Best Tailgating Games at Backyard Football Party
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Best Tailgating Games for Backyard Football Party

Alright Mamas. Lets be honest… You’re prob not as thrilled about football season starting as you are for busting out jeans and your {Chicago Bears} hoodie this fall! Steer away from your husband having the guys over with one too many cases of beer (ha!), embrace the crisp fall air and throw a tailgating-style, backyard football party instead! Your man’s gonna appreciate it; plus it def won’t suck for the wives and kids too! And what’s a good football party without the best tailgating games? Let’s kick off this party planning, shall we?!

As a busy mom and wife, I know how important it is to entertain all of your guests. If I’m gonna spend my Sunday at a friend’s football party, eating and drinking like crap, chasing around my kids and needing a nap afterwards… it better be worth it! I coulda spent hours roaming Target or Home Goods getting my pumpkin spice fall vibes on! LMAO! For real though, tailgating games are the perfect solution. But with so many options out there, it can be tough to decide which games to choose from. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the best tailgating games for your backyard football party that will keep your die-hard fans, non-football loving guests, and kid guests entertained all morning & afternoon long.

BONUS: These At-home Tailgating Theme Backyard Football Party Food & Drink Ideas will bring the whole party together!

FREE DOWNLOAD: Jump down to see my at-home Tailgating Backyard Football Party Invitation Canva template for free. Download it now and customize it later with your details!

The Best Tailgating Games

For the ultimate at-home tailgate party, you need the perfect selection of backyard football party games. From games for the kids to the classic 10 line strip card betting game for the adults, there’s something for everyone. Start off the party with a $5 cornhole tournament and then move on to the ship captain crew dice game during halftime. For those who like a some good competition, Beersbee, Kan Jam, and Spikeball are all great choices. Also, for the kids spin a prize wheel, setup a football piñata, giant Connect Four, and giant Jenga. With all these fun tailgating games, your football party will be the talk of the town!

First, lets talk about the best tailgating games for the adults at your backyard football party!

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning that if you click through & make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!

How to play 10 Line Strip Cards Betting Game at Football Tailgating Party
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How to Play 10 Line Strip Cards Betting Game at Football Parties

Place Friendly Bets using 10 Line Strip Cards

The easiest way to get everyone at your backyard football party to have a great time and be engaged during the game is by playing this 10 Line Strip Cards betting game! If you’ve seen my previous post, The Easiest Super Bowl Betting Game, this is a MUST DO for every Super Bowl party. But it doesn’t just have to be for the big game, it’s so simple and fun to do it any week during football season! See below to learn how you can setup the 10 line strip cards game within a minute and watch my tutorial video to learn how to play!

100 pack of 10 line strip cards for football parties
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100 Pack of 10 Line Football Strip Cards

First, assign a card from the pack to a specific quarter of the game. Assign the cards to the end of the:
– 1st Quarter
– Halftime
– 3nd Quarter
– Final Score of the game*

*Avoid writing “4th Quarter” on the strip card. In the event the game goes into overtime, the final score of the game determines the winner.

Watch my tutorial!

Next, choose a dollar amount for players to buy-in for, after you verify social gambling is permitted in your State. The 10 Line Strip Card Game, as you can guess, has 10 lines available for players to write their name down on whichever line they think will be the lucky winner. Typically, the buy-in amounts are $5, $10 or $20 per line. Of course you can do other lower and higher increments as well, it really just depends on your crew!

I recommend creating at least one card for each quarter. It will keep everyone at the party hooting and hollering for their winning number throughout the Super Bowl! Share this quick video below with your friends in advance so they come ready to play and cash in hand!

How to Win a Strip Card

Once everyone has paid you their dues, you will scratch or peel off the strip on the left side of the strip card to reveal the numbers 0-9 at random.

Let’s say the final score of football game is Packers 28 and Bears 31. Given that, you will add:

28 + 31 = 59

The score ends in the number 9. So, the player whose name is assigned to the line scratched 9 is the big winner!

For example, if the buy-in for this card was $5. 10 players bought in at $5 each, so, the bet will pay-out $50 to lucky winner. The “house” never takes a commission on social gambling, because it’s the right thing to do, but it’s also the law. If social gambling is not permitted in your state, it’s ok, strip cards can still be used for fun. The winner just gets to sh*t talk everyone!


One of our fam’s favorite yard (or lake!) games is Beersbee. It is definitely one of the best tailgating games you can play at your backyard football party! Our favorite set is made by YARDIES because it’s super high quality and stable. Feel free to compare with other beersbee sets on Amazon here.

