Want to throw the best Super Bowl party of all time? The key is creativity. Although there are some best-loved traditions for this event type, you can still make your get-together — whether it be big or small, at home or at work — completely unique. Discover some foolproof ways to feed and delight guests with these 21 original Super Bowl party ideas everyone will remember for years to come.
The key to planning an unforgettable Super Bowl party:
Stereotypical Super Bowl parties use tablecloths, paper plates, and temporary decor pieces with standard football stadium designs. They typically serve wings, burgers, and/or pizza. There’s usually a lot of beer involved and plenty of shouting at the television. However, if you’re planning a Super Bowl party for the first time or would like to make one that will really stand out, consider switching up some of these traditional items with more creative options. Although you may not have a choice about the shouting, you do have options when it comes to how your party looks and feels.
The best way to put your own personal spin on a Super Bowl party is to have a unique take on food, decor, and activities. Focus on the dietary needs and interests of your guests when creating your menu. For decor, lean into team colors or go with a classy color scheme of black, white, and silver. And to keep everyone entertained in between the action, create spaces for children away from everything, line up fun mini-events for adults who are less interested in the game, and use your overall event goals as a guide for additional activities.
Whether you’re hosting your party in a home, a bar, or a ballroom, take your venue into account when planning the entire event. Want to go above and beyond? Create a layout using Cvent Event Diagramming to get a 3D representation of where your food will be staged and, most importantly, how easy it will be for guests to view the game.
Also, always weave in the natural style of the venue into your decor choices. For example, if the space has rustic architecture, make a hang out lounge outside with hay bales for seats. In other words, choose furniture and decor that blends the football theme with all existing features of the space.
Explore 21 creative and fun Super Bowl party ideas:
1. Use virtual reality.
Grab some virtual reality headsets and give your guests a chance to experience the game up close and personal without having the pay for expensive ticket prices. Use the Fox app or website, Sling TV, YouTube TV, or Hulu live TV with compatible hardware. Encourage guests to bring their own or rent them from an event technology company. Remember to clean and disinfect them in between users.
2. Raise money.
Super Bowl parties are a great opportunity to raise money for your favorite charity. Raffle off tickets for next year’s game or authentic sports memorabilia. You can also do a silent auction. Alternatively, get active with a flag football game that has a special twist such as the Three Piece Suit Football Charity Festival, which asks the participants to wear actual three-piece suits while they play.
3. Strategize your layout.
Keep in mind that layouts create the atmosphere of any event. No matter what type of space you’re in, make sure yours has each of the following:
- A dedicated lounge area with television screens to watch the game on, plus coffee tables and side tables.
- A separate kids zone for activities that gives them an option to relax away from the grown-ups.
- Food staging — whether it’s a buffet, a kitchen area, or a formal dining area — close to the game yet out of the way.
4. Play Super Bowl commercial bingo.
For some Super Bowl party guests, the commercials will be the main event. Use a pre-made Super Bowl card for the activity or DIY using a template or website that creates custom designs. Create squares for the type of product in the commercials, the tone of the commercials, and elements such as props or celebrity appearances that you expect to happen.
5. Give out swag bags.
For higher-end Super Bowl parties, a swag bag is required. Use designer brands for items such as stadium blankets and seasonal candles. Include football-themed gifts such as replicas of Super Bowl rings or Gourmet BBQ sauce. Feel free to give away officially-licensed NFL gear, too.
6. Use a voice assistant.
Google Home and Alexa units can now help you prepare for the Super Bowl. When getting ready for the party, ask them to set timers when cooking food or give answers to popular football trivia. During the game, you can have your voice assistant update everyone on the score, mute TVs during commercials, or even order extra beer and pizza for delivery.
7. Do Super Bowl trivia.
Test party guests on their knowledge of this year’s Super Bowl or Super Bowls of the past. Include trivia about players, coaches, teams, and even sportscasters. Hand out prizes or play for bragging rights.
8. Hire professional servers.
Make your Super Bowl party run a little smoother with professional servers who can keep your food warm, clean in between servings, and rotate in fresh options whenever possible. You can also get a cake from a local bakery, order takeout from a trendy BBQ spot, or hire a caterer to do all of the above. Even if you can afford an entire party team, even just one of these things will make your event seem that much more polished.
9. Copy Vegas parties.
Las Vegas Super Bowl parties all have these things in common: Great TVs, tons of drinks, and delicious food. Model your party after one of your favorite hotels on the Strip or follow these three commandments for an expert-level celebration. And if you’re selling tickets to your Super Bowl party, include some exclusive VIP options.
