(BPT) – While ‘homegating’ offers the convenience of cheering on your favorite team from the comfort of home, hosting your family and friends for the game can be challenging. From setting up the perfect atmosphere to coordinating the food and drinks, here are five tips for putting together a winning game plan. With a little imagination and planning, you can turn any given Saturday, Sunday (or Monday, or Thursday …) into a truly memorable occasion that your friends and family will talk about long after the season is over.
1. Bring the stadium to you
To make the party atmosphere super fun and festive, go all out by decorating your home or tailgate venue with your favorite team’s colors for banners, streamers and/or garlands, plus colorful tablecloths and napkins. To get all your guests in the game day mood, encourage everyone to wear the jerseys of their favorite team or player.
2. Twist up your game day spread
Providing plenty of savory and sweet finger foods to please your whole crowd is a winning play. For example, Auntie Anne’s Snack Stadium is a great way to twist up your game day spread. This large, stadium-shaped holder displays your choice of Pretzel Nuggets that you can mix and match. Choose between two Pretzel Nugget Buckets of any variety — Original, Cinnamon Sugar, Mini Pretzel Dogs and, depending on the store location, Pepperoni — and pair them with up to six dips: Cheese, Hot Salsa, Honey Mustard, Caramel, Cream Cheese and Marinara. Each Snack Stadium is perfect for a group watch party and can feed between 5-7 people, so make sure you know your game day headcount!
3. Bring a game to accompany the game
Depending on your location, you’ll want to make sure to prepare some fun activities for all your friends and family to join as you’re gearing up for the game. You can organize some touch football out in the yard or set up an area for football throwing practice. Limited space? You could create a tabletop football game instead.
Provide a face-painting station for die-hard fans, plus some pompoms and a space for everyone to practice their best cheers. Then set up a football bingo game for everyone to play or create teams to compete in football trivia so your guests have a chance to show off their knowledge of players, teams and stats!
4. Streamline prep time with delivery
When it comes to hosting the perfect homegate, the last place you want to be is stuck in the kitchen. The good news is, you can take the hassle out of your prep and focus on the fun by harnessing the power of delivery. Score a touchdown with your guests and order delivery of game day–ready Snack Stadium(s) directly through the Auntie Anne’s app, online at AuntieAnnes.com, or through your favorite third-party delivery service like Uber Eats, Grubhub or Door Dash.
5. Stay in the game, stay hydrated
Just like the players, all of your partygoers need to stay hydrated, too — so make sure to fill up your coolers with lots of tasty beverage options for everyone to enjoy. For warm-weather games, Auntie Anne’s offers refreshing drinks by the gallon including delicious Original Lemonade. If you’re hosting on a chilly day, you’ll want to include a few thermoses of hot cider or cocoa to keep everyone feeling toasty from the inside out.
With the help of these tips and Auntie Anne’s, you’re sure to turn those ordinary game days into extraordinary memories. So, gear up, get ready, and let the festivities begin!