Beersbee is also referred to as Polish Horseshoes and is a 2 vs. 2 player yard game that can be played in your yard, at the beach in the sand or in the water! Place the beer bottles atop the poles and the object is to knock off the bottle and/or tip the pole with a frisbee. Here are the official beersbee rules from YARDIES.

How to Make DIY Beersbee Game for Under $20

Whether you purchase a set or choose to DIY one yourself, this is definitely one the best tailgating games around!

More of the Best Tailgating Games…

Next, lets amp up the fun with a bracket competition! You can even create a $5 entry fee to up the stakes!

Cornhole Tournament

Cornhole, or “Bags” as us Chicagoans call it, is one of the best tailgating games for a backyard football party. It’s a great way for everyone to have fun, especially if you amp up the competition with a bracket tournament!

One of the best tailgating games is with this cornhole boards set with carrying case
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Regulation Size Wooden Cornhole Boards Set with Carrying Case
Chicago Bears NFL Licensed Cornhole Bean Bags Set
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Chicago Bears NFL Licensed Cornhole Bean Bags Set

I’d highly doubt you’ve never played before, but if not, the game is simple: two players take turns tossing bean bags at a raised board with a hole in the far end. Here’s my quick refresher on the Chicago-style rules.

The goal is to get the bean bag into the hole, which is worth three points, or onto the platform, which is worth one point. One player from each team plays on one side, against each other. If player 1 throws 5 points and player 2 throws 2 points, then player 1 would have scored a net of 3 points for their team. The first team with 21 points wins the game. Here are the official rules from the American Cornhole Association, including how far away the boards should be apart from each other.

To make it even more exciting, you can create a bracket and play a cornhole tournament. It’s easy to set up and can be tailored to fit any group size. All you need is a cornhole board and bean bags. You can even get creative and customize the boards with your favorite team colors or logos. With a cornhole tournament, you can make sure everyone gets to play and have a good time.

Dry erase board for tracking Cornhole bags tournament brackets
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Dry Erase White Board for Tournament Bracket Scorekeeping
Kan Jam is one of the best tailgating games
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Kan Jam Travel Edition with Lay Flat Carry Bag

Kan Jam

This is one of the best tailgating games to play at a backyard tailgate party. It’s a great way to get everyone involved and have a blast while tailgating at home. Kan Jam is a two-on-two disc-tossing game that’s easy to learn and fun to play. Get the full break down here from on How to Play Kan Jam: Rules and Basic Gameplay Instructions.

Spikeball Rules by @GroupGames101

In short, the object of the game is to throw a disc back and forth between teammates and try to score points by hitting a target, or “Kan”, with the disc. Teams can score up to 21 points and the first team to reach 21 points wins the game. With a few simple supplies, you can easily set up a Kan Jam game for your backyard football party. All you need is two Kan Jam targets, discs, and not too much space for your guests to play.

Next, lets kick up their heart rates with one of the best tailgating games, Spikeball!


Spikeball is one of the best tailgating games to add to your backyard tailgate party, and definitely the sweatiest! Hey, it’ll keep everyone warm if it’s a bit chilly out, right?! It’s a great way to get everyone involved, from kids to adults, and it’s a fun way to keep the energy up for the big game. Let break it down for you with their post, Spikeball Rules: An Ultimate Guide to this fun trampoline game.

Spikeball Rules by @GroupGames101

In short, to play Spikeball, you’ll need a Spikeball net and game set, four players, and a ball. The net is set up in the middle of the court, and two teams of two players face each other. The ball is served by the team receiving the serve, and then the teams take turns hitting the ball off the net. The team that fails to return the ball to the net loses the point. With Spikeball, you can make the game as competitive or as relaxed as you want, so it’s a great addition to any backyard tailgate party.

One of the best tailgating games is Spikeball
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Spikeball Game Set
RERIVER Leatherette Dice Cup with Lid Includes 6 Dices
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RERIVER Dice Cup and 6 Dice

Ship, Captain & Crew Dice Game

Ship Captain Crew Dice Game is a fun and easy dice game that can keep the fun going by playing during halftime of your football party. While some games to too complicated when a lot of people play, this is a “more the merrier” kind of game! Tell your guests in the invite to bring cash to play and don’t forget to get my free backyard tailgating party invitation template below! I love this RERIVER dice cup that comes with a lid and 6 dice; I got the brown one and it looks really sharp on our bar shelf and is great quality for a great price, highly recommend!

Ship, Captain & Crew is typically a betting game that requires two or more players and is a great way to add some excitement to your tailgate party. Personally, for this party I would keep it to adults only but it is such a simple game that kids of all ages can absolutely play, too.

