The weather is getting colder and football season is heating up -- along with the tailgating parties. Parking is often at a premium at football games, especially NFL games, so it pays to make a tailgate party worth your while.
Nearly 64 million people attended football games last year -- NFL regular season football attendance in 2018 was more than 17 million, and college football attendance was nearly 47 million, according to the NCAA. That's a lot of football fans, and half the fun is warming up with a well-equipped pre-game party. According to one survey, the most important accessory for a good tailgate party is a full barbecue, but we all know that's just the start.
Here are a few tailgating necessities, as well as luxuries, for fun, comfort and convenience, and for those who take their beverages and grilling very seriously.
This cooler reaches a top speed of 13 mph and holds a rider weighing up to 290 pounds. What more can you ask for? (Well, maybe it would be nice if it mowed the lawn.) Cruzin Cooler sells this beauty for $899.95.
Photo: Cruzin Cooler
Picture yourself lolling around the parking lot in this comfy air lounger that doesn't even need a pump, just scoop the air in. Seriously. Of course it has a beer opener, pockets and stakes to keep it from blowing away. It packs into a small bag. Just $28.90 on Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) .
You'll be a class act at the game or campground with this TailGater Tire Table that mounts to a vehicle tire for $139.95.
Heated Massaging Stadium Cushion
This portable stadium seat has a rechargeable battery that provides up to five hours of heat to keep your buns warm, or up to 2.5 hours of heat plus vibrating massage. Sold at Sharper Image for $99.99.
Photo: Sharper Image
Solar Powered Cube Generator
This is a solar-powered generator that can be used for camping, emergencies, outdoors, tailgating, and more. You can use it with your laptop, TV, power tools, microwave, smartphone, lights, or whatever else. $1,249.95 by Wagan.
Here's a portable satellite, 4G LTE router, WiFi extender TV antenna, GPS receiver, and AM/FM antenna so you can watch games live at your tailgate party. Available at most RV and camping stores, and Amazon. Prices vary.
This tailgater's 9-foot umbrella attaches to the trailer hitch and comes in nine colors; it's $137.
This $40 collapsible lightweight shelter opens in seconds giving you a private place to change clothes or skip the lines at the portable toilets and go here. In which case you'll need to buy the next item...
...Portable Toilet Bucket
This handy bucket with a seat holds five gallons, lightweight and easy to clean (if you use the bag liners that come with it.) $21.96 with seat and three liners.
Hand and Toe Warmers
Football games are cold, you need all the help you can get. A variety pack of hand, toe and body warmers is $10.54.
Alpine Ice In-Cooler Entertainment System
This is likely the most expensive cooler you'll ever buy ($799.95) that isn't a motor-scooter. But the sound! It's got an Alpine sound system in a premium Grizzly Cooler, with a 56-quart storage capacity.
Photo Booth Props Kit
You'll be a hit on Instagram with this 10-piece kit that includes 10 football arrows and speech bubbles. It's not complicated, just have someone hold the sign up and take their picture. $13.99.
Photo: Big Dot of Happiness
Collapsible Portable Cornhole Set
A lightweight, portable cornhole game set just pops open and folds back up into a small bag about 15 in. x 15 in. for $35.99 at Amazon.
Party Zone Tape
Stake out your territory or just decorate with this plastic tape. Twenty feet is $3.27 on Amazon.
Photo: Fun Express
Your favorite college's or NFL team name is heat-stamped onto the hard maple wood handle, a laser engraved logo on the face, and an integrated bottle opener. They are NCAA- and NFL-licensed. The college Sportulas are $16.99-$22.99, the NFL ones are $19.99 at Bed Bath and Beyond (BBBY - Get Report) .
Photo: Bed Bath and Beyond
Solar Cooker Camp Stove
Use the power of the sun to grill up those veggie burgers with a solar cooker that was featured on "Shark Tank." It's $399.
Photo: One Earth Designs
Outdoor Pizza Oven
Pizza, beer and football go together. In case the sun isn't out for your solar cooker, go for this lightweight portable pizza oven that's safe on any surface and hooks up to a propane tank. $279-$299 by Pizzacraft.
"Tailgating: Upping Your Game" Cookbook
Serve up tasty bites from this handy spiral-bound cookbook with grilling recipes like Fan-Favorite Shrimp Packs and Hoo-Ya Hoagie Dip for $12.
Photo: CQ Bookstore
This device cuts a grid into hot dogs and sausages so they look great, cook quicker and create crispy caramelized-edged squares which grab hold of your toppings. Works best on thin-skinned or skinless hot dogs. They sell them at Ace Hardware and online for around $17.
Custom Tailgating Grill
Order a custom tailgating grill that attaches to your vehicle via the 2-inch tow hitch. Get it designed in your favorite team's colors and theme. Request a quote at tailgatingideas.com.
Stainless Steel Sauce Pot With Basting Brush
Keep insects out of your marinade with this stainless steel pot and basting brush integrated into the lid, made by Cuisinart for $12.26.
The neoprene Chuggie beer cozy has two pockets so you can hold your smokes, your lighter, your phone or keys. Get four for $26.99 on Amazon.
It looks like a scarf, but it holds water, or your favorite beverage, for $25.95.
Ice Pack Flask
This stealth flask is disguised to look like a reusable icepack, made of beverage safe plastic, and holds up to 14 ounces per flask. It will fool everyone. These guys also make a flask that looks like a sunscreen bottle, a box of candy, and another Sippin' scarf similar to the one mentioned above. $15 by You Can Hide It.
Photo: You Can Hide It
The Beer Belly
This aptly-named hydration flask is disguised as a beer belly. Who would ever guess? It's $29.99.
Photo: The Beer Belly
Also made by The Beer Belly, this hydration pack turns an A-cup into a double-D and holds your favorite beverage discreetly. $29.99.
Photo: The Beer Belly
Waterproof LED Cooler Light
Here's a waterproof, crush- and shock-resistant light that you can recharge in your home or car with the USB cord. Stick it in your cooler along with the other cans and bottles and impress your friends and light up your cooler. It also includes a green light setting for hunters and fishermen. $22.95 at Amazon.
Photo: Teal Plum
Six-Pack Suspenders with Detachable Coolies
Wear your beverage with class. Adjustable suspenders come with detachable neoprene custom can coolies, for $19.99.
Photo: Six Pack Suspenders
Inflatable Serving Bar
Keep food and beverages cold with this inflatable serving bar with a drain plug. $16.99 by Sorbus.
License Plate-Mounted Bottle Opener
Since twist-off caps have gone out of vogue, this bottle opener, which attaches to Jeep Wranglers, might be the next best thing. At $9.95, it's an Amazon's Choice for "Jeep bottle openers." Because that's not overly specific at all.
Photo: Wrenches & Bones
Hammaka Trailer Hitch Stand and Chairs
This trailer hitch stand comes with two air chairs and mounts right on the trailer hitch for $241. There's also a hammock version.