There are a few essential elements that make up a tailgate party. You’ve got the game, number one, and the people kicking back in jerseys watching the game. Those are bare-bones minimum requirements to have a tailgate party. You could almost just call it a bunch of people watching the game.
Then you’ve got tailgate food and drinks, which helps turn things into more of a party. But what turns it into a full-blown tailgate party is the games. You absolutely must have games to play at your next tailgate party. It’s hard to remember details like who was at the party, what you ate, even who won the big game — but a great match will jog your memory.
Keep reading for our list of the eight best tailgate games that can help make your next game day gathering the best of the season. We’ve separated them into the following categories:
- Pregame Competitions to Get the Party Started
- Big Games for the Big Game (Oversized Classics)
- Tossing Games for a Tailgate Party
Pregame Competitions To Get the Party Started
Tailgate parties generally revolve around a primary sporting event, either on TV or in the parking lot of the actual game. There’s a long speculated history of the tailgate party, popularized when the automobile was mass produced. Today the term is used for watch parties in parking lots, homes, and backyards.
Drinks and games are two staples you can’t do without at your next game day gathering: here are three games you can enjoy with or without sipping on a Bev.
- Bottle Bash
Test your accuracy with a frisbee and challenge your quick hands and catching ability. Bottle Bash is a game played between four people at a time. Players work in pairs and take turns throwing and catching the flying disc.
The game setup features two poles staked into the ground fifteen feet apart. Atop each pole is a little platform on which sits a bottle. The goal of the game is to knock the bottle off your opponent's pole by hitting the bottle directly or hitting the pole so that the bottle falls off.
Players of the opposite team try to prevent both the bottle and the frisbee from hitting the ground. You and your partner do the same when it’s the other team's turn to throw.
It’s an intensified game of frisbee catch that requires sure hands and good communication and is best played with a drink in your hand. It’s an ideal tailgate game to get the trash talk started before kickoff.
PutterBall is a combination of golf and cup pong. It’s played on a putting surface that has six holes on each side — arranged in a triangle — each with a circular turf cover to fill the hole when a put is made.
It tests precise execution and mental resilience to finish your six holes before your opponent. That last shot is always the hardest, especially if you place a stiff set of party parameters on the competition, which is optional.
Imagine walking up to the best tailgate BBQ ever. All your favorite people are there, the music is bumping, the snack table is fully loaded, coolers are stocked, and the game doesn’t start for another 32 minutes. Good, no rush. Everyone is enjoying HOOKS! Ring Toss game.
The game's rules are simple: if you hook the ring, you move the shot — race against your opponent to push the shot to their side of the ladder.
It's an intense game of acute precision and remarkable comebacks. Best played with a group of people cheering at the competitors hard enough to lose their minds.
Big Games for the Big Game
You’ve got to get into that big game mindset for the big game. Your tailgate party will match that energy when you prepare with life-sized versions of some all-time classics. These next two tailgate games bring the fun competition to the next level.
- Giant Four in a Row
- Jumbo Dice
Play Four in a Row like you’ve never played before. It’s a life-size version of the game that fully immerses you in the activity. Step back to analyze the board and strategize your next move before picking up your color disc and sending it down the slot on the mega-board.
Whether you win or lose the game, Giant Four-in-a-Row is always a win at a tailgate party. Additionally, kids will go nuts when they see a version of their favorite game almost as tall as they are.
To play dice games big enough for the big game, you need supersized dice. This takes the game off the table into action. Take turns hurling mega dice out of a bucket and doing your favorite touchdown dance when you win. It’s Yardzee, the next level of dice.
The jumbo wooden dice comes with a matching wooden bucket, reusable score cards, and a booklet with twenty exciting dice games to try.
What Are the Best Tossing Games for a Tailgate Party?
Tossing games are what people are looking for when they show up for a tailgate party. Tossing games are vital to the success of your tailgate party, right up there with something delicious to snack on, your favorite beverage, and the actual game itself. Is it possible to even have an official tailgate party without a tossing match as part of it?
Here are three tossing games that will seal your tailgate party with the official stamp of classic tailgate fun.
- Island Shot
Similar to Cornhole (also on this list) but much more durable, portable, and simple. Island Shot is a single-board, versatile take on classic bean bag toss games.
Just unfold the retractable game board legs, take three steps away and take turns tossing mini Cornhole bags toward the beautifully designed, weatherproof island board. This game also differs from Cornhole in that it’s more challenging to “land it on the island” than to sink a bag through the hole.
Score three points for every bag that landed on the board at the end of the round and one point for bags that went through the hole. First to nine points wins!
TowerBall is a tossing game with 360-degree gameplay. This means more action and excitement from every angle and more people who can play simultaneously. Having TowerBall at a tailgate party is fun that everyone can enjoy at a tailgate party.
At the center of the game is a four-sided tower with a different number of target holes on each side. Toss the eight included balls through the holes to score. Catch fire, set a record, and then hope your favorite team does, too, once the big game starts.
Okay, this one may not need an introduction. Cornhole is a legendary tailgate game played on game days in parking lots, bar patios, and backyards worldwide. When the game is on, someone — somewhere, is playing Cornhole.
This classic Cornhole set exhibits outstanding build quality with a varnished plywood top that offers the perfect amount of slide. They look clean how they come but are ready for customization without any prep work if you want to use decals or paint to show your colors.
It has eight weather-resistant and regulation weight bags, a tote bag to keep them in, and a carrying case to take your Cornohle set anywhere.
Are you not hosting the party this week? Take your regulation board and bags to wherever the party is happening. The carrying case makes it convenient to play the game during home and away games.
Host great game day parties and make fun memories this season with tailgate games that everyone will enjoy. The tossing games, oversized classics, and late-night games above will surely add excitement to any tailgate party. Root for your favorite team and make some highlight plays of your own with the best tailgate games.
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