Tailgating Ideas

Don't Just Tailgate, Tailgate Better

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Three girls playing cornhole while camping

Cornhole has been a traditional favorite at fairs, backyards and tailgate parties for generations. It’s also a firm favorite at children’s parties. Although there is nothing wrong with the standard cornhole game rules, there are some non-traditional games that you can play with a cornhole board that will help to keep the kids interested, and that can help them burn off a few of those energy calories that come with eating all that great tailgate fare you have prepared.

Here are three variations on the traditional cornhole game that can help to keep your kids playing with those bean bags for hours.

Slip and Slide Shooter

For those warm summer days, this variation will have the kids running off that extra energy and staying cool at the same time. The game is suitable for children who are old enough to use a slip and slide. To play the game, set up a slip and slide, and then set up your board half way to a third of the way down the slide. Each child is given a bean bag at the top of the slide. The aim is to launch the cornhole bag and to land it on the board or in the hole as the children slide past the playing board. Normal game scoring can be used. You can also use a simple scoring system, like one point for each bag that lands on the board, if the children are younger. One of the parents will need to keep score.

This variation can also be played in teams, with children from each team taking turns. A team scoring system can be used to work out the winning team. This style of play is great for high energy levels, and it also encourages the hand-eye coordination of the children. It is, however, only suitable for outdoor events, hot days and summer activities. Probably not the best for a tailgate unless you tailgate on grass and have access to a hose and running water to keep the sliding surface wet and slippery.

Round the Clock

Another great take on an ordinary cornhole game is to use a timer instead of using the traditional point system. This round the clock cornhole can be played with one or two boards.

For the single board variation, set up the bean bag board at the twelve o’clock position and use a marker to indicate the shooting position. Mark out a circle using markers. Divide the children into teams. One team has a chance, and then the next team has a chance, and the team is timed.

Start with one bean bag at the foot of the board, and one bean bag at the first shooter. The shooter shoots the bean bag at the board, and then runs around the circle to the board. The bean bag is collected, and then the shooter runs around the rest of the circle clockwise and passes the bag to the next shooter. This encourages speed and accuracy for the children, and gives them time to run off all that tailgate party energy.

A two team version can be played with two bean bag boards, one board set up at six o’clock and one board set up at the 12 o’clock position of the circle. Each team is given 4 bean bags. One team is positioned at the 6 o’clock board and the other team starts out at the 12 o’clock board. The teams then throw their bags at the board on the opposite side of the clock – in other words, the team standing at six o’clock throws to the board positioned at 12 o’clock and vice versa.

Once the team has thrown its bags, they race around the circle and retrieve their bean bags and throw again – at the opposite board. The game can be timed – the winning team being the one who scored the most points in the allotted time, or it can be based on the team to reach a specific point total. All team members must race around the circle in a clockwise direction to avoid collisions.

Pass the Bag

This rendition uses two boards and two teams. Set out the boards opposite one another. Use some of the bean bags to mark off distances between the two boards. Divide the children into two teams.

Each team will have one shooter to begin with that stand at the boards ready to shoot. One child stands at the each marker between the boards. There is one bean bag for each team.

When the game starts, the shooter shoots the bag. A parent keeps score for each team. Once the shot is taken, the shooter runs to the end of the line. The child at the end of the line takes the bean bag and runs to the child at marker one, and then passes the bean bag to the child at marker one. The child from the end of the line then stays at marker one while the next child takes the bean bag up the line – it’s like a relay race.

The game ends when one team has had all the children throw the bag; for smaller children or for older children, the team with the most score wins.

Whether you are playing traditional cornhole, or a newer version, cornhole is sure to be fun for the whole family.

(This is a guest post written by Jennifer Cantis, content creator for Baggo. Baggo carries multiple variations of cornhole boards, bags and accessories. Jennifer has been a avid cornhole player for 11 years and doesn’t plan to stop until she is the cornhole champion of the world.)

Pro Glow Cornhole Lights

Posted by Dave On December - 11 - 2015

Pro Glow Cornhole Lights Featured
We tailgaters like to cornhole day and night. Night time cornholing presents a problem because the human eye needs light to see. Typically if you were playing cornhole in a low light situation, you could place a flashlight under your boards to try and illuminate the surface that way. What if there was a way to illuminate the perimeter of your cornhole boards so the entire board was visible? Pro Glow Cornhole Lights are your answer.

