When it comes to Game Day parties, guests are focused on three key experiences: watching their favorite team face their opponent, enjoying comedic commercial breaks and, of course, chowing down on amazing food.
If it’s your turn to have friends and family corral around your living room TV this year, you’re likely feeling the pressure of how to deliver exactly that. Toss in having to find all the party supplies you need, creating an impressive food and drink menu and finding games that’ll keep your kiddos entertained throughout the event, and it can feel even more overwhelming.
Although there’s a lot to accomplish in one day, you can tackle the evening with a few simple steps. We’ve turned to the expert at Smithfield Foods for their planning tips on how to host a winning watch party.
Assign the Decorations to Your Kids
Have your children join in on the party preparation by assigning them the task of creating all themed decor. Not only will it keep your children entertained for hours, but it will also allow you the time to focus on the remaining items from your to-do list. Depending on which sports event you’ll be watching, ask your little ones to create construction paper cutouts of footballs and trophies, as well as banners with common scoring phrases like, “Touchdown” and “Slam Dunk.”
If you’d prefer to keep scissors out of the mix (we totally get it!), have your mini Picassos draw and color in their own masterpiece—dedicated to your home team, of course—on a disposable, paper tablecloth. You can spotlight their artwork while also keeping your tables stain-free.
Build a Snack Stadium
With a quick Google search or look at Pinterest, you’ll note that building a true snack stadium from scratch is tough work. You’ll need cardboard, wood or styrofoam for your stadium’s exterior and plenty of time and patience to set it up without it collapsing.
To keep lift levels low and easy, Smithfield Foods recommends grabbing a decorative tablecloth as your base and placing dips, like this jalapeño popper dog dip, the center of your table spread arena. Then surround your field with finger foods and bites for dipping, such as potato chips, nachos, veggies and crackers. Our favorite appetizers that are sure to please guests include these tasty sausage pretzel bites and Italian sausage nachos. Last by not least, your final stadium tier will feature disposable drinks, from canned sodas and water bottles to juice boxes.
Parties and drinks are practically synonymous. Create a large batch of one special, sports-themed cocktail to keep your guests happy and don’t forget to give it a clever name, like tailgate tea, sideline sangria or hail Mary margarita.
For an added layer of team spirit, incorporate ingredients into your recipe that’ll allow the hue of your cocktail to match your favorite team’s color. For instance, blue curacao is great to sport the color blue while pineapple juice is great for teams that don yellow.
Play Commercial-Break Games
While we can all agree, commercial breaks are one of the best parts of Game Day, it’s a good idea to incorporate small games that children can participate in. It’ll keep their interest going and get them involved.
A printable Super Bowl bingo allows for several rounds of fun and can even include small prizes for some friendly competition. For more goodies that kids can take home, play pass the helmet. Fill a helmet with candy and small toys and have youngsters pass the helmet around in a circle as music plays in the background. Once the tunes stop, the player holding the helmet can pick a treat.
Hand Out Swag Bags
Who said only kids love goodie bags? Create swag bags that both children and adults can take home filled with sweet treats. For a football viewing party, make your own goody bag that looks just like a football. Grab a pack of small, brown paper bags and cut up pieces of white painter’s tape to create the appearance of football stitches. Then, fill the bag with candy, popcorn or snacks.
In need of more inspiration for your next family meal? Smithfield Foods’ large portfolio of products, including Smithfield® Bacon, Nathan’s Famous® Beef Franks and Eckrich® Smoked Sausage, can meet your household’s needs for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snack time.