8 Tailgating Essentials to Buy at Target

The bull's-eye retailer has the tailgating supplies you need, from grills and coolers to fan gear, and everything in between.
fans enjoy tailgate party

Tailgating may be mostly associated with football, but the truth is you can have a tailgate party for any "sportsball" event. Regardless of the kind of sport you feel enthusiastic about, if you enjoy hosting game day parties or tailgating gatherings, there are definite essentials you'll want to have on hand.

People's idea of necessary tailgating gear can differ — some may feel that a grill is a must-have item, while others may be happy with precooked finger foods and cold drinks. Whatever tailgating supplies you need, though, Target is a great place to shop for them, from equipment to foodstuffs and anything in between.

8 Tailgating Essentials to Buy at Target


One important tailgating item — maybe the most important item — has to be the grill. Target offers a variety of outdoor cookers to choose from, and many times it comes down to personal preference: do you want to cook with gas or charcoal? Do you prefer a traditional grill or smoker? Fortunately, you can easily find a cooker to fit your preferences by shopping gas grills, charcoal grills, and pellet and combo grills, along with portable units and grills suited for small spaces. You can even look specifically for smokers, outdoor griddles, and fryers if you want a fried turkey for game day. Or you can shop electric grills, if you want to go that route.

SEE ALSO: The Ultimate Guide to Shopping at Target

No grilling setup would be complete without accessories, and you can also find these items and outdoor cookware at Target. Cutting boards, grill pans, rib racks, and cast-iron items are just some of the cookware products you can get to up your grilling game.


Whether you're planning to host a party outside or not, a cooler will almost certainly come in handy. It's a must for keeping perishables cold before cooking or consuming, but even if you aren't dealing with hot dogs and hamburgers, you'll still want a cooler. After all, one of the biggest parts of a game day gathering is drinking both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. These are often best served perfectly chilled.

Whatever your tailgating haul may be, there's a cooler to fit it all. Shop rolling coolers, hard-sided coolers, soft models, and of course coolers that show off your devotion to your team. Consider stocking up on reusable ice packs at Target, as well, as they can help cut down on the amount of ice you need. Prefer a specific brand? Target makes it easy to shop for Igloo and Coleman, among others.

Outdoor Chairs

If you're hosting a traditional tailgate party, the odds are good you'll be doing so in a parking lot. And that means you're going to need a comfortable place to sit, especially if you'll be mingling with fellow fans for hours on end. That's where shopping for outdoor seating options is useful. You don't want just any chair to serve as your all-day spot while cheering on your favorite team. Instead, look for seating like portable camping chairs.

Consider getting portable camping chairs, which have tailgate-friendly features like cup holders and canopies.

These kinds of chairs offer a lot of benefits. They're often lightweight and decently affordable, but they also come with cup holders. Any savvy consumer recognizes the value of built-in cup holders, and you'll be glad you have them, so you don't have to constantly hold your beverage of choice while cheering for your team. Additionally, some of these chairs feature canopies or other types of coverings to shield the person who's sitting from the sun. While a canopy won't replace your sunscreen, it can definitely help keep you cool and assist in preventing sunburn.


If you want more sun protection, consider getting a canopy or other type of shelter. There are a number of types to choose from, including ones that are lined with mesh to prevent bugs from irritating you. Even if you don't want to sit under a canopy surrounded by mesh for the whole day, you could use it to cover your food setup, as it'll go a long way toward keeping flies out of snacks. Just be sure before you erect one of these canopies that it's not going to be a windy day — the last thing you want is to have to chase your tent through the parking lot!


For some game day celebrants, the side dishes are just as important as the main event. Whether you have to have baked beans with your burgers, teriyaki meatballs, or smoked sausages in barbecue sauce, you'll want to choose the right cooker for your tailgate. Here are your main options:

  • Pressure cookers: These cut down on cooking time overall, and can make an excellent batch of baked beans in less time than normal.
  • Multicookers: As the name suggests, these products can handle a variety of cooking methods, but may have too many functions for some to find them entirely useful.
  • Slow cookers: Most consumers are probably familiar with these cookers, which are ideal for everything from chili and hot dips to appetizers like the aforementioned meatballs and sausages.

While you can utilize these products indoors as well as out with the right setup, they're probably easiest to use in a home or RV setting. However, you can still plan to set cookers up outside with the right power hookup. Just make sure you have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you head out, to make cooking at the tailgating party easier.

Party Supplies

Tailgate parties require party supplies, and we're not talking about festive streamers and balloons — although there's no harm in using those either! Specifically, we're talking about things like disposable tableware that make feeding a crowd easier. Stock up on plates, cups, utensils, bowls, straws and other accessories, and napkins ahead of your party; and don't forget the trash bags to help make cleanup even easier!

SEE ALSO: 6 Reasons Why You Need a Portable Power Generator


Maybe you're planning to watch the game on a TV while you tailgate, or you're going to be listening to the radio. Either way, you'll want to have a generator on hand to power all your necessary electronic devices. Fortunately, Target has plenty of power generators to choose from. Need other reasons to justify buying a generator? We've already laid out a handful of reasons why you need a portable generator, if you need some extra inspiration.

Fan Gear

What game day gathering would be complete without the appropriate fan gear? It no doubt qualifies as a tailgating essential. Thankfully, Target makes it easy to shop for whatever league you're interested in:

Additionally, you can shop by categories like jerseys; men's clothing; women's clothing; kids' clothing; toddler and baby gear; hats, bags, and accessories; and pet gear.

Ready to shop for tailgating supplies? Check out the best Target deals available now!

Julie Ramhold
Senior Staff Writer/Consumer Analyst

Julie's work has been featured on CNBC, GoBankingRates, Kiplinger, Marketwatch, Money, The New York Times, Real Simple, US News, WaPo, WSJ, Yahoo!, and more. She's extolled the virtues of DealNews in interviews with Cheddar TV, GMA, various podcasts, and affiliates across the United States, plus one in Canada.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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