How to Play Ship, Captain & Crew Dice Game by @BarGames101

In short, all you need is 5 six-sided dice, a dice cup and some cash (or poker chips) to get started. The rules of Ship Captain Crew Dice Game are simple so it’s easy to hold a conversation while playing. The goal is to get a “ship” by throwing a 6 AND a “captain” by getting a 5 AND a “crew” by getting a 4. This has to be done in that precise order. In other words, you can’t get a captain until you have a ship, and you can’t get a crew until you have a captain.


After that, your goal is to get the highest score with the remaining dice, in as few rolls as possible. The next player then needs to beat your score in the same or less amount of rolls of the dice. Get the full break down on how to play from here, How to Play Ship, Captain, and Crew Dice Game.

So, if you’re looking for a fun and easy dice game to play at your backyard football party, Ship, Captain & Crew dice game is the perfect choice and guaranteed you will play it again! Invite your friends and family to join in on the fun and make some cash bets as you play during halftime.

The Best Tailgating Games for Kids

Next, lets talk about some of the best games for tailgating for the kiddos!

Spin the Prize Wheel

When hosting a backyard football party, you want to make sure everyone is having fun, including the kids. A great way to keep the kids entertained is by setting up a spin the wheel game. Set up a prize spinning wheel with sections that are labeled with favorite football team related prizes.

Spinning prize wheel is one of the best tailgating games for kids
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Table Top Dry Erase Spinning Prize Wheel
a football piñata is one of the best tailgating games for kids
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Football Piñata

Prize ideas can include temporary tattoos, licensed NFL team logo necklaces, NFL licensed peel and stick tattoos, mini kids footballs, football pop it fidgets, any candy, or the very popular Prime drinks. This way, each spin of the wheel will be a surprise for the kids and they will be able to take home a prize that is related to the football party theme. Make sure to also have a few extra prizes on hand in case someone lands on the same section twice.

This game is sure to be a hit with the kids and will make your backyard football party fun for all! Next, I’ll cover two giant games that can be left out in the yard to play all day.

Giant Connect Four

Hosting a backyard tailgate party for a football game is a great way to have some fun with family and friends. Make sure to include some classic games like Giant Connect Four for the kids! This game is great for kids and adults alike, and is easy to learn. All you need is a giant (all weather) outdoor four in a row game, like this really nice one with a carrying case from SWOOC Games, and you’re ready to play.

To win, you must be the first player to get four of your pieces in a row either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. This game is sure to be a hit at your football party and can keep the kids entertained for hours.

Giant Jenga

If you’re looking for a game that’s fun for both kids and adults, Giant Jenga is another perfect tailgating game for your backyard football party! This classic game of stacking and balancing wooden blocks is easy to set up and play, and can be enjoyed by all ages. To play, simply stack the wooden blocks to create a tall tower, starting at 2.5 feet, then take turns carefully removing and stacking blocks on top, up to 5 feet tall. This reclaimed giant tower game from SWOOC Games looks super nice and comes with a perfect storage crate. The last person to stack a block without the tower falling wins! This game is perfect for an at-home tailgating themed football party, as it’s easy to set up and can be enjoyed by everyone. So grab some friends and family, and get ready to play Giant Jenga at your next football party!

So now that we covered these kick a**, best tailgating games, which ones are you going to host at your party?

Next, lets complete the full tailgating party experience that everyone will love, prob even more than tailgating in the parking lot!

Backyard Tailgating Food and Drink

Aside from getting the party started early in the morning, choosing the right kinda food and drink is an essential part of this backyard football party. To make sure your tailgating themed party is a hit, start the day off right with some of these delicious breakfast ideas.

Bloody Mary Bar to Kick Off Your Backyard Football Party

If you’re gonna do it, do it right! Kick off your backyard tailgate party with a simple yet spectacular Bloody Mary Bar! Get everyone in the spirit to play tailgating games with a few fixings for the perfect Bloody Mary.

kick off tailgating at your backyard football party with a bloody mary bar using da coach's Ditkas Bloody Mary Mike Mix
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Set out olives, cheese squares, and Li’l Smokies cocktail smoked sausages to add to their 10″ bamboo wooden skewers. Also, pickles and celery sticks are an easy garnish to add to your bar condiment caddy. Lastly, set out some red Solo cups, Titos vodka and of course, for us Chicagoans, Ditka’s Bloody Mary Mike Mix will get the party started! Da Bears!

Kegs and Eggs

A throwback ode to those good ‘ol college football frat parties, getting a great breakfast base in everyone’s bellies is a good idea! Whether you cater egg tacos, breakfast sliders, or make ahead egg bakes, these are all great ideas for feeding a crowd. Don’t forget the fruit bowl and cinnamon rolls for the kiddos! With these tailgating breakfast food ideas, you can make sure your football party is a hit for all the guys and their families.

