Whether you’ll be glued to every second of the game or just watch for the commercials, Super Bowl Sunday is always a fun time thanks to the fact that it’s all about friends, food, and football. If you love having people over, but hate stress, it’s also the perfect time to throw a party because everyone expects (and wants) it to remain super casual and laidback. Well, except for that one guy seems like he might have a heart attack from screaming at the TV, but every party needs one of him.
Besides that guy, here’s everything you need to put on your best game face and host a winning Super Bowl party.
1. Finalize the Roster
Yes, the Super Bowl is a chill day of watching football, but you still need to get a guest head count so you know how much food and beer to buy. Considering the focus of this event is everyone gathering in one place to watch TV, you’ll only want to invite as many people as you have seats in your living/family room.
2. Assign Seats
Depending on how many people RSVPed “yes,” you may need to arrange your entire living room in order to optimize space and seating. If you don’t have enough seats, put some oversized pillows and throw rugs on the floor or consider renting folding chairs. You’ll also want to make sure everyone can see the TV, aka: use this as an excuse to upgrade to a bigger flat screen or get that articulating mount installed. Consider temporarily adding a television to the kitchen if you don’t have one in there so that no one has to miss a second of the action.
3. Clean the Stadium
There’s no need to clean your house from top-to-bottom, but take a few minutes to tidy up any rooms your guests will be using (entryway, bathroom, kitchen, etc.) and be sure to stock the bathroom with soap and toilet paper. You’ll also want to make sure your coat closet has room and hangers since most people will arrive bundled up. Speaking of, if there’s ice or snow on the walk, you’ll absolutely want to get that all removed ahead of time. You’ll also want to take out anything and everything fragile from the living room the day of the game. People will jump up and down. They will knock things over. Prepare for this ahead of time and everyone will be much more happier.
4. Check the Equipment
Take stock of things like glasses, serving platters, bottle openers (you’ll need a few so people don’t have to look far) and any other necessities you may be low on (napkins, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, garbage bags, paper towels etc.). Feel free to ask guests to bring anything you don’t have so you don’t have to buy more.
5. Break Out the Foam Fingers
You don’t have to go crazy considering most eyes will be on the television, but adding some football-themed décor to the kitchen and living room is a fun way to make the party a little more special. Decorate in team colors, make snacks that look like footballs, do DIY Astroturf coasters, or create a football field table. If you don’t feel like going all décor crazy, you can also just pick up some football-themed paper plates and napkins at the store. If you want to go the extra mile, consider hiring a drop-off caterer to provide snacks (it costs less than you think).
6. Open the Concession Stands
The Super Bowl is about two things: football and food. If your party is going to be potluck, give your guests a head’s up when you send out invites and find out what they plan to bring at that time otherwise you might end up with 10 platters of pigs in a blanket. The food doesn’t have to be complicated or gourmet; in fact, most people prefer to go the junk food route on Super Bowl Sunday. Set up a buffet in the kitchen with options like a make your own sandwich station, wings, nachos, potato skins, or chili. (Anything you can keep warm in a crockpot is perfect.)
You’ll also want to put some snacks on the table in the living room. Think: chips and guacamole, a veggie platter, snack mix, cheese plates, etc. Make sure you have a sweet treat as well to bring out after halftime. And if this all sounds like a ton of work and you just want to order pizza… do it. No shame in a pizza party whatsoever. Just be sure to order more than you think you’ll need and considering placing your order ahead of time since it’s a busy day.
Photo: Cute football snacks
7. “Beer Here! Ice Cold Beer Here!”
Beer is typically the preferred beverage on Super Bowl Sunday, which means you’ll want to have a lot on hand. Bring in beer from the cities of the teams facing off or, if you’re on a budget, ask guests to bring their own. Just make sure you have lots of room in your fridge or a cooler with ice. (This is a perfect excuse to do a refrigerator clean out.) In fact, you may want to consider filling buckets full of ice and beer and putting them in strategic places so people don’t have to get up to go to the fridge during the game. You’ll also want to be sure to have some soda and maybe some wine on hand since not everyone will want a cold one.
8. Place Your Bets
Football’s always a little more fun when there’s some friendly competition. Come up with a list of prop bets like “Which team will commit the first penalty?” and “Will the first commercial after kickoff be for a beer company?” and give out silly prizes to the winner. Or, have everyone throw in five bucks and play squares.
9. Be Prepared for Instant Replay
There are going to be calls that are missed or commercials people want to see again. You’re the host, so you’re in charge of the remote. Keep it on hand (but hidden from others unless you want mayhem to ensue) and decide when it’s okay to rewind something to watch again. Just make sure you’re always back to “live” time when the game is on otherwise someone on social media will ruin it for you.
10. Pro Tip: Book a Cleaner Now for the Day After
Whether your favorite team wins or loses, you’ll be happy you did.