Every moment before kickoff is a moment made for tailgating! With a little prep the day before, you can pack a no-fuss portable party that is sure to be a league standout. Show your team spirit by hanging easy-to-make star streamers in your team’s colors at your tailgate site. Fire up the grill and make yummy kebabs served up with eat-it-with-one-hand skewers of corn on the cob.

And while we’re talking about easy-to-eat food on a stick, try this neat trick: use star cookie cutters to stamp out shapes from watermelon slices, then slide them on wooden skewers with blueberries. Keep dessert simple and fun with a make-your-own ice cream sundae bar (ice cream packed in an ice cooler and a variety of toppings pre-sorted into small jam jars makes this treat the surprise play of the game).

Fresh Strawberry Lemonade will keep sports fans of every age cool while they play classic games like ring toss, washers, or cornhole. Read on for recipes and instructions!

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ALL-STAR STREAMERS

Cut out stars from paper in your team’s colors, then punch two holes on either side. Thread the stars onto a colorful string to make a garland you can hang.

Chicken Susage and Veggie Kebabs

CHICKEN SAUSAGE
& VEGGIE KEBABS

Makes 4 servings

  • 4 links precooked, smoked chicken-apple sausages
  • (about 12 ounces total)
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 24 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper

PREP:

Soak eight 10-inch bamboo skewers in water to cover for at least 30 minutes before using.

Cut each sausage link crosswise into 6 evenly sized pieces, for a total of 24 pieces. Trim the ends of the zucchini and cut each one in half lengthwise, then cut each half crosswise into 6 evenly sized chunks, for a total of 24 pieces.

Thread 3 sausage pieces, 3 zucchini chunks, and 3 cherry tomatoes onto each skewer, alternating them as you go. Place the kebabs in a single layer on a cookie sheet, brush them all over with the olive oil, and sprinkle each one with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate.

GAMEDAY:

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a gas or charcoal grill and clean and oil the grill grate. Place the kebabs on the grill grate and cook, occasionally turning the kebabs with grill tongs, until the sausage is browned and the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer the kebabs to a platter and serve right away.

Fresh Strawberry Lemonade

Fresh Strawberry Lemonade

Makes about 2 quarts

Blend 1½ cups fresh lemon juice and 1¼ cups superfine sugar in a blender until the sugar is dissolved. Add 12 strawberries (trimmed), and puree until very smooth. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer set over a 3-quart pitcher. Stir in 6 cups cold water, cover, and refrigerate until well chilled. Serve over ice and garnish with thin lemon slices.

Mini corn on the cob with lime butter

MINI CORN ON THE COB
WITH LIME BUTTER

Makes 12 pieces

  • 4 ears of corn, husks and silk removed
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, at room temperature
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lime

PREP:

Fill a large pot two-thirds full of water. Set the pot over high heat and bring the water to a boil. Add the corn to the boiling water and blanche until the corn kernels are tender when pierced with a fork, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, carefully transfer the corn to a platter. Blend butter and lime zest; set aside in a sealed container. Soak 12 short, sturdy wooden skewers in water overnight.

GAMEDAY:

Pierce each mini cob with a pre-soaked skewer and place on the grill until heated. Serve hot or at room temperature with the lime butter for spreading.

Adapted from American Girl Parties. American Girl Publishing, 2017. All rights reserved. Copyright ©2017 Weldon Owen, Inc., Williams Sonoma, Inc., and American Girl.