The Essential Super Bowl Party Checklist

Hosting a party for the biggest sporting event in these great United States? Well don’t fumble on game day—check out our list of football party must-haves to score big points with your friends before kickoff.

1. Food

Clearly the most important thing to consider. Serve a mix of items to satisfy everyone, and go for both finger foods that are easy to pick up and eat—think sandwiches, chips and dips, wings, and pizza—and heartier fare like chili and barbecue to balance out all that beer. Make sure you have plenty of food; guests will want to replenish often during the game. It’s best to set up a buffet table off to the side where people can load up on main-course items, then have several smaller tables in the TV room with snacks that people can nosh on during the game. Check out our recipes section for some great ideas!

Our suggestion: Have a potluck and when you send out the invitations, create a Google Sheet where your guests can list what they’re bringing… you know, so you don’t end up with a dozen jars of salsa.

2. Decorations

Buy a banner and streamers to hang, scatter real or inflatable footballs around the party room, and dangle football-shaped balloons from the ceiling. You can let team colors dictate your party color scheme – with this year have red, blue, and dark green and decent options, or you can go with simple decor like this kit I got on amazon.

3. Coolers, buckets, or small tubs for drinks

If you have the space, get a few small containers and fill with ice to keep beer and other drinks cool. Place them in strategic spots so guests won’t be constantly getting up and going to the kitchen for a refill. I personally like to have a small cooler hovering around the living room for easy access, or you can get a great bucket like this one for less than $20.

4. Ice

Keep plenty of ice on hand, more than you think you’ll need. You’ll not only want to keep your drink coolers full, but non-beer-drinking guests may want to add ice to their beverages, too.

5. Beer and other drinks

Stock up on an assortment of bottles and cans to keep everyone happy. If you’re expecting a large crowd, you might want to invest in a keg. Mini kegs are another great option—you can buy a variety of brands and they’ll contribute to the party atmosphere without reminding you too much of a frat house. Don’t forget about the non-drinkers in your group, or those who just want to take a break in between brews.

6. Bottle Openers

Invest in a few of these so your guests won’t have trouble hunting one down; the fewer distractions from the game, the better. These are seriously the best and I personally own a number as they keep getting stolen!

7. Plates, bowls, cups, and cutlery

If you’re going the disposable route, choose sturdy items that can hold up to heavy fare like loaded nachos, pizza, and chili. Now is definitely not the time to break out your best china—it’s inevitable that things will get knocked over during the excitement of the game.

8. Serving platters, trays, and bowls

Pick up inexpensive football-themed items to add to the fun. Just make sure you have enough serving pieces for all the snacks you’ll be setting out. You’ll need lots of napkins for wiping messy fingers and greasy spills throughout the night.

9. Seating

After food and beer, this is the most essential element of your party. Make sure you have enough seats in front of the TV for everyone who’s attending. Ask friends to bring over folding chairs if you don’t have enough, and don’t forget to dig up those lawn and camping chairs you’ve stored for the winter. Put out throw rugs or blankets and scatter some large pillows so that even those seated on the floor can get comfortable.

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