How to Plan the Best Homegating Party (Including Ultimate Touchdown Taco Bar!)

How to host the BEST homegating party in your home – with the ultimate taco bar! Serve easy football party food for a crowd at your next homegate gathering. The ultimate touchdown taco bar spread + football cocktail drinks are the perfect game day feast! I’ve also included my simple and fun homegating football party ideas sure to make your next event a hit!

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How to Plan the Best Homegating Party

It’s finally football season! Whoop!

I absolutely LOVE this time of year spending weekends watching football. I grew up watching football with my dad and those memories together are so special to me.  Saturdays and Sundays in the fall were all about football on the TV. We didn’t go to watch many football games in person, in fact my first professional football game wasn’t until I was in my twenties! It was always easier to watch the games at home, and as a kid it was just as special.

Now I have a family of my own, I’m still a big football fan and we’re a big football watching family! My son who is seven, will come home from school during the week and the first thing he asks to watch on the TV is football games from the weekend! 

We love to gather with family and friends on the weekend, cook a spread of food and turn on football for the day. Being from Texas, we love Mexican food and tacos are a family favorite! A taco bar is so easy and versatile for a group gathering big or small. I’m sharing my homegating party tips and ideas including our ultimate touchdown taco bar!

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best ground beed tacos for taco bar party

Homegating Party

What is homegating?

“Homegate” or “homegating” is a new popular phrase for hosting game day parties in your home. It’s like your tailgating at the game but in the comfort of your own home! While we love to attend football games, we also love hosting football game day parties at our home with friends. Now that we have three kids it also it a lot easier to watch a game at home too!

Why Homegating Is Better Than Tailgating

We love to homegate rather than tailgate – for several reasons. Number one, our professional football team in our town is over an hour away without traffic! Trying to get over to that side of town on game days is a nightmare. Not to mention lugging around all the equipment, chairs, tents, and then all the drinks and food! 

With kids especially, being at home or someone else’s home is a much easier. Our twin girls are now three, but when they were younger we would plan their weekend naps around watching the afternoon football games! 

Watching football games with our friends has become a weekend staple this time of year. We have a close knit neighborhood group that is more like family, and we love to get together on weekends, cook a spread of food and watch everyone’s favorite teams play! 

just in queso dip bowl for taco bar

taco bar party decorations and food for taco bar homegate party

football themed cocktails game day drink recipes easy sangria recipe for a crowd for homegating football parties

Homegating Football Party Ideas

When I’m hosting a party for a crowd, I like to keep things as simple as possible. I pick easy food options and simple decorations that are quick but still cute and fun! For football parties, I decorate with pom poms, megaphones, and footballs, which can be . multipurpose for kids to play with too!

For an easy homegating party food option, we chose a taco bar! There’s so many options to chose for making tacos and a lot of the items can be planned and prepped ahead of time. For a taco bar you will need lots of toppings. I use these condiments on ice containers, that keep your toppings cold and you can prep ahead of time and store in the frig! I also love the Mud Pie line at Bed Bath & Beyond – the serveware dishes are so pretty and have the cutest phrases printed on them! A few favorites are the Let’s Taco ‘Bout It dish, Chip Chip Hooray dish, and the It’s Five O’Guac Somewhere and Just In Queso dip bowls.

I also like to make a couple game day drinks for our homegating parties. This double beverage dispenser with stand is perfect for displaying our football cocktails and it’s so pretty too!

homegating recipe ideas including best beef tacos, sunday funday punch, and texas sangria gameday drink

Homegating recipes

The Best Ground Beef Tex-Mex Tacos (With Homemade Taco Seasoning)

See full recipe HERE

Sunday Funday Punch

See full recipe HERE

Texas Sangria Game Day Drink

See full recipe HEREguacamole and queso bowl for taco bar homegating partyground beef taco recipe with homemade taco seasoning for taco bar

easy ground beef tacos seasoned with homemade taco seasoning

Ultimate Touchdown Taco Bar

To host the ultimate taco bar it’s all about the preparation! I like to chop up and divide all of my toppings ahead of time. I will also cook the ground beef ahead of time too. Once it’s time to eat, you can place the seasoned beef in the taco shells and heat in the oven to warm them up. Then, everyone can grab their taco and self serve with the toppings they want.

These taco racks are awesome for placing a bunch of tacos in the oven at once and then setting out for your party for your guests to grab and go. We also placed these plastic colorful taco holders on all the kids plates to help hold up their tacos.ground beef tacos recipe

What do you need for a taco bar?

You may not need all of these items listed, but here is a good starting point for your grocery shopping list for taco bar food:

  • taco shells
  • ground beef
  • queso 
  • guacamole
  • mexican rice
  • black or charro beans
  • corn
  • salsa
  • chips

What sides go with a taco bar?

I like to cook mexican rice, skillet corn, and black beans for easy side dishes to go with a taco bar. Also, these are topping options to go on top of your tacos:

  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • cheese
  • onion 
  • avocado
  • sour cream
  • cilantro
  • limes
  • pico de gallo

taco topping for taco bar homegating partytaco bar with taco toppings for best football homegating party

taco bar party decorations and food for taco bar homegate party

homegating party food ideas for game day

Taco Bar Party Decorations

For a taco bar party, a lot of the decorations are the color food options! I added a few appetizer dishes and server trays to add height and dimension to the table display. I also got a football party supplies pack with football cups, plates, and napkins. And I used this football bamboo cutting board and mini football tongs for guests to slice their limes and grab their favorite toppings.

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plan the BEST homegating party with these game day party tips

Planning your next homegating party? I hope these tips and ideas help you host your next game day event! I love the simplicity of a taco bar for gatherings and the guests will think it’s delicious too! Have fun celebrating – and let me know if you have any questions in the comments!

Happy homegating!

 

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