We’ve all heard of tailgating, but what about those times when you just want to stay in and hang with your pals to watch the game? In addition, the average cost of an NFL ticket is $100, so even if we were in more “normal” times, shelling out that much cash to enjoy the big game isn’t always possible. Plus, when it comes down to it, sports are really all about a few key elements: good food, good drinks, and good company.
That’s where homegating comes in. You want the fun of watching the big game but in the comfort of your own home without all the hassles. What’s more comfortable than watching the game from your own couch? You have access to unlimited drinks and snacks, and you get to hang out with your close friends and family. And, not to mention, you won’t have to deal with a line to the bathroom. What’s not to love?
Follow these simple tips to bring the game day atmosphere to your very own home.
1. Decorate like a pro.
The first thing you can do to create an entertaining atmosphere: bring on the decorations. Dedicate a single room or a backyard with your team’s colors. Get creative! Use jerseys, streamers, wallpaper, balloons, you name it. You can also get crafty with table decorations. Instead of using plates to hold your snacks, make football cones out of construction paper.
Also, a miniature goal post made from a PVC pipe is the perfect centerpiece for your tailgating table. Finally, custom foam fingers are sure to get guests in the mood to root for their favorite team.
2. Bring on the snacks.
If you opt to skip the decorations, we won’t judge you. But there’s one thing you can’t ignore: the food. Snacks are a main element of an enjoyable homegate. However, you don't have to let the food stress you out. Good food doesn’t have to be complicated. We here at Hungry Fan are all about making home entertaining as simple as possible, so you can enjoy the game without stressing! From delectable platters to comforting hometown treats, we have many easy recipes to get your stomach grumbling. Crowd-pleasing recipes like deviled eggs (with a twist) team up with new players like bacon-wrapped tater tot poppers to create the perfect treats. Your guests won’t be able to have just one! Check out our take on guac or this game day BBQ chicken dip.
3. Drink up.
So now that the food is covered, what’s the next homegating element to take your party up a notch, you may ask? The drinks, of course! When you’re hanging out and hosting your friends all day, why settle for lukewarm cheap beer?
Nothing against beer, but why not step it up a notch with a delicious homemade craft cocktail? Grab your favorite bottle of gin, tequila, vodka, or whiskey and a few simple ingredients, and you’re well on your way for a splendid cocktail. Some of our favorites include our mint strawberry mule or our coconut chili margarita.
For a non-alcoholic option, try our classic iced tea.
4. Take the party outside.
Especially in light of the current pandemic, it’s all about the outdoors. How prepared is your backyard or patio for the ultimate homegate this fall? Lucky for you, setting up a space for outdoor entertainment requires little effort on your part.
Customize your space with music, an outdoor TV or projector, and lawn games like cornhole or Putterball. Check out some of our favorite games.
If you plan on taking your homegating party outdoors, a party tent is an absolute must-have. It will provide shade from the hot sun and shelter if it storms. You may want to set up your tent a day or two in advance to keep the area dry in case of unexpected weather. Another thing to think about is seating. Make sure you have enough seating options for your guests, and you may even want to drape a blanket on the back of each chair just in case anyone gets chilly or needs some extra padding. You will also want to clear pathways of debris, fallen leaves, or overgrown shrubs, so your space looks nice and tidy.
A few more must-haves? We recommend a portable speaker, unbreakable drinkware, and bug-repelling candles, to name a few. Check out our top product recommendations you need to make home entertaining a breeze.
Even when the world goes back to the new “normal" and stadiums are being filled, homegating is here to stay. Heck, you may not even want to go back to the stadium again after hosting a few epic game day gatherings! As the experts of game day entertaining, we’re here with everything you need to make your gathering a success. From food to drinks to essential products, we’ve got you covered.