The Super Bowl Is Really About the Snacks

Super Bowl LIII kicks off on Sunday, pitting the New England Patriots against the Los Angeles Rams. No matter which team you root for, the Super Bowl is no longer just about the game — there are brand-new, multimillion-dollar ads and a star-studded halftime show to watch, plus snacks. If you’re hosting the festivities this year and don’t want to spend the entire day in the kitchen, check out the easy game-day recipes at Buzzfeed and Real Simple. Even the most rabid fans attending your party aren’t going to argue with nachos, guacamole, meatball sliders and five-alarm chili.

The Dog Days of Summer

The dog days of summer, it turns out, have nothing to do with one’s four-legged friends according to Mental Floss. Sirius, the Dog Star, is the brightest star in the sky in August, and the ancient Greeks believed that it added to the sun’s heat. If you have kids, they’ll be getting a little bit restless in the heat with the clock running out on summer vacation. Take them to the beach or pool to help them cool off naturally. If not, string up a few water balloon piñatas, suggests Milk Allergy Mom, and have a backyard water party. The kids will have a blast while beating the heat. Water-loving dogs can join in the fun, too!

Try a Themed Outdoor Party

If you want to have people over but do it cheaply, The Spruce says, try a summery theme such as a luau, “glamping” or game night; outdoor games such as badminton, cornhole and horseshoes are obvious choices. Shop at party, dollar and thrifts stores (the latter of which are often supplied by generous donations to ClothingDonations.org) to keep decorating costs low, and ask guests to bring a dish suitable for a crowd-pleasing cookout. Then, just add a summery playlist of your favorite music — or get your musician friends to jam — for an outdoor party that rocks.

Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space

The difference between a boring backyard, deck or patio and a welcoming outdoor oasis is often as simple as a few well-placed plants or accessories. To spruce up your space fast, Love Your Landscape says, hang a mirror, grow climbing vines, or build a pergola. Potted plants can add visual interest and color, and solar lanterns or string lights will bathe the area in soft light after sunset. Sawhorses and a sheet of plywood or an old door (covered with a tablecloth) can serve as a dining table, and benches with cushions and/or folding stadium chairs will give guests a place to sit.

Al Fresco Dining Requires Definition

To create a space for dining on your backyard or deck, simply define the area in which you plan to serve guests, This Old House says. Lay mesh-backed tile over pavers to create an inexpensive, all-weather “rug” for the seating area, or create a shade canopy out of bamboo and a canvas drop cloth. Take advantage of the existing shade trees and accessorize your dining area with curtains, pillows, string lights, lanterns and more; with a little time and even less expense, you’ll have a dramatic, romantic space in which to entertain friends and family.