Graphic collage of football tailgate items

Tailgating 101: Football Fare and Flair For Every Type of Fan

Light up the grill, pop the trunk, pull on your team jersey and get ready for kickoff: Football season is here. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a die-hard football fan or you just go to the games to socialize, there’s one key part of the experience that everyone enjoys: the tailgate. And with everything you could possibly need to throw a successful pregame party, Target went ahead and outlined tips for hosting a winning tailgate based on different football fan personalities. Which one are you?

The Die-Hard:
Let’s be honest, you’re here for kick-off, not the pre-game, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to get your fill of food and drink  to power you all the way through the fourth quarter. No need for fancy fare—stick to the classics, with burgers and buns, and chicken wings. Put your drinks of choice on ice in a beverage tub that’ll keep them cold for kickoff and go for the extra point by adding in matching plates, napkins and silverware from Spritz.

The Social Butterfly:
For the butterflies out there, football games are for socializing, selfies and a Snapchat-worthy tailgate spread. You’ll skip the craft brews in favor of the cocktails, so bust out a DIY Bloody Mary bar complete with the mix, fresh celery, your vodka of choice and extra hot sauce! We even have our own Spicy Bloody Mary Trail Mix to pair with the fare, so station the drinks and snacks atop a Threshold bar cart for on-point presentation and keep the cocktail shakerstir spoonstrainer and ice bucket ready for refills. 

The Grill Master:
To the grill master, tailgate is merely a synonym for backyard barbecue. With the menu on lock, you’ll need to focus on the accouterments. Show off your culinary creations with elevated servewareappetizer forks and dessert plates. With beer and wine as your drinks of choice, a barware set will come in handy for popping tops and opening bottles. Gather guests around with comfortable seating options like ottomans and floor pillows

The Pregame Gamer:
You’ll never say no to a beer and a hot dog, but you’re here for the pregame games. You’ve got cornhole boards (extra points if they’re homemade with your team logo!) and beanbags in your trunk and plenty of footballs to toss around. This year, bring something new to the party and introduce ladderball to the group. Start a tailgate tournament and set the stakes high—losers clean up when the party’s over!

Find all your football season jerseys, mascot mugs, burgers and buns, slow cookers, serving items and more in Target stores or on Looking for some recipes and inspiration? Check out Target Recipes for barbecue tips, fun apps and portable snacks.

Don’t miss out on the latest Target news and behind-the-scenes happenings! Subscribe to our bi weekly newsletter and get the top stories from A Bullseye View delivered straight to your inbox!