The New Year came and went, so what’s the next big thing? The Big Game, obviously! (You know what we’re talking about. We’re not actually allowed to call it by its real name unless we want to pay buckets of money to the NFL.) No matter how small or socially distanced your game day gathering is this year, there are still plenty of ways to throw a kickass party worthy of Tom and Giselle, even if you’re hosting over Zoom. We’ve curated a list of our top food, drinks, gear, and games to ensure your get-together is a touchdown, no matter which team wins the Vince Lombardi trophy. Given where we are in the course of this pandemic, we would be remiss if we didn’t remind everyone to homegate responsibly.
1. ButcherBox sustainable meat
Local. Sustainable. Fresh. We’re not just listing buzzwords here. We’re talking about ButcherBox, the best meat delivery service out there, in our not-so-humble opinion. The main event for most game day gatherings is obviously the meat. Duh. Whether you’re in the mood for burgers, brats, bison, or bass, ButcherBox has it all. Plus, all their beef is 100% grass-fed and grass-finished with no antibiotics or added hormones. Ever. They even put together a game day box geared especially for the Big Game.
2. Goldbelly food delivery
Don’t feel like cooking or dealing with cleanup this year? No problem. Sitting on the couch is, in fact, a major part of watching football, after all. Don’t let your, uh, relaxed attitude, stop you from partaking in some decadent and also super convenient food with Goldbelly, our go-to online shop. They offer food from the most cultish restaurants across the US. Missing your favorite NYC bakery? Craving Texas BBQ? Look no further. As they say, “treat yo' self.” Browse some of our top game day picks.
3. Festive brownie footballs
Don’t forget about the sweets! Bake up some brownie footballs because, why not? These are sweet enough to soak up all that beer you’ll be sipping, but they’re not too sweet to give you a headache. They’re just the right combination of salty and chocolatey to pair with the chips and dip we know you’ll be munching on throughout the day. Plus, if you’re feeling extra festive, you can get wild and decorate them with your favorite team’s colors.
4. Chips and dip galore
Snacks are pretty much the name of the game for the Big Game. If you’re like us, you stake out a good spot that’s within sight of both the snack table and the TV to ensure maximum access to the chips and dip. From queso to guac to hummus, we take our dips very seriously. We’re sure you’ll find one or three crowd-pleasing recipes.
5. Buffalo wings, reimagined
Did you know that chicken wings are the most popular food eaten for that Big Game we keep talking about that we can’t technically mention? According to The National Chicken Council (NCC), Americans are projected to consume a record-breaking 1.4 billion chicken wings over the weekend of the game of all games. Yep, you read that right. 1.4 BILLION wings. You might as well hop on the wing bandwagon and make your own! Check out our healthier take on the traditional Buffalo chicken wing.
1. Ice cube molds
On the game day of all game days, the biggest game of the year, why not class it up a bit? Beer's great, but go for the cocktails! And if you're going to do it, do it up right with proper ice cubes. These ice cube trays both impress guests and keep drinks cold longer, so you can spend more time watching the game and less time dealing with a lukewarm drink. Once you experience this mold and tray combo, you’ll never go back to conventional ice trays and cubes again.
2. Sturdy YETI® cooler
This might seem like a no brainer, but that’s precisely why we’re mentioning it. A trusty cooler is a must-have for any game day gathering, but they’re particularly necessary in this day and age of outdoor-focused hangs. Store your beers, sodas, and waters in this durable YETI cooler. It holds up to 26 cans and is known for being tough as hell. In other words, this thing is basically indestructible. It could probably double as a chair if absolutely necessary, although we don’t envy the person who’s standing (or sitting) between you and your favorite icy cold drink.
3. Slushie machine
Yep, you read that right: a slushie machine. Before you write us off, think about it: Frozen cocktails are basically slushies for grown folks, and what adult doesn’t want to feel like a kid every now and again? Do we have your attention now? Bring the fun to your game day party with this convenient gadget. Great for margaritas or any other frozen concoction you whip up, this baby lets you set it and forget it, so you can do more important things like watch the game...and the commercials!
GEAR & GADGETS
1. Handy 3-piece tong set
What’s an essential item for any successful game day grillout? Tong, t-tong, tong, tongs, of course. (Sorry, we had to do it.) But don’t let our silly Sisqó reference distract you from the important matter at hand: grill tongs. This 3-piece tong set is every griller’s dream. Turn and flip your meats and veggies to your heart’s content with this durable, stainless steel set.
2. Air fryer
Air fryers are all the rage these days, and believe us, it’s with good reason. They make cooking food so easy and approachable. And, they can pretty much do it all. Want to make restaurant-quality French fries? Air fry 'em. Tater tots? Same thing. You can even cook a whole chicken and achieve crispy skin perfection and a moist and juicy inside in far less time than it takes in a regular oven. If you weren’t gifted one for Christmas, there’s still time to secure one before the Big Game. We compiled a list of our favorites to help you out.
3. Chocolate fountain
You probably know by now that we’re big fans of desserts, namely easy ones that don’t distract from the game. A chocolate fountain is ideal for game day because it’s truly the gift that keeps on giving without much of a fuss. Simply get it going, add a bunch of sweet and savory dipping options, and the rest takes care of itself. Plus, it’s just kind of fun just to watch the continuous flow of chocolatey goodness. In fact, now we’re craving something sweet…
4. NFL-themed masks
You have your jersey, headband, scarf, socks, and team flag. You might as well complete your look with a mask repping your favorite NFL team. Choose from a few different design options or go crazy and just get all three so you have options. Sporting your favorite team’s garb and staying safe at the same time is a textbook win-win.
Backyard games are an essential way to keep everyone entertained during timeouts, halftime, or commercial breaks. Want an easy way to play golf without going to the course? We’ve got you covered. Bring the course to your backyard with PutterBall, a no-frills golf game anyone can play. It’s portable, lightweight, and simple. Just add a few friends and a cold beer.
2. Giant Jenga®
We’ve all played Jenga, the maddening but fun game that involves removing a wooden tile from an often unstable tower of tiles and placing it atop the tower without making it fall. But have you tried the supersized version? If you haven’t, you’re definitely missing out. Giant Jenga (or Jenga GIANT as they call it) is next-level fun. It’s bigger and better, and it’s sure to keep people of all ages entertained.
3. Team-themed cornhole
Who doesn’t love cornhole? It’s definitely a party staple. If you’re unfamiliar with this popular game, it’s basically a glorified bean bag toss played with 2–4 players. It’s not complicated to learn, play, or score, and you can set it up pretty much anywhere outside with a bit of breathing room for any rogue bean bags. With these customizable boards, you can even rep your favorite team. We see you, Steelers fans.