Elevate Your Football Parties with these 15 Party-hosting Tips
Football party season has arrived, and with it comes a number of opportunities for hosting in your home. For professional teams, the pre-season began in August, and the regular season runs from around Labor Day through December. Then, the playoffs and Pro Bowl entertain us throughout January, and the Super Bowl typically wraps up the season on February’s first Sunday. If that isn’t enough, there are college games on Saturdays and high school games on Fridays that bring football to the hometown level. Whichever team you’re rooting for, a game is the perfect excuse for a football party. Here are a few party hosting tips to make your football parties the ones that everyone wants to be invited to.
1. Take it Outside
Fall offers some of the best weather of the year. In the South, winter can be pretty enjoyable too. Having an outdoor party space often puts guests more at ease than keeping everyone inside. Children have room to move without fear of breaking something, and adults have space to spread out. Plus, spills, splashes and drops don’t matter nearly as much outside as they do inside.
2. Plan Out Multiple Entertaining Spaces
Guests of all ages should have more activities available to them than only eating and watching the game. While you might have a group of diehard fans who will obsess over every play, many of your guests may prefer to socialize or play games. Having other fun activities available can be a lifesaver for children or adult guests who really aren’t football fans—particularly if you’re hosting people who may not know each other well.
3. Create an Outdoor Theater
Consider using a projector or setting up a large screen to stream the game. Ideally, your viewing area should have ample seating yet let viewers come and go without disturbing those who really do want to watch the game. You might set up a viewing area on a patio, porch or deck or even create a pavilion or tented area. If you have a number of families with children attending, a kid-only football viewing area with a comfy ground quilt and kid-friendly snacks might be a hit.
4. Make it Comfortable Temperature-wise
Most southerners know to expect the unexpected when it comes to temperatures in the fall and winter months. One day can be chilly—especially at night—while the next can be exceptionally warm. If the cold is a concern, consider portable heaters or a fire pit. If the heat is your worry, consider setting up portable air-conditioning units or chillers. If you’re using a permanent space like an enclosed porch, for example, you may want to add some ceiling fans or invest in a mini split—a permanent, fixed one-room unit. Models are available that can cool an otherwise underserved space, and some can also heat.
5. Have Plenty of Seating
If you’ve been debating whether to splurge on some nice patio furniture, this may be the perfect excuse to do it. While the degree of luxury comes down to personal preference and budget, the truth is that if you provide seating, your guests will use it and be more inclined to stay for the duration of the party. Having additional small dining tables and side tables strategically placed will give guests stable surfaces where they can set food or drinks and will help to keep everyone more comfortable.
6. Break Out the Grills & Smokers
Nothing says tailgate like a hot grill or smoker loaded with football favorites like barbequed chicken, ribs or just plain old dogs and burgers. If yours has cold spots, burners that are rusty or other issues, it might be time to consider upgrading to a new cooker that’s packed with features — from extra burners for cooking yummy sides to built-in temperature probes, lighting, additional storage and more.
7. Keep the Hot Food Hot
Outdoor kitchen and serving spaces are popular because they let you do the things that you would do in your indoor kitchen outside—without all of the running in and out and having to watch food turn cold and congeal. Even the most modest outdoor kitchen setup can allow for counter space and adequate outlets to power crockpots or hot plates. More elaborate designs can incorporate outdoor cooktops and even ovens as well as weatherproof cabinetry.
8. Keep the Cold Drinks Cold
Nobody appreciates a warm beer, and the same can be said for many other tailgate favorites like soda, wine or mixed drinks. If you decide to use coolers, make sure they’re adequately sized and accessible enough for your guests. If your space allows, consider adding a dedicated drink refrigerator to your outdoor kitchen. If you’re mixing cocktails, you may even want to consider a portable icemaker or install an outdoor bar sink and faucet.
9. Take Food to the Professional Level
Modern ovens offer some amazing features that let you prepare food like a professional chef or caterer. You can let the grills handle the main course while you prepare the hors d’oeuvres, appetizers and specialty dishes that will wow your guests. Some modern ovens have specialized accessories that turn out restaurant-quality dishes. Likewise, many have smart options that let you cook without being kitchen-bound. Set it all up, enjoy your guests, and let the oven—and smart technology—take care of the rest.
10. Make Cleanup Easy
Be clear about what gets thrown away versus what’s destined for the dishwasher. Have receptacles handy for trash. If you’re using real flatware, you may want to supply a bin specifically to collect it to prevent losing pieces to the trash. You may also want to ensure that you have a dishwasher that will be able to easily handle the demands of entertaining.
11. Upgrade Your Bathroom
Whether you’re entertaining inside or outside your home, your guests will need access to clean and convenient restrooms. Unfortunately, football season also coincides with cold and flu season. Modern bathroom fixtures are making cleanliness a priority—both in keeping the fixture sanitary and in preventing the spread of germs. Simple options include touch-free faucets, soap dispensers and toilets as well as voice-activated lighting.
12. Keep the Air Clean
Guests, pets and all the odors of entertaining can impact indoor air quality. A small appliance as simple as an air purifier can keep your home’s indoor spaces smelling as clean and clear as outdoor spaces before, during and after the party. What’s really great about these units is that you don’t have to run them constantly. You can periodically clean the air as needed—a little or a lot, depending on the circumstances—instead of trying to overpower odors with heavy fragrances that can actually cause respiratory difficulties for many people.
13. Let the Robot Handle Floors
We all feel we need to deep clean before a social gathering, but there’s no rule that says you can’t have a little automated help. Especially if you have pets, children or a partner that goes in and out a lot, being able to send a robotic sweeper to keep your deep-cleaned floors clean can be a real stress reliever.
14. Celebrate with Color
Every team has its colors, and a football party is a perfect time to fly them—and incorporate them where you can. An area often overlooked is landscaping. Whether you fill a patio with black pots bursting with golden flowers for the New Orleans Saints or plant a garden bed with a deep Texas A&M maroon, for example, it’s a nice festive touch in addition to the flags, tablescapes and tableware that often celebrate the favored home team.
15. Light it Up
Celebrations that last into dusk or beyond need lights. If you’re lucky enough to already have plentiful outdoor lighting, be sure to turn it all on. You might even want to incorporate some smart bulbs that let you set lighting to your team colors. If you’re a bit spare on illumination, now might be a great time to add porch lighting, entryway lighting, or deck and staircase lighting. Perimeter lighting that highlights walkways, driveways and parking areas can also offer a thoughtful touch and prevent trips, falls and other accidents.
Hosting a football party can be tremendous fun. You want your guests to be comfortable and have a memorably good time—whether they enjoy football games or not—and you want to be able to enjoy spending that time with them. If you’d like more in-depth information about specific products that will make cooking and cleaning up easier, make your home more hospitable or sanitary, or simply improve your indoor and outdoor living spaces, explore our website or schedule an appointment at your local Coburn’s Kitchen & Bath Showroom. We have innovative appliances, conveniences, upgrades and more to enhance every dimension of your home.