Monica Pederson
Expert planning advice

Super Bowl Party tips

HGTV's Monica Pedersen is sharing her secrets to throwing the perfect Super Bowl party. Called the "radiant, high-energy mistress of ceremonies" by The New York Times, Monica's tips will turn you into the hostess with the mostess.

Easy decor

A Super Bowl party is the least pretentious of all events. When you're deciding on decor, think about ways you can use existing items in your home, says Pedersen, who loves doing a tailgating indoors theme for Super Bowl parties. "Wool blankets are great for table covers, and you can make your own centerpieces by putting fresh flowers in an insulated cooler," she explains. "Grab some footballs or sports magazines and use them as fun accents. Go to a party store and stock up on cheap trinkets like streamers and balloons in the teams' colors, toothpicks with footballs on top or paper cups with NFL logos." Super Bowl parties are the perfect opportunity to cheese it up!

Cool to-dos

Pedersen is big on making all the guests comfortable. "Make sure you have ample and comfortable seating for everyone," she says. "It doesn't matter if you have to pull random chairs from all over your house." The entertaining pro also suggests serving easy finger foods so that no one is stuck in the kitchen. For extra entertainment, create a group fantasy football game and give a prize to the winning team. Hosting wives or girlfriends who only watch the Super Bowl for the halftime show? "Consider planning one or two non-sports activities, like a jewelry party," suggests Pedersen. "I really like Silpada. While the guys are fixated on football, women can shop together." And don't forget about the kids! Set up a designated area with puzzles, coloring books and other games, and they'll be entertained for hours.

Bowl of chiliSimple noshing

Keep your Super Bowl party menu basic. Sub sandwiches — with vinegar, not mayo, so that they can sit out — are a good option. "I always have a pot of chili on the stove and then set out toppings like sour cream, chives and cheese — guests love to garnish their own chili," says Pedersen. "Another one of my favorite snacks is a sourdough bowl. I just cut out the center of the bread bowl and plop in some deli spinach dip." And of course there are the classics like chips and guacamole, pigs in a blanket and pizza. "Think casual finger foods! Serve everything in plain white dishes and then accessorize your buffet table with items mentioned above," she adds.

Get in the (team) spirit!

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Comments on "Secrets for a winning Super Bowl party"

Emily January 25, 2013 | 10:30 AM

Great tips! I agree - the easier, the better. When I throw parties I almost always have it potluck style so I'm not stuck providing all the food and drinks.

Katie January 24, 2013 | 10:41 AM

Thanks! This gets me in the Super Bowl spirit. What I love almost as much as the big game itself is all the food. Super Bowl Sunday is one of the only days of the year when we can forget about our waistlines and give ourselves permission to go all out. I totally agree with cheesing it up and just having fun!

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