Game Time Snacks

When hosting a backyard tailgate party, it’s important to provide the perfect snacks to feed your beer drinking crowd. Compare these hard coolers by RTIC to find your perfect fit. They are like Yeti’s but more affordable, over 30% lighter to carry, and better looking IMO. Order this RTIC 45 qt hard cooler; it looks pretty sweet in Chicago Bears blue & orange! Or save it in your cart for later, and add it to your hubby’s Christmas list!

RTIC 45 qt insulated hard cooler in Chicago Bears blue and orange color for tailgating at your backyard football party
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RTIC 45 qt Insulated Hard Cooler in Chicago Bears Blue & Orange

Chips, pretzels, popcorn, and cookies are all easy tailgating snacks that can be bought at the grocery store. For a more filling option, have pizza and chicken wings delivered. Or grill up burgers and hotdogs just before kick off. Looking for a warm, fall comfort food option that goes great with your football party theme? Make a crockpot of chili or set up a hot chocolate station. To really capture the at-home tailgating experience, make s’mores over your backyard firepit for the kids. With these easy tailgating snacks, you’re sure to have a killer backyard football party!

200 piece football paper food trays and liner papers
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200 Pcs Football Paper Food Trays and Liner Papers
7 quarter crock-pot for keeping chili warm at your backyard football party
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7 Quart Crock-Pot
ECOSTIX Fatwood organic fire starter sticks
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Organic Fire Starter Sticks

Football Party Theme Hacks

Super Bowl Party Pot Luck Buffet with Butcher Paper
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See my Butcher Paper Party Hacks post which features my Super Bowl party potluck table cloth. It was sooooo quick and easy! But the best part… the clean up! Just roll it up and toss, for a no fuss, no mess butcher paper tablescape! Leave the cheese for the chips & dip! Add a yard line tick lines and a faux turf table runner and it’s perfect festive look without being cheesy!

Bonus idea: use a orange football kickoff tee as a spoon rest! Adorbs!

butcher paper table cloth
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butcher paper roll
faux turf table runner for backyard football party
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faux turf table runner
orange football kick off tees for spoon rests at backyard football party
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kickoff tee for spoon rest

Lastly, our last at-home tailgating party was unfortunately on a slightly raining day, so we setup the party in our garage and extra chairs under our tailgating tent. Plus, truthfully it wouldn’t feel like a tailgating party without a tailgating tent regardless! Check out this Chicago Bears licensed NFL tailgate canopy or choose from any of the other football teams. Unless you’re a Cheese-head in which case no one wants to see that sh*t, hahaha!

NFL Chicago Bears tailgate canopy tent
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NFL Licensed Tailgate Tents
Chicago Bears NFL tailgating chair
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Licensed NFL Tailgating Chairs
Chicago Bears American Flag
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American Flags Licensed by NFL

These are great Christmas gift ideas for him, too! Now, it’s time to send the invites.

At-home Tailgating Backyard Football Party Invitation

Last but not least, I’m sharing my most recent party invitation template with you for FREE! Just download this Tailgating Backyard Football Party Canva invitation template, customize it with your details and text it out to your friends to start creating the hype about your kick a** football tailgating party!

send friends free invitations to tailgate at your backyard football party with the best tailgating games
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Download Free Tailgating Backyard Football Party Invitation by Memory in the Making

If your husband doesn’t love you after this, I don’t know what else will do it, haha!

Ready to Win Your Best Tailgating Games?

As you can see, hosting a backyard tailgate party can be a super fun way to bring friends and family together to celebrate football season. With the best tailgating games, food, drinks, and decorations, you can create the perfect atmosphere for a memorable football party.

From adult betting games, backyard competitions, and entertainment for the kids to “kegs and eggs”, there is plenty of ideas to make your backyard football party a hit. It’s game time! Lastly, don’t forget to download and customize my free at-home tailgating party invitation Canva template!

(And sadly), if you’re a Bears fan, I can almost guarantee you the tailgating party will be way more exciting than the actual football game, haha! Ooops.. did I say that out loud?! Now, it’s time to get your next Memory in the Making!

Finally, I’d love to hear if you and your friends enjoyed your party! Comment here or tag me on a cool pic of everyone playing the best tailgating games at your backyard football party on Instagram @meminthemaking!

Without a doubt, save these Best Tailgating Games for Backyard Football Party Pin to your Pinterest board for later!

…Or text a link to your partner in crime!

Finally, follow me @memoryinthemaking on Pinterest or
@meminthemaking on Instagram and Facebook!

Da Bears!

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