Every town has its own native food traditions, and those that are home to this year’s Super Bowl contenders are no exception. Theme your party menu to suit 49ers and Chiefs fans by cooking up snacks inspired by San Francisco and Kansas City, Chowhound says. K.C. is known for its barbecue, so whip up a hearty selection of burnt ends, macaroni and cheese, ribs, and baked beans. San Francisco’s seaside location and gourmet farm-to-table traditions suggest a baked goat cheese salad and cioppino chowder — not just Rice-a-Roni. Toasting the touchdowns? Try San Fran’s Anchor Steam or K.C.’s Boulevard brews.
The big game doesn’t have to be the only game on Super Bowl Sunday, Country Living says. If you’re hosting, you can offer a variety of fun party activities that will keep people entertained even if the game turns out to be a dud. Try Super Bowl bingo cards that feature entries for all of the expensive ads, a football target toss, a football trivia challenge or a tabletop “flick” football game, the site suggests. Or — weather permitting — pump up the pigskin and grab a few friends for a quick game of flag football to burn off some of those snacks!
If you want to get even the guests who don’t like or understand football involved on game day, try adding an activity to your Super Bowl party. If the crowd is large enough, you can start a friendly football pool, The Spruce suggests, or a game of Super Bowl Bingo, which will entice guests to mark their cards when they see a team mascot, a face-painted fan or Gisele Bündchen onscreen with novelty prizes. For the younger set, try a football-themed scavenger hunt — not only will it be fun for the kids, but it will also keep them busy while the adults watch the game.
Buffalo wings may be the quintessential nosh for a Super Bowl party, but not for the vegetarians in the crowd, who are getting more numerous every day. Good news: There are plenty of decadent gametime snacks that don’t require meat. Vegetarian chili may the most obvious offering; try a hearty slow-cooked version with sweet potatoes, Real Simple suggests. Guacamole, hummus, and baked artichoke-and-spinach dips can also satisfy the meat-free masses at your (non-excessive) celebration, as can home-baked soft pretzels and Portobello pizzas.
The ads are the main attraction for many media-savvy Super Bowl viewers — especially if their favorite team didn’t make the cut this year. Brands will shell out $4 million to reach the biggest television audience of the year with a single 30-second spot. Watch for Anheuser Busch’s Clydesdales to trot out an ecofriendly message, former Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar killing it with Olay skin products, and rapper Lil’ Jon pouring one out for Pepsi. Good news for the clutter-free: Other than the big car companies, few advertisers will try to tempt viewers to buy actual stuff.