There is no better way to spend a weekend than tailgating on a perfect fall day. You’re dressed in your team’s jersey with a cold drink in one hand and a smorgasbord of food on a plate in the other hand. You’re winning at cornhole. The music is blasting. And, the sun is shining. What could be better?

With football season upon us, it’s time to get your game face on and your car ready. So we’d like to share our five tips to a perfect tailgate:

1. Prepare your car.
Your car is an essential member of the tailgating team. From acting as a makeshift table to protecting your food from the elements, your car needs to be in good shape for the day’s activities. The night before, check to make sure you have any necessary items to keep you and your car running smoothly, such as jumper cables and a first-aid kit. Also, stock your car with the essential paper products, so nothing gets forgotten. There is no such thing as too many paper towels and hand wipes. Don’t forget the trash bags!

2. The spread is key.
Food is essential to any good tailgate. Plan and coordinate your menu several days in advance so you can prepare and shop before the big day. You can have any type of food you want – fried chicken, barbeque, burgers, chili, tacos, whatever! Pre-make as much food as possible. That will allow you more time to enjoy friends instead of preparing food.

3. Get there early.
Arrive at least two 2 hours before kickoff so you have plenty of time to setup, hangout and clean up. No one wants to be rushed when tailgating. Once you arrive, open up your trunk and get the party started.

4. No tailgate is complete without games.
Who doesn’t love a game of cornhole, washer toss, or ladder golf? These go-to-games are perfect because they require just one hand to play – leaving your other hand free for a hotdog. Bring a variety of games to keep loved ones entertained. Or, pack a football for a game of toss with a neighboring tailgate party.

5. Turn up the music.
Don’t forget to pack some speakers so you can get the party going. You can create a unique tailgating playlist ahead of time with everyone’s favorite tunes. Don’t be the annoying neighbor and play your music too loud. Reminder, it’s never too early to start a dance party!

Tailgating is a true American pastime. It’s the best part of fall. It can be stress-free if you start planning early. Mighty Auto Parts is here to help with that preparation. We’ve partnered with more than 12,000 repair facilities across the country. As part of your preparation, stop by a service center today to ensure your car is in tip-top tailgating shape. Learn more about Mighty Auto Parts.