Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and that means that this weekend is the Iron Bowl! While you may feel "partied out" by all the Thanksgiving prep, there are several options for making your Iron Bowl party appealing that won't take up all your time (or your budget).
Even if you're in a time crunch, don't feel like you're limited to just throwing out a bag of chips and a jar of salsa. For an easy but sure-to-please option, take a quick peek online at some slow cooker recipes that you can quickly prep and then let cook in the background while you do other stuff, like these "fall off the bone" barbecue ribs from Carl's Bad Cravings (prep time is only 15 minutes!):
If you want to do chips / veggies and dip, a "snack stadium" is a fun (and impressive!) way to present your munchies. You can either order a pre-made one or customize your own like the one below from Jehan Can Cook (see a tutorial here):
Remember also that anything from pigs-in-a-blanket to cupcakes can easily become game day-themed if you just stick a tiny flag or football pick in it like these, so take a quick run to the grocery store and see what simple options you can grab that will keep your prep time stress-free.
PRO TIP: Have a canister of baby wipes on the table for those enjoying any super-saucy treats and a can of rug / furniture cleaner close at hand-- even if people are careful, some of your game day spread may end up on your couch or carpet in a moment of game-related elation or despair.
If you want some bonus entertainment during the game itself, consider adding football bingo to the party. Prizes can be anything you want, and if you use space markers like goldfish or pennies instead of physically marking the spaces off, you can play as many times as you like! For the bingo cards themselves, you can can order cards like this set on Etsy or create your own here.
Lots of people like to dress in their favorite jerseys / face paint for the big game, so why not set up a space to capture all that team spirit with a selfie station? If you want to get super fancy you can grab one of these football backdrops on Amazon, but even with a blank wall, it's still a great way to record the memories of the day. If you want to add some photo props, you can either make / source your own (which can be a fun activity all in itself) or get a kit like this one from Big Dot of Happiness.
It's also fun to have some party games available for pre-game and half-time periods (and since everyone is so hyped up on adrenaline, they can become extra spirited!). Check out these football-themed "minute-to--win-it" games from Play Party Plan.
While the major part of the focus is, of course, on the television, there are plenty of opportunities to make the rest of the space look festive. Depending on if your guests are a mix of fans from both teams or if everyone is coming to root for the same one, you can split the color and theme of the decorations or make it one big crimson / white or orange / blue extravaganza. Check out this video tutorial from Craftastic on how to make a mesh paper streamers backdrop:
or this one from Craft Outlet on how to make this mesh deco wreath:
You can also add fun touches with signs and banners like this "concession stand" one from here at Swanky Party Box:
And you can never go wrong with adding general football-themed decor to the walls and food table:
Whether your Iron Bowl party is big or small, it's a great chance to unwind from the often-stressful prep and execution of Thanksgiving. So take a quick spin on Amazon and Pinterest, make a run to the grocery store, and remember that it's all about having fun.... and, of course, the merciless obliteration of your opposing team. But mostly fun.