We recently had the chance to test out Pro Glow Cornhole Lights and took them to the most recent San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos game. The game started at 1:05 pm but by the time the game was over and we waited the hour for the parking lot to empty out, it was already dark. Even though the parking lot was well lit from the parking lot light poles, the Pro Glow Conrhole Lights really helped us see the boards. Plus, it really made our boards look really cool.

(Disclaimer: We received samples of Pro Glow Cornhole Lights free of charge. The fact these samples were provided to us for free in no way influenced our opinion of the product nor did it impact our ability to test and review the product fairly and objectively.)

As you can see in the photos, Pro Glow Cornhole Lights illuminate six (6) feet of lights in sections of two (2) feet each. One set of Pro Glow Conrhole Lights can illuminate the entire perimeter of a regulation 2′ x 4′ cornhole board or you can illuminate just the top half or the bottom half of both your regulation size cornhole boards. Buying two sets and you can illuminate the perimeter of both your cornhole boards.

These lights take three (3) AA batteries. The sample that was provided to us included the batteries but if purchasing, we do not know if the batteries are included.

We found that we could easily attach and re-arrange for a custom combination and we were able to remove the lights for storage because they attach to the boards using self-adhesive velcro mounts. The installation for one board took a grand total of about three minutes and that included placing the adhesive velcro mounts on for the first time. While in the parking lot, attaching the lights to the velcro took less than a minute.

Available colors include Red, Blue, Green, White and Pink. All of those colors are solid on/off. Disco colors flash and dance with all colors. Nothing like bringing a little attention to your night cornholing with these lights.

After taking the Pro Glow Cornhole Lights out tailgating and using them in our front yard at night, these lights are definitely “Tailgate Approved”. The only suggestion we can make it to really light up your cornhole boards, consider adding Cornhole Lanterns to your boards to illuminate the cornhole as well. Combining the Cornhole Lantern to light up the hole and Pro Glow Cornhole Lights to illuminate the board’s perimeter, now you have no excuse for your horrible tosses while playing at night.

Pro Glow Cornhole Lights are $19.99 per set and are available from Amazon. If you wanted to illuminate both your cornhole boards, we suggest buying two sets.

Infographic on How To Play Cornhole

Posted by Dan Stern On September - 8 - 2015

With tailgating season here, it’s time to start thinking about becoming the tailgating king or queen.  One big way to do that is to dominate at every single game you play at your tailgate.  Of course, Cornhole has become one of the most popular tailgating games today, and if you don’t know how to play, you’re screwed.

Luckily, we have an infographic on How to Play Cornhole.  It’s perfect if you’re just starting out.  And if you’re a cornhole professional, make sure to pass this along to a friend.

The Undisputed Cornhole All-Star Team

Posted by Dan Stern On August - 17 - 2015

If you were to assemble a Cornhole team that could go undefeated for years and years without ever facing a serious competitor, who would you pick to be on the team? Well, don’t think too hard about it because through sheer determination and a lengthy analysis, I found people who, through a diverse range of skills, would form the undisputed Cornhole All-Star Team.

Gronk Cornhole

Image courtesy of Pats Propaganda

Rob Gronkowski – Picking Gronk for the Cornhole All-Star team was probably the easiest and most obvious choice. Have you seen that touchdown spike? He’d have an unconventional toss, but I don’t think anyone would be able to slam the bag into the hole quite like Gronk. He would also be the team captain, considering his outgoing demeanor, and the fact that he loves to party. The chemistry he would bring to the team would be unprecedented in Cornhole leagues. During squabbles, he’d tell everyone to shut up and shotgun a beer with him. Now that’s a true leader, and one of the big reasons Gronk gets our pick for the Cornole All Star team.

Aroldis Chapman

Image courtesy of MLB.com

Aroldis Chapman – You didn’t see this one coming did you? The Cincinnati Reds star pitcher is a surprise pick for the Cornhole All-Star team, considering his anonymity outside of hardcore baseball circles. But, the guy is a flamethrower. He can sling a baseball over 100 mph consistently. No competitor is going to want to play him with bags flying at their heads at 100 mph. That’s a guy I want on my Cornhole team. Like Gronk, he’s going to have a weird tossing style, but if anyone can sling the bag into the hole every single time, it’s going to be Chapman.

