Many of you will host your very first Super Bowl party this year. Do not panic. You want to enjoy the entire process. This includes the ease of planning too. Even first timers can pull off an electrifying party that guests will warmly remember. Like me, many others may be old pros at this annual event, but love to scope out fresh party ideas to change it up a bit each year. Either way, here are twelve awesome Super Bowl party hosting tips to consider:
1. Not everyone consumes alcohol. Well, thank the powers that be, for allowing us more choices than Near Beer when it comes to non-alcoholic beverages today. I treat my non-drinking guests to some highly palatable, but alcohol-free wine. There are lots to choose from on the market. Most grocery store wine sections carry a nice variety of these economically priced wines. I guarantee that your guests who do not imbibe will appreciate your kind gesture.
2. Do not forget the kids. Will your Super Bowl party be family-friendly? If so, it is important that you have activities planned that will keep the kids entertained. If you live in an area with snow such as I do in Massachusetts, arrange for some of the adults to chaperone sledding time. Follow up with hot cocoa and smores, and fresh popped kettle corn.
3. Have craft supplies ready. Also, designate a craft zone for the children: Load up a tote or box with dollar store coloring books, markers, construction paper, scissors, glitter, stickers, crayons, and glue. Encourage the kids to help themselves. A good selection of kid and parent approved movies is a must for entertainment.
4. Plan a trivia game and best joke contest. Check out some solid Super Bowl facts on the Web and draft some interesting and fun questions. Include trivia from both teams playing in the current Super Bowl as well. Make it even more fun -- have the males compete against the females. Stage a funniest football joke contest. To be fair, make sure your guests know about this prior to the party. Prizes can be pom-poms, inexpensive beer mugs, a Super Bowl calendar, an NFL tee shirt or a basket of football-themed goodies.
5. Provide a seat per guest. I always make sure all my party guests have a seat. Even if that means utilizing folding chairs in the TV areas. Heck, I have brought lawn chairs and milk crates in from my snow-covered porch to make sure no one is left standing. In my family, we always bring extra chairs to share. A detail that gets overlooked, it is considerate to provide enough seating when you are hosting a party.
6. Use power strips for crocks. Power strips are a necessity for all those crocks full of yummy Super Bowl game day food. I find the easiest way to organize a lot of crock-pots is via a power strip, and a sturdy table placed against a wall. The beauty of power strips is their variety. When hosting a party I use the ones that have six or eight outlets and extra long cords. Using these give me peace of mind. They are simply safer all around.
7. Serve warmed soft pretzels. Of course,guacamole dip and salsa are Super Bowl party staples. However, why not try something different like warm Bavarian pretzels complete with luscious ranch dressing or a choice of marvelous mustards. You can find Bavarian pretzels in the freezer section of your grocery or bulk food stores. In addition, you can order homemade Bavarian pretzels online. If you feel seriously motivated, make your own from scratch. How impressed will your Super Bowl party guests be with you!
8. Provide low fat/fat-free food items. I know what you are thinking. Who the heck eats fat-free anything at a Super Bowl party? There may be party guests that are trying to stick to their weight-loss resolution, and well, we have to respect that. Anything you make with ground beef, you can substitute with lower fat ground turkey. If people are making food to bring, see if you can get someone to make a vegetarian chili or ground turkey meatballs. Have a fruit and veggie platter available. Fat free cream cheese and dips make the perfect accompaniment. A garden salad and low cal dressing is another option.
9. Save money on paper goods. Honestly, other than a very special birthday, I stopped buying themed paper goods for parties a long time ago. I save oodles of money by buying plain old paper plates, napkins and cups. You can do your part for the planet by eliminating paper goods altogether, and use your dishes. It is OK to leave them in the sink until morning. I would rather spend the money I save on some terrific locally brewed beer for the Super Bowl party anyway.
10. Be mature about team decorating. When it comes to football, I admit I am a bit immature. I assume everyone loves the same teams I love. We know this is just not true. Most likely, you will have favorite team division among your Super Bowl party guests. Do the right thing. When decorating for the big day, provide at least a banner or such even if you do not like one of the football teams that made the Super Bowl. When the game is over, you can give the opposing banner to one of the people at your party.
11. Brew coffee and chai latte. When I host a party, I make sure there is always fresh coffee brewing. I also stock up on chai latte and hot chocolate pods for the Keurig. I keep a pretty bowl filled with a nice variety of pods, and let my guests know they can help themselves. Grab some flavored dairy creams to have on hand for an extra treat.
12. Supply a designated driver. A great party host will see to it that their guests get home safely. Drinking and driving is an absolute no-no. Having a designated driver on call is super smart. At the start of the party, let guests know there will be someone to take them home if need be. If someone lives too far away, buck up and offer them a guest bedroom or the couch. There is no need to ruin a well-planned and fun Super Bowl party because of someone's poor decision.
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