The Super Bowl is just weeks away and planning for all the fun to watch the game is just beginning! Chances are you won’t be attending the event, so what’s the next best plan? Tailgating at home, or “homegating”, is the best alternative for game-day gatherings when you can’t score tickets. You’ll appreciate the convenience of your own private tailgate party and creating your own Super Bowl party foods menu. There’s no need to be overwhelmed by the prospect of doing so at your house. Here are some helpful tips to help you get in game shape!
1. Make a Game Plan
The game starts at 6:30 EST so if the weather is fine, then the party can flow outdoors. Give the lighting a test run before kickoff. Harsh flood lights can bring down the party atmosphere, whereas string lights or lanterns create true party vibes. Weather is another concern that needs your attention. Sep up a patio heater and light up the fire pit for chillier temperatures.
2. Keep a Clean Locker Room
Sanitation is one of the best defenses against the spread of those pesky COVID and flu viruses. Hosts should embrace this strategy by setting up a sanitation station equipped with disinfectant wipes, tissues, and hand sanitizer.
The most shared space will be the bathroom, so make sure it has plenty of hand soap, paper towels, wipes, and trash bins. Stashing a bottle or two of hand sanitizer in the bathroom is also a good idea.
3. Tailgate Zones
Set up a pop-up canopy or tent, hang team flags and banners, incorporate team colors throughout your indoor/outdoor space, get your speakers primed for feel-good tunes. Most importantly, don’t forget the outdoor television. If possible, it’s a good idea to have more than one viewing location. This works just fine with both an indoor and outdoor television.
Set up stations of yard games, like cornhole, washers or ladder ball. Guests can break up into smaller groups and rotate play. Football bingo or Super Bowl Trivia are fun activities everyone can enjoy. Just be sure to make enough copies, have enough pens or pencils, and distribute them before kickoff!
4. Open Seating Spaces
Because guests will be in and out of their seats, create a comfortable game-viewing environment by bringing in throw pillows and comfy floor cushions from other areas of the house. Toss them anywhere people might take a seat. If you don’t have enough seating, ask your guests to bring their own tailgate chairs. Hopefully your party can flow indoors and outdoors for even more space for your guests.
5. Be the Equipment Manager
The possibilities are endless for creating a football theme in your home. Table covers, napkins, cups, and plates with the Superbowl LVII graphics can be purchased from Amazon. Or you can just provide team-colored versions of these items. Just be sure to have plenty on hand. Guests like to snack throughout the game. And, you can never have too many red solo cups. Set out several sharpies so everyone can try keeping up with their drink!
6. Seal the Deal with a Pregame Meal
So, what’s an at-home tailgate host to do about feeding the masses? Place bowls of chips, dips, nuts, and other simple snack food for guests to graze on during the party. Also, consider some of these meal ideas for food with a little more substance:
Premade Tailgate Meals: Cook whatever you’re serving beforehand and package individual portions like a box lunch. Set appetizers out pre-portioned, on TV trays styled with team colors before guests arrive.
Safe-to-Share Tailgate Meals: Items like burgers, hot dogs, sliders, and chicken wings are typical tailgate fare. Either have your resident grill master distribute food or let guests pull off the grill with tongs.
At-Home Tailgate Buffet: Simplify by centering around one food option and heap on the fun of choosing fillers, toppings, or components up to the guests. Most of the prep work can be done ahead. Here’s a few buffet-style tailgating ideas.