Fall is returning to West Michigan and along with it, plenty of sporting events to attend with family and friends to root for your favorite team! Whether your sport of choice is football, soccer or the various types of car racing, one thing is certain… having a vehicle that’s ready to become a tailgating supercar will add fun and excitement to any event. Here are our tips on how to get your ride tailgate ready!
1. Create A Gameplan
Your favorite team wouldn’t step out onto the field without formulating a plan ahead of the big game and neither should you! Before you go, start by finding out what the weather conditions will be like the day of the event, which anyone in the greater Grand Rapids area knows can vary from one extreme to the other! Decide ahead of time if raincoats, umbrellas, hats, gloves, blankets, popup tent, shorts and tank tops, or long pants and jackets are necessary to have fun and keep comfortable while cheering from the sidelines. Pro Tip: Be sure to keep both sunblock and sunscreen packed in your vehicle for protection during sunny days and buggy nights.
2. Pack The Essentials
Tailgating is synonymous with really great food and some fun drinks so plan your menu in advance to know how much space you’ll need and what additional tools and utensils you’ll need to take. Some common helpful items include spatulas, plastic utensils, paper plates, resealable plastic zip-lock storage bags, favorite condiments and seasonings, trash bags, paper towels, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, sharpie markers, duct tape, chairs, table, cooler, grill and depending on the sporting event, a bottle and wine opener. Pro Tip: Pack items in clear plastic storage bins to make finding items easier.
3. Don’t Forget To Decorate
Tailgating is the perfect time to put your team spirit on literal display for everyone to see! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to add some fun decorations to your vehicle and the gear you bring to setup. Window paint is an easy way to add fun, supportive messages for your favorite team or your favorite team player and it also comes in a variety of colors so finding one to match your team should be easy. And since it is designed to use on glass, it can be easily removed in between sporting events for those who might not want to keep it on display during their everyday life. Antennae toppers are also a quick way to identify your vehicle in a parking lot packed with cars and can easily become a way to show your support as well. Pro Tip: Erasable chalkboards and decorations on your cooler can add some fun flair to your gear.
4. Bring Entertainment
Eat, drink and be merry… those are the three ambitions of any great tailgater ;) Once you know exactly what food, drinks and gear you’ll be bringing, it’s time to decide what fun games you can play while partying in the parking lot. Classic yard games are a great way to start and can include a football or frisbee to toss around, cornhole, ladder ball, washer toss, beer pong, ring toss, KanJam, spikeball, and giant Jenga are crowd favorites and a great way to cycle in new teams to keep people from getting bored. Pro Tip: Start a tournament to bring your game playing to a whole new level of competition with points awarded for each round until the victor is crowned.
5. Know Who’s Driving
If your tailgating event involves a high school football or soccer game, chances are you won’t need to decide who is driving after the game. But for the events where you might be imbibing, choosing a designated driver ahead of time will not only help you avoid endangering yourself and others on the road but keep you from unwanted trouble with the law. Always play it safe before watching your players and know who will be driving home after the sporting event when alcohol is involved.
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