It’s that time of year again – the big game is just around the corner, which means it’s time for an annual Super Bowl party. Even if your team didn’t make it, Super Bowl LI is a great excuse to bring your friends together around good food, drinks and commercials. But social gatherings in small spaces can be stressful, so we created 9 tips for throwing an epic Super Bowl party in your apartment.
Tip 1: Clean Your TV.
Whether guests come for the big game or to watch Super Bowl commercials with friends, it’s all about the TV. Since the TV will be the focal point of the evening, make sure it’s clean. You don’t want your guests to miss Tom Brady completing a deep pass to Julian Edelman, the Atlanta Falcons’ young defense pressuring the Patriots seasoned offense, or for the non-sports enthusiasts, the latest Super Bowl commercials. So, the morning of the party wipe down the screen with your favorite cleaning products and rearrange your furniture so that all of your available seating is facing the TV.
Pro Tip: If you have a plasma screen, wipe it gently with a microfiber cloth. If the TV screen is glass, mist the surface with window or screen cleaner and buff the glass until it’s clear and smudge free. People will want to hear the game, so don’t overlook the speakers. Use a hand-held vacuum attachment to remove any dust or buildup that might block sound.
Tip 2: Keep the Food Simple.
It’s all about the food, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend days slaving away in the kitchen to satisfy your guests’ appetites. When you’re putting together your game day menu, think about incorporating simple finger foods that are easy to serve, eat and refill – wings, dips, street tacos and sliders. Consider serving the food buffet style so guests can easily refill their plates and you can keep the buffet stocked.
Pro Tip: Set up a small snack station in the living room so that guests never have to worry about missing a moment of the action. The snack station should include go-to items like chips and queso, veggies and dip and something sweet.
Tip 3: Add Some Competition.
Super Bowl party games can add an extra layer friendly competition and keep your guests entertained between plays. Because you’re entertaining in a small space, shy away from physical activities like a toss-off in favor games Super Bowl Commercial Bingo, trivia or a cook-off.
Pro Tip: Offer a fun prize like a homemade trophy or wager to keep it competitive.
Tip 4: Don’t Forget the Drinks.
Variety is key. Get an array of light and dark beers, 2 to 3 bottles of liquor, sodas and some basic mixers. Keep a cooler stocked with beer, water and soda in the near the TV so no one has to miss a big play. Don’t overlook the importance of ice. Nothing is worse than lukewarm drinks. Keep a cooler of extra ice that you can bring out in a pinch. And, brew a pot of coffee and serve desserts in the 4th quarter. Most NFL stadiums stop serving alcohol in the third quarter, which might not be a bad policy for your super bowl party.
Pro Tip: Consider making 3-4 themed cocktails that can be pre-made in large quantities and served in dispensers. Providing pre-mixed cocktails keeps costs low.
Tip 5: Don’t Forget the Furniture.
Not all of us have a space that accommodates expansive sectionals, and even if you do, game day can still pose a seating challenge. Lawn chairs, bar stools, bean bags, ottomans, benches, directors’ chairs, poufs and floor pillows make great alternative seating. Also, don’t overlook your linen closet when looking for additional seating. A zip-up picnic blanket, quilts or throw blankets can carve out a designated seating space and provide cushion against the floor.
Pro Tip: While BYOB is considered tacky by some, you could add BYOS (Bring Your Own Seat) to the party invite to guarantee your guests a dedicated seat at the party.
Tip 6: Spruce Up Your Space with Decorations.
Since the Super Bowl teams change most years, keep your decorations generic. You can buy streamers, crepe paper, banners and balloons in the colors of this years’ Super Bowl teams to decorate doorways and tables. All of these items can be found inexpensively online or at local dollar stores.
Pro Tip: Transform a cheap, green plastic tablecloth into a football field with white masking tape.
Tip 7: Protect Your Place.
The night before your Super Bowl party spend some time decluttering your main living spaces. Store valuables and rearrange furniture to maximize space and minimize damage.
Pro Tip: Lose the tabletop photos and candles. Even though personal pieces make an apartment feel like home, they likely won’t survive your friends jumping up or chest bumping over a game-changing play.
Tip 8: Don’t Do Dishes.
Typically, we don’t recommend wastefully using plastic. But when you’re hosting a party, we’re always in favor of using plasticware and napkins. If you’re in a small space, your storage and surface space is likely limited. You don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen all night doing dishes while everyone else enjoys the game, so stock up on paper plates, plasticware, napkins and plenty of paper towels for quick cleanup.
Pro Tip: You’re going to have a lot of extra people in your apartment for extended periods of time, so don’t forget to buy extra toilet paper.
Tip 9: Score with Safety.
It’s 2017. We have access to Uber, Lyft and local taxis. There’s no excuse for someone to drive home from your Super Bowl party drunk. If a friend starts getting a little too drunk, offer them your couch or find them a sober drive home.
Pro Tip: AAA is offering FREE rides in the OKC and Tulsa metro areas as part of their Tipsy Tow program. The service will provide free rides to AAA members and non-AAA members alike from 3 p.m. on February 5 to 4 a.m. on February 6. Simply call 1-800-222-4357 (AAA-HELP) and request a Tipsy Tow.