The Essentials You’ll Need for a Successful Football Party
Football season is upon us, and with it comes the season for game day parties. There’s nothing like great food and company in front of the game on a Sunday night. It can be stressful to plan a party, but when it comes to watching the big game, you’ll just need the essentials. With the right party planning, it won’t matter if your team wins or loses. Whether you’re rooting for the Raiders in anticipation of their arrival to Las Vegas, cheering on the local high school team or just in it for the commercials, we created a list of everything you’ll need at your party. Grab some delicious food, decorations and football gear, and settle in for the game. And of course, bring plenty of team spirit!
Food and Beverage
Whether you know everything there is to know about football or are just starting to learn the game, one thing everyone enjoys at a party is great food and drinks. At your party, it’s important to have a variety of snack-like finger foods that will feed a large number of people. Your guests will want some easy options of things to grab in the middle of the game. However, it’s also important to have a few larger entrée dishes available at halftime to satisfy every kind of hungry guest.
For finger food, your options are endless. Try to have a mix of snacks with some healthy options included. Some easy, no-prep options are veggie platters with a nice ranch dip or salty snacks like chips and pretzels. For options that are still simple but require a little more prep, try the recipes from FoodNetwork.com for dishes like classic hot wings or black bean and corn salad, paired great as a salsa with salty tortilla chips.
Classic Hot Wings
24 chicken wings
1 stick of butter
12-ounce bottle cayenne hot pepper sauce
Several dashes of hot sauce
Several dashes of Worcestershire sauce
Blue cheese dip
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Heat 3 inches of canola oil in a heavy pot to 375 degrees. Add half the chicken wings to the oil and fry them until they’re golden brown and fully cooked for 5 to 7 min. Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the other half of the wings.
3. In a saucepan, heat the butter and cayenne sauce over medium-low heat. Add the hot sauce and Worcestershire. Let it bubble up, and then turn off the heat.
4. Place the wings in an ovenproof dish and pour the hot sauce over the top. Toss to coat, and then bake in the oven for 15 min. Serve with celery and blue cheese dip.
Black Bean and Corn Salad
1 14 ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil
Salt and pepper
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let stand at least 15 minutes for corn to defrost fully and flavors to combine, then toss and serve. No need to refrigerate. Serve as a cold salsa with your favorite tortilla chips.
Other easy snacks you could serve are mozzarella sticks, pigs in a blanket or finger sandwiches. For larger meals to serve at halftime, some simple recipes include chili, pot roast or burgers and hot dogs on the grill. These meals are quick to prepare ahead of time and are a crowd favorite for accompanying fall football games.
In addition to snacks, you’ll also want to have a variety of drinks for your guests to choose from. While everyone enjoys a cold beer with the game, instead of going for standard beers, why not make your party unique by grabbing some beers from Henderson’s local brewery, CraftHaus Brewery? CraftHaus Brewery offers a variety of unique pale and dark ales. CraftHaus Brewery beers are available for sale at stores such as Trader’s Joe, Whole Foods Market and Total Wine and More, and would be the perfect addition to your game day party. If you’d like to include some options other than beer, bloody marys are also great and easy to prepare. Make sure to have some nonalcoholic choices as well, like sodas and waters for guests to enjoy.
Decorations and Team Gear
Once you have your menu planned, the next important aspect of your party is decorating your party space with festive, team-themed decorations and gear. Make sure you’re wearing your favorite team’s colors or jerseys you can find at the local Dick’s Sporting Goods or Fanzz at the Galleria at Sunset. In addition to sporting some team gear, you should also create a fun atmosphere with posters, banners and balloons in both team’s colors. This will appeal to all your guests no matter who they’re rooting for, and make everyone feel included. You can also decorate your serving table with a football-themed tablecloth and themed paper cups and plates.
Party Games and Halftime Activities
It’s a great idea to have fun activities that can engage and entertain all your guests. Not only are games a fun way to make your party more than just watching the game, but they also are a way to create some friendly competition to match the spirit of the football game. You can have longer games that you play at halftime or shorter games you can play throughout the game or at short commercial breaks.
First, if anyone at your party participates in fantasy football, placing friendly bets (we are in Vegas, after all!) on players or even on what team will win can be fun throughout the game. You can also prepare trivia questions about the teams playing, football facts or statistics. Trivia can be played during commercials or halftime, and is a simple way to have fun and even learn more about the game.
If you have room or outdoor space, a football-shaped pinata at halftime is a great way to let out some energy or entertain kids at family parties. Having some footballs your guest can toss around outside at halftime is another simple, fun way to entertain during breaks in the game. It might also be fun to have some party favors or prizes for games, such as mini footballs or Gatorade water bottles!
Comfortable Viewing Space
Finally, though it may seem like the most simple aspect of your party, a comfortable and open seating space for your guests is one of the most important things to think about when you’re party planning. You want your space to be open for people to spread out and mingle but also want there to be plenty of seating options that offer unblocked views of the game. A large-screen TV or one that’s mounted is ideal for game-watching parties. You’ll also want to have some coffee table space for guests to place their food and drinks.
If you keep in mind these four important essentials for your party, you’ll be all set! Just remember that the most important thing is that you provide your guests with a fun, relaxing atmosphere—and, hopefully, a victory for your team!