Steph Curry

Image courtesy of The Sporting News

Steph Curry – The NBA champ and MVP! If anyone knows how to win, it’s Curry. Plus have you seen that jump shot? Oh my God. If he decided to take his talents to Cornhole, it’d be the next major North American sport. You can see why I picked him for the Cornhole All Star team. If he can’t miss a 3-pointer from 60 feet out, how’s he ever going to miss the hole in Cornhole? Obviously he’ll use that talent for a throwing motion much different than Gronk and Chapman. Steph’s finesse and fluidity will be the perfect complement to his other teammates’ pure power and strength.

Jennie Finch

Image courtesy of The Tucson Citizen

Jennie Finch – You may remember Jennie as one of the best softball pitchers in U.S. history. She led the Americans to a gold medal in 2004 and a silver medal in 2008. Like Chapman, Jennie’s got a rocket for an arm, but because of her experience mowing down hitters in softball, her technique is better fitted for Cornhole. That underhand slingshot style is perfect for the later rounds of a Cornhole tournament, bringing back a more traditional Cornhole toss for crunch time.

Mark Cuban

Image courtesy of USA TODAY

Mark Cuban – Mark Cuban rounds out the Cornhole All Star team. While not at his physical peak, Cuban brings trash-talking to a whole new level. He makes his opponents cry in the NBA, on Shark Tank and in every single market he conquers. You’ve got to have a guy like that on your team to get into your competitors’ heads. Cuban also has the savvy and charisma to find a way to motivate his team all the way to every championship. Plus, he can throw back beers with the best of them.

Who would you pick for your Cornhole All-Star team? What skills would be the most important? Let us know in the comments!

(This is a post by Dan Stern of East Coast Cornhole. Dan attended college at the University of Maryland where he perfected his tailgating style and his cornhole technique. He currently owns and operates the website eccornhole.com offering unique and customized cornhole sets for sale.)

Modern tailgating is awesome – Here’s 5 reasons why

Posted by Guest On June - 16 - 2015

College Football Tailgating Lot

From Madison to Miami, College Station to Chapel Hill, wander onto nearly any major university in fall and you will be greeted by familiar sights, sounds and smells; seasoned meat on open flames, beer cans rattling around an icy cooler, the dull pop of a football being tossed back and forth and kinetic, anticipatory buzz of thousands students, alumni, and locals coming together on campus to get ready for a big football game.

UCF College Co-eds tailgatingMix in retrofitted monster RVs and trailers, beer bongs, beer pong, baby back ribs and college girls – oh, so many college girls – and that buzz becomes a full-blown tailgating amusement park and the perfect pregame bash before any sporting event. Tailgating is an event all its own. And the chaos and camaraderie make it one of the best aspects of football fandom.

The first reported incident of tailgating a sporting event occurred in 1869 at a Princeton-Rutgers football game. In 2014, according to Nationwide Insurance, over $12 billion was spent by roughly 50 million tailgaters across the United States. Just over one-third of people who tailgate don’t even go into the game, meaning the atmosphere itself is enough of a draw.

Of course, tailgating has changed a lot through the years. Americans love to party. But we also love to innovate. And the good times that take place in parking lots and fields on weekends in the fall belie the bizarre beginnings of this cultural phenomenon back in the 1860’s.

Here are some ways in which technological advancements have improved tailgating and helped it become the social extravaganza that it is today:

The Views Are Less Violent – The first form of tailgating took shape at the Battle of Bull Run in Virginia back in 1861. Locals apparently brought picnic baskets with them on the outskirts of the battle, laying out blankets and baskets on fields and on top of hills. There they ate, imbibed and openly “rooted” for their “team” to win the fight. Unbeknownst to them, they were tailgating the largest and bloodiest battle in U.S. history to that point.

I know blowouts in a Baylor-Wofford or Georgia Tech-Elon early season tune-up game can seem a little ugly. But they are nothing like the views those Civil War spectators took in way back when.

