As summer turns to fall, homeowners have a lot to prepare for, from hurricane season to back to school buzz. But if there’s one thing to get excited about in these autumn months it’s the kickoff of football season. The time of tackles and ten-yard lines is upon us, and with it comes the beloved pastime of game day barbecues. These backyard blowouts combine all the highlights of big game hype without the hassle of a packed crowds and overpriced stadium food. With some grill out favorite foods, a high-speed HD signal, and a few friends and family members, you will be all set for a touchdown celebration that will be remembered all season long.
Make Way for Mother Nature
Unpredictable weather is something that even the most laid back of barbecue hosts most prepare for. When planning your game day grill-out, keep the wide variety of weather possibilities in mind and plan ahead for whatever Mother Nature throws at you. If storm clouds roll in, having a tailgate tent set up in your backyard can help keep guests dry from drizzle or light rains. But if a light sprinkle turns into a torrential downpour, be prepared to bring the football festivities indoors for the remainder of the evening. Having waterproof table covers on hand can save you from having to scramble to protect your patio furniture as well.
Game Day Decor
Impressing your guests with festive football decor and a well-groomed backyard can be the difference between a so-so gridiron grill out and a spectacular one. In the days ahead of your barbecue, rid your yard of any debris such as leaves and fallen branches. A custom backyard tarp can be helpful to collect these scraps for disposal while sofa and loveseat covers can keep grime and leaves at bay while you prep. Once your yard is in tip-top shape, it’s time to bust out the game day decorations. Transform your backyard into touchdown central with fun accents like streamers, balloons, and confetti all in your home team’s signature colors. You can even customize your waterproof table covers to feature your favorite team’s signature logo to prove that you’re the game day master. Put the table cover on after you lay your game day spread down to keep the flies and sun away. Then when you’re ready pull it off and – voila! You’re ready for feast and football.
Whether you have a dedicated backyard television, a projection system, or you’ll be bringing your indoor screen outdoors, it’s important to make sure your TV set is ready for the big day. If your setup is just for the day, be sure TV spot offers comfortable views for all of your guests, it doesn’t pick up a lot of glare from the sun and test the audio system ahead of time to ensure that it’s in full working order. You might even consider picking up some blue tooth speakers to add surround sound. Extra batteries on hand for your remote are a must, as is a strong wifi connection or satellite signal for uninterrupted game time broadcasts. To save time, set up early with a tv cover to keep the TV clean, dry and safe until the time comes to put the ballgame in play.
Everyone agrees that grilling and game day go hand in hand. From classics like burgers and hot dogs to more adventurous fare like tri-tip, kebabs and grilled catch of the day, there’s a bevy of options available for building a big game day buffet. Reach out to your guests and take their dietary concerns and preferences in mind when deciding what to toss on the grill. Maybe go potluck while you’re at it to expand the spread and take a load off your mind. Cleaning and prepping your grill before game day is also essential. Take the time to inspect your broiler for any grime or malfunctioning components so you’re not caught unawares come the big day.
Bring the game day tailgate into your backyard with a few homegrown games of your own. Kids and kids at heart will be delighted to engage in some friendly pre-game competition before the pros toss the pigskin. Here are a few backyard game ideas to get the creative juices flowing and the guests fired up for some football:
- Touch football is an easy way to bring all the excitement of the NFL to your family and friends. Assign teams complete with matching colors and set up a miniature stadium right in your own backyard for some DIY touchdowns.
- Horseshoes is a classic barbecue pastime that even inexperienced players can get in on. Portable horseshoe sets are an easy find at any big box store, but you can also consider installing a permanent backyard set for future outdoor fun.
- Backyard tarps are the perfect accessory for some late summer water games and homemade slip and slides. Break out the hose, sprinkler, and water balloons for activities such as water balloon tag, slip and slide relay races, and pool noodle sword fights.