Everything you’ll need for your socially-distanced Super Bowl party. (Alex Litvin via Unspalsh/)

The past year has seen the world struggle to return to some semblance of normalcy as public events, group gatherings, and even dining have been restricted or shut down entirely. Sports have prevailed, however, and despite some jarring changes, the major sports leagues have managed to provide a respite from the news and keep fans cheering, even if they have to do so remotely.

The Super Bowl has always been more than just a game—it’s been an excuse to have friends over, load up on snacks and beverages, and have a great time even if you don’t know (or don’t care) who’s playing. Like the NFL itself, the Super Bowl party can go on, it just needs to make a few key adjustments and modifications. So to celebrate Super Bowl LV on February 7th in the best way possible given the circumstances, you’ll need to take it outside, keep your distance, and possibly revamp your home entertainment capabilities. Here’s where to get started with your Super Bowl party essentials.

  • <b>Best outdoor projector:</b><a href=”https://www.amazon.com/Projector-Supported-Connection-Entertainment-Activities/dp/B085HMVXNP/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=VANKYO+outdoor+projector&qid=1611941737&sr=8-4″ target=_blank> </a><a href=”https://www.amazon.com/Projector-Synchronize-Supported-Portable-Compatible/dp/B07ZSCWL6C?dchild=1&keywords=VANKYO+outdoor+projector&qid=1611941791&sr=8-3&linkCode=ll1&tag=popularscience-outdoor-super-bowl-party-essentials-pcr-20&linkId=c25712a4379fb1f96fade247c22be281&language=en_US&ref_=as_li_ss_tl” target=_blank>VANKYO Leisure 470 Mini WiFi Projector</a>
  • <b>Best outdoor speakers: </b><a href=”https://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Atrium-Outdoor-Speakers/dp/B00378KMEG?dchild=1&keywords=Polk+Audio+Atrium+4&qid=1611528124&s=electronics&sr=1-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyRU1LQk80MUFCRUJOJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMjgwNjIwM0tDUDNMMFBKTlVHViZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwMjI0NTQ0MU1HRDlTRkYxTUI5VyZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU{9a01d93bf7b2c28a1b31ca31fecd25f15e15c35cfb9f5daef6a59cb9fcd1aa14}3D&linkCode=ll1&tag=popularscience-outdoor-super-bowl-party-essentials-pcr-20&linkId=804b4f8e73cf60096122202eadd2d7f2&language=en_US&ref_=as_li_ss_tl” target=_blank>Polk Audio Atrium 4</a>
  • <b>Best movie screen: </b><a href=”https://www.amazon.com/Vamvo-Outdoor-Projector-Foldable-Portable/dp/B07C5FF51Q?dchild=1&keywords=Projector+Screen&qid=1611529094&sr=8-16&linkCode=ll1&tag=popularscience-outdoor-super-bowl-party-essentials-pcr-20&linkId=209a70615bc31c085241119682aaa5c7&language=en_US&ref_=as_li_ss_tl” target=_blank>Vamvo Portable Indoor Outdoor Projection Screen</a>
  • <b>Best chairs: </b><a href=”https://www.amazon.com/Coleman-Cooler-Portable-Camping-Chair/dp/B0033990ZQ?dchild=1&keywords=fold+up+chairs&qid=1611529498&sr=8-11&linkCode=ll1&tag=popularscience-outdoor-super-bowl-party-essentials-pcr-20&linkId=bd49c1d34c8668109b4d59cf8e6bcd98&language=en_US&ref_=as_li_ss_tl” target=_blank>Coleman Portable Camping Quad Chair</a>
  • <b>Best outdoor heater: </b><a href=”https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Commercial-Heater-Havana-Bronze/dp/B00LILH3V4?dchild=1&keywords=outdoor+heaters&qid=1611529556&sr=8-5&linkCode=ll1&tag=popularscience-outdoor-super-bowl-party-essentials-pcr-20&linkId=0f6515e35ae018377143568312229671&language=en_US&ref_=as_li_ss_tl” target=_blank>Amazon Basics Outdoor Patio Heater</a>
  • <b>Best space for your drinks: </b><a href=”https://www.amazon.com/BLACK-DECKER-Storage-Rolling-BCC20W/dp/B0741FBQ2Y?dchild=1&keywords=Igloo+party+bar&qid=1611529721&sr=8-4&linkCode=ll1&tag=popularscience-outdoor-super-bowl-party-essentials-pcr-20&linkId=d432e9bb79e8c6e738b0a8fafdff121d&language=en_US&ref_=as_li_ss_tl” target=_blank>Black+Decker Mobile Cooler Cart</a>

Super Bowl party ideas and essentials

Hosting a Super Bowl party in the age of COVID is still possible, you just need to get creative. Utilizing outdoor space is vital in order to keep everyone safe and to ensure that state regulations are abided by. This will likely require you to make some adjustments to your entertainment center and food prep stations to accommodate outdoor viewing and portable, grill-friendly foods. Depending on where you live, you may need to invest in some outdoor heating options so that everyone is comfortable (even if you aren’t lucky enough to be in a climate as warm as Tampa Bay’s). With a few key items and a willingness to go with the flow, you can make your Super Bowl LV party as memorable as Super Bowl parties past.

