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Football family fun night

Based out of Dallas, Texas, Mary McCoy is a writer and social worker for disenfranchised women and children. She's a single mom, lover of Texas barbecue, and a die-hard fan of yoga

Food, family, fun and football season

Feeling inspired by the dawn of football season? Look no further, weekend warrior. We have fun ideas for how to enjoy football night as a family, complete with food and activities for big and little kids alike.
Boy with football

Fall is just around the corner, and autumn’s cooler air brings football season openers with it. Instead of just mindlessly flipping between eight games over the weekend, host a family party that celebrates all that we love about football season: Food, family and fun.

The tailgate party

Chili dogs

Bring the tailgate party to life right in the comfort of your home by offering football-themed treats to your family.

  • Chili-cheese dog bar: Haul out your three-pot slow cooker and set it on low for a splurge night of chili-cheese dogs. Fill the first pot with hot dogs and water to keep them warm. Next, fill the second pot with either pre-made or homemade chili. Place Velveeta cheese and a can of Rotel tomatoes in the third pot, and melt the ingredients together. Your family can go down the line with their hot dog bun in hand, and load up with all the toppings they desire. Chop onions for an optional topping at the end of the line.
  • Fruit football helmet: It’s a good idea to offer at least one or two fresh fruits and veggies to the meal plan, even if it is a splurge night. Follow the instructions on whataboutwatermelon.com to carve a watermelon into the shape of a football helmet, and fill with fresh cut fruit for a delicious and healthy side dish.
  • Snickers football brownie bites: These bites are super easy to make, and they make a great alternative to store-bought, stale football cookies. Prepare a brownie mix, pour into cupcake pan, and place a fun-sized Snickers on top of the uncooked mix prior to placing in the oven. The Snickers will melt into the shape of a football.

The big game

Football brownie bites

All the delicious food available just plays a supporting role for the big game. Older kids and adults may just want to watch their favorite team on the big screen, but you can keep your younger kids involved in the fun with a couple of well-timed activities.

  • Football bingo: Check out these football bingo cards available on Etsy for a game within a game. Every family member will be able to play along, and it will help keep little ones interested in the game on television.
  • Coloring pages: Print off a stack of these coloring pages so your kids can keep their hands busy. Tape the finished sheets to a long piece of yarn and hang across the living room for a football banner.
  • Decorating the cupcakes: Before diving into the delicious football cupcakes, have your family decorate each Snickers football with white icing and sprinkles.

The halftime show

Football game

Burn off some of the chili-cheese dog calories by capitalizing on football’s long halftime breaks. Get outside and run around with your family before returning for another round of blitzing and bingo.

  • Pick-up game: The classic backyard pick-up game is the go-to halftime activity of football-loving families across the country. Make it a game of catch if your family is small, or go all out with touch football to really get moving.
  • Jackpot: If your kids don’t want to play touch football, the game Jackpot is a good alternative. The leader of the game sets a point total that each player must reach to win. Then, the leader throws a football toward the crowd of players who are gathered about 30 feet away from the leader, while calling out how many points the throw is worth (the leader can also call, “Jackpot,” in which case the person who catches the ball wins the game). Whoever catches the throw earns the points. The first player to the pre-determined point total wins the game and becomes the new leader.
Image credit: Snickers football brownie bites - foodfamilyfinds.com

More family activities

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DIY games for family game night
Gardening tips for families

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