15 things you need to throw the perfect game day party
Your official guide for what to get for the big game
Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
The final football Sunday of the season is on the horizon and people everywhere will be celebrating the big game. To help you make the most of your game day, we've crafted the ultimate guide to everything you need for the event.
As a football fan, I've been to plenty of game day parties. I've watched at houses, dorms, apartments and in living rooms. I've eaten chili, wings and buffalo chicken dip. The one thing they all have in common is good food and good people, from the build-your-own tacos to the guy quoting Borat after every touchdown.
At Reviewed, we test products and find the best ones for you, so with some personal insight mixed with expert knowledge, we put together the ultimate game day guide—filled with things we love and recommend, as well as best-sellers on Amazon. While this list doesn’t encompass absolutely everything, it’s a huge step in the right direction, but if you need anything else, just go to Costco.
Everything you need for delicious food
1. A crock pot or an Instant Pot
Whether it’s meatballs, chicken wings, dip, chili, beef, veggies or really anything under the sun, a crock pot or an instant pot can cook it.
Both are perfect ways to save yourself some time and work by simply placing whatever you want in the pot, forgetting about it for a while (or a short time if its the instant pot), then serving it hot when it’s ready.
We’ve supplied you with two of our favorite crock pots of 2018 for those looking at both ends of the price spectrum. The Cuisinart has a few extra features, while the Hamilton Beach is your traditional slow cooker and both will get the job done with ease.
And as for the Instant Pot, we recommend the Instant Pot DUO Plus 60 for its nine-in-one versatility.
2. Baking sheets to heat up those frozen apps
We all have that old, gross baking sheet that we keep trotting out every night for dinner. With company coming over though, it’s time to get a new one to make sure your appetizers come out looking as good as they’ll taste.
We put together the best cookie and baking sheets of 2018 and picked one from Nordic Ware for its weight, size and easiness to clean.
3. A grill
Weather permitting (or even sometimes not), there’s nothing better than some grilled meats for gameday.
Whether it’s classic hot dogs or a big slab of brisket, people will be firing up the grills like crazy and we’ve provided an a few to choose from whether you’re in your kitchen or actually at the game.
If the weather is bad or there’s no need to go big, a George Foreman grill will provide everything you need in the comfort of your own house. The one we chose is on sale right now and even does paninis and waffles too.
If you’re actually going to the game though, or want a small portable grill to set up for your party, we’ve got our favorite tailgate gas and charcoal grills too.
The Cuisinart gas grill can work on tabletops or stand on its own and accommodates four to six people along with being easy to carry and transport.
For charcoal, the Weber grill we picked is very portable and offers enough space to cook a small meal.
Everything you need to be a rockstar host
4. An Amazon Echo
Need recipie help? Want to dim the lights or turn up the TV volume? Is the music too loud and you can’t hear the announcers? Or do you simply want to know what team had the better record?
Alexa can help you with all of that and more and we think the Echo 2nd Generation is the perfect teammate for the big game.
5. Serving bowls for your snacks
You’ve made your giant spread of dips and snacks and it smells great, but you need a place to put everything.
The Corelle serving bowls are microwave, oven and dishwasher safe and are scratch-resistant, making them perfect for anything your guests drop, spill or literally throw at you (or the TV).
6. Food storage containers for leftovers
It’s inevitable that there will be leftover food after the game and rather than waste that great smorgashboard by tossing it in the trash, we’ve compiled the best food storage containers of 2018 and have everything you need to store everything you have left.
The Glasslock set is oven safe, leak free and stain resistant, making it perfect for your leftover chili or taco dip.
Everything you need for the best viewing experience
7. The best TV for your space
Want to show off for your friends and guests? Go big or go home with a nice new TV for the game and beyond.
The TV is the centerpiece of the entire party, it’s what everyone will be focused on for the majority of the night, so show off a little bit with one of our best TVs for watching football.
The top choice from our experts is the LG OLED55C7P 55-inch smart TV for just about everything. It’ll present one of if not the best picture and color of the game for sure.
If you want a new TV and you’re on a smaller budget, though, we’ve got you covered too with our best TVs under $500.
Our top pick is 55-inch Vizio E Series, which is a 4k smart TV that’ll do everything you need and more.
8. A sound bar for quality noise
While you’re not under center with 40,000 fans yelling in your face, being in a crowded party can certainly feel like it. To combat that, you need a good sound system for your TV and we listed our best sound bars under $250 to help you pick the right one.
We recommend the Razer Leviathan, which is made for gaming but provides beautiful quality for everything you do with your TV, be it music or hearing the quarterback’s cadence over the voices of 20 people.
9. The best streaming device so you can watch the Puppy Bowl, too
Want to have the game on in multiple spots at once without two cable boxes? Or do you simply want to have the Puppy Bowl on as a comfort mechanism during the stresses of the game?
Either way, a streaming device will make it easy for you to watch multiple things at once and appease all your partygoers.
We listed our top streaming devices and our favorite was the Roku Ultra (2017), which costs less, has better quality and has a better remote system, allowing you to call any audibles you need during the game.
Everything else that can take your game day 2018 to the next level
10. A fondue pot
Want to really wow your guests? Here are a few things that’ll make your party memorable.
There are two things that make almost any kind of food better, chocolate and cheese. While a fondue pot can melt more than that, those are two of the go-tos and they’re both something you should have going at your gameday party.
Amazon has some great choices for fondue pots and the one we chose was the Cuisinart CFO-3SS Electric Fondue Maker, which has eight serving forks and can hold plenty of different options.
11. A Sonic nugget ice machine because drinks deserve love, too
This Opal Nugget Ice Maker is a fan favorite and probably will be for eternity, because who doesn’t want a drink like Sonic does it.
You simply pour water in and about an hour later, there it is! It’s perfect for providing ice for the party in a way that your guests will always remember.
12. A make-your own pizza oven
Get everyone involved in the cooking with this Pizzarette countertop oven which lets you cook four to six mini pizzas at a time and has a dough cutter and spatulas to make sure your pie is perfect.
It’s great for a social setting like a gameday party where everyone can choose their toppings and make their own creations quickly and easily.
13. Team-of-your-choice decor
No matter which team you’re supporting, you’ve got to be loud and proud about it for the big game.
We've found a flag you can hang outside your house to stand with your team whether on home turf or in enemy territory and a sign for your wall to let people know who’s house they’re in.
And for those of you going to the game (I'm not jealous—just kidding, I'm really jealous)
14. The best bag to fit all your game day gear in carry-on fashion
Aside from the tailgate grills mentioned above, if you’re going to the game, first off, kudos and second, why not get a few new items to make your trip better.
You’re likely traveling, so you’re definitely going to need some carry-on luggage for your trip. We’ve prepared a list to help you select the right bag.
Our favorite from our travel expert is the Samsonite MightLight 2 21" Spinner for just about everything, its size, wheels, handles and space inside for packing.
15. A new camera to savor every moment
If you’re going to the big game, you’re going to want to remember everything from the experience—the events, build up and the game itself.
Yeah, you could use your phone and take some nice pictures, but why not upgrade and go with the real-deal to make quality lasting images that you can frame and display.
We have a list of the best cameras under $1,000 for 2018 and our winner was the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G85. It’s perfect for still shots, game photos and anything in between.