You don't have to be a die-hard football fan to enjoy hosting a football watch party. Whether you're planning a get-together for the big game or just looking for an excuse to get together with friends and family, there's nothing quite like gathering around the television to cheer on your team (or jeering at the opposing team).
Of course, no football party is complete without food and drinks, so we've put together the ultimate football party checklist to help you make sure you have everything you need for a great time.
Are you looking for some stress-free tips for planning your next football party? We know that throwing a successful and memorable game-day party can be tricky. With so many details to remember, it’s easy to overlook something important. Whether you’re new to hosting or have lots of experience throwing parties, we have the ultimate checklist for you!
From appetizer ideas and kid-friendly snacks to adult beverages and GDV (game day vibe) enhancements, this ultimate football party checklist will help you easily plan a successful football party. Let’s get started!
Set A Game Day Vibe
We know this is the 10th item on the list, but it’s by far the most important item. We recommend starting with a couple of pre-game activities to set the right mood and get your guests in the game day spirit.
First, play some audio clips from famous football movies or sports bloopers. This is a guaranteed crowd pleaser and a great way to lighten the mood and ease tension.
Next, set the mood with the right music. Music is a powerful tool that can either help or hinder your efforts, depending on your use. We suggest setting up a music playlist that features a mix of current hits and classic stadium anthems.
You can even connect your Bluetooth-enabled devices through the speaker system to play music throughout the house. This is a great way to help guests feel at home and keep the volume in check, especially if you have kids or neighbors who might be bothered by the noise.
Ultimate Football Party Checklist
As with any party, the more you plan, the better the outcome. To make sure your game-day bash is an unqualified success, we recommend following this ultimate super bowl party checklist!
Before you invite your guests, ensure you have enough seating and tables for everyone. You can use lawn chairs and tables or put a tablecloth on your dining room table and folding chairs around it.
Keep in mind that if you invite many people, you may want to open your house to guests. Also, make sure you have enough food and drinks for everyone. You can always order takeout or bring guests their beverages and snacks if necessary.
- Create a guest list - Decide who to invite and ensure they’re all invited at the right time. Create a guest list using an online party planner or spreadsheet. This will help you track guests and ensure they don’t bring too many extra people.
- Invite guests via email - This allows you to personalize each invitation, set a specific date and time, and keep track of who has or hasn’t responded.
- Send a guest welcome kit - As soon as guests RSVP, send them a welcome kit that includes directions, parking info, and a map with directions. You can also include a few items from this checklist, like a game day checklist, napkins, cups, and a salt shaker.
Food And Drinks
This is arguably the most important part of any football party. You'll want to ensure you have plenty of food and drinks to keep your guests happy throughout the game.
- Plan your menu - Depending on the event you’re hosting, decide what menu items make the best game-day food. Finger foods are always a good idea, as they’re easy to eat and don’t require utensils.
- Decorate your food and drinks - Have some fun with your food and drink presentation. All the food doesn’t have to be football-themed, but it’s always fun to get creative.
- Set up a drink station - Have all the drinks in one place so guests can help themselves. This includes sodas, beers, mixed drinks, and water. If you have a lot of guests, consider setting up a drink station in another room so there's less congestion in the kitchen or living room. Extra toilet paper is also a plus!
- Make sure you have enough ice - You can never have too much ice! Fill coolers and buckets with ice so guests can easily grab a drink.
- Prepare food in advance - This will save you time and stress on game day. If possible, make as much food as you can ahead of time. This includes things like wings, pizza, burgers, and hot dogs. A trash can and paper plates are also a good idea.
Chips And Dip
A classic football party staple. Choose your favorite flavors and varieties to satisfy everyone's taste.
Another must-have for any football party. You can never have too many wings!
An easy way to feed a large group of people. Be sure to order enough for seconds (and thirds!).
Hamburgers And Hot Dogs
Perfect for grilling during halftime. Don't forget the condiments!
Veggies And Fruit
Make sure to include some fresh veggies and fruit platters for healthier options.
Sodas And Beer
No football party is complete without refreshments. Make sure you have a variety of sodas and beers on hand to please everyone.
Don't forget to keep your guests hydrated! Have plenty of water available for those who don't want alcoholic beverages or soda.
For guests who don't drink alcohol, have a selection of other non-alcoholic drinks like iced tea, lemonade, or fruit punch.
Football parties are the perfect opportunity to show off your team spirit, so make sure you decorate your space accordingly.
- Get the right décor - Football décor is a great way to celebrate the sport and set the mood. One of the football party must-haves is tablecloths, banners, and flags that show off your team spirit. You can also use serving platters, bowls, and cups in team colors.
- Get the right furniture - If you’re hosting a big party, ensure enough seating and tables. Game day classics like cornhole, ladder ball, and KanJam are always a big hit, so if you have the space, set them up in the backyard or living room.
- Set your music - Make sure you play the right music at the right volume. Fun ideas for music include famous football movie clips or soundtracks, classic stadium anthems, and current hits.
- Set the mood with lighting - Use string lights, lamps, or even candles to help set the mood. The game room or basement is usually the best place for game time, so make sure the lighting is good.
Flags And Banners
Hang flags and banners representing your favorite team (or teams) around the room.
Posters And Photos
Decorate the walls with posters and photos of your favorite players. You can even get creative and make Collages.
Tablecloths And Napkins
Use team colors to set the table and add some extra decorations. Football-themed paper goods are also available at most party stores.
Fill the room with balloons in your team's colors. You can even get creative and spell words like "Touchdown!" or "Go, team!"
When your team had score big points, it's time to celebrate!
Of course, the main entertainment at any football party is the game itself. But that doesn't mean you can't have other things going on either.
The TV room is usually the best place for the main game, but you can also set up a separate room with board games, video games, or other activities for guests who want to take a break from the action.
Here are a few ideas to keep your guests entertained between plays.
Test your guests' knowledge of football with a trivia game. You can find quizzes online or make up your questions.
Have your guests place bets on who they think will win the game. The person with the correct predictions at the end of the game wins a prize.
Print out bingo cards with different squares for commercials that air during the game. The first person to get five in a row wins!
Put on your halftime show featuring performances by your guests or a talent show. This is a great way to keep everyone entertained during halftime.
Have An Exit Strategy
This is where many party hosts go wrong. They don’t have an exit strategy, and guests stay too long. This can create unnecessary stress and make you feel like you must clean up after everyone.
To avoid this, we recommend having a cutoff time and a cleanup crew. Make sure you set a cutoff time to know when your guests need to leave. This will help you keep the party going without it getting too out of control. When planning your cutoff time, keep in mind that you’ll need time to clean up and put everything away.
Also, make sure you have enough cleaning supplies on hand to clean up after your party thoroughly.
Now that you’ve gone through our checklist, you’ve got all the information you need to throw a killer game-day bash.
Hosting a football party is a great way to bond with friends and family, regardless of age. With these tips and tricks, your house will be the place to be on any given Sunday!
Now that you have the ultimate football party checklist, all that's left to do is invite your friends and family and enjoy the game!