The first step in an outdoor Super Bowl viewing experience needs to be solid outdoor projection

If you’re going to build a party around the game, the first thing you need is the game itself. The centerpiece of your Super Bowl party can be brought to life outside through an outdoor digital projector. This will allow you to offer larger viewing spaces (you can’t have everyone huddled around a small portable TV or laptop) without sacrificing image quality. You’ll also want to seek out a projector that can work with how modern audiences access their entertainment—namely, it has to offer versatile connectivity to allow for streaming (especially important as this is a live event) from a multitude of devices and sources.

Best Outdoor Projector: VANKYO Leisure 470 Mini WiFi Projector

A great all-in-one entertainment hub for outdoor viewing

A great all-in-one entertainment hub for outdoor viewing (Amazon /)

The VANKYO Leisure 470 Mini WiFi Projector offers an optimal projection area up to 250 inches, at 1080p resolution. Its connection ports allow you to hook up to laptops, game consoles, and even a TV Stick, Chromecast, PC, or IOS or Android device—giving you ample options for streaming the live game.

Once everyone can see the big game, it’s important that they can hear it, too

Although a lot of projectors have built-in speakers—some of which are surprisingly good—nothing really beats a solid sound system to back up your impressive visuals. Especially in a party situation, you’ll want to make sure that everyone can hear every moment even when there’s a lot of cheering (or groaning, depending on how your team’s doing).

You’ll want to consider speakers that are portable, easy to set up, and can be integrated into your entertainment system with minimal fuss. A couple of well-placed speakers can really improve your overall viewing experience, and turn the party into a winner.

Best outdoor speakers: Polk Audio Atrium 4

Sleek and stylish portable outdoor speakers that can deliver perfect sound even over environmental noise.

Sleek and stylish portable outdoor speakers that can deliver perfect sound even over environmental noise. (Amazon/)

Built to withstand extreme outdoor conditions, the Polk Audio Atrium 4 speakers have a 180-degree speed-lock mounting system, deep bass, and more realistic sound reproduction—even when covering large spaces. The gold-plated five-way binding posts and aluminum bracket are made with stainless steel and brass hardware, and are guaranteed not to rust.

The Super Bowl deserves a big screen, and so do your Super Bowl party guests

Once you have the projector taken care of and have amped up your audio capabilities, it’s time to find a screen that will make every outdoor seat feel as intimate as sitting on the living room couch. The big game is the big centerpiece, so it needs to be presented as such.

The right screen will, of course, display all of your projector’s 1080p capabilities with the utmost fidelity, and it shouldn’t be a pain to set up or, if needed, move around. Something lightweight and easy to assemble is all you need—and you have a lot of options at your disposal.

Best outdoor projection screen: Vamvo Portable Indoor Outdoor Projection Screen

Easy to use, and guaranteed to make the game look as good as it can.

Easy to use, and guaranteed to make the game look as good as it can. (Amazon/)

Able to be set up in less than five minutes, the Vamvo Portable Projection Screen unfolds into a 120-inch screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio. Its 160-degree viewing angle also makes it easier for those at the party who don’t have a front and center seat, and the locking tripod stand is sturdy enough to stay upright even if conditions are windy.

Now, where is everyone at your Super Bowl party going to sit?

Seating isn’t too much of a concern at a typical Super Bowl party, since you can usually count on a couch in the vicinity of the television and at least an armchair or two. Shifting things outside, however, changes the dynamic a bit. You’ll have to make sure you offer your guests comfortable seating that can be moved around and eventually put away without too much trouble.

Taking a cue from soccer moms and dads, a few good foldable chairs will do the trick. Ones that offer some amenities, such as cup holders or storage pouches, ensure you’ll use them well after the game is over.

Best Outdoor Chair: Coleman Portable Camping Quad Chair

Comfortable, lightweight, and easy to fold up and put away when done.

Comfortable, lightweight, and easy to fold up and put away when done. (Amazon/)

Weighing just over 8 pounds, the Coleman Portable Camping Quad Chair is easy to unfold and move around to suit the needs of your guests. Each chair is made with a sturdy steel frame that doesn’t wobble or feel unsteady, and the canvas seat offers plenty of wiggle room. The best part? The Coleman chairs have a built in cooler (able to store four cans), side pockets, a mesh cup holder, and adjustable arm heights. They are available in black, blue, grey, or red.

