Ready or not, the big game is coming. Whether you’re a diehard fan of pigskin, or a more casual enjoyer of commercials, food, and fun, chances are you’ll be celebrating this most sacred of American days with friends and family. If you’re truly brave, you may even be hosting a get-together. Looking for a few tips? Fear not friends, these game day guidelines can help your party be the best one on the block. And here’s more good news: these pointers will work for any game day gathering throughout the year!
There are three basic “ingredients” to a successful football fiesta: food, drink, and decoration.
Game days take a while to watch, so you’re going to need to feed your guests. Eating during a game means snacking, so plan on serving up several fast snack options as opposed to a full meal. Keep things healthy by avoiding foods with “empty calories” like chips and cookies. Varieties of nuts, fruits, and vegetable trays are great for stable snacking. Feeling ambitious? Consider some DIY frozen yogurt or pizza as more substantial treats. And see if there’s any way to alter the recipe of your favorite, not-so-healthy dish into something delicious and nutritious for all to enjoy.
If you absolutely have to munch on something not so good for you, remember to do so in moderation so you and your guests can wake up the next day without any regrets.
Whether their favorite team is losing or winning, your company will require beverages – lots of them.
Let’s start with the obvious, most overlooked option: water. Keep everyone hydrated to maintain energy levels throughout the game. Juices, nonfat milk, and other low sugar or unsweetened drinks will ensure that thirsts are quenched. Try offering your guests Arnold Palmers made with low-sugar lemonade and iced tea to keep everyone refreshed. This Iced Mint Green Tea is also another great option to enjoy. After halftime, whip up some delicious smoothies as a treat to keep folks going.
Again, as with food, consume everything in moderation. Don’t feel guilty if you cheat a bit.
Be exciting! When your friends and family arrive give them an immediate experience to remember. Go to a party supply store and pick up napkins, paper plates, and cups that promote your favorite team or the game in general. Interactive trinkets – foam fingers, whistles, noisemakers, etc. – can help give your party a tangible appeal. Use toothpicks and small slips of paper to make flags for your teams and put them in the food you serve. Take labels off any beverages you might be serving (like water bottles) and put them back on inside out, giving you space to decorate the beverages with football-themed designs. Make and print out commercial Bingo cards or game day survival guides for those who may not be the biggest sports fans.
Any little flourish gives your guests one more reason to appreciate your celebration. See how creative you can be to take your party to the next level.
Bonus Round: Invitations
Whether you’re going to be sending out invites through mail, email, or social media, spend time on them. If you know how you’ll be decorating your event, or what party games (if any) will be played, plan ahead and hint at the fun to be had. Remember: invitations can make your guests feel special before they show up and get them excited about the party to come.
Enjoy the game! Have fun with your nearest and dearest as you celebrate one of America’s most beloved sports with millions of fans the world over. Be safe, eat well, and prepare for your gathering to be the talk of the town.