Top Tailgating Tips

Kansas City tailgatingWhether you’re a seasoned tailgater or just getting started, it helps to have a list of things handy so you don’t find yourself on a parking lot with no way to open that can of beans, or having to borrow matches or a lighter from neighboring tailgaters or worse, realizing your tickets to the game are on the kitchen counter at home! Use these tips and this list to make sure you’ve got everything you need. Feel free to print it out and keep it with your tailgating gear!

Pro Tips

  • If you plan to tailgate on a regular basis, put a kit together with the things you know you’ll need every time.
  • Do as much as you can the night before so you can get there early to get a good spot.
  • Bringing warm food? Use a cooler as warmer. Line with aluminum foil and fill with hot food.
  • Make your party easy for friends to find with a tall flag or a helium balloon.
  • Finger foods rule! The easier it is to eat it with your hands, the better!

Things to Prep the Night Before grilling burgers at the tailgate

Patty meat, freeze, throw on grill

Do the slicing and dicing in the convenience of your kitchen (tomatoes, onions, etc.) 

Freeze water bottles so they can do double duty (keep things cold & provide cold drinks)

Make labels for the coolers

Tailgating Checklist

The Essentials (Absolutely don’t forget these things)


Food & drinks

Grill/propane or charcoal/matches or lighter/grill utensils

Folding table



Ice for coolers

Sunscreen if it’s warm and sunny

Ponchos and umbrellas if it’s rainy (extra trash bags make great rain ponchos in a pinch)

Double up on critical items like charcoal or propane tanks so you don’t run out

Extension cords

the basics for tailgating

Cold Weather Tailgating Gear





Hand warmers


Don’t worry too much if you forget something. Tailgating neighbors are usually happy to share. Just look for the groups with the same color jerseys as the ones you’re wearing!

Make Tailgating Easy – Order a Party Pack from McGonigle’s!

If cooking the food on-site is not your jam, make it easy and order it all from McGonigle’s Market! Give us an hour and we’ll have it ready – two hours if you want it hot and ready to eat. We offer three sizes for small to large groups. Here’s a link to our Party Pack menu where you can choose from delicious BBQ options and our mouthwatering sides: Party Pack Menu.


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