whoever is designated as the cook, doesn’t want to be stuck cooking the entire tailgating period. If you’re responsible for providing the main dishes such as meats and other eats, prep the night before and try to cook some of the food prior to the tailgating festivities. Being organized will give you the opportunity to enjoy everyone’s company. Also, if you’re organizing the pre-game fun ask others to bring side dishes or drinks. This will alleviate the stress of providing and remembering everything that’s needed. However, if you are planning on serving items that need to stay heated try the genius idea of turning your cooler into a warming over. You’ll need bricks, wet towels, aluminum foil and a little help from your oven – the Pocket Chefs have an excellent tutorial that will provide you the science and how-to knowledge to construct this genius hack.

Okay, so a great tailgating event means that there will be a ton of people. Be prepared for hot conditions and if you have a tent then you’ll want to optimize the space by creating some air movement – and no, I’m not talking wind solely from Mother Nature. Bring a lot of bungee cords and use four of these cords to attach a box fan to the top of your tent. You’ll have a comfy fun zone in no time. And while we’re on the topic of chill – make sure that you put your water bottles in the freezer the night before. Frozen water bottles will keep the items in the cooler cold and once the water thaws you’ll have ice cold water to drink later.

While food is key, be sure not to forget about the overall presentation. Incorporating team colors into the table clothes, paper products and other decorations can be a key element into getting your fellow fans excited about the game – which is the reason you’re having a tailgating session, right? You don’t have to spend a ton of money. Check out the options your local Dollar Tree has – you may be surprised by all of the color options they have when it comes to table clothes and paper products. Get crafty and make a banner or use fan memorabilia that you have lying around the house that can be used as a center piece.

Now for food ideas – sometimes the same old treats are very much needed. However, from time-to-time it’s important to jazz things up with a great new side or treat. Who knows that newbie could quite possibly make the list of your go-to designated list of go-to recipes. Since there is a lot of standing and talking, bite size eats can be the perfect option. Old House to New House has a great recipe that will leave your guests asking for the recipe and more. When prepping for this delicious side make sure that you have two mini muffin pans available for use. You can customize the bites by using whatever herb cheese that you prefer or that your guests will like.

Don’t put those mini muffin pans away just yet. has an excellent mini taco bowl recipe that’s perfect for tailgating events. Everyone loves tacos so this yummy option will surely be a hit. If you want to add a little something extra to the taco bowl, the blogger recommends adding a leaf of cilantro on top or also incorporating some Mexican rice into the bowl.

Potato skins seem to always find their way to any sporting event, but The Country Chiccottage blogger takes a new spin on potato skins with her tater tot kabob recipe. When you bring the dish to the tailgating festivities, don’t forget to grab the sour cream and chives – adding those additions will give others another option.

Make the most out of your tailgating event. The festivities before the game are just as important as watching the sport because they create great memories with your friends and family.

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