Are you wondering how to pass the time during the tailgate--if you aren’t eating, drinking or shooting the breeze? Or maybe you just want to avoid conversation with certain family members? Here are 15 ways to engage kids and adults in tailgating games while you wait for the main event.
Rummy is a favorite and requires only a deck of cards and a small table. Take cards no matter what as they are and easy way to keep kids distracted, and passing on rummy skills to a new generation kills a lot of time in the parking lot.
Tumble tower is a larger version of the famous “Jenga” and is easy for anyone. Nearly any number of people can play. Something about watching blocks tumble to the ground is satisfying for young and old alike.
Cornhole toss is a classic, and kits these days are compact and portable. This one is fun for kids, adults and every age in-between.
Flimsee is a disc game that goes by several names, and is easy to learn and teach in a few minutes. Gear required: sticks or rods (bamboo works), two frisbees, and a pack of red plastic drinking cups. The goal is to throw the disc into either of two rods and knock a cup (placed upside down) off the rod or stick. If the opposing team member catches the flying cup, no score. Flimsee easily converts to a drinking game: all participants must play one handed while holding a drink.
Pocket passer is a twist on cornhole, using footballs instead of bean bags. The board has holes where the football flies, and players toss through holes for different point values.
Ladder Toss is another well-known tailgating game staple. It’s lightweight and easy to transport but does require minimal set up. Ladder Toss uses weighted strings for tossing at ladder rungs. A good toss ends up a bit like horseshoes, with the string wrapping itself around the target.
Beer pong is obvious, but it’s perennial hit with most adults and with all beer drinkers. Tailgating games don’t have to involve beer but in this case, a good brew is a necessity. Gear needed: beer pong table, ping pong balls, cups and a case or two of your favorite brew.
Washer toss is another cornhole variation, but this time tossing washers (homemade or store bought) into a small pipe in a box. This games is sometimes called Portuguese Horseshoes and DIY versions are low cost.
For a break from activity (and possibly beer) there is a trivia game for football—it’s called NFL trivia and is best for adults. There are apps that offer NFL trivia to download or find a deck of NFL trivia cards.
Ring Toss or Quoits. This game can be purchased in a kit and is a simple tossing game with the goal of getting the rings onto wooden pegs. This game is easy to transport and great for kids.
Can Jam or Kan Jam uses cans with a slot, and discs. The goal is to throw the discs into the slots across a certain distance. And in turn, trying to block the other team from doing the same. Easy to learn, and can also be purchased online in a kit.
Speedminton is a pared down badminton game, but does require a little space. Kits involve rackets and shuttlecocks. Play can occur on asphalt or grass and no net is needed.
RingStix is a newer throwing game involving launching a ring using a handheld plastic stick, and requires enough skill to make it a fun challenge.
Cross Boccia Urban Bocce is a game of bocce ball with fabric balls suitable for parking lots, played the same way as the classic.