One of the most exciting ways to travel with kids is to really submerse yourself in a new environment. A few ways our family does this by eating local food, visiting unique-to-the-area activities, and attending sporting events. We’ve come to realize that it doesn’t so much matter if we are fans of the teams playing- it’s fun to get into the spirit of the game no matter what!
Whether its a professional game, a minor league match up or even two college teams playing- we LOVE the atmosphere of a sporting event! My kids have great memories of the various games we’ve attended in cities around the country. And, as an added bonus, my husband and I both really enjoy sports so we look forward to these type of activities.
Here are some tips for visiting sporting events with kids when you travel:
Shop Online Ahead of Time: If you are planning to purchase any type of team apparel, I highly recommend shopping ahead of your trip. Of course, this isn’t necessary- but if you plan to buy a souvenir, this is the way to go! Rather than scrambling to purchase gear at the game, I like to order online. This method has several advantages: you get the best deal; you get to approve the selection rather than being stuck with whatever you happen to find; and you won’t waste anytime at the game shopping. In addition to Amazon, we’ve found great and inexpensive items online at Target and Old Navy. The same goes for if you want to actually take part in sports when you travel, we ring swimming pools to see if we need to book in advance, looked up washington tennis lessons to look for good offers before arriving, all sorts!
Don’t Spend a Fortune: Be realistic when you take kids to sporting events. It may not look like it used to. Kids aren’t always able to sit still and watch an entire game. Also, a lot of games last late into the night and kids aren’t able to hold themselves together until the end. Don’t spend a fortune on tickets. There’s a really good chance you’ll spent much of your time out of your seat walking around, and you may even leave the event early.
Always Check Stadium Rules: Go online and research the rules of the stadium/arena prior to your visit. Never assume what you can or can’t bring without verifying because every location is different. Some places your bag must be clear and other places allow bags as big as backpacks. Often you can bring in water, but sometimes you can’t. I’ve even seen stadiums that allow you to bring food. Being prepared and knowing what’s allowed can save you a lot of hassle (and sometimes even money!)
Guest Services: Every stadium or arena that we’ve visited offers something for a child’s first game. Sometimes we pick up a certificate, other times it’s been a sticker or a badge. These are awesome (free) souvenirs and also make great items for a scrapbook (Tips For Travel Journaling.)
Kid Zone: In addition to asking for the “first game” item at guest services, inquire about a kids area. Many stadiums/arenas have designated sections designed for entertaining and engaging kids. We’ve noticed a very wide range of options- some are free, while others will cost you more than the price of the game ticket. Especially if there is no (or minimal) cost involved- these areas can be a great way for kids to burn some energy and make memories!
I hope you enjoy taking your kids to sporting events when you travel as much as we do! So far we’ve stuck to very traditional sports (baseball, football, basketball, hockey)- but we’re hoping over the next few years to add in some unique venues and sporting experiences.
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