Hosting a family football party: How to…

Brilliant autumn leaves? Eh. Brisk evening walks? Okay. For millions of football fans across the country fall is about one thing – the return of football! Football season is the time to stop sharing pictures of cute kittens with your Facebook friends and start getting together with your real-life friends to enjoy a family friendly football party.

The technology

Of course you’ve got to have a top-of-the-line home theater system so everyone from the kitchen to the party room can catch every play. But there are a few other technical details you want to take care of before your guests arrive:

– Make sure your satellite, Dish network or cable connection is working properly.

– Set the DVR just in case you need to prove you were right to dispute a call.

– Remove valuables from the media center and around the TV. With excited kids watching the game it’s best to remove any breakables from the area.

– A remote wireless speaker on the back patio or even in the bathroom means your guests won’t have to miss a thing when they need a break

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The décor

Make the event fun for everyone in the family by putting out a few football themed decorations. Mini helmets make fun serving bowls for snacks and you can make simple football shaped platters by covering cardboard cutouts with aluminum foil. Paint laces on the foil football with black food coloring and cover the entire platter with plastic wrap after the food coloring is dry. This craft makes clean up easy too – just remove the plastic wrap and reuse the platter next time. Paper cups, napkins and streamers in the team colors will go a long way to make your home look festive. If not all your guests share the same team loyalty as you, make them feel welcome by exhibiting their team colors or mascot too.

The food

With kids at the party you have to have a variety of non-messy foods, but you don’t want them to snack on junk food all day. Serve raw nuts, fruit kabobs, kale chips, cheese sticks, pitted black olives and baked whole-wheat pita chips along with one or two of the usual salty snack foods to keep the choices fun but healthy for everyone.

Of course half-time means it’s time to stop snacking and start eating. Instead of being stuck in the kitchen during the half-time show prepare a slow-cook meal for your guests to enjoy. Chili, pulled pork, tamale pie, stew, or even a full meal of roast beef, potatoes and carrots are a few of the things you can put in a Crock Pot in the morning and serve to a crowd in the afternoon.

For dessert make chocolate krispy cookies shaped like footballs. Let the kids draw the seam on the ball with pre-filled icing tubes from the store. Easy!

It’s not likely that the kids will stay interested in the game the entire time. Be sure to have some alternate activities for them like a football-related word search puzzle or a craft project like transforming a plain T-shirt into a team jersey with fabric paint and stencils. Hiring a babysitter is also a great idea for a family friendly football party. A responsible on-site sitter can give all the moms and dads the freedom to actually watch the game without excluding the children from the event. Touchdown!


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