Grilling at Virginia Tech

Photo courtesy of Taylor Takes a Taste

You Can’t Beat The Eats – In 1866, the chuck wagon was born. It was basically just a wagon with a grill on the back for cooking meat and it was used as a meeting and socializing stand for cowboys grabbing some grub while away from the ranch.

That portable meat-cooking machine was a crucial invention along the tailgating timeline. And it has evolved into the monster smokers and weaponized grills and gear we see in lots across the country each week these days.

Grilling has become an art form. As recently as 25 years ago, you went to the game happy to scarf down a hockey puck hamburger or slightly undercooked sausage before kickoff. Now the food is at the center of the whole experience. And there are books, shows, apps and contests all dedicated to the best barbecue rubs, recipes and execution. Darwin never said evolution would taste so delicious.

Jambulance ParkedNow We Are Riding In Style – In the early 1900’s, there generally weren’t dedicated meeting places for tailgating and socializing before the games. Most places didn’t have mammoth parking lots near the stadiums. And as a result, most people got to the game by train and the party took place inside that moving metal.

Now, stadiums are designed and built with tailgating and pregame considerations in mind. And some of the vehicles used to get to the game look like something out of a Mad Max movie.

Motorhomes, RVs painted in a team’s colors, doctored vans; there are all types of dedicated tailgating vehicles out there. There are also rental companies that offer 20 to 25 foot trailers loaded with flat-screen TVs, kitchens, bars and bathrooms in and on them. Parking lots become pop-up shantytowns on game day and fans bring a lot of the comforts of home to the party.

It also isn’t just the wheels that have gotten more sophisticated and effective. Everything involved in tailgating – from more efficient coolers to better boom boxes to more comfortable chairs – has gotten sleeker, simpler and just better over the last 25 years.

More Games Before The Game – The reason for tailgating is, generally, that you’re getting lathered up before walking in to watch a contest of athleticism and skill. But nowadays people get their own muscles moving and blood pumping with all manner of lawn and drinking games. Cornhole, washer toss, and flip cup are just a few of the dozens of games that people break out in the lot before kickoff.

These games don’t just help kill some time but they also get the competitive juices flowing. And they are the perfect outlet for guys, a la Uncle Rico, to show how totally athletic they are and prove to everyone within eye shot that, under different circumstances, they totally could’ve been playing in the game you’re about to go watch. Totally.

Tailgating SelfieSuper Cell Phones And Less Logistics – Cell phones have changed everyday life as much as anything has over the last 50 years. Tailgating is no exception.

Before cell phones it was a major chore to organize a group to go to the game. You could waste precious drinking time by having to meet up at the local grocery store parking lot and following one another to the game. Or you could spend a frustrating half-hour wandering around the stadium hoping you spot the other half of your group. Either way, it was a major hassle.

Cell phones eliminated this inconvenience. But beyond communication, cell phones also make a lot of other aspects of tailgating simpler. Tracking the weather is easier and more accurate. So is taking pictures. Add in all the specialty tailgating and grilling apps and smart phones pay big dividends for weekend sports partiers.

Also, smart phones serve the ultimate tailgating purpose: settling idiotic sports arguments. Twenty years ago you could make up whatever BS you wanted just to win a pointless argument over some random team stat or player fact. Now definitive proof is just a couple clicks away.

And finally, getting information such as last minute injuries, odds and game match-up report picks and predictions are right at your fingertips since most websites are now becoming responsive so they are viewable and easy to use on any mobile device.

Where will the next 10 years take us?

(This is a guest post by Robert Ferringo. Robert is a Professional Handicapper at Doc’s Sports Service. If you enjoyed this post and would like to see more contributions from Robert, leave a comment below letting us know what else you think Robert should write about next.)

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TailgatingIdeas.com is a tailgating blog dedicated to bringing you the latest and most intriguing tailgating ideas out there. Whether it is the latest tailgating gear reviews, a great new recipe or a funny list to make you smile, our goal is to inform and entertain the avid and the casual tailgater alike.

Started in August 2007 by tailgating enthusiast Dave Lamm, TailgatingIdeas.com has evolved into an advocate for tailgaters rights and is not afraid to touch on controversial issues confronting those who frequent the tailgating parking lots.

To learn more about TailgatingIdeas.com and our team of writers, reviewers, cartoonists and contributors, please visit the About Us page.