Football season is here! Whether you’re the seasoned die-hard fan or just into the game for the snacks, this season is set to be filled with your pick of football parties. Regardless of the outcome of the game, we have some tips on how you can throw the best football party and have every guest leave happy… even fans of the losing team! There are three D’s to every good football party, and we are going to uncover what they are and how they help you crush the party. Let’s get started:
The first D sets the tone of the party. As much as we would love to be at the stadium every game, that isn’t always possible. A staple of the stadium atmosphere is a cold beer and a rowdy, spirited crowd that makes live-viewing so exciting. This is why no football party or tailgate is complete without a healthy amount of drink! Since fridge space is limited at most home-parties, we suggest investing in large metal buckets or even using your tailgate cooler and heavily stocking them with some popular beers. If you don’t want to go the ice bucket route, many well-known brands make smaller-sized kegs, perfect for your party.
To make things even more special, buy one or two six-packs of a craft beer or seasonal beverage. The fall is a great time for many breweries as they bring out new seasonal flavors and ciders. This is a special move that is easy to do (hey, you’re already picking up drinks anyway!) and will get you some major extra-credit points from guests.
Lastly, it’s important to cater to guests who might not drink– kids and adults alike. We always recommend having a variety of soft drinks on hand, and even a special mocktail created for the event so no guest feels left out! A hot spiced cider, perhaps?
How a party looks is important! If you are a big fan of a particular team or two, you might already have a few flags, pendants, or accessories that you can put out to help style the party. If not, it doesn’t hurt to invest in a few decorations, or even make your own using the colors of the teams.
While we don’t recommend using disposable dishware since it creates a ton of non-recyclable waste, cocktail napkins are something that we can’t really avoid using for parties like this. Buy napkins in team colors to add extra pops of color that brings out team spirit!
The third D is by far the most important. Food is the best part of any football party —sorry, but it’s true! Unlike most parties where food can be a little more upscale, football parties are notorious for serving comforting junk food and we are totally here for it! When it comes to the menu, we recommend three appetizers, two mains, and one or two sweets (we suggest two if there will be kids!).
When it comes to appetizers, chips and dip gets the first one. It’s a classic, and if it isn’t invited to the party, it will be sorely missed by all guests. It’s easy, cheap, and always a fan favorite. Guac, hummus, spinach & artichoke, onion dip… anything! Any dip is good by us. As for the remaining two appetizers? We suggest buying some queso and hot pretzels (just like the ones at the stadium! You can find them in the frozen section) and serving up the duo. We also love the idea of some heavy-duty nachos (beef, cheese, jalapenos… the whole nine, or 120, yards), pigs in a blanket, or any sharable breads. Pizza bread is always a big hit with kids! Just take any store bought dough, and roll up balls stuffed with mozzarella, tomato sauce, and pepperoni, then bake!
For the mains, hot dogs and hamburgers are good, but sometimes they are too easy. We suggest upping the ante with just-as-easy, but more exciting choices such as wings, sausage, onion and pepper subs, baked mac and cheese (add jalapenos for an extra kick!), or pulled pork/chicken sandwiches. All of these mains can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving, unlike hot dogs and hamburgers that need to be (or should be…) made fresh. This saves you time and lets you watch the game. Just set an oven and you’re good to go!
When it comes to desert, keep it simple! Scour your grocery store’s bakery section for some cupcakes or cookies if you want to leave baking off your to-do list. No one is going to complain that you didn’t bake when your other offerings were stellar… or complain about desert to begin with!
From tailgates to big game celebrations, make some room some cold drinks and get ready to win over your guests with killer snacks and a day filled with entertainment. Master the three D’s of a good football party and you’re set for a killer season. …Let’s just hope your team is!