Football fans across the nation know that when the holidays are over, it’s time to start planning a Super Bowl watch party! If you’re the host this year, you’ve probably been giving it some thought since last year’s game. Get organized and pull your plans together with the help of our ultimate guide.
Finding the Location for a Super Bowl Watch Party
The location of your party will largely determine several other factors of your plan, so knock that out first. Is your home large enough to host all your friends and family? Consider your indoor and outdoor spaces and what might work best. If your home isn’t an option, look into:
- Renting a vacation rental
- Going to the cabin
- Reserving a public venue
- Reserving a park pavilion
Creating Catchy Invitations
Before sending invitations, you need to come up with a guest list. Are you limiting your party to your closest family and friends? Are your guests welcome to bring a friend of their own?
Next, you need to decide when the event will start. Find out when kickoff is and decide if you’d like to start your party with games and food beforehand or if you want the Super Bowl kickoff to also be the kickoff of your party. Depending on the crowd you’re inviting and the location, you might have to also set an end time so people will leave when you want them to.
Once you’ve got the details nailed down, it’s time to make the invitations for your Super Bowl watch party. You could go with a classic football-themed invitation to send in the mail or find a funny video to share with in an electronic invitation. Regardless of what type you choose, always include:
- Who is invited
- The type of party you’re hosting
- The address
- The start and end times
- RSVP information
There might be other important information to mention as well. For example, if you don’t have enough seating, you might ask guests to bring a camping chair. If your menu is a potluck, you’ll need to make a request for food.
Whether you’re mailing, emailing, or texting the invitations, be sure to do it in plenty of time. Two weeks prior is generally early enough. Your RSVP information should include a date when you’d like to hear back from your guests, and that should give you the time needed to nail everything down.
Coming Up With Decorations
Upgrade your celebration by putting up decorations that will “wow” the crowd. With just a few simple Super Bowl party supplies, you can transform your watch party space.
If everyone invited to your party is cheering for the same team, match your paper goods to the colors of that team. If your guests are split, consider paper goods in both color schemes. Football-themed tablecloths, plates, cups, napkins, and table decor will liven things up.
Balloons make any gathering a party. Blow up a bunch and throw them around the room. Hire a party company to build you a balloon archway. Pick up a couple of balloon bouquets to place around the space.
Party supply stores often have life-size mascot posters you can purchase to hang at your Super Bowl watch party. Use the mascot for a photo booth setup, put it at the entrance of your party, or stand it next to the big screen.
Setting Up the Party Space
Your setup is one of those things that will be primarily determined by location, but there are general guidelines you can follow regardless of where you host your party.
What are you going to watch the Super Bowl on? A big-screen TV is ideal, but the location of your screen also needs to be ideal. If your big screen is in the dining area but your party is going to be on the back patio, you’ll need to relocate the TV.
You could also use a projector so the game is displayed even bigger for everyone to see. Project the game onto the side of the house if your party is in the backyard. Put up a large sheet at the park and project it just outside the pavilion. For an indoor party, make use of a large, empty wall in the living room, or put up a screen in the basement.
Depending on how many guests RSVP, you might be fine with the couches and chairs already in your home. Grab the recliner from the study, the couches from the basement, and any other seating around your home to put them all in the party room. Pull the patio furniture inside, or if the party is outdoors, pull the couches out there.
Asking guests to bring lawn chairs or camping chairs to your Super Bowl watch party is another option, especially if your party is at a public park or in the backyard. Another seating option is to rent chairs from a party supplier. These are often folding metal chairs, but there could be other options as well. If your party is at a rented venue, there will most likely be chairs available to use there.
Everyone likes to eat and snack while watching football, so having your serving area close to the viewing area is a no-brainer. A long table alongside the seating makes it convenient to hop up and grab something whenever someone wants a bite. If the kitchen is close to your viewing area, a spread on the island or a dining table full of food would also work.
Planning Food for the Party
When you think of a Super Bowl watch party, you probably think of good food. To impress your guests, you’ll need to come up with the perfect menu. For most people, you can get away with a variety of delicious finger foods, but there may be some guests who have a bigger appetite for a heartier meal. To satisfy both kinds of guests, prepare a wide array of food.
