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Backyard Tailgate Party - Fun Ideas for a Fall Barbecue


Fall Outdoor Party Themes: Backyard Tailgate Party



Backyard Tailgate Party

Fall and football go hand in hand—and with it comes tailgating! Instead of heading to the game or stadium parking lot, give yourself the home-field advantage with a backyard tailgating party. Put on your best game day gear, fire up the grill, and invite fellow fans (and non-fans) over to enjoy a pleasant fall day of fun, football, and food.

Tailgate Party Décor

Whether you root for your alma mater or local NFL team, here are some ideas for creating a fun football atmosphere everyone will cheer for.

Ideas for a Fall Backyard Tailgate PartyCreate an authentic tailgating ambiance by decorating your truck or car with your team’s insignia and parking it on the back lawn. Add a pop-up canopy and portable chairs to complete the tailgating vibe.

Show your team spirit by hanging pennants, banners, and streamers that display your team’s colors and/or logo.


Photo courtesy of Amy’s Party Ideas


Football Paper Lanterns for Tailgate PartyFootball paper lanterns (pictured at left) and tissue paper pom-poms are another fun decoration: hang them at varying lengths from tree branches or pergola beams.

Put a football twist on seasonal items to liven up your décor:
- Use mums to display your team’s colors
- Carve pumpkins to look like football helmets and paint your team’s logo on them
- Transform a tall oval pumpkin into a football by painting the entire pumpkin pigskin brown and adding white laces down the center
- Make a scarecrow that resembles your favorite player, your team’s coach or mascot

Photo courtesy of Party City



AstroTurf Buffet Table for a Tailgate PartyFor a festive food display, turn your buffet table into a football field with this fun AstroTurf table runner idea from Uncommon Designs. Artificial turf can be purchased at your local home store, or you can use dark green felt as an alternative. To complete the look, use white athletic tape to add yard lines.

Include yourself (and your guests) in the décor by sporting festive football apparel, jewelry, and accessories like party beads, wigs, and foam fingers.

Photo courtesy of Uncommon Designs

Since the game is the main attraction, tune in to the pregame show while you pregame with an outdoor TV. Make sure the TV is positioned where everyone can view it. You can also rent or buy an inflatable outdoor screen if you’ll be entertaining a large crowd—or just want to really impress your guests!



Tailgate Party Food


A simple, self-serve menu of finger foods, hearty sandwiches, and quick-cooking fare will keep fellow football fans fueled from kickoff to the final touchdown—and prevent you from getting sidelined to the grill or outdoor kitchen. Tackle any appetite with these tasty tailgating food ideas and recipes.


Roasted Red Pepper, Ham and Parsley Torte – This delicious appetizer is perfect for a crowd, easy to make, and can be prepared a day ahead.

Football Themed Deviled EggsDeviled Eggs – Turn this classic finger food into football-shaped food by topping with pieces of chives in the pattern of football laces.

Grilled Sweet Potato Salad – This recipe is a delicious fall alternative to traditional potato salad and will pair well with any type of game day grub. Get the recipe >>

Sub or Sandwich Tray – Subs are filling, tasty, and easy to make. Wrap individual subs or sandwiches in napkins so guests can grab both and get back to watching the game.

Photo courtesy of Party City

Burger Bar for a Tailgate Football PartyBurger Bar – Burgers are a tailgating staple and easy crowd pleaser. Set up a build your own burger bar with an assortment of condiments and toppings to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. Take a tip from The Frog Prince Paperie’ s Touchdown Slider Bar and include labels so guests know exactly what they are trying—and don’t confuse the pickled peppers with the hot peppers!

Beer-Grilled Chops – You’ll score major points with these juicy and tender pork chops. Get the recipe >>

Photo courtesy of Frog Prince Paperie


  Find more crowd-pleasing football party recipes >>




Tailgate Party Games and Activities

Keep guests entertained before kickoff with a variety of tailgating games and football activities.

Quarterback Toss – Hang a 30”, a 36,” and a 40” hula hoop from a tree and write a point value on each one (the smaller the hoop, the higher the point value). Let each player have three turns at tossing a football through the hoops. The player with the highest amount of points wins.

