We know the best outdoor watch party starts with good friends, good food, and comfy patio furniture. Outdoor entertaining is perfect for game day celebrations. It almost feels like tailgating, and you have easy access to the grill and any impromptu games of catch that break out. Plus, in the excitement of big plays, any spills that happen are no big deal with an outdoor party. You can whip up a big batch of game-day sangria without worrying about wrecking your carpet. The teak furniture experts at TEAK + TABLE have you covered with a complete guide to everything you need to throw an outdoor watch party, including the best snacks, beverages, and comfy outdoor furniture.
Make the Guest List
The perfect gameday celebration starts with making a list of the best buds and diehard sports fans in your life. Even for an informal gathering, you’ll get a better turnout if you send an invitation in advance of the event. Whether it’s a formal invitation through snail mail or a quick text message, be sure to let people know the date, time, and location of your event, and request an RSVP, so you know how much food to buy.
Choose a Menu and Beverages
People want good food on game day, whether it comes fresh off your grill or from a caterer. The best game day foods are easy to eat while holding a beer in the other hand. Popular foods include:
- Sausages or hot dogs
- Chicken wings
- Potato skins
- Barbecue meatballs
- Chips and dip
In addition to these popular tailgating foods, you can choose items that rep your team and show off its regional cuisine. For example, if you’re watching the South Carolina Gamecocks, an outdoor party is the perfect setting for a low country boil. If you don’t want to be stuck with all the cooking, you can serve up a main dish like burgers and hot dogs on the grill and ask your guests to bring sides and snacks for a gameday potluck.
Drinks are an essential part of the gameday experience, too. You can keep it simple by providing a few types of beer, or you can make it fancy with a signature cocktail in honor of the team. Provide lots of water to discourage your guests from overheating or overindulging. Make sure to leave space in the cooler and on your buffet table for whatever your guests bring. For everyone’s safety, you also need to take steps to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
If children are coming, provide easy finger foods, kid-friendly treats, and juice boxes. Check with your guests to see if they have any dietary restrictions.
For the perfect party decorations, choose items with your team’s logo or in your team’s colors. Your local party supply store can provide you with balloons, streamers, banners, and flags in your team’s colors. Of course, this event is the perfect time to put out any serving dishes or cutting boards that rep your team. You can even find disposable cups, plates, and napkins that display your team’s logo.
Consider the Weather
With a covered patio, you can host an outdoor gathering regardless of what the weather holds. If not, be sure to make alternative plans for indoor entertaining in case of bad weather. Additionally, follow these tips to keep your guests comfortable:
- Have citronella candles and bug spray to keep the bugs at bay.
- If you live in a warmer climate, consider getting some outdoor umbrellas to protect your guests from direct sunlight.
- If you expect cold weather, place some chimeneas, fire pits, or outdoor heaters near the seating area, and put out some blankets and throws.
Adults and children alike enjoy having fun activities to do in addition to watching the game or standing around the grill. Whether people want something to do during halftime or are just there for the food and friends, activities make the party more fun. Here are just a few activities to add to the day’s festivities:
- Create a “decorate your own sugar cookie” station for children.
- Gather everyone around the fire pit to make s’mores.
- Set up a game of cornhole toss or horseshoes.
- Provide footballs or frisbees for tossing around.
- Provide kids with a treat bag with things to keep them busy and boost their team spirit (team-branded temporary tattoos, pencils, etc.).
Of course, if you and your friends are all diehard fans who will not miss a second of the action on the field or court, feel free to skip the activities.
Display the Game
You need an outdoor entertainment system and access to the appropriate channel or streaming service to watch the big game outside. Dragging one of your indoor TVs to the backyard runs the risk of damaging it. For a more permanent source of outdoor entertainment, you can get a TV designed for outdoor use. We recommend a TV with a 55-inch panel.
You can also find enclosures that provide additional protection for the TV when it is not in use. For example, you can get an outdoor TV console with a motorized lift that will display your TV with the click of a remote and shield your TV from the outdoor elements when not in use. If the game is at night, make sure that any outdoor lighting is not too bright and will not make it difficult to view the TV.
Arrange Comfy Outdoor Furniture
Part of being a good host means making space for everyone. Your guests will feel welcome if everyone has a comfortable spot for viewing the big game. That can take some creative seating arrangements. Test out every seat in advance to check out the sightlines.
Additionally, ensure that the buffet table and drink station will not block anyone’s view of the big game. You can add some pillows and throws for added comfort. Create a seating area or two for anyone who wants to socialize. It should be removed from the game viewing area so that folks can chat without distracting from the game.
At TEAK + TABLE, we have bespoke outdoor teak sofas that are perfect for viewing the game outdoors without sacrificing comfort or style. We also offer outdoor furniture sets and outdoor lounge chairs with comfy seat cushions in a range of beautiful styles. In addition to handling your rowdy gameday crew, our teak furniture can withstand the outdoor elements all year long through your team’s season and beyond. It’s the perfect choice for fans who want to enjoy their outdoor space without missing a single game. We can’t promise how your team will perform, but you can trust that our bespoke teak furniture will endure in your outdoor living space for years to come.