How to Plan a Super Bowl Party
Even if you weren't able to get hold of Super Bowl tickets, you can still get together with friends to root for your favorite team at home. The best part about hosting your own Super Bowl party is watching the game live and up-close in the comfort of your own living room while enjoying the three Fs: football, food, and friendly rivalry. If this sounds more appealing than paying scalper prices for game day tickets, read on for helpful tips on planning your game day bash.
Study the Playbook: 2 weeks before the Super Bowl
Start planning your Super Bowl party about two weeks in advance. At that point, the final two teams will have made it through playoffs.
Finalize your guest list - Remember, Super Bowl Sunday is a big day for parties. Creating a guest list ASAP will ensure guests can block out time in their schedules to attend. Call guests when you've decided on the details, or send them a virtual invitation through websites like Evite.
Get the details down - For example, this year it will be on Sunday, February 3, 2013. The game is scheduled to start at 6:30 pm EST and will be broadcast on the CBS television network. You can find this information by checking the Super Bowl website.
Set your budget - this crucial step will help you decide whether to host a potluck or throw a no-holds-barred bash.
Creating a Game Plan: 1 week before the Super Bowl
With the big game days away, it is time to have fun with all the little details.
Get your game day grub on. Treat it like a tailgating party - go for snacks and finger foods that are easy to prepare so you can spend time watching the game instead of slaving away in the kitchen. You can't go wrong with pizza and beer, but other stadium favorites include hot dogs and hamburgers, nachos, pretzels, chips and dip, and Buffalo wings. Handheld desserts like brownies, football-themed cookies, and cupcakes can be easily enjoyed in front of the TV. For healthier options, opt for fruit and veggie trays, or a simple garden salad. Make sure to provide plenty of drink options, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
Show off your swag. The big game just isn't the same if no one gets into it! Decorate in team colors or set up sides where each team's fans can sit and cheer. Have fun props like team-colored hats or Mardi Gras beads on hand for an easy way to get everyone into the spirit. These NFL beer mugs are a great way to serve drinks, and they double as door prizes guests can take home and enjoy!
Keep it going on the sidelines. Some people are really into Super Bowl commercials, and some are searching for entertainment as soon as the break starts. Keep it interesting with a quarterly point spread pool, or have a vote on the best ads.
Super Bowl Party DOs and DON'Ts
Whether you are a Super Bowl party rookie or a veteran party host, these pointers are sure to help you avoid any unnecessary party penalties.
DO make it clear to guests if they should bring something.
If an over-the-top party is not in your budget, it's OK to ask friends to bring a dish to share. Just make sure to assign guests a dish or have a sign-up sheet to ensure you don't wind up with ten dozen cookies and no main course.
DO encourage guests to wear something comfortable.
A Super Bowl party is an informal gathering that doesn't require dressy clothes. If you need help picking an outfit for the big day, you can't go wrong with team jerseys or clothing in your favorite team's colors. You may even be inspired to toss around a football with your buddies during commercial breaks!
DO plan on people arriving and leaving throughout the game.
Most Super Bowl parties don't have a set start time or end time, and some guests may have been invited to multiple parties. Help your guests enjoy game day by letting them know they can come and go as they need to.
DON'T expect all guests to be football fanatics.
Some people come for the football, some for the food, and some for the commercials. Even if they don't know who's playing, try to make sure all your guests are having fun regardless of your personal preferences.
DON'T allow kids unless you are prepared to entertain the little ones.
Like any stadium tailgating party, it's just not a great idea to bring kids to an event filled with sports fans and alcohol without having a dedicated play area or babysitter. Unless the kids in question are die-hard football fans, leave the little ones at home with a caretaker.
DON'T forget the favors!
Fun favors are a great way to help guests show off their team spirit. Have plenty of treats and trinkets in team colors on hand to give out to guests as a parting gift. If you're really into the spirit, crown a party MVP!