Don't get us wrong. A huge part of any celebration—game day or otherwise—is the food. But another, often overlooked and hugely significant aspect of entertaining, are the products and decor. How to get the food prepared just right. How to ensure it's all ready at the same time. How to make sure everyone is comfortable and has what they need to eat, drink, and be merry. The "behind-the-scenes" products you use to help you answer these questions can be the difference between a major headache or an easy, breezy celebration.
Here are some top products that will help you relax so you can leave the headache meds in the medicine cabinet.
1. Portable speaker
A celebration without music is hardly a celebration at all. A portable speaker is a must, especially one that's waterproof and can brave the elements (just in case). Bose is always a solid go-to brand for speakers, and their Soundlink Micro Bluetooth speaker is a fairly affordable, durable option at $99. And given that it's bluetooth-enabled, you can easily connect your phone to this baby or hand it to a friend to use their playlist. Or, you can even connect it to your TV when the game is on for amplified sound.
2. Drinkware that won't break
There are few party fouls worse than breaking a glass. It's loud, dangerous, and embarrassing. Plus, people tend to be very protective of anything that comes in a set. So if you're hosting a celebration, avoid this potential faux pas altogether and serve your drinks in unbreakable drinkware. We recommend the Duraclear® Tritan High Ball Glasses. They won't shatter, crack, or discolor your drinks, and they're dishwasher safe. It's a win-win. Plus, they look cool and add some color to any celebration. They're available exclusively at Williams-Sonoma.
3. Retractable awning
We'll tell you the same thing no matter where you're getting your celebration on (parking lot or backyard BBQ). And that is this: Standing in the sun for hours, even when you're having fun, is rough, especially in warmer summer months. Wear sunscreen, of course. But if you're big into hosting backyard barbecues and homegates and you want to keep your guests comfortable, consider installing a retractable awning. Retractable awnings are great for providing essential shade all while keeping your guests cool. Plus, you can use it whenever you're needing a bit more shade, even without guests.
4. Protective-mounted TV
If you're hosting a watch party, and your crew is outside by the grill and hanging out in the yard, you're going to need an outdoor TV. But the outdoors can be unpredictable, so it's super important to use a protective mount. Storm-Shell Outdoor makes a variety of protective mounts, all based on the size of your TV.
5. Bug-repelling candles (or torches)
There is absolutely nothing fun about being eaten alive by mosquitos and other nipping pests when you're outside trying to have a good time. So if you're hosting an outdoor celebration of any kind, you're going to need insect-repelling tools. Sure, you could invest in a proper electronic bug zapper. Or you could go for some solid citronella candles, which not only smell nice and help with dispersing bugs, but they also double as ambiance creators. You can get a set of 12 round glass citronella votive candles on Wayfair for under $20. You can also go the tiki torch route (though perhaps a little less tropical and a little more modern) with the Sea Glass Garden Torch. When you pair it with their Clean Burn BiteFighter Torch Fuel, you've got proven mosquito-fighting light for a bite-free outdoor celebration that can easily transition into the evening.
6. Appetizer/Food trays on ice
Many dishes and produce need to be kept cold when served. Otherwise, they'll spoil or just get downright funky. Needless to say, that'll absolutely ruin your otherwise killer outdoor shindig. (And this spoilage issue only gets worse in the warmer months.) Good thing they make food trays with ice compartments, right? Check out the Prodyne Appetizers on Ice Revolving Tray. It's made from durable acrylic and is ideal for outdoor entertaining.
7. Watermelon slicer
Watermelon is downright delicious, especially when it's fresh and in season. It also happens to be a great entertaining food. But slicing a watermelon can be a bit dicey (pun intended) and dangerous, depending on your comfort level with the type of knife needed for the job. Good thing the folks at Weetiee solved your problem with their Watermelon Windmill Cutter Slicer, which retails for under $10. You'll never go back to doing it any other way.
8. Outdoor fire pit
People have been gathering 'round the fire pretty much since they figured out how to make fire. We can't help but love it—both on a cold day or even on a warm summer's eve. A nice outdoor fire (pit) can quickly become the center of the party. So if you've got the space, and you entertain enough for this investment to make sense (or if you just want one for yourself), check out this one. It's durable, affordable, and lightweight for easy maneuvering.
9. Garden stake drink holders
Tired of people asking you to hold their beer? Now, you won't ever have to. These can holders are a super fun must. We love these for when your guests' hands are full with a toppling plate of food and a fork with nowhere to put their drink. Or for when they're playing cornhole and perhaps need both hands. (Though true varsity cornholers only need one hand to land a toss. Just saying.) You can get a set of four of these on Wayfair for under $40.
10. Mounted bottle opener with your favorite team's logo
If you're serving up bottled brewskis, you're going to need a bottle opener everyone knows where to find. The easiest way to do this is to mount it somewhere. We're big fans of these team-themed mounted bottle openers. They make them for a variety of NFL teams, NHL teams, baseball teams, NCAA teams, and schools (if you're more of a college sports fan). At the very least, one of these babies is sure to be a conversation starter.
With these top products, your party is bound to be a winner. Now, go crush it!