The Super Bowl is one of the most watched television events of the year and that means – Super Bowl Watch Party! As an award-winning event producer, who spent over a decade working in the NFL planning various events, I’m often asked about sharing some easy tips that can help my friends plan their tailgate party like a pro. This year the Los Angeles Rams will take on the Cincinnati Bengals and I have tons of ideas to take your party to the next level.
First, be sure to check out my article about how to host the Ultimate Watch Party for a laundry list of things that apply to ANY watch party. As for hosting your own Super Bowl party, here are a few fun, simple things that I like to do as I get ready for the greatest game on turf!
There are many options for invitations, but here’s a fun and unique idea for a Super Bowl Party invitation – create an invite that looks like an actual game ticket to Super Bowl LVI. This can be a great way to commemorate the event! See ideas here:
The small details can make a big difference in your décor. For example, I like using these simple mason jars for decorations throughout the food table to bring in the football theme. I’ll also use my serving platters and dishes like these as décor.
If you need extra serving dishes, make sure to check out places like Dollar Tree or Family Dollar. They usually have some great platters that are extremely affordable (everything is a dollar… as you may know). I always check out the dishware aisle to find glasses and dishes before parties, especially if you plan to paint or decorate them. Here’s some cute examples:
What to Serve: Food & Drinks
Since the game is right at dinner time, I will be serving my guests a dinner size meal via buffet style. It’s a long game and I personally find it to be easier to prep one main meal instead of a ton of different snacks, but that’s up to you. One of my favorite recipes is Sweet Potato Chili, along with a nacho bar. I set it up as a buffet so guests can serve themselves and customize the bowl as they like.
Sweet Potato Turkey Chili (crockpot – BEST recipe HERE
Substitute 0% Fage Greek yogurt instead of sour cream for lighter calorie count
Nacho Bar (keep in mind you can use some of these same toppings if you display it as a toppings bar)
Cheese Dip or Queso Dip
I use Velveeta mixed with a can of diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes (heated in microwave and then placed in a small crockpot to keep warm)
Chopped Baby Spinach (in case my guests prefer to make a taco salad instead of nachos)
And yes, many folks put the chili as a topping on their nachos or salad.
Fruit and cheese plate with yogurt dip
Veggie Platter with ranch dip
Popcorn (see alternate recipe below)
If you want to have the party catered to make it even easier, Chicken wings or BBQ would be my top choices. I love doing a catering order with Martin’s BBQ or Buffalo Wild Wings.
I like to do a snacky treat and a real treat. For this party, I’m making custom cookies and popcorn! Not just any popcorn though. I’ll add in a few things to make it fancy and the perfect salty + sweet combo.
You can put the popcorn in brown paper bags so guests can carry it into the living room to watch the game.
Candy – M&Ms (green and brown only)
Melted white chocolate
Spread out the popcorn on wax paper, then add in the M&Ms and drizzle the white chocolate over the popcorn and candy. Let it sit for 10 – 15 minutes until the chocolate is hard and put it in a bowl! It’s the perfect sweet and salty treat to add to a snack table.
Custom cookies from a local bakery are my favorite dessert to add to this type of party. They double as décor and taste delicious! Sugar Drop is my go-to in the Nashville area for custom cookies, treats, etc., but if you don’t have a bakery around you, some bakeries will ship to you!
Sugar Drop: https://www.instagram.com/sugardroptn/
Sweet G’s: https://www.instagram.com/p/B5FuVDKhHd_/
Ellen Jay: https://www.instagram.com/p/B2AcjGIpoOk/
Make sure to have a stocked bar. For the Super Bowl, I always have a cooler stocked full of ice, a beer assortment, and water. I love having a Signature Cocktail, for any gathering, to serve my guests. Plus, I always make sure to have non-alcoholic drink options too, after all, it is on a Sunday night. You can make the signature drink in advance as a large batch and then top off when you serve to guests that night. My Signature Cocktail for this year’s Super Bowl is called “The DoggFather” in honor of Snoop Dog as he’ll be joining the star-studded lineup with Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Mary J. Blige who will hit the stage on Feb. 13th for the historic halftime extravaganza. The Doggfather himself shared his recipe for what’s also known as Long Beach Lemonade to toast the show from home with his signature strawberry flavored gin. Here’s the recipe:
1.5 OZ INDOGGO®
¾ OZ 19CRIMES CALI RED
2-3 FRESH STRAWBERRIES
3-4 FRESH MINT LEAVES
¾ OZ CUCUMBER SIMPLE SYRUP (OR ¾ OZ SIMPLE SYRUP & 2-3 CUCUMBER SLICES)
3 OZ GINGER BEER
IN A COCKTAIL SHAKER ADD SIMPLE SYRUP AND STRAWBERRIES, MINT LEAVES, AND CUCUMBERS. MUDDLE TOGETHER. ADD INDOGGO® AND ICE, SHAKE. STRAIN INTO A GLASS WITH ICE. TOP WITH GINGER BEER, LEAVING ROOM AT THE TOP. USING THE BACK OF A SPOON, SLOWLY ADD WINE TO LAYER THE COCKTAIL. GARNISH WITH FRESH MINT. STIR TO INCORPORATE BEFORE DRINKING. Recipe Here
Here is a long list of other cocktail options - 26 Cocktail Recipes to Make at Your Super Bowl Party
Don’t forget to decorate the bar too. I love to use galvanized buckets to display the drinks. Target has a good bucket, or you can go to Dollar Tree and DIY one. Add in cups plus ice and mixers to the bar so you guests can make whatever they want.
Games within the Game:
The big game is on… are you watching the football or the commercials? It depends on who’s playing for me. I want to make the game fun though because you never know if it will be a good game or just a complete blow out.
I will have two games for the party – one for the commercials and one for the actual game. We’ll do Bingo and Square. This will keep everyone entertained through the night no matter what is happening with the game. The winner will get a nice bottle of wine and a gift card to Academy Sports!
Commercials Bingo: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/1970393574304802/
Check out our Pinterest for more food and décor ideas.
Well, that’s all I have for now. Enjoy the game!