Chips and dips are iconic for the Super Bowl. Think nacho cheese, onion and chive, guacamole, and salsa. Pair your favorite dips with restaurant-style, scoop, or round tortilla chips. Offering potato chips in various flavors is also essential.
Wings are another classic finger food you need at your party. Use a classic recipe or order from your favorite restaurant and give your guests a variety of tasty wings: honey BBQ, spicy ranch, or garlic honey.
You can’t have a Super Bowl party without pizza. Homemade pizza bites make it easy for all your guests to enjoy a favorite food, but ordering a few pies from your favorite pizza parlor is easier and less time-consuming. Get plenty because your guests will likely keep going back for more.
Otherwise, pull out the barbecue, grill corn on the cob, mix up your favorite coleslaw, and give your guests a heartier meal. Steak, chicken, and pork chops will likely be the star of the menu, but hot dogs and burgers could also add heartiness to the meal. When guests have had their fill, your finger foods will satisfy them for the remainder of the night.
Prepare plenty of dessert options for your party. Serve something extra with dinner, wait until the halftime show, or make dessert the prize for one of your party games.
Not sure what to serve? Sweet options for your Super Bowl watch party include:
- Donuts and donut holes
- Rootbeer floats
- Brownies, blondies, and other bars
- A cookie buffet
- Ice cream or ice cream sandwiches
Supplying the Right Drinks
No Super Bowl party is complete without the right drinks. As you plan, don’t forget the ice! To decide on drinks, consider your guests and what they would want while enjoying the game.
Many Super Bowl viewers just want a good beer. Have a collection of several varieties to satisfy the needs of each guest at your party. Be sure they’re chilled before anyone arrives. If you’re not sure how much to provide, each guest should have access to one beer per hour, plus one extra.
You may have a handful of guests who prefer wine to beer. No problem! Pick up several bottles that pair well with the food you serve. On average, you can expect guests to have two glasses of wine for the duration of the evening. Most bottles hold about four to five glasses’ worth.
Not everyone at a Super Bowl watch party will be drinking alcoholic drinks, especially if you have underage guests. One cooler should be dedicated to a selection of your favorite sodas and juices. Some guests might also prefer water, so add water bottles if your fridge’s tap isn’t available.
Organizing Games and Activities
The Super Bowl is the star of your show, but many guests will want something to do in addition to watching the game. Plan some games and activities to do before kickoff and some that will be ongoing throughout the night.
Any party that is outdoors needs to have lawn games. Cornhole is a classic when it comes to football games and the Super Bowl, so either rent or buy a set well ahead of time. Bocce ball is another fun lawn game your guests will enjoy. You can also set up volleyball, ladder ball, yard pong, and frisbee golf.
Before kickoff, have your guests complete a predictions sheet. Whoever gets the most correct answers wins a prize at the end of the night. Get creative to come up with questions specific to your crowd and the current Super Bowl. To get you started, include:
- Who will win the game?
- Which player will be taken away on a stretcher?
- Out of our guests, who will fall asleep first?
- Which of our guests will yell at the screen first?
- What will go wrong with the halftime show?
Recruiting the Cleanup Crew
Before your party, ask a specific set of guests to stay and help you clean up. This might include your closest friends who you know will help out, or it might be the individuals who you know will not get drunk. If guests are staying the night, consider saving the cleanup for the following morning so the night doesn’t go any later than it will already be.
If your party is at a rented venue, be sure you know what they expect in terms of cleanup requirements or you could get stuck with a large fee for your mess. You might be responsible for all of it or they might have a crew that comes in to take care of it after you’ve checked out. You could also hire a cleanup crew if that’s in your party budget.
Getting Started With Your Super Bowl Watch Party Plans
When you know how to plan a party, it is bound to be a success. From the invitations to the cleanup crew, you have to plan out every detail to ensure your guests have a great time. With these Super Bowl party ideas, you can’t go wrong.
Get started by finding the best location for your Super Bowl watch party. Come up with a guest list and create your invitations. Get creative with decorations, ensuring you represent the team everyone is cheering for. Set up your space, put out the food you prepared beforehand, get the games going, and have a great time! For more tips to have a great day, check out Rugged Standard’s other ideas for hosting a get-together.