My family is filled with BIG soccer fans. Everyone of them plays soccer, watches soccer, eats soccer for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We have season tickets to our local professional soccer team, Sporting Kansas City. With five in our family, eating at the games can get expensive, so we always plan on getting to the games early and tailgate in the parking lot. Now, when people think of tailgating, they might think it is a drunken party. Not for us. Sure there are some people out there partaking a bit too much, but there are usually a lot of families having a fun, parking lot picnic. Whether you are tailgating with your family at a soccer, football or baseball game, with these tips your next sporting event will be a blast!
Here are 10 tips to make your family tailgating fun and successful:
1. Plan on packing easy-to-eat foods. Our last tailgate we packed chips and salsa, strawberries, baby carrots, buns and then on the way to stadium, we stopped and picked up some barbecue meats for sandwiches at Arthur Bryant’s BBQ.
2. Pack a cooler of drinks, kid friendly and adult friendly.
3. Pack paper plates, utensils, cups, napkins, Ziplock bags for leftovers and trash bags. Since we tailgate so often, I have one large Ziplock bag with paper plates, utensils, napkins, baggies and trash bags always ready to go.
4. Pack camp chair and either a small folding table or what I have done in the past is brought one of the large extra boxes from Costco that they pack your food in and used as a table to set up food. When you are done you can throw it in the big recycling bin at the stadium, if they have one, or pack up your left overs in the box to store in your car.
5. Try and park close to a port-a-potty or bathroom.
6. Bring soccer balls, footballs, etc., for the kids (and some adults) to play around with. Tell kids to stay close so you can keep an eye on them.
7. Umbrellas and rain poncho are also a good idea, just incase it decides to rain. Don’t let that stop you, though. Once, when weather was being unpredictable, we decided to back our car up to our friends’ and then open both our tailgates to make a little shelter from the rain!
8. Be sure to throw out trash and unwanted food when done, recycle when you can and store leftovers in your cooler and car.
9. Once in the stadium, we found that popcorn is the best and least expensive snack to help keep the kids satisfied.
10. When the game is over, it usually takes a while to get out of the parking lot. Get some drinks and snacks out of your cooler to hand out to the kids while you slowly try to leave. This might cut down on the whining.