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To heck with the New Year’s resolutions about losing weight and getting organized, why not spent 2021 upping your tailgate game? Inside Tailgating wants to help you make, and keep, some tailgating resolutions that are actually fun to achieve and that collectively will make your tailgate – or homegate, for a while – the talk of your friends and family.
Check out our New Year’s Tailgating Resolutions, which includes everything from ideas on what to serve, what to wear, what trends to try and how to keep guests safe and happy!
1. Try at least one new recipe each month
Burgers and brats in the backyard getting a little tired? Why not branch out with some recipes from celebrity chef Eddie Jackson? The former NFL cornerback who is also a friend of Inside Tailgating, is the perfect source. His cookbook “Game-Day Eats” takes tailgating-friendly recipes that everybody likes and adds a twist, giving them just enough of a stretch to impress guests with your new culinary skills. The “100 recipes for Homegating Like Pro” include everything from Pineapple-Cochujang Short Ribs to Three-Pepper Chicken Sandwiches.
2. Break out some new yard games
When it’s a similar group of friends or family at every gathering, to play it safe during COVID, a good way to change the vibe is to add a new game to the mix. We suggest CupCheck, a new disc game invented by former Angels reliever Kevin Jepsen, now CEO, and three of his pitching buddies: Alex Cobb, Kirby Yates and Matt Andriese. Ballplayers, and pitchers especially, know a thing or two about killing time with some good clean fun. You play CupCheck with cups set up on top of a pair of six-foot poles that are lined up 20 to 25 feet apart, depending on skill level. Players score points by either splitting the poles without knocking a cup off, hitting a pole and knocking cups off, or catching a falling cup knocked off by an opponent.
3. Make a fashion statement and stay warm at the same time
You can stay both warm and hip this winter at your outdoor party with a – well – hot new look from Gobi Heat products. This heating clothing takes the cozy comfort of an electric blanket and makes it wearable! Whether you’re in a jacket, beanie, socks, gloves or a vest, your friends will wonder why you’re not the slightest bit chilly. In fact, you might want to have an extra item or two for guests to try out.
4. Sign up for a food or beverage subscription
Take the pressure off planning for your next tailgate by planning well ahead the easy way. Go tried and true with a monthly or bimonthly package from Omaha Steaks, which can make either a tailgate or a romantic dinner for two, a night to remember. Or serve up some of the finest craft beer from around the country with a subscription with the Craft Beer Club. It’s a great way to do some taste-testing in a small setting and explore a wide variety of new beers. Each month (or every two months, or quarterly) you receive a 12-pack with two different craft beer styles each from two craft beer companies (3 beers of each style) from different parts of the country.
5. Branch out from the same ol’ barbecue grilling
Try a new style of outdoor cooking with a FIREDISC portable propane cooker. “Plow disc” style grilling is a super easy way to cook for a lot of people without a lot of fuss. You can take care of an entire meal on one cooking surface, whether it’s grilling the meat, veggies and buns for a Chicken Philly Cheesesteak over the multi-teared heat areas or eggs and bacon, sausage, eggs and French toast for a brunch style menu.
6. Go big on team spirit
So you can’t actually go to the game right now but one way to satisfy that urge to celebrate and honor your favorite team is to go all the way with team garb for everything you can think of. We’re not just talking about the usual sweatshirt and hat, but how about facemasks, or a personalized banner like one that says “Welcome to Dallas Cowboys Country Home of (Your Name)…” or a grill or firepit adorned with your favorite team’s name?
CLICK HERE to check out Fanatics for all your fan apparel and gift needs. They have everything from jackets to keep you toasty while grilling for the game, to can holders to keep your beer cold while you scream at your TV.
7. Play it safe
Set a goal for keeping your homegates COVID-free and back it up by setting up hand-washing areas, promoting social distancing, and keeping your guest list small. Spread your party out over different parts of the yard, patio, deck and occasional indoor areas by using furniture setup as the guide. Whether it’s setting up a yard game to encourage guests to head farther out in the yard, starting up the firepit to keep a few guests toasty in another outdoor area, or spacing out coolers full of readymade beverages like spiked seltzers or the latest Moonshine. Our friends at Party Shacks, maker of portable luxury suites, gave us some of those ideas and others after safely hosting a private tailgate before the Georgia-Florida football showdown in the fall.
8. Bring tailgating home
Now, with the marvels of technology that we have, it’s easy to watch most anything from home. So, the trend of homegating is on the rise. While traditionalists may prefer tailgating, modern families can take advantage of all the tailgating fun at home. Homegating takes out the hassle of traveling, traffic and setting up equipment before an event. What you’re adding is comfort and convenience, while still finding a great way to escape the daily grind and enjoy community and fellowship.
9. Stay up to date on the latest tailgating products and trends
The best possible way to do that is by staying tuned in to Inside Tailgating, whether it’s through our monthly e-mail subscription, logging onto our website, or following us on social media. Follow us at Inside Tailgating on Facebook or Instagram, or @TailgateWithUs on Twitter. We’ll keep ideas like these and much more coming all year long, from one tailgating season to the next, with the latest in gear, expert advice, news and more.