This Game Day Hacks sponsored post written by me on behalf of Food Lion. All opinions are 100% mine.
It’s fall and that means lots of wonderful things around here – changing leaves, wonderfully cool weather, and football!
My husband went to a college here in North Carolina that has a huge football following. Anytime there is a home game, no matter the day or the time, there will be an insane number of tailgaters. He started taking me to some of the games when we first started dating, and I quickly got caught up in the fun. I went to a small high school and college, so I had no idea how much fun I was missing!
We took a break from tailgating and football games for a few years when the kids were too young, but now that they’re getting a little older, they enjoy the fun too. We usually spend a day cooking and getting ready the day before the game.
Tailgating with kids is an entirely different event then tailgating with adults. When I’m heading to games with friends, we bring tons of food to share and literally dozens of apps, entrees, desserts, and drinks for every to choose from.
When we tailgate as a family, though, I scale everything down quite a bit. I try to figure out what will work easily for kids and have learned by trial and error over the years. We keep it simple by preparing and bringing things the kids will eat and enjoy without going over the top.
Here are a few of my favorite tips for enjoying a game day with your family.
Five Big Game Party Hacks for Families
1. Prepare individual servings when possible. Have cupcakes ready for kids instead of cake that has to be cut up and served, a small bag of chips or goldfish for each child instead of large bags to dig in, etc. I’ll even prepare individual salads and sandwiches sometimes so the kids have their own container to hold and eat from. That works better for us instead of larger plates that get soggy or spill off of little ones’ laps.
2. Freeze water bottles to use in the cooler. We have a car filled with people when we take all three kids so every bit of space is used when we tailgate. I make extra room in the cooler for food by freezing water bottles to use instead of ice. The frozen bottles keep the other food cool and then can be served as water with the kids’ lunch as the ice starts to melt.
3. Tie a large helium balloon on a string to the car. When we go tailgating with our adult friends, we make sure to park together and enjoy the experience as a group. Since we usually tailgate by ourselves as a family, we love to use a balloon to mark the car’s location. If we walk around or have friends also attending the game, it’s easier to locate our car by the balloon.
4. Line a box or 12-pack beer/drink carton with trash bags, then put beverages in the box and fill with ice. I love doing this to make a temporary, disposable drink cooler that can be recycled at the end of the day. We’re always hot and tired at the end of the evening, so anything that saves time, energy, and space in the car is a bonus.
5. Have everything already washed and prepared. When we tailgate with friends, grilling the food and putting out the dishes is part of the fun. Tailgating as a family is different. I want everything ready to put out so I can sit, relax, and spend time with my husband and kids. I make sure to have everything washed, sliced, and stored in dishes so that they is nothing left to do but open containers and enjoy.
One of our favorite ways to enjoy tailgating is to head to our local Food Lion before the big game. I love stocking up on game day favorites, as well as check out the seasonal goodies that everyone will enjoy. Our local store is new and gorgeous, and always full of great foods at prices that we love. We’ve been shopping at Food Lion for many years and it really feels like an important part of our community.
Be sure to check the Weekly deals for your game day shopping trips! Food Lion offers easy, fresh and affordable foods that are perfect for nourishing your family. Save time and money when you use Online Shopping with pick up or delivery. Want great tailgating recipes? Find awesome Food Lion Recipes for the perfect game day.