The 8 Party Essentials You Need for Your Big Game Bash
Whether you’re a die-hard football fan or just in it for the camaraderie and commercials, game day means party time. Need ideas to step up your entertaining? Try these go-to party essentials from event stylist and Let’s Mingle blogger Ashley Lloyd.
The perfect set of mini bowls
“On game day, I set up food so it’s easy for guests to serve themselves—DIY nachos (try our baja shrimp taco nachos recipe!) or a baked potato bar, for example,” says Lloyd. These little bowls are sized just right for holding sour cream, shredded cheese, and other toppings or dips. “They’re inexpensive, but modern and chic—and they’re white, so they fit into any existing party décor or color scheme.”
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A very versatile chip-and-dip platter set
Made of clear blown crystal, this two-piece set goes with any party palette—“and you can use it for all kinds of combo appetizers: spinach dip and bread, veggies and dressing, mini hot dogs and mustard, and more,” says Lloyd. Bonus: The removable bowl and chip plate are both dishwasher-safe for quick post-party cleanup.
A heated server
This handy helper keeps multiple dishes toasty all party long. “It’s super inexpensive and takes up so little space. I recently used mine for a taco bar with chicken, beans, and steak,” Lloyd says. Remove the stainless-steel inserts, and it doubles as a warming tray. “This way, you’re not going in and out of the kitchen to warm things back up in the microwave, and you can enjoy your own party instead.”
A large-capacity food processor
“The thing I find challenging about entertaining is the prep work,” Lloyd says. “With a small food processor, you have to change out batches multiple times, and it takes forever.” This 8-cup version can accommodate party-sized sauces, game-day guac, and more in one quick pass. And you save time on cleanup as well. Just disassemble it, and throw all the parts (except the base) in the dishwasher.
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A chic cutting board
Use this bamboo board to cut and prep ingredients—or to serve food. “It looks great topped with cheese and fruit or charcuterie, and recessed handles make it easy to move (without taking up additional space on your table),” says Lloyd.
A double-drink dispenser
“I love them because the high rack means they don’t have to hang off the counter or table, and they’re easy to refill, too,” says Lloyd. Plus, two dispensers in one package give guests more options—Lloyd suggests margaritas and cucumber water on game day.
A team-themed dart board
“Let’s be honest. Not all of your guests are going to be invested in the football game,” Lloyd says. “It’s a nice idea to offer them some kind of diversion.” This dart board is ready to go right out of the box, and it even comes with chalk and an eraser to track the score.
A set-it-anywhere side table
“Move this side table wherever you need an extra surface for drinks or snacks, or place it between people watching the game on the floor,” says Lloyd. Want to switch up the football design? Flip over the center panel. Voilà! It reverses to sleek black wood.