We still have a few weeks of summer but another season is already upon us… and I’m not talking about fall. I’m talking about football season!
That’s right. The 2022 NFL football season officially starts on September 8 and some college teams have already started playing.
Related: How to Throw the Ultimate Backyard BBQ
While last year looked a little different, this year looks a bit more normal. Most teams are allowing in-person attendance which also means fun tailgating parties at the game!
I used to love tailgating in the stadium parking lot, but nowadays, I actually prefer my game day activities at home (even the game!).
That’s why I like to throw my own at-home tailgate party. I call it a “homegate”!
Set out some gameday-inspired appetizers like chips and wings, and add some fun family games to the day for everyone to enjoy.
No matter your budget, you can make the most of the season while cheering on your favorite team!
Below, check out my go-to decor items, recipes and backyard games that will make this season one you’ll never forget.
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Game Day Recipes
You can’t have an at-home tailgate without food to please your guests. Luckily, I have a few favorites that will have everyone begging for your recipe at the end of the night.
The name says it all. This Touchdown Chili Dip recipe is practically made for football season!
It’s a definite crowd-pleaser, it’s packed with flavor and it’s super simple to throw together.
All you need are a couple of cans of beans, cream cheese, Roma tomatoes, jalapeños and a bag of Mexican-blend cheese. Serve it up with some tortilla chips and you’ll have everyone filled up by kick-off!
Sausage. Cheese. Do I need to say anything else?
This super simple dip is packed with flavor and can be served alongside any other dips you have on the appetizer table.
And while something like this may look like it’s packed with fat and calories, it’s made with low-fat cream cheese, turkey sausage and reduced-fat cheddar cheese!
Looking for a main course? Instead of whipping up a batch of wings, treat your guests to this Easy and Lite Buffalo Chicken Bake.
The recipe serves four to six people and it doesn’t take too much skill.
Plus, it puts a healthy spin on the typical buffalo chicken dip—but it’s just as flavorful!
Nothing screams “tailgate” quite like burgers and dogs!
And I’m telling you… this combo from Happy to Meat You includes the BEST hamburgers and hotdogs I’ve EVER tasted.
Don’t believe me? Try them yourself!
Celebrate the win with these irresistible Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies.
They’re a family favorite and sure to please everyone in the room.
Instead of reaching into the cooler, we like to create our own fizzy drinks with a SodaStream.
You can choose from a variety of flavors to create everything from sparkling water to refreshing soda.
If you’d rather sip on something with a bit of a kick, I recommend my Wine-Melon Slushie or one of my new mocktail ideas.
Fun Activities for the Family
While you could sit around and watch commercials during halftime, we like to head outside to play some games!
These activities are also a great way to keep the kids busy if they’re getting rambunctious while the teams are playing.
You can’t have a proper tailgate without a good game of cornhole and I found the perfect Wood Cornhole Board.
Challenge your partner, your kids, or the neighbors to a friendly (and slightly competitive) round that’s sure to come with some bragging rights.
This is one of the trendiest games to play at outdoor bars which makes it ideal for any at-home tailgate party.
I think the best part about playing with this Giant Toppling Tower is the suspense… but the crash of the falling blocks is also a surefire contender.
Spikeball is one of my family’s favorite games to play in the backyard. I’d like to think I’m the best player, but my son thinks otherwise.
No matter your skill set, it’s fun, interactive and gets everyone on their feet.
I found the Spikeball Set above at Walmart and love that it comes with a drawstring bag for easy storage!
At-Home Tailgate Decor
Half of the fun of a home get-together is the decorations.
With a few supplies and a little creativity, you can have a top-notch at-home tailgate in no time.
To start the party, you’ll want to give a big welcome to everyone in attendance.
And what better way to do so than with this football-themed “home” doormat!
Whether you’re trying to protect your newly cleaned carpet or want to add some bold color to your room, this Football Field Rug is sure to do the trick.
You can use it as a cutting board or a platter, but no matter how you use it, this personalized football board is sure to make a statement. Plus, it can be customized!
I’m a huge fan of melamine dishes because they won’t break — no matter how rowdy the party gets!
This 12-Piece Dinnerware Set will add a vibrant addition to your football-filled night.
And for drinks? You can keep them cool in this Football Field Buffet Cooler.
Isn’t this “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” Pillow cute? It’s a great reminder to enjoy every litte moment (because fall is truly one of the best times of the year).
No matter what color you’re sporting, this custom football garland will completely transform your room.
Just pick your team’s colors, send in an order and get ready for a game day with a handmade twist!
While I might head to a couple of in-person games this season, I’ll sure enjoy spending time watching from my couch as well!
After all, being with family and friends is what the season is all about!
From my home to yours,
Want more simple recipes? Find them here!
– Fresh and Easy Zesty Shrimp Salsa
– Egg Salad 3 Ways
– Slow Cooker Three Bean Chili