I grew up in a family that loved sporting events. Since we lived in the Detroit area, we would try and go to as many games as possible. From hockey games to baseball games, football games to basketball games, we loved cheering on our favorite teams.
When my husband and I were at Michigan State University, our fall weekends were always full of tailgating and cheering on our team. We still love everything about tailgate (my brother has a legit tailgating setup) and we try to attend at least one Michigan State game a year, even though we live in Maryland now.
When we can’t make it to games, we always have the game on our television. We love setting out appetizers, enjoying cocktails, and cheering on our favorite teams. As one can imagine, I’ve watched a lot of football games, attended football game parties, and even hosted a few football parties.
What I like to do is treat a football game party like a tailgate. Because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love a good tailgate party?
Tips and Tricks for a Football Game Party
Here are some of my favorite tips for hosting a football game party.
There’s nothing like quality finger foods to enjoy before the game and during the game. What football game party would be complete without tons of snacking? Here are some items to consider:
- Place the food in an easy to get to location. You can either set out the appetizers on a coffee table (if your coffee table is big enough), spread out the food on a kitchen table, or setup a buffet-style spread on the counter (you could even keep those slow cookers plugged and make sure some of the appetizers stay warm) throughout the pre-game and game.
- Check out some of these great and simple football game party recipes.
- Make sure you set out small plates, napkins, and toothpicks (which serve as utensils) so that guests can serve up food on their plates and kick back on the couch to watch the game. Plus, the small plates allow your guests to pick and choose what they want to snack on throughout the game.
- Be sure to replenish dishes as they start to dwindle on the serving platter.
- Focus on finger foods and casual dining. It’s hard to sit down for a fancy meal when the big game is on the television. People want to be near a television to watch the game. So, keep it casual by offering up a lot of finger foods that are easy to eat and enjoy.
- Place bowls of snacks on end tables. You can fill some bowls with peanuts, popcorn … whatever you think your guests will love.
A football game can be pretty lengthy so be sure to have beverages on hand. Here are some items to consider:
- Create a drink station that is full of options that will keep your guests happy.
- Fill a galvanized bucket with ice and place beer and/or white wine in the ice.
- Make sure you have non-alcohol beverages for the kiddos. You can pick up a package of individual milk or juice boxes, place the drinks in a bucket filled with ice, and set it out so that the kiddos can grab a drink.
- Create a drink for the game that is festive and goes along with the theme of your favorite team.
- Make sure you have plenty of water bottles available for guests.
There are so many cute football-themed decorations that are perfect for a football game party. Here are some items to consider:
- Set football-themed plates and napkins.
- Buy decorations that match your favorite team’s colors.
- Cover tables with table covers that match your favorite team’s colors. Or, cover tables with kraft paper. When you place the platters of food on the paper, you can write on the paper what the food is. You could even put the kraft paper on your drink station and label the drinks on the paper.
Let’s face it, the time leading up to the football game, as well as the game itself (hello, halftime) can be a bit on the long side, especially if you’re favorite team is losing. Be sure to set out fun games for guests of all ages. Here are some items to consider:
- Set out fun games on the lawn if the weather is nice. You can set out cornhole (aka bags), a football so that your guests can throw a football around, and other outdoor-friendly items that will keep your guests having fun.
- Play football squares. Here’s a helpful tutorial on how to do football game squares.
- Check out these fun football party games that your guests are bound to love.
Everyone wants to be able to see the game, right? So, be sure you have plenty of extra seats in your living room or whichever room will be showing the big game. Here are some items to consider:
- Set out blankets and throw pillows just in case people need to sit on the floor due to not enough couch space. You want to be sure you make your guests on the floor feel comfy.
- Bring in extra chairs from other rooms in the house. Yes, your living room might look a bit cluttered but at least your guests will be comfy.
- Try turning the game on in multiple rooms of the house (think living and basement). That way, your guests can spread out and be comfy while watching the game.
What are your favorite tips and tricks for hosting a football game party?