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Entertaining, Party & Event Ideas for the Home Published: May 17, 2024 | Updated: May 22, 2024

A Guide to Hosting March Madness

So, you’ve been tasked with hosting this year’s March Madness celebration. March Madness is a special time for basketball lovers, foodies, and everyone in between. Your March Madness party can look a lot different, depending on when and where you’re tuning into the game. You can create your own game day experience right from the comfort of your home.

Hosting a March Madness party is quite like any other get-together, with basketball as the theme. You can effortlessly create the ideal atmosphere for every guest with the right mix of entertainment, décor, and delicious eats. Follow our tips and tricks to bless your friends and family with the best March Madness party of all time.

What Is March Madness?

If you’re not a sports fan, you may be wondering, “What is March Madness?” A yearly event, March Madness is when basketball fans around the nation crowd the stands and their living rooms to tune in to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I men’s basketball tournament.

This single-elimination tournament of 68 teams begins with Selection Sunday around the second week of March. Selection Sunday is when the selection committee chooses all teams that will compete. The next three weeks are filled with suspense and excitement as sports fans remain glued to their TVs for each round until the final championship game in early April.

Dating back to 1939, when the term was coined, March Madness has expanded to a cherished event, even for non-sports fans. Friends and families get together to enjoy good food, cold drinks, and plenty of laughs as they cheer on their favorite team in hopes of victory and bragging rights.

How to Host a March Madness Party

Hosting a March Madness watch party is a task you shouldn’t take lightly. When you think of a March Madness party, imagine everything that encompasses attending a live basketball game. Friendly competition, lively energy, March Madness decorations, and plenty of delicious food and drinks to go around are a perfect place to start.

Think of the type of crowd you’re hosting. Some of your guests might be glued to the TV with a cold beer in hand, while others are chatting and tuning in periodically to check the score. You’ll want to be able to accommodate everyone that attends. Most activities will typically take place in your living room, kitchen, or backyard, so we recommend tackling your event planning by each space.

Living Room

The first and arguably most important section is the living area. Where will your guests commune to watch the game? Prioritize comfy seating, whether that be reclining furniture or a cozy sectional. Since many of your guests will spend much of their time in this room, you’ll want to be sure it’s open and welcoming. Another key element is the TV. Home theater TV stands are ideal to wow your guests and ensure their game day experience is one for the books.


Your next area to take on is the kitchen. Food is crucial for any party, especially a March Madness event (but more on that later). Be sure to have a functional setup in your kitchen, where friends and family can easily snack, grab, and go. Potlucks are ideal for hosting a March Madness party so guests can indulge in multiple dishes and return for more.


If you’re taking the cookout approach for game day, your backyard will be a huge factor in your planning. Ensure there’s plenty of seating and areas to relax. March Madness party games like basketball trivia, basketball, or giant Jenga are an excellent touch. That way, you can easily keep guests entertained during intermissions or while they’re waiting for the game to start. Depending on your preference, gas or charcoal grills are a necessity. You’ll also want to fill coolers with ice-cold drinks to emulate the game-day experience.

March Madness Decorations

March Madness decorations are a must to get everyone in the competitive spirit. You can still go all out with decorations, even if you’re hosting a basketball-themed party for adults. March Madness decorating ideas translate best when your guests are at the forefront. Since so many teams compete in March Madness, you’ll want to keep your decorations neutral, unless your guests are rooting for a specific team.

Gathering the best basketball party supplies is crucial. Basketball-shaped confetti, streamers, banners, basketball balloons, and other themed party favors can all tie together the perfect party. If you’re hosting a championship party, implement a dress code with your favorite team colors and gear.

You can add a touch of March Madness to everything from serving trays to your desserts. Your snack table is the perfect space to pull out all the stops. Basketball-themed cups, plates, and an orange and black tablecloth all have their place here.

Snacks for a March Madness Watch Party

Of course, you can’t forget the light bites, drinks, and food for a March Madness party. Whether you’re ordering out or serving up your own dishes, you’ll want to aim for quick eats that pack a punch. Think buffalo wings, pizza, crockpot meatballs, chili, salad, and sandwiches. These simple dishes are easy to make (or order) and save you time and effort as you plan the rest of your party. You can also encourage your guests to bring their favorite dishes and set up a potluck at your kitchen island.

If you’re taking the barbecue route, classic hot dogs and hamburgers are the way to go. You can also amp up your party menu with grilled chicken, sausages, corn, mixed vegetables, and seafood.

Snacks, desserts, and drinks are no different. The ideal March Madness party has no shortage of tasty bites and sweets like nachos, mozzarella sticks, scrumptious dips, brownies, and cupcakes.

Are your party guests beer lovers? Try setting up a beer-tasting station with local craft beers in your kitchen or backyard. Don’t forget non-alcoholic beverages like seltzers, soda, and juice (if the kids are invited).

Even if basketball isn’t your thing, hosting a March Madness party brings your favorite people together for a memorable event. At Ashley, we’re all about curating these experiences. Browse our wide selection of affordable furniture and décor, and start planning your March Madness celebration!

Party & Event Ideas for the Home, Summer Inspiration Published: July 2, 2020 | Updated: July 16, 2020

Fun Staycation Ideas for Summer

Summer is upon us, and so are the memories of past getaways to far away places, family reunions, and lots of road trips. While vacations like this are a bit more out of reach this summer, the idea of creating new memories doesn’t have to be. We think summer can be a feeling too, and we have designed a few of our home products with that in mind! Since home is such a big part of our lives now, here are a few you can enjoy a your summer with a staycation.

Entertaining, Party & Event Ideas for the Home Published: August 20, 2019 | Updated: January 20, 2020

Ashley Celebrates Summer in Style

With each new HomeStore opening, Ashley seeks to promote community togetherness. Rather than being just another business in the area, we want to be a place where the community comes alive. That’s why on July 26th, we threw a Summer Bash celebration at one of our Orlando Florida HomeStores. Millenia Plaza became a hotspot for our neighbors to enjoy food, fun and friends!