So you want to throw a great party for the big game, but you don’t know where to begin?
When it’s time to start planning, it’s important to keep in mind that party guests come in all types. Some folks will be die-hard fans of the game, hoping to see and hear every second of the big event. Some of your guests may be indifferent to football, but really looking forward to the commercials and halftime show. And some may show up just to see your smiling face and spend some quality time with friends.
Remember: The ideal party has a place for every type of guest. Here’s how you can accommodate everyone.
Prepare the House
Before you can even think about setting out the chips or firing up the oven, the party space needs to be prepared to handle a party.
Start by rearranging the furniture. The idea here is to put the TV front-and-center, and to maximize space for your guests to hang out. Be aware of the various surfaces around the room (coffee tables, end tables, countertops) and make sure there’s an easy place for anyone in the room to set down their cups and plates.
Be sure to save the tidying up for after all of the furniture is in its place. The carpet under that couch or entertainment center that hasn’t moved in months might need a thorough vacuuming!
Prepare the Food and Drink
Be sure your fridge and coolers are stocked with beverages everyone can enjoy. Think soda, water and juices.
Yes, the best parties typically have food. Finger foods are often a go-to at this kind of party, but you still have quite a wide range of options. Keep it simple with big bowls of snacks and dip, or go all out and decorate football-themed cookies, make grandma’s famous nachos, or put together a hot-food buffet. That’s your call.
And remember, when all else fails, everybody likes hot pizza and wings delivered.
For the Hardcore Fans
Seat guests most interested in the game closest to the TV. This will minimize the peek-arounds and shushes without alienating your more socially oriented guests. Yes, parties are usually for socializing. But it’s also a sporting event. It’s important to respect the passion that some folks have for the biggest game of the year. It’s a delicate balance.
Making sure this area is stocked with snacks – and maybe a cooler for fresh beverages – is a nice gesture for those glued to the TV.
For the Strictly Party People
Not everyone at your party will be crazy for football, or even know who’s playing — maybe they just came for the grub! They’re your guests all the same, and there are many ways to make sure they have a good time.
Try designing game-themed bingo cards for everyone to play as they watch the event. Include items like touchdowns or fumbles, emotional commercials or halftime snafus. Hand out cards to all of your guests before the game starts, and send the first one to get bingo home with a prize (or the leftovers).
If the vibe in the TV room is getting intense, take your football-indifferent guests into another room for alternative activities. Movies or board games are a great alternate activity while the hardcore fans experience the final hurrah of football season.
For the Kids
Some of the children will be into the game, and depending on their attention span – and age – they can probably fend for themselves. For younger ones, consider having another room stocked with toys, crafts supplies or other things they can play with. Check on them during commercials (or during the game, if you’re there for the ads)
How do you entertain the party people without interrupting the hardcore fans? Tell us in the comments below.