Tailgating party themed inspiration and ideas

Tailgating Party Theme

Touchdown! Goal! Homerun!

About the Theme

Is opening season for your favorite sport fast approaching? Your team is in the playoffs? Throwing a birthday bash for a die-hard sports fan? Celebrate with a tailgate-themed party. Sure, tailgating is usually for fans who want to get the good parking spots at the stadium, but the culture that surrounds this pre-game tradition is about comradery. If you can’t be at the stadium, get everyone together for a faux-gate at a local bar where you can watch the big game in all its glory.

VIBE: Laid-back

SIMILAR PARTY THEMES: Football, Baseball

Venue Settings


Pick a pub that has more of a sports bar feel with a few TVs. Ask the manager ahead of time if they get the channels you’ll need to watch the big game.

Maia Eli; Unsplash


Body Painting Artist

Self expression of personal style is as important as musicHire a body painter to capture the free-spirited nature of this event with designs for everyone.


You already know everyone is going to look their best in their Coachella-themed outfits, so be sure to get it all on film. Hire a local photographer to capture all your special moments as you and your best friends dance and laugh the day away. After your party, you’ll be so glad you have photos to remember this party forever. Not to mention, your Instagram feed is going to look incredible.

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Get the party started with a pre-game DJ—a professional can hype up the crowd and keep everyone’s energy up during timeouts.

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Kaley Dykstra; Unsplash



Barbeque: the all-American favorite. Serve up bite-sized portions of BBQ classics like sliders, hot dogs, corn on the cob and ribs.

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Sports go well with just about any beverage, but there’s something particularly classic about holding an ice cold brew while cheering on your team.

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Jonas Jacobsson; Unsplash

Creative Detail

Lawn Games

A true tailgate would get the competition started early with lawn games. Have a football handy to toss around (or a soft foam version if you’re indoors), a set of cornhole or life-size Jenga.

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