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College Football Kickoff: Tailgating Must Haves

College Football Kickoff: Tailgating Must Haves

Few things garner as much excitement in our house as the start of the college football season.  Yes, we know we are deep in the heart of ACC and SEC country, but my husband and I bleed blue and white! Both Nate and I are proud Penn State University alums and our enthusiasm runs deep for the tradition, pageantry, and competitive spirit that flows through central PA every fall.  We are fortunate to be season ticket holders and love traveling to Beaver Stadium to reconnect with family and friends, tailgate in the cow fields, and cheer on our beloved Nittany Lions with 100,000+ passionate fans.

Inspired by our school's classic navy blue and white color palette, we've put together a collection of tailgating must haves perfect for entertaining outdoors all season long.

So whether you are "We Are....Penn Stateing" your way to a good time in Happy Valley, watching at home, heaven for bid rooting for a team in Red and Gray or Blue and Maize (Sorry Big Ten Brethren!), or even cheering on those teams in the SEC that we hear are pretty good,  gameday will be a blast with our gear!

Football Tailgating Essentials - Table in a Bag

A foldable, packable wood table that just so happens to be stained a rich navy/gray hue, this little guy is a chic cross between a coffee table and picnic table. With its low to the ground profile (standing only 16" high), Table in a Bag is the perfect companion to your folding camp chairs or sitting on the grass, and doesn't take up a ton of space in your car!  

Table in Bag does require a little assembly, but fits into a bag similar to a camp chair bag with a shoulder sling.  Tote Table in a Bag to your next large tailgate where there never seems to be enough sitting or eating space!

Football Tailgating Essentials - Barebones Living Coolers

We are obsessed with Barbones Living's line of coolers. From the stylish nylon exterior, to the water-resistant, antimicrobial, removable inner liner, and bottle opener zipper pull, these coolers were made for the tailgate!

Football Tailgating Essentials - Barebones Living Coolers

Large Cooler 

No need to schlep your gameday grub in a ridiculously heavy and overpriced plastic or metal cooler. A protective base, attractive leather-trimmed handles, and a padded shoulder strap allows you to show up in style, all while the cooler's 5-layer construction keeps iced food and drinks cold for 48 hours. 

Backpack Cooler 

A must if you're parking and walking to another tailgate. Padded straps and a boxy-without-being bulky interior holds up to 12 12oz cans or a few bottles of wine...oh yeah, and all your non-alcohol related tailgating wares, too!

Football Tailgating Essentials

Fun fact (And one my husband and brother still don't believe):  I made it through 3 1/2 years of college (Graduated early, not dropped out!) and over a decade of tailgating as an alumna without ever having a sip of light beer.  And this was before craft breweries hit the scene, producing suds actually worth drinking!

If you're like me and prefer to pregame with a top shelf tipple, you need The Mason Shaker!  Inspired by a classic southern icon, the Mason Jar, this shaker will be the talk of the tailgate and take your gameday cocktails to another level.  Create multiple drinks at once in the 32oz mason jar for a round of big-batch cocktails everyone will love.  Or better yet, you can prep drinks at home right in the jar and stash in your icy Barebone's cooler, worry-free with The Mason Shaker's sealed top (That also doubles as a shot measure). 

Football Tailgating Essentials

Ditch the plastic and upgrade your serveware to something a little more sophisticated - enamelware.  Enamelware is classic, cool, and sustainable. It's lightweight, shatterproof design makes it perfect for alfresco entertaining;  and our vintage pattern and splatterware collection is oh-so-pretty in blue and white.

With their raised sides, our roaster pans and platters are perfect for keeping crudités, wings, and chips and dip in check.  Your classic cocktail will be old-school cool in a vintage tumbler; these also great for housing cutlery or even cheese straws and pretzel sticks!  And chilly, post-game celebrations call for a warm drink.  Make and sip hot toddy's or spiked hot chocolate in our splatterware coffee pot and mugs.

Crow Canyon Home enamalware coffee pot mugs - football tailgate essentials

Penn State Football Tailgating Essentials

It's amazing how the addition of fresh linens can awaken a home space and put the finishing touches on a tablescape.  Well, the same rings true for your outdoor space!  Set out your tailgate spread atop a striped tablecloth and offer your guests a linen napkin with their burger or chili. If you're traveling to the game in an RV, outfit your home away from home with a few chic pillows, then throw them outside with the rest of the tailgate gear to use as a pre-game perch.

Penn State Football Tailgating Essentials - The Dharma Door Baskets

Pack up your pretty linens, gameday grub, and the pigskin in our stylish and durable jute baskets. Our round jute basket is handmade – from start to finish – by fair trade artisans in remote, rural communities of Bangladesh. As pleasing as they are practical, these natural baskets have been carefully crafted to stand the test of time.  Which means the next generation of Little Lions will be set to carry on treasured tailgate traditions.

College Football Tailgating Essentials

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