Football fanatics drool over the chance to watch the Big Game in person. However, if you don’t have tickets for the much-anticipated game on February 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, an epic, at-home football party is a close second. A Big Game party can cater to everyone: those who are genuinely there to watch the game and those who show up for good food and company. If you’re planning on hosting the Big Game party of the year, we’ve got some tips to steer you in the right direction.

Two Weeks in Advance: Start Studying the Playbook

A good rule of thumb is to begin your planning about two weeks before the game. At this point, you will know which two teams made the playoffs to aid in your planning. Once you know who will be playing, you can:

  • Finalize the guest list- Chances are, many people will be hosting game parties, so spread the word to your guests as soon as possible. They are more likely to attend your party if they get your invitation before the others.
  • Nail Down the Details- Make sure you know all the details about the broadcast (pre-game show, game start time by time zones, etc.) You can find all the game details on the Super Bowl Website.
  • Set a Budget- You can go pretty simple while still having a successful Big Game party. Attendees care most about a good quality TV to watch the game on and an excellent spread to enjoy as they cheer for their favorite team. Nail those basic details, and you’re on your way to a great party. But if you want to go big, there are ways to supersize your bash. Just make sure to set your budget and expectations ahead of time.

One Week in Advance: Create a Game Plan

You have a pretty good idea of who is coming, the game is getting closer, and it’s time to have fun with the details.

Plan the game day grub

What do you think about when you visualize a Big Game party? The food, of course! You can think of it as a tailgate party with lots of snacks, finger foods, and appetizers that are easy to prepare and grab. Pizza and beer are Big Game staples as well as hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, chips and dips, pretzels, and chicken wings. Don’t forget desserts such as brownies, football cookies, cupcakes, fudge-covered pretzels, or other handheld desserts. You may also want to throw in a fruit and veggie tray for a healthier option. And don’t forget to provide non-alcoholic drink options.


The Big Game is more fun when everyone gets into it by wearing jerseys, and the hardcore fans even paint their faces. Decorate your place with the team colors. To create some friendly competition, you can set up seating “sections” for fans of each side. Props are always fun as well! Think Mardi Gras beads and team-colored hats. NFL-themed or team-colored drink koozies are great door prizes to hand out.

Offer Sideline Entertainment

Consider providing a safety for those who only showed up for the food and halftime show or those who tune out as soon as the halftime show comes on. Additional entertainment is a great way to appeal to everyone. A fire pit outside, a card game, or corn hole? Or maybe you’ll want to stick with the theme and throw a football around at commercial breaks.

Five Additional Playbook Rules

Whether you’re the go-to football game party host in your friend group every year or a rookie host, here are some additional pointers to help you avoid party penalties.

Keep Your Guests in the Loop

Let your attendees know in advance if they should bring something or not. People usually don’t mind contributing as long as they don’t find out about it at the last minute. It may be wise to have a sign-up sheet, so you don’t get 10 bowls of pretzels and no main course.

Keep it Casual

A Big Game party should be fun, easy, and comfortable. Let your guests know that it’s informal. Think jeans and a jersey or jeans and a solid-colored shirt that matches one of the team’s colors.

Don’t Be Offended if People Come and Go

Since a bowl party is a casual gathering and the game is long, expect people to come and go throughout. They may have other parties they want to make an appearance at. Let your guests know that it’s casual and flexible and that they can show up whenever they want.

Make a Plan for Kids Ahead of Time

Plan in advance if you’d like to invite kids or not and let people know. If people don’t know the rule, they might show up with their children, or might find out that it’s adults only too late to find a babysitter. If you do decide to include children, make sure you’re prepared with kid-friendly entertainment, a possible babysitter, and kid-friendly snacks. Whatever you decide, make sure all parents know the plan with ample time to prepare.

Enjoy it

If you’re hosting a Big Game party, chances are you love football. Put the work into your planning ahead of time so you can enjoy the game. Sit back, let people enjoy themselves, and don’t miss a good play.

If you prepare well, your party will be a touchdown, but for all procrastinators reading this a few days before your big party, here’s your hail Mary: the entertainment is already provided, and the other important element is the food. You can still save the day by running to your local grocery store and picking up trays of food and snacks. Save time on cooking, investing it instead into creating a great-looking table with a fun centerpiece and table covering and well-arranged food trays.

And if you want all the fun without all the work, we’ve got you covered on game day. Let our award-winning party planning firm in Los Angeles, Dallas or DC, quarterback your Big Game party. Contact us today for details.