10. Put a twist on the classic menu.
Nearly every Super Bowl party has wings, meatballs, macaroni and cheese, chili, burgers, pigs in a blanket, and some sort of potato dish. If you plan to serve any of the above, make sure you add a unique spin on it to make your recipes even more special. For example, you can color your burger buns to match the final two teams. Or wrap something unusual in bacon (like dates). Another great party trick guests love is homemade sauces, which are actually quite simple.
11. Serve heavy appetizers.
Skip a formal sit-down meal in favor of multiple rounds of heavy appetizers that are meat or carb-based. If you plan to serve a salad, fill it to the brim with a variety of colorful vegetables such as peppers and carrots. Station your appetizers throughout the room or have event staff pass them on trays at regular intervals.
Alternatively, you can serve food in a buffet-style setting. Guests can comfortably get up and refill their plates when they’re hungry. Just make sure the tables are out of the way of the viewing area but close enough that people can still follow the game.
12. Have a DIY bar.
Let everyone customize their own meal with traditional toppings and some surprise additions in a DIY food bar. Popular options include nachos, tacos, pasta, personal-size pizzas, wings, and popcorn. Add in “normal” ingredients like sharp cheddar cheese and “weird” options like toasted coconut strips. You can do the same for cocktails!
13. Give out stadium snack packs.
Used cardboard trays and miniature boxes for this individual meal experience. Add peanuts, popcorn, soda, hot dogs, pretzels, and candy. Or, let guests customize their own box by mixing and matching pre-prepared snacks.
14. Offer themed charcuterie.
Create a charcuterie board in the shape of a football or use football-themed snacks. Include meats, cheeses, fruits, and dips. Add a variety of popular flavors such as spicy, buffalo, ranch, sour cream, and beer.
15. Serve football-shaped desserts.
Craft your own football-shaped cake pops, ice cream sandwiches, or brownies using a cookie cutter and some white icing for the laces. You can also create referees by dipping cookies in black icing, drawing faces at the top, then adding in white stripes and whistles to complete the uniform.
16. Serve team-colored Jello shots.
Color coordinate your Jello layers with the colors of the teams playing. Use flavors that are inspired by the teams’ cities. For example, tropical options like mango would be appropriate for Florida.
17. Shake up beer cocktails.
Even if you serve beer in bottles and cans, consider making some craft cocktails, too. This delicious bourbon and honey beer cocktail pairs well with a smoky jalapeno popper.
18. Use faux grass.
Bring the outdoors in with a faux grass table runner, carpet, or serving dish filler. If you use a large piece, mark off the appropriate lines with white paint or tape to make it look as if it’s ripped right off of a football field.
19. Buy balloons, streamers, and pom poms.
These are some of the most common of all the Super Bowl party ideas on this list, but they’re certainly effective. Use these items to create a grand entrance outside of your hall or hang them upside down from the ceiling to give the space more visual complexity. You can also use these accessories to fill in gaps on a table or on the wall. And don’t forget to create a social media-worthy backdrop with plenty of texture and color using these tools.
20. Use whistles and stripes.
If you’re sick and tired of using footballs in your food and decor, why not try swapping in some referee-themed items instead? Add black and white stripes wherever possible. Bake some whistle or flag-shaped cookies. Or put out real whistles as name tags for glassware or even as markers for takehome Gatorades.
21. Hang paper football lanterns.
If you have a large space you’re trying to fill, use an oversized football lantern in the middle to create an interesting focal point. If you’re working with a smaller space, consider using at least one dozen medium lanterns scattered throughout. Or if you just need a little extra light and whimsy, try football-shaped fairy lights.
Frequently asked questions about Super Bowl parties:
What do you do at a Super Bowl party?
At most Super Bowl parties you watch the game, eat great food, and socialize. Some Super Bowl parties also include fun activities and charitable mini-events.
What should I make for a Super Bowl party?
If you are making food for your own Super Bowl event you should choose one of the classic dishes such as burgers or wings and combine it with sides you would normally find at a football stadium. Don’t forget to sprinkle in some healthy options such as salad, veggie trays, or nuts.
What time should I start my Super Bowl party?
Aim to start your party at least one to two hours before the game is scheduled to start so guests can casually arrive, mingle, and eat at their leisure.
What is the most-eaten food during the Super Bowl?
Traditionally chicken, red meat, and dips of all kinds are thought to be the most-eaten foods during the Super Bowl every year. However, a recent study shows that the most-eaten food at the average Super Bowl party over the past three years has been vegetables, including carrots, broccoli, and celery.