8 awesome places to tailgate... that aren't a football game

Technically speaking, all you need to host a great tailgate is a grill, a cooler, good friends, and a tailgate -- so why limit the most quintessentially American form of partying to football games? Why not, for example, party hard with wildebeests (they're literally party animals) on the African Savannah? Below, we’ve laid out 8 of the best occasions besides football games to stake out a flat place and spend three hours of joyous grilling and chilling.

Police Auction
English PEN/Flickr

Police Auction

The thrill of victory? The adrenaline rush of cut throat competition? Bankrupt former millionaires? The game of football and the local police auction have a lot in common. Why not get psyched up before bidding on ridiculously discounted, slightly bullet-hole-damaged yachts the same way you would the big game?

PhD Defense
Johan Koolwaaij/Flickr

PhD Defense

Standing in front of a group of fellow academics, fielding questions, and presenting the case that you should join the esteemed ranks of people whom nobody is positive actually do anything is hard. As anyone who's earned an advance degree in Early Minoan Pottery Making and Social Impact in Modern Television can tell you -- someone taking this last step could use all the help they could get! Break out the grill, brats, and games to really encourage the defendants and/or convince them that clown college was probably a better idea. 

B. Chase Wink/TMG

Coed Kickball Games

If tailgating can sometimes be more fun than watching a football game, imagine how much more fun it could be than watching a kickball game! Also, imagine your friends who actually play kickball’s surprise when you show up for their 5pm City Sports League Championship Match only to find you’ve been blaring that Kid Rock version of “Sweet Home Alabama” in the parking lot since 9am?

Damian Gadal/Flickr

Invitation Only Country Club Exhibition Polo Matches

Polo is just like football -- a sport played by millionaire athletes where a ball has to go somewhere (that's how polo works, right?). Plus there are horses. And mallets. And monocles. If anything it's even better than football which has zero monocles! While trading up those hot dogs and burgers for prime rib and Etruscan truffle wedges is required, a polo tailgate can have the same camaraderie as its pigskin cousin just with, again, so many more monocles.

Black Friday
Joakim Jardenberg/Flickr

Black Friday

Getting sweet deals on everything from electronics to home decor is America’s ultimate action sport. And if you’re forced to take drastic measures to score that discounted 3-burner liquid propane gas grill before the rest of the contenders, any hard feelings can be smoothed out when you invite them to your spot in the lot for juicy sausage links cooked on that same 3-burner liquid propane gas grill.

My Fair Lady
Dave Thomas/Flickr

Community Theatre Production of My Fair Lady

Like dozens of people chanting "The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain!" wouldn't sound badass? These local members of the community are putting themselves out there to provide entrainment and joy to their friends and neighbors -- what better way to celebrate this noble effort than by partying in their parking lot and rocking that Henry Higgins #1 jersey.

Apple picking
Charlie Lyons-Pardue/Flickr

Apple picking excursions

Fall apple picking is already a blast -- you get to pull things off other people's trees without getting in trouble, and you finally get to wear that cool “Town and Field” waxed cotton jacket -- but what would make this classic fall activity even more fun would be steaks, inflatable puffy chairs with team logos on them, and other people to talk to besides the girlfriend you’re clearly about to make your fiancée.

The apocalypse

The Apocalypse

And you thought the Super Bowl halftime was entertaining!