Stadium sports are returning this summer not just in Canada, but all over the world. Whether you are casting from your phone to a big screen television or projecting a favourite sport event on a huge outdoor screen, invite family and friends to join in the excitement and fun. This summer you’ll have no trouble finding a huge range of live sporting events. They are a perfect excuse to gather with family and friends to cheer on your favourite teams and athletes.
From gymnastics to basketball, volleyball and more, whether you’re rooting for an athlete who is setting records for the fastest 100-metre sprint or applauding your favourite soccer team for their amazing performances (or simply because you always stand behind them, no matter what!), the passion, thrill, and excitement of the game is the perfect way to bring people together, and lift spirits. In order to throw the perfect party, however, you’ll need more than team spirit: many home appliances and other home living gear can help you serve great snacks and thirst-quenching drinks to enhance the experience, both indoors and out.
Indoor entertaining made easy with the right tech and appliances
There are two things you need to have a great indoor sports party:
- great big screen TV and audio system to put your guest in the moment
- great snacks
When it comes to catching the action, as they say, the bigger, the better. A nice big screen TV can really bring you right into the action. Don’t discount the need for great accompanying audio as well, which can be achieved by a full surround system (including Atmos or DTS:X so you can hear sounds from above, too!) You can also achieve a full surround effect with a really great premium soundbar that offers multiple channels. With the inclusion of a subwoofer, you can hear every boom and roar of the crowd, the music, and the announcers.
Watching sports with a big group and a delicious spread of snacks are synonymous: you can’t have one without the other. Some favorites, of course, include chicken wings, spring rolls, pizza rolls, potato chips, French fries, and vegetables and dip.
Most of the best sports-centric snacks can be made in an air fryer much more quickly than in an oven since you don’t have to worry about preheating. Plus, you can avoid having to fry goodies like mozzarella sticks and French fries in loads of oil. Whether you popped over to the grocery store and grabbed a bunch of frozen goodies or you’re going all out with homemade items, an air fryer can handle the cook for the majority of your spread. Since getting my air fryer, I haven’t made French fries, chicken nuggets, or other frozen snacks, in anything but.
Maybe you want to serve your famous chili, which you love to let simmer on the stove all day before guests arrive. Consider making it in a slow cooker or, if you are willing to try it, using the chili mode on a multicooker like the Instant Pot. It can not only save you time but also serves as a spot for the chili to sit until you’re ready to serve without you having to keep a stove burner on low for hours.
If you’re serving up a full meal, rice is always a great, not to mention, filling, side dish that goes with just about anything. A rice cooker can make getting a big batch done in a jiffy a breeze. And if you run out, you can dump in some more, add the water or stock, and let the appliance do its thing while you don’t miss a second of the big events.
Bar accessories help make you a good host
What’s a party without some drinks? You need to have something in your hand to thrust into the air, after all, when your team or favourite athlete does something noteworthy.
Bar & wine accessories of all kinds are worth considering to make it easy for all of your guests to get the drinks they want.
A wall mounted liquor dispenser like this one from Final Touch is great for a basement bar area, allowing guests to pour their own spirits to add to soda or juice, and self-serve refills so you aren’t spending all day running back and forth to get everyone drinks. If wine is more your style, get a wine cooler to keep a crisp pinot grigio chilled, or a decanter to let the red cabernet open up.
If most of your guests like drinking beer or cold sodas while watching the on-screen action, a bar fridge will come in handy. Not only will it keep the drinks close by so no one has to miss out on a pivotal moment, but it will also prevent your main refrigerator door from being open and closed constantly, thus letting the cold air out. Plus, you can keep extra snacks in there to refill things like a charcuterie platter, fruit, chip dip, and more.
There are lots of affordable and compact options that can sit behind a bar in your basement, or even in the corner of the room of a den or garage. Consider getting one with a top freezer so guests who have traveled from far away can blast chill their beers that got warm in the car and crack open a bottle quicker. (Bar fridges are great for outdoor parties, too! More on that later.)
You can buy all types of popcorn from the grocery story, but just like with the ice cream truck, popping corn in your own machine results in a product that tastes different. You can’t explain why or how, it just does. Not to mention that having a popcorn maker in your home to serve guests is just downright cool. Go the nostalgic route with a floor-standing popcorn maker that will remind guests of when they went to the movies or carnivals as kids, or, opt for smaller, tabletop models like the ones you see at movie theatres.
When the sporting events are over, it doesn’t mean the gathering has to end. Get inspired by all the great sports, teams, and athletes you just watched by playing some sports-themed video games.
From baseball to basketball, hockey to soccer, there are video games that let you pretend to be in on the action of virtually any sport you can imagine. You can even get more adventurous with games based on water or snow sports and more or use a console like the Nintendo Wii and its many accessories to actually simulate playing from your living room or basement.
Entertain and watch stadium sports outdoors
Of course, you don’t want to be stuck indoors all day if the weather is beautiful outside. Plus, you’ll want to get some exercise after gorging on all those snacks!
You could take the party outside from the get-go with an outdoor TV. I have one in my backyard, and it’s wonderful for watching news, sports, or TV shows while we barbecue and have summer dinners outside. If friends are over on a weekend, we don’t have to choose between watching the big game and enjoying the gorgeous weather: we can do both!
Projectors can also amplify the picture to massive 100-inch-plus sizes so you can see plenty of action in detail, even with large groups of people. While a projector screen is great, a plain white sheet will even do the trick. Or, project the image onto a flat, white surface like the side of your house and you’re off to the races. Projectors are especially great if you’re watching the sporting action late at night; they can indeed go late into the evening hours. With a projector, you can still enjoy being outdoors while watching the action in all its glory.
If you aren’t quite ready to take that leap, however, you can still take the party outside once the stadium sports events have ended, or in between matches.
Keep the constant stream of delicious eats going by throwing some hot dogs and burgers on the barbecue or popping some homemade personal pizzas into the smoker. If your party is taking place primarily outside, by the way, a bar fridge is a great idea to plug in and use to keep drinks cool and at the ready when you need them. This avoids the need to pick up heavy (and expensive!) bags if ice to use in a cooler.
Engage in your own sports and recreation activities
Speaking of getting outdoors and being active, you can go one step further with sports and recreational activities of your own. Set up some outdoor games while everyone is still in the competitive spirit. A universal favourite is bocce ball, which can be played individually or in teams, letting you have your own tournament.
Want to keep the kids entertained? Set up an inflatable water slide and bounce house, which will provide them with hours of outdoor, active fun, not to mention cool them down in the hot sun.
Once everyone is ready to relax, there’s nothing better than a hot tub or sauna. There are pretty affordable inflatable ones you can get in a pinch if you aren’t ready to invest in a permanently installed one.
Stadium sports: cheer them on!
Whether it’s volleyball, gymnastics, soccer, track and field, or some other athletic event, it’s always a thrilling experience to watch and cheer on your favourites. And it’s even more exciting when you get to do it with friends.
You don’t need much: just a nice spread of food, abundant drinks, some activities, and the events and action on television. Add the great company, and you’re ready for a day or night of intense competition, uplifted spirits, and plenty of thrills.
Check out lots of home living gear that can help you get set to entertain at Best Buy Online.