Football Face Painting for Tailgate PartyFootball Fan Face Painting – Fans young and old will have fun putting on their game face. Make sure you have paint colors to represent each guest’s favorite team. Along with face paint, provide an assortment of football themed stickers, temporary tattoos, and colored hair spray–and see who gets the most creative!

Touchdown Bean Bag Toss – Form a small football field on the patio or lawn with masking tape. Divide players into two teams and have them take turns tossing bean bags onto the other team’s side of the field. Keep score for each team by tallying the yardage points where the bags land (touchdowns count as 0 points). The team with the lowest yardage points wins.

Photo courtesy of Party City

Football Bingo – Create Bingo cards with football terms and phrases (such as “touchdown,” “false start,” “field goal,” and “interception”) and have guests try to fill out their cards as they watch the game.




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Top Outdoor Accessories for Fall - Fabrics, Fire Features, Lighting & Decor



Outdoor Accessories and Decorations for Fall







With its brisk air and vibrant foliage, fall is a beautiful time of year to enjoy the outdoors. By adding a few outdoor accessories and decorations, you can experience the vivid scenery and crisp weather from the comfort of your backyard patio or deck all season long.

From outdoor fabrics in rich colors to fire features that keep you warm in the cool autumn temperatures, here are some outdoor accessories and decorations that will enhance your outdoor space for fall.

Outdoor Fabrics for Fall


Summer Classics Outdoor Furniture

Photo courtesy of Summer Classics
Outdoor fabrics are used for a variety of outdoor furnishings and accessories, including patio cushions, pillows, canopies, and outdoor rugs. Available in a wide range of fabric colors, textures, and patterns, these outdoor accessories offer a quick and simple way to update the look of your patio furniture for fall.

For instance, patio cushions in brightly colored fabrics and summery designs can be swapped with outdoor cushions and pillows in warm harvest tones like pumpkin, cinnamon, sage, plum, and cranberry.

Patio with Outdoor Rug and Fall Theme
Photo courtesy of Whitecraft, Inc.; photography by CKM Photographics Inc; designed by William Herren

An outdoor rug lends seasonal impact when adorned with nature-inspired colors or designs, such as leaves, flowers, or pinecones. Additionally, a rug can establish a cozier atmosphere outdoors by defining a smaller area of the patio.

To refresh the look of your outdoor dining table for the season, make a table runner or placemats from fall-colored outdoor fabrics. Adding this small touch will help tie your patio’s fall theme together.



Patio with Outdoor Fireplace

Outdoor Fire Features for Fall


To properly update your patio or deck for fall you have to prepare for the change in weather. Outdoor heaters such as firepits, fireplaces, and patio heaters will keep you warm in the chilly autumn temperatures, as well as add a charming focal point to your backyard sitting area.

Portable outdoor fire features, including firepits, fire bowls, firepit tables, chimineas, and fireplaces, are easy to set up and come in an array of materials and styles to match your outdoor setting and décor.

While all of these fire features will lend a warm glow to your patio, some options are better suited for different climates. If you live in a mild climate region, an outdoor firepit, firepit table, or chiminea will provide sufficient heat since temperatures never drop too low. To ward off the nippy fall breezes in colder climates, an outdoor fireplace or patio heater will supply better heat coverage (patio heaters can typically heat about a 6- to 20-foot radius).



Photo courtesy of
Brandenburg Pool



Outdoor Decorations for Fall


An easy way to decorate your yard for fall is with the array of harvest items. Pumpkins, gourds, hay bales, and dried cornstalks embody the natural textures and colors of the season and can be placed around your patio or deck in a number of ways. For example, dried corn stalks can be tied to deck rails with twine; pumpkins and gourds of varying sizes, colors, and shapes can be arranged in a corner of the patio or scattered along the top of deck rails; bales of hay can be positioned throughout your outdoor space to serve as a rustic touch as well as additional seating or tables during outdoor gatherings.

Outdoor Decorations for Fall_Pumpkins & Gourds
Photo courtesy of EASYdesigns (www.easydesigns.biz); photography by Elisabeth Secocky

Additionally, an assortment of fall blooms such as chrysanthemums, pansies, carnations, violas, and alstroemerias can be planted in containers or hanging baskets and dotted around your patio or deck. 



