By Dawnye Appel
Sports fans love to surround themselves with other fanatics and those rooting for their team. One fail-safe way to bring a sports crowd together is to party of it and offer food and a good time.
For any sporting event, it’s easy to plan a tailgate cookout. For food, make sliders, slow-cooker pulled pork, meatballs, fruit skewers, corn dog muffins and pizza pockets. For drinks, craft large batches of fan favorites, like tea, lemonade or punch.
Before the game, make sure the food is set out for grazing, and consider setting up some games for kids and adults to mingle. Setting out interactive games helps occupy those less interested in sports and makes sure everyone enjoys the party.
Adult tea party
For the ladies, consider hosting a grown-up tea party. This theme is great for bridal or baby showers, book club meetings, cocktail parties, or just for anyone wanting a chance to get fancy for an afternoon.
To make the day more elaborate, be sure your attendees know to dress for tea, meaning dresses that fall at or below the knee, light natural makeup and large-brimmed hats; and for males, blazers, bow ties, slacks and suspenders.
Serve light and delicate hors d’oeuvres: tea sandwiches, airy pastries, fruit and other finger foods are good options as long as it’s not messy or too heavy.
Consider offering batches of iced tea in a few options. Iced tea provides better self-service for larger crowds and encourages leisurely mingling. Alongside the tea, offer custom add-ins, such as lemons, limes, strawberries, peaches, mint leaves, sugar syrups, lemonade or decorative ice cubes.
Movie night sleepover
For a sleepover or campout for your little ones, try a movie night theme. Depending on the age of guests, select one to three of your favorite movies for a marathon.
Make a large batch of popcorn and serve in brown paper bags. Consider adding mix-in
candies, popcorn butter and seasonings. Don’t forget other movie treats, like boxed candies, fun-sized candy bars, cookies and drinks.
Personalized paper boat trays will minimize spills and keep snacks in each child’s area.
For decorations, glow-in-the-dark balloons or glow sticks would be a fantastic option.
Send campers home with a party favor as a keepsake, like glow-in-the-dark toothbrushes with
a thoughtful note or funny movie quote attached.
Soda shop party
Take your friends on a nostalgic trip by planning a soda shop party. Bold vintage colors, like red, black and white make for easy decorations.
Create stations for making custom treats your can only find at a soda shop. For your soda fountain bar, provide a few classic sodas in cans or small bottles, flavored syrups (such as vanilla, cherry and coconut), cherries, limes, lemons, whipped cream and lots of ice.
Ice cream and float party
Another station could be for ice cream sundaes or soda floats. Keep ice cream over ice in a large cooler or tub, either in individual Mason jars or in ice cream containers.
Include favorite ice cream toppings and mix-ins, like cherries, chocolate chips, nuts, candy pieces, strawberries, cookie bits, sprinkles, fudge and butterscotch. From there, your guests can relax with iconic drinks and delicious ice cream creations.
Corn dog muffins
Take hot dogs and trim them into
approximately 1-inch pieces. Prepare cornbread mix and pour into muffin tin until half full. Place hot dogs in middle and mix. Bake muffins at 375 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes.
Roll out pre-made pizza crust. Cut circles with a cookie cutter. On one side layer pizza sauce, cheese, toppings. Brush egg wash along edge and layer a top circle; crimp edges with fork. Make a few small slits in the tops and brush egg wash onto the tops. Bake at 425 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes.