Homegate Backyard Party Tips
Expert Advice

Not everyone has the luxury of pre-gaming in the parking lot. So, gather your tailgate friends and cultivate that game-day atmosphere without fighting stadium crowds and traffic in the comfort of your home. We consider this a homegate party.

Let’s make sure your backyard is football season ready. Just like every good tailgate, a homegate needs a game-ready grill, all-weather TVs, and any other amenities needed to recreate parking-lot parties on the patio.

With cooler temperatures on the way, your outdoor living spaces have never looked more appealing. What better way to cheer on your favorite team than hosting a homegate backyard party!

Gear Up

You wouldn’t show up to the tailgate party without sporting your team jersey, so your backyard also must “gear up” for gameday. Decorate with team colors, proudly hang your team flag, bring on the snacks, and set up the tailgate party games. Wipe down outdoor surfaces like chairs, tables, and countertops since you’ll be serving food.

Illuminate the backyard for night games with the help of some landscape lighting. Warm things up by setting up an outdoor fire pit. You will need sound bites, so breakout the portable speakers, you can’t have a party without some tunes.

Set up stations for appetizers and drinks so when guests arrive, they can help themselves. Keep drinks cold with outdoor refrigeration or a couple of good coolers to keep drink within easy reach.

Secure the Screen

For play-by-play action, the viewing screen is the most important component of your football watch party. You have several options when it comes to watching the big game outdoors:

Indoor TV – An obvious option would be to move the big screen outdoors. However, take extreme caution when transporting your indoor TV to the backyard. Not only is it somewhat dangerous to do so, but it can be tough to see the screen in bright light. Consider setting the TV in a shaded area, like under a covered porch or a tailgate tent.

Outdoor TV – If you’re willing to make the investment, a TV specifically made for outdoor viewing is a great option for gameday. Outdoor TVs are highly durable and designed to withstand the elements. Mount one to the patio wall for a more permanent setup.

Inflatable screen – Inflating a big screen for the game is arguably the most fun option. However, if the game is during the day, it’ll be hard to see the screen. If you have a large enough shaded space, an inflatable screen will be great – if not, save this option for a night game under the stars!

Grill Prep

If you plan to grill some burgers, make sure your appliance is in working order well before game day. Give your grill a good clean and examine the equipment to be sure nothing is damaged. Be sure to check your fuel. No one wants to make a propane/charcoal run in the middle of the game.

The Spread

This is the most important part of the pre-game fun. Set the stage on your deck or patio with all your favorite tailgate eats and drinks. Prepare-ahead drinks and appetizers will certainly eliminate some of the game day stress. Most of your guests will be happy to pitch in and bring something, all you must do is ask.

No tailgate is complete without an appetizer spread. Try a few of these homemade munchies.  Sliders are also an easy game-day menu idea. Or consider a themed buffet. These are centered around one food option and heap on the fun of choosing fillers, toppings, or components up to the guest. Plus, most all the prep work is done before the party. A good old standby is serving up hot dogs, sausages and brats, and have guests bring easy sides.

How about creating a Bloody Mary bar so guests can create their own masterpiece. Just gather up all the goodies a couple of days in advance and setup on game day. Pitcher Cocktails are made to serve a crowd. These big-batch beverages let your guests pour for themselves. The Gin Bucket is another great crowd pleaser.

Creating Comfort

Once the food is prepared and the viewing screen is set, it’s time to maximize the comfort level of viewing the game outdoors. To accommodate front row seating for the entire crew, chances are you’ll need to add some extra seating. Think beyond the patio chairs – incorporate some unique solutions such as blankets, oversized outdoor pillows,  event chairs, or inflated pool floaties. When viewing night games outdoors, it’s important to keep the bugs at bay – light some citronella candles and keep the bug spray handy.

With all these homegate backyard party tips, you are ready to host the ultimate gameday viewing party!