Outdoor Patio Lighting for Fall

As the days get shorter, outdoor lighting will keep your patio well lit so you can stay outside on a crisp fall day well into the evening. Some deck and patio lighting ideas include outdoor tabletop lanterns, chandeliers, and string patio lights. These outdoor lighting fixtures serve both function and style by illuminating sitting areas and adding autumnal charm to the patio landscape.

Outdoor Patio Lighting for Fall
Photo courtesy of Environmental Landscape Associates

Outdoor lamps that look like their indoor counterparts are another lighting option and can make your patio feel just as warm and inviting as your interior rooms.

For added safety, install outdoor lighting on steps, walkways, and along the edges of your patio or deck so you and your guests can carefully navigate the area when darkness settles in.




Holiday Gift Ideas for Pool, Spa & Backyard Lovers


Wave Hammock by Outback Chair Company

The holidays are right around the corner and if you’re like most people, you probably have a few friends or family members left to buy presents for. To help ease the stress of last-minute holiday shopping, we’ve put together this holiday gift guide full of great gift ideas for the pool, spa, and backyard lover on your list.


Photo courtesy of Outback Company





Gifts for Hot Tub Lovers




Spazazz RX Therapy Spa Scents

    • Spa Fragrances – Enhance their hot tub experience with an aromatherapy gift basket filled with an assortment of liquid or crystal spa fragrances such as calming Lavender, refreshing Eucalyptus, and soothing Chamomile.

Photo courtesy of Spazazz Global LLC



Brookstone Towel Warmer

    • Towel Warmer – Any hot tub user will be thankful for the cozy embrace of a warm towel when stepping out of the hot tub on chilly nights or during the winter months. They can also use it to heat mittens, hats, and blankets.



Photo courtesy of Brookstone



Gifts for Pool Lovers



AquaFit Pro Bells from AquaJogger

    • Aquatic Fitness Equipment – A pair of water dumbbells lets fitness fanatics get a great workout right in their pool.


    Photo courtesy of AquaJogger®


        Audio Unlimited Pool Pod by Cables Unlimited


          • Floating Pool Speakers – Swimmers will have a rockin’ good time listening to their favorite tunes while lounging in the pool or relaxing in a hot tub. These waterproof wireless speakers use a base station to transmit tunes from an iPod, iPhone, MP3 player, or other audio source right to the pool.

        Photo courtesy of Audio Unlimited by Cables Unlimited.
        Photography by Brian Esterlin.



          • Pool Party Gift Basket – Beach towels, sunblock, flip-flops, and pool floats—a pool owner can never have enough of these items on hand when entertaining family and friends. Put together a gift basket filled with these items, plus a few bottles of shampoo and conditioner, a beach ball, and a gift card for the local pizza or sub shop for a thoughtful gift they’ll surely appreciate.




Gifts for Backyard Lovers




Hatteras All-Weather Wicker Roman Arch Hammock


    • Hammock – This present is sure to please. According to the Journal of The American Medical Association, woven cotton and nylon hammocks provide excellent back support and are an excellent tool for relieving stress. (You may want to keep this one for yourself!)
Photo courtesy of Hatteras Hammocks/The Hammock Source


Lexington Firepit from Brookstone


    • Firepit - An outdoor firepit is an excellent purchase for outdoor entertainers. It gives them a great spot to relax and gather with family and friends and can also extend their outdoor living season.


Photo courtesy of Brookstone


Vienna Wind Chime by Gooserocksdesigns.com



    • Wind Chimes – With a range of musical tones and eye-catching designs to choose from, you’ll be sure to find the perfect wind chime for that special someone on your holiday gift list. You can even get them engraved for a truly unique and personalized gift.



Photo courtesy of gooserocksdesigns.com.
Photo by Heath Paley.



Wireless iPod MP3 player_Eton




    • Wireless Sound System –  A wireless unit makes it easy for music lovers to enjoy their favorite tunes while lounging by the pool or entertaining friends. Though not weatherproof, these sound systems typically include a plastic covering to protect your iPod or MP3 player while in use.



Photo courtesy of OSD Audio, Stereostone, Inc and Etón Corporation







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