What if you want to celebrate the Super Bowl in a cold climate?

The option to move things outside is an easy one if you live in a climate where February isn’t a gray, frigid ruin. If you’re not so lucky, you don’t have to be left out, you just need the right equipment! Making you and your guests comfortable isn’t hard if you have some sort of heat source available—although layering some warm sweaters under those game jerseys is probably still advisable.

There are a few different options you can choose from. Some people have or are willing to invest in fire pits, which can add a fun campfire vibe to an outdoor gathering. But they require some effort, a lot of maintenance and supervision, and can leave everyone smelling the party on their coats for days after. For a one night blow out, you may want to think about less involved sources of heating.

Best Outdoor Heater: Amazon Basics Outdoor Patio Heater

The perfect antidote to winter.

The perfect antidote to winter. (Amazon/)

Amazon Basics offers a line of sturdy outdoor space heaters constructed of aluminum, plastic, and steel, that create a halo of heat in an impressive 9-foot radius. Powered by propane, the heaters feature auto shut-off for optimum safety, stand about 89 inches high (a little over seven feet), and only weigh about 38 pounds. That, plus the wheels on the base, make them easy to move around and place. Powerful and durable, these heaters can make an outdoor party feel cozy no matter where you live.

How to make sure you keep everyone at your Super Bowl party well hydrated

Watching a sporting event without your beverage of choice just feels wrong, and that feeling is magnified on Super Bowl Sunday. This is the time to stock up on your lucky cup, and to ensure that everyone at your gathering has easy access to drinks all night. The last thing you want is to be interrupted every down by someone asking where they can get a refresh.

With the big screen, heaters, and chairs in place, you need a centralized hub for all things cold and bottled (or canned). Having a drink center will make guests feel welcome and comfortable serving themselves. While you may not worry so much about an actual cooler if you live in a cold climate, you’ll still want to ensure that drinks are easy to come by for everyone. Here’s an option to consider for your Super Bowl watch party.

Best space for your drinks: Black+Decker Mobile Cooler Cart

Wheel up a cold one for all of your guests

Wheel up a cold one for all of your guests (Amazon/)

This insulated, 20-gallon basin can store a wide variety of drinks or snacks, and is an all-in-one serve yourself station for any party or gathering. It has 360-degree wheels, which give it ample mobility (the wheels can also be locked in place, to avoid unwanted rolling), features a stainless steel bottle opener attached to its side, and easily drains after the party is over. Its steel frame and stainless steel hardware ensure it has what it takes to be there for you and your guests time and time again. Plus, it just has a much classier and more sophisticated look about it than your average beer cooler.

Super Bowl FAQ: people also ask

When is the Super Bowl this year, and where can I watch it?

Super Bowl LV (55) will be played on Sunday, February 7th, with kickoff scheduled to be at 6:30 PM ET at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida. The game is being broadcast on CBS, so you can watch it through your normal live TV antenna, or via CBSSports.com, CBS All Access, or the CBS Sports App.

Are you even allowed to host a Super Bowl watch party during COVID?

Although specifics change depending on a state’s COVID status (“orange” being elevated, “red” being severe, etc.), nearly all states have restrictions when it comes to gatherings of any kind. Most limit indoor gatherings to 10 people, while others specify that those 10 can’t come from more than two households—so you’ll need to check with your state of residence. Outdoor gatherings are usually a little less restricted, but most need to be kept between 50 to 100 people, with masks worn and social distancing practiced.

Is it safe for anyone to have a fire pit in their backyard?

Like anything flammable and potentially dangerous, fire pits must be used with caution, supervision, and with certain clear specifications met. For example, the fuel area of the fire pit must be equal to or less than 2 feet in height and 3 feet in diameter. Natural gas fire pits have a required minimum clearance of 10 feet. Fires burning in a portable pit or barbecue must be at least 15 feet away from any structure or flammable materials. Finally, the Unified Fire Authority recommends only burning clean, dry, natural materials. Garbage, oils, rubber, plastic, and other forms of waste are prohibited.

Everything you need for the best Super Bowl watch party, outdoors

The party doesn’t have to stop just because we all need to be more cautious and soldier through restrictions and regulations for a while longer. With upgraded gear, some planning, and a little bit of creativity, this year’s Super Bowl party can go off without a hitch. Taking the party outside may prove to be so much fun (and easier than you thought) that it might even become an annual tradition. We just encourage everyone to stay safe and be smart. Beyond that, load up on apps, grab a socially distant seat, and get ready for some football.