Outdoor Game-Day Party Essentials

outdoor party

Whether you’re cheering for the Hawks or releasing the Kraken, don’t let a little cool weather force your party to stay indoors (or worse yet, be canceled). Make sure to stock up on essentials that will keep you and your guests comfortable and warm throughout the game. 

Because let’s be real, we live in the Pacific Northwest. This isn’t Arizona, where prime patio time happens from November to February. This is the Seattle area, where we are blessed with lush forests, green grass, and a few raindrops.

Why Host an Outdoor Game-Day Party?

In addition to the most recent call for options to physically distance, there are a plethora of reasons to host an outdoor game-day party:

Less Worry Over Game-Day-Induced Hiccups

Do your game-day parties have a tendency to get a little rowdy? They have earned their Sunday Funday title for a reason, after all. Hosting your party outside reduces worry over those small hiccups that could have you thinking twice about hosting again — like a glass of wine spilled on your rug or nacho hands on your sofa.

Room for Games & Throwing the Football Around

Sending folks outside for a quick game of touch football during halftime leaves the inevitable question of, “How do they get clean” before they come back in. But when the party is outside, this worry quickly fades. Cheers to keeping the floors clean!

6 Tips to Make Your Outdoor Party a Success

We won’t beat around the bush, throwing an outdoor party during the fall and winter months does require some planning. But we have you covered:

1. Let Your Guests Know in Advance, So They Dress Accordingly

The number one thing that will make the event enjoyable for you and your guests is proper attire. Shorts and t-shirts aren’t going to cut it. Most likely guests are going to wear outdoor gear, like a warm jacket and weather-resistant shoes. This will help them stay dry and comfortable, even if there is a bit of moisture about.

2. Provide Some Covered Seating

Standing through a whole game may be great if you have seats in the Hawks Nest, but it is not very practical for most individuals. Equally as impractical is sitting in the rain. Make sure you have some covered seating options. If you have a covered patio, porch or gazebo, that will work well. Alternatively, you may consider renting an outdoor events tent.

3. Get Your Viewing Setup on Lock

If your outdoor space already has a built-in TV, you are set. If it doesn’t, consider using a small projector. You can hang a large white cloth and you have an instant big screen!

4. Keep it Warm

In addition to getting wet, being cold is another factor that will drive guests back home. Outdoor heaters and fire pits are a good way to warm up a space. You may also want to have a selection of wool blankets on hand that guests can use as needed. 

5. Plan a Warm Menu

Another good way to stay warm is to eat warm foods — like a hearty soup or stew. Chili, in particular, makes for a great game-day option. And the best part is, you can make it in advance! Serve it with some cornbread and a DIY toppings bar for an instant hit.

What other ‘warm’ food makes for a great game-day spread? So many, including:

  • Casseroles (like lasagna, enchiladas and stuffed shells)
  • Grilled foods (like burgers, hot dogs and grilled chicken
  • Slow cooker tacos (like shredded chicken or pulled pork)
  • Hearty curries
  • Meatloaf
  • Hot Dish, any tater tot topped casserole 

6. Sip Warm Drinks

In addition to warm foods, warm drinks on a cold day are a crowd-pleaser. Hot chocolate is a natural option, as it can be enjoyed by the kiddos and ‘dressed up’ for the adults when requested. Additional crowd-pleasing warm drink ideas include:

  • Apple Cider
  • Coffee with Eggnog Creamer
  • Mulled Wine
  • Hot Toddy