January weekends can only mean one thing: playoffs! If you’ve been holding off on having a football party because you live in an apartment, don’t let that stop you! It will take some creativity and planning, but you can host a fantastic party. Here’s how:
Step One — Plan Your Guest List: Sure, it may seem simple – invite some friends over to watch the game, enjoy some food and drinks – what could go wrong? Some fans can get rather, um, emotional about their teams. If you have a friend who will scream and shout and may even throw things … you probably want to leave him or her off your guest list. Your apartment neighbors who share your walls will appreciate you leaving the loud guests off your invite list. Also, decide if you want some friendly rivalry or if you want everyone who will cheer together for the same team. If you want friendly rivalry – make sure the sides are somewhat even to avoid hurt feelings. Also – don’t invite that guest who takes the “friendly” out of rivalry (you don’t want a brawl on your hands).
On your invitations, be sure to include instructions on where they are allowed to park. Also, include any special information (such as the entry instructions for a gated apartment community).
Step Two — Clear the Room: Unlike other social events, the television is the star of any football party. Make sure yours is in good working order – or your party could be over before it even starts. Clear the room of all unnecessary clutter or at least push it out of the way. You can put your coffee table to use by pushing it against a wall and using it as a buffet table. Be sure to remove all decorative items (especially breakables!) and if you want to protect the surface, cover it with a tablecloth. Store all unnecessary furniture in another room that won’t be used, such as your bedroom.
Step Three — Add Seating: You want everyone to be comfortable – and you want everyone to be able to see the TV. You’ll have to arrange chairs and floor pillows – tallest in back, with the pillows down front. Have a place for everyone on your guest list, and then add two or three extra places (just in case a friend decides to bring along a friend). If you don't have enough seating, ask your friends and family to lend you some folding chairs.
Step Four -- Plan a Menu: You don't want your guests to leave your party hungry – especially if you ever want to host a football party again! Let's face it – the parties that make the biggest impression (for all the wrong reasons) are the ones that didn't have enough (or any!) food. If you have a dining room table, perfect – make this "food central." Set out a variety of items, from crudité (yes, really!) to hot wings to chips and salsa. If you have choices, then that guest who is dieting (it is January, after all – hello, resolutions) won't have to ask you for carrot sticks and hummus. If you don't think you can handle the menu alone, ask each guest to bring something.
You also want to plan your drinks. Not everyone is a beer drinker, and even then, not everyone prefers your brand. Be sure to offer plenty of choices and have non-alcoholic and diet drinks in the lineup.
If you don't have a dining room table, you may have to get creative – set up a folding card table or place everything on your kitchen counters. Also – have plenty of paper plates, utensils, and cups set out near the food so guests can help themselves.
Step Five -- Have a Back-Up Plan: It doesn't happen often, but it can happen – guests lose interest in the game. Perhaps the score is so disproportional that the losing team can't possibly catch up, or it is one of those long, monotonous, non-scoring games that just seem to drag on play after play with nobody going anywhere. Just in case – keep these football-related activities in mind.
Do you have advice for hosting a football party in your apartment? Share it with us in the comments section below or join us on Facebook!