Game Day Checklist

Don’t fumble on game night! If you've decided to host a party for one of the biggest game nights of the year, you don’t want to get caught looking like a rookie. We have the game day essentials you need along with tips and trips to have you looking like a pro. Check out our How-To blogs and our football party checklist to ensure a super fun game day gathering.

Prep Work

  • Make sure you have an accurate headcount at least one week prior to your party.
  • Clean the house a 2-3 days before so you can have one whole day prior to the party to rearrange furniture, prep food, and decorate.
  • Organize the viewing area and prepare seating arrangements. Do you have a big enough TV so that everyone will have a good view from where they’re sitting? If your TV isn’t already mounted, mounting it would improve viewing.
  • Decide on your food and drink menu. Will it be strictly finger foods or a more inspired selection? Find out what your guests also plan to bring. Click herefor some football-inspired recipe ideas!
  • Clear out and organize your refrigerator.
  • Prepare any food and drink you can at least one day before so you have plenty of time on game day for finishing touches.
  • Designate a beverage station to keep all drinks on ice in a cooler in one area. If you don’t have a cooler, consider leaving your beverages right outside the back door if the weather is cold enough. Keep a separate, smaller cooler or bucket for fresh ice to be used when making drinks.
  • Set up buffet or folding tables to hold all your dishes. Decorating them with football-themed table covers will give your food station a more finished look.
  • Have a room designated for your guest’s coats and bags, as this will help keep your entertaining areas less cluttered.
  • If you know children will be attending, setting up a separate area where the kids can play is a good idea as well.


  • Make sure you have plenty of plastic or paper plates and utensils for the event. You may also want to purchase plastic cups for beverages and insulated paper cups for hot drinks.
  • Make sure you have plenty of napkins, paper towels, and garbage bags.
  • Football-themed decorations will bring fun detail to the event and can include tablecloths, balloons, signs, pennant banners, streamers, football cutouts, football confetti, spirit sticks, etc.
  • Besides your main entrees, set up snack stations. Set small tables around the viewing area or other common areas your guests will be in that day. Place chips and dips, cheese, or healthy snacking options on these tables for your guests to pick at.
  • If you know there will be children at your party, make sure to buy some kid-friendly snacks and beverages. Juice boxes are great for kids and you can keep them in a separate cooler that is accessible for the children, so they can easily grab them without bothering mom or dad.


  • Check your TV and make sure it’s ready for the big day. You may also want more than one television airing the game throughout the event; maybe a TV set up by your beverage station, food station, or perhaps even outside, ensuring guests won’t miss a play when they get up to grab a drink. If you plan on purchasing a new TV for game day, click here to browse options.
  • Have alternate entertainment for those guests that won’t be watching the game. Think about different types of games and possibly some music in another area. If you have a television that won’t be broadcasting the game, a game console with football-themed video games like Madden NFL 25 is a great alternative!
  • Set up football boxes for $1 or $5 that your guests can purchase. Award a first quarter, half time, third quarter, and final score winner. This will bring much more excitement to the game and keep non-football fans involved as well.
  • Have something planned for halftime. Get people up and moving; if you can get outside, do it! Toss around a ball or play a quick game of flag football.
  • Have activities set up for the kids as well... the parents will thank you for it!
  • Don’t forget to have a camera ready for the party. You will definitely want to capture these memories!

Post Party & Cleanup

  • Make sure to place trash cans and recyclable bins around your party so that guests can easily clean up after themselves.
  • Consolidate food, clean up around the drink station, and replace trash bins with new garbage bags that have become full after halftime
  • Make sure to send people home with leftovers.
  • Send a quick email thanking your friends that attended your party for coming. Make your email more personal by attaching a picture of them that was taken during the event.
  • Sit back and relax... you did it! All that’s left to do is think about how you will top this party next year!

We hope you found this checklist helpful. To all of our hosts reading this list, we wish you a successful party and a great game! For more tips on how to prepare for game day, check out our blog and Pinterest boards.