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College Tailgate Care Packages: A memorable send-off gift for your new freshman!

Although it’s still 90 degrees here in the midwest, recent high school grads are scouring the stores for dorm room necessities and making moving plans. It’s hard to believe, but most college students will be heading to school in only a few weeks! Maybe you have a stack of announcements and have been wanting to send the perfect going-away gifts, or your son/daughter/niece/nephew/grandchild is a new college freshman and you want to send them off in style.

There are oodles of ‘what to pack for college’ lists out there, but while a shower caddy is certainly a practical gift, you can really make their college sendoff care package memorable by combining a few essentials for that most important of college rituals…the tailgate.

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Game Day Face Paint allows your game-day warrior to show his or her true colors. You can also head over to Fanatics for temporary tattoos and nail art to show your team the love.

Etsy has some fantastic collegiate jewelry options so your student can ‘sport’ a little bling at the game (sorry, it was too good to pass up).

A wheeled cooler really comes in handy for those long walks from the dorm to the stadium. Options for team colors or logos abound.

What’s a tailgate without brats and burgers? Weber’s line of Go Anywhere grills are compact enough for easy storage and setup is a breeze.

In most of North America, football weather means hoodies, hats, and a cold posterior. Make your favorite fan the envy of the tailgate with our favorite (naturally) cold-weather camp chair. Chaheati heated camp chairs not only warm your buns (not the bratwurst kind), but they’re super comfy to sit in. Rocking a stadium seat? Our heated add-on lets you boldly sit wherever the game takes you. Your collegiate sports fan will get a warm, fuzzy feeling at every pregame event.

As for food and beverages, those are harder to pack into a goody basket, but if you’re visiting, be sure to check out our tips for a weather-defying tailgate party, including food and drink ideas to take your ‘gate to the next level.

We hope our college gift giving guide helps you find the perfect going away gift for your college-bound kid. And with winter  just around the corner, you’ve got a head start on your holiday shopping list!

What are your favorite gifts for college-bound freshmen (or upperclassmen)? Share your best ideas in the comments!

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Baseball Spring Training Action Is Heating Up

The crack of a bat, the smell of roasted peanuts, and the end of winter all signal the return of baseball in the United States. People are grabbing their camp chairs and loading up vehicles to head to spring training baseball games and catch a glimpse — or a souvenir — of an old familiar player or an up-and-coming rookie. It gives teams the opportunity to gauge how their minor league talent is developing, often giving more proven talent the opportunity to compete for a spot on their associated MLB team.

For those who don’t know, baseball spring training is split up into two leagues: Cactus League and Grapefruit League. The Cactus League games are played in Arizona, while the Grapefruit League games are played in Florida. Most East Coast teams have spring training complexes in Florida, and West Coast teams have theirs in Arizona. There are a few exceptions, however. The Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds are examples of teams closer to the East Coast with spring training complexes in Arizona.

Pitchers and catchers reported to camp for all MLB teams by February 17, with position players reporting in four to seven days later. The first spring training exhibition game began February 24 with Florida State University losing to the Philadelphia Phillies 8–0 in the Grapefruit League. Cactus League play revved up the next day, with the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants narrowly beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 7–6. Since then things have been really heating up in spring training in both leagues.

For many young players spring training baseball is a real opportunity to prove they’re ready to play in The Bigs. Take for example the St. Louis Cardinal’s recent loss of Adam Wainwright at the beginning of spring training. The Cardinals are talking about filling Wainwright’s role from within, meaning both veterans and young players will have a shot to compete. Similar competitions are occurring in other spring training camps right now, adding extra excitement to the sport.

There’s no doubt that people are excited about heading outdoors and enjoying the warmer weather of Florida and Arizona spring training. Baseball fans take this stuff seriously. You can find all sorts of spring training guides and early player reports on most any major sports network. Some fans are so serious about it that they’re not afraid to give their picks for the best food in Arizona and Florida. And with a reported 2.87 million reported fans in attendance in both leagues last year, the popularity of spring training baseball looks to remain strong.

Here are some additional resources that may help you keep up with the latest developments in MLB and MiLB spring training games:

Cactus League spring training schedule
Grapefruit League spring training schedule
Subscribe to the official Spring Training Newsletter