Can’t make it to the stadium for the game? Plan a festive and fun tailgate style party at home and invite some friends along to watch with you. From creating a fun and festive theme to making sure everyone in attendance will be able to see and hear the game, here are some things to consider when you plan your football-themed fall party.
Plan Some Football-Themed Snacks
Tailgate and at-home football gatherings are gaining in popularity, since they offer the ideal opportunity for both adults and kids to get together. Party snacks that are tasty and on-theme are sure to be a hit. This fun collection from Babble is easy to make and appeals to a wide range of ages and tastes. To maximize your enjoyment of the party, choose snacks you can prepare ahead and then heat and serve, leaving time for you to mingle with your guests on game day.
Catch Up on Fall Maintenance
Slippery leaves, fallen branches, and yard debris can make it difficult to get to your home—and a cluttered or poorly lit path can be a hazard to your guests. Make it a point to have a clean, appealing yard, and double check your lighting and pathways to create clear, easy-to-follow paths to your home. Some guests will likely be familiar with your home, but others will appreciate knowing where to go.
Clear the Yard
If you’re getting together before the game starts and want to spend some time outside, make sure your yard and outdoor living spaces are ready. Check the outside of the house to make sure your lighting is working and that your exterior and outdoor furnishings are in good repair. Your guests will love the crisp, clean outdoors and you’ll love showing off your home.
Get the TV Ready
This is a critical element for an at-home party, of course. Test your television audio from all parts of the room where you plan on viewing the game. You may be able to hear it easily from your favorite chair, but is it clear on the patio and in other seats, too? If you’re also showing the game outdoors in an open living space or porch, test the sound and visuals the night before the party.
Plan for Parking
Clear off the driveway and make sure you have lights in place to make it easy to navigate. Make it clear whether your neighborhood allows street side parking so your guests know where to park. Move your own vehicles into the garage to free up more space—or ask if you can park in a neighbor’s driveway for the evening to create more room (this works especially well if the neighbor is also a party guest!)
Create a Seating Area for Non-Viewers
Not everyone who visits will be enthusiastic about football; some will want to spend time with others and share conversation instead. Encourage this by creating up a comfy oasis that guests will enjoy, and set up a kid’s area too, if children are invited. Even if you don’t have kids, you can stash some simple coloring books, craft supplies, and games to keep your young visitors busy.
Secure Your Pets
For reasons ranging from allergies to fear of dogs, your guests may not want to hang out with your pets. Securing your cats and dogs for the evening keeps them safe (some foods, including football staples like chicken wings, are not suitable for pets) and out of the way.
Decorate in Team Colors
Whether you’re following a college or pro team, consider picking up a few fun decorations, such as paper plates and utensils, in your team colors. You’ll have a much easier time cleaning up if you use disposable items, and picking these items in themed colors looks festive, too.
Spend the weekend before your party evaluating what you need to do and break things down into manageable tasks. Looking everything over in advance ensures you have time to outsource what you need to and complete the things you decide to tackle on your own, too.