The NFL season is back. For players this means a gruelling six months of big plays and big hits, while for fans it means that it is once again time to throw the ultimate football party. The problem is that everyone is throwing a bash these days, so to make yours stand out here is a guide full of football party ideas that will make everyone want to watch the big game at your football party.
The Football Party Essentials
- Game Day Party Invites
- Inside/Outside Football Tailgate Party
- Football Party Supplies
- Food & Drinks
- Fan Gear
- Prop Bets
- Football Party Favors
The most important part of a good football party happens before guests arrive. Setting the scene—and turning a space into a football themed utopia—takes some work, but will be more than worth it in the end. Here is how to go about it.
Game Day Party Invites
Throwing a party every week of the season is a tall order. You are betting off picking just a couple of games on the schedule—ideally against divisional rivals—and focusing your efforts on those dates. One way to immediately set the mood is by creating your own invites to the party online themed around the team, or game, to be watched. Get the invites out as early as possible after seeing the schedule and use technology to your advantage with a sign up sheet so you can keep track of the number of people headed your way on game day.
Inside/Outside Football Tailgate Party
One of the best parts of any football game is the three hours spent tailgating in the parking lot before kickoff. Recreate that feel at home by having inside and outside aspects to your football party and making sure to invite guests over well before kickoff. This concept is ideal for those early season games, before the weather turns bad, and there is nothing like the smell of smoked meat in the air to signal that the NFL is back.
Football Party Supplies
Your guests are invited and the tailgate is set up. The next order of business is theming the event. There are hundreds of sites online that show you how to craft everything from field turf placemats to mason jar cups (to put on those placemats) and really the only limit here is your own imagination. No one wants to go to a football party and be served food on a regular plate, so get creative and do some research remembering that more is ALWAYS better when it comes to over-the-top theming in this scenario!
Food & Drink
The over-the-top theming should continue into the food and drink served. Finger food is the way to go here—no one wants to miss any of the game to cook a plated meal, and anything that can be made in advance is a plus. Smoked meat is a winner, and pizza will do in a pinch, but think about theming as much as possible around the game. One idea that will steal the show is to create a snack stadium where all the finger food is laid out in the most over the top football way possible.
Generic football theming is good for some aspects of your NFL party—food and drink for example—but to kick the party up a notch make sure to have plenty of themes around your team. This can be as simple as going to a local department store and picking up banners and cups with the team logo on, but being more creative will add to the experience. Think about getting the kids involved and using sidewalk chalk for a mural on the driveway or buying balloons in team colors (ideally an obnoxious amount of them) to fill the room with.
The planning is over and it is time for the game. Here is how to make that experience as memorable as the pregame.
This may sound weird but some people actually don’t go to a football party for the football. To keep those people entertained while not taking away from those watching the game with interest, having some games on hand for them to play is always a good idea. A football party with an inside/outside space is perfect for yard games like cornhole or Polish Horseshoes. For those wanting to be a little more active, and burn off some of the food, a friendly halftime game of touch football is always well received.
NFL Party Prop Bets
Another option for keeping guests involved in the game is to set up a bingo square full of things that could happen during a football game with a prize for the winner. These can be found online, or you could create your own specific to the game that you will be watching on the day. This is an ideal way to get people to enjoy the football party that aren’t huge football fans as everyone likes to win something!
Football Party Favors
The game is over and with any luck your team was on the winning side. The football party will likely last a little longer, especially if it was an early Sunday kickoff; but, eventually your guests will slowly start to head home. One last trick to make your party the talk of the friend group is to finish with a football party favor for them to take with them. This can be something as simple as a football stress ball, ideal if your team lost, but can be as extravagant as you choose. The favor will be a constant reminder of your party and have them excited for next time.
Shop for officially licensed team gear at Campus Colors. Officially licensed NCAA and (soon to be released) NFL gear. A great party favor for your football party could be a game day tee shirt, a sweatshirt, or even a pair of fun team socks that leave your guests cozy, comfortable, and thinking about your party.
A football party is an amazing way to experience an NFL game. Planning ahead is the key to hosting an event that your guests will love and the more themed it is the better time they will have. Try throwing a bash this NFL season and use the football party ideas above to sculpt the experience into something that becomes a tradition.