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Planning, Prepping and Throwing Your Ultimate Super Bowl Party

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Super Bowl Sunday is a tradition for football fans. But it's also a tradition to host parties and events. Doesn't matter where you host your party -- you can put a stylish spin on the experience. Here's how:

1. Set the food menu. The classic football party is low-key and packed with easy, casual foods that can go from the serving table to living room easily -- pizza, burgers, etc. and of course plenty of chips, dips and salsas. But just because there it's a sports event doesn't mean you can't have a little fun with the food. You'll still want things to be easy to grab and eat (munchies, etc.) but having a sandwich bar with different meats and ingredients, or serving something like pasta or lasagna can be just as much a hit as the classic game day food items. Chips are fine but mix up the experience with interesting and unexpected items -- melted goat cheese or brie, crackers and cheese, etc. Don't forget specialty eaters and diets with a few foods and snacks that are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or other diet-friendly specialty.

2. Assess the space you'll be using. Since the game is the center point and few would want to park at a dinner table during the broadcast, a serving table of sorts or buffet are a better option. Load the kitchen table, island or bar with the day's eats and treats, or if you need to bring in a serving table you can. Having plenty of seating is important -- if your living room is lacking space, oversized pillows and kitchen or dining room chairs can add seating without the hassle. If guests will be bringing kids, you'll want to consider having some games or coloring books on hand, or ask that they may pack a bag for their little ones if you do not have children of your own.

3. Mix the drinks. Beer, wine and other drinks are usually on hand at parties, but don't be afraid to have a fun 'signature' game day drink item such as a special mix lemonade, tea or other beverage. Be sure to stock plenty of bottled water, soda and juice as well. Put items in large tubs with ice in the garage, or bring in coolers filled with various options and place them in a kitchen or laundry room for easy access during the game. Don't forget glasses or cups! While paper and plastic are common, make things a little fancier with glasses from your collection at the house.

4. Don't forget sweets and other treats! Brownies, cake, cupcakes, cookies and other easy-to-eat items are a game-day essential. If you've got time, a local bakery will likely be happy to decorate cakes and cupcakes in your favorite team's logos or colors. You can do the same at home with anything you bake or create and serve.

5. Decorate! It doesn't have to be elaborate or overly fancy, but adding a floral arrangement in your favorite team's colors, streamers, ribbon or other decorative items that celebrate the game will make the party feel all the more unique and fun.

Set up an hour or two in advance to make sure that you have everything you need. Designate an area in the house for coats and jackets, and if it's wet, snowy or slushy outside, designate a place for guest shoes so that you're not tracking mud and other elements into your house. Throughout the game, routinely pick up and clean up -- it'll make things a lot easier than waiting until the end. Last, grab small food-ready boxes or other containers to give guests the option to take leftovers from the day home. It can be a fun way to share the treats of the day and make clean up easy as you'll have likely done away with any leftover or extra food items.

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