Tips for throwing a fuss-free football party on game day, including easy snacks, clean-up and more!
This post is sponsored by M&M’s and Snickers. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Lively Table possible
One of my absolute favorite things about this time of year is football. I love the spirited cheering on of my favorite teams, gathering around the TV with family and friends, and of course, munching on tasty snacks! Mr. Table and I love to entertain at our house for football watching parties. It’s one of our favorite things since I love cooking for other people. But I also know that it can be stressful to have so many people coming over to your house to watch the game, sometimes on short notice. So I’ve put together a few tips to help you host a fuss-free football party so that once your guests arrive, all you have to do is relax and cheer on your favorite team!
First of all, let’s talk about décor. Let’s be real, people. This is a football game, not prom. You don’t have to go all out on decorating because, frankly, people are here for two reasons: the game and the food. They could care less what your house looks like. So don’t stress. I like to stick to a nice, clean theme of black and white and buy just a couple of decorations, like this flag banner I bought from Target. Then I just added some adhesive letters. It took all of 5 minutes. I also got the disposable tablecloth, snack cups, and straws from Target. And since everything is a neutral color, you can re-use anything that you don’t end up using for the football party. You can even add pops of your team’s colors. Easy peasy. Let’s move on.
Now, let’s talk food. While I love cooking for hours before entertaining, I know many of you don’t. So here are my top tips for putting together an easy spread for game day:
- Your slow cooker is your friend. Not only can you throw in ingredients for a dish and forget it while you prepare everything else, but it also keeps food warm for the duration of the game so that you don’t have to babysit. My favorite game day picks: Healthier Slow Cooker Green Chile Corn Dip and Crock Pot Ribs.
- Choose fruits and veggies you don’t have to cut. I like to have healthier snacks like fresh fruits and veggies. To make it super easy, shop for fruits like berries, grapes, cherries, and pre-cut melon so all you have to do is put them on a serving dish. Same goes for veggies. Baby carrots, grape tomatoes, and pre-cut celery or broccoli florets are super easy and great for dipping. Speaking of dips….
- Store-bought is okay! Since grocery stores are filled with healthier dips now, it’s perfectly fine to buy store-bought hummus, guacamole or Greek yogurt dip! Just scoop it into a pretty bowl, and nobody will know the difference! If you don’t want to do store-bought, make them all the day before to make it easier on you.
- Delegate. Ask each guest to bring his or her favorite snack and drink. You are inviting your friends into your home, and I know they appreciate it. They will be more than happy to contribute. If you know you already have a lot of savory options coming, ask somebody to bring a dessert. This way, everybody has at least one thing they will like for sure, and you don’t have to prepare everything.
- Keep it simple. Since everyone is already bringing food, keep your own contributions simple by placing little bowls of M&M’s, nuts, and olives around for people to munch on.
- Quick note: If you have guests with food allergies (or if you just want to), you can label dishes with these cute little chalkboard flags and chalk (also form Target).
About the entertainment. This one is already taken care of. It’s a football game. But just in case the half-time show isn’t your thing, it’s fun to have a little something out just in case. I like the Cards of Humanity game (Apples to Apples is a similar kid-friendly version). Also, if you buy the Snickers NFL Minis at Target, they have football trivia questions on the back of each candy!
Now for everybody’s favorite part: clean up. The best way to prepare for cleanup is to plan ahead. I like to buy a disposable tablecloth, plain black or white (or your team color) paper plates and napkins. I also use plastic cups that can be recycled or thrown away so that I don’t have to clean any of that up. I do like to stick to real serving dishes, because they look prettier. I’d also suggest keeping drinks outside in a bucket of ice or cooler so that any messes from spilled drinks or melted ice stay out there. I’d also keep a designated trash can either outside by the drinks or where people can see it so that more trash makes it there and you have less to clean up. Finally, don’t worry about dishes or cleanup until after the party. Even though you are hosting, you should still enjoy yourself!
Now that you know how to host a fabulous fuss-free football party, all you have to do is grab your jersey and cheer on your team!
Who are you rooting for this year?