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Grandparenting

Going to a Game with Your Grandchild

Want to spend time with your grandchild, but feeling a little unsure about finding an activity that will be fun for both of you? Sporting events—from basketball and baseball games to football and hockey—are a fantastic way to bond with your grandchildren. The fun and festive food, friendly mascots, and sheer excitement are huge draws for both kids and adults, making a trip to the stadium a memorable way to spend an afternoon together.

Keep It Age-Appropriate

Before heading out, be sure to do your research. First, how old is your grandchild? If he or she is at least 6 years old, this is likely to be an appropriate activity for the child. Kids younger than that may bore easily, and sitting through nine innings of baseball or four long quarters of a football game is a lot to ask. Kids that are a bit older can more easily appreciate the action of the game and the activities that go with it.

Look for Kid-Friendly Events

Once you’re settled on heading out to an event, look into kid-focused activities that may come with it. Many baseball stadiums have special kids’ nights, discounted kids’ tickets and activities geared toward younger fans, especially during games for minor league and non-pro teams. Find out when these events are and snag a ticket for that date to turn a regular sports outing into a fun-filled afternoon.

Dress for the Weather

Before you head out, make sure you and your grandchild are dressed appropriately for the event. Keep both the type of sport and the weather in mind. You might need a hat and sunscreen for a sunny day at a ballpark, but have to bundle up for a chilly hockey match. Check the weather before leaving, and bring a raincoat if it’s cloudy or an extra set of gloves if the temperature will drop—after all, it never hurts to be prepared! To make the occasion even more special, consider buying a jersey or ballcap for your grandchild to wear so he or she can show off team spirit.

Make a Transportation Plan

If you’re not driving to the stadium, public transportation can be a great option. You won’t have to worry about finding a parking spot, and you and your grandchild can experience the train or subway together. It will also prevent you from getting stuck in traffic once the game is over.

If you do plan on driving to the stadium, don’t forget that you have some room for fun before the game even starts. After you pass the gates and pull into your spot, don’t be afraid to tailgate! Sporting events, especially football games, invite fans to hang out in the parking lot, grill, eat, and play games before the game starts. Sitting and watching the action in the lot with your grandchild while chowing down makes for a fun event before the actual game even starts. Bring a baseball and glove or a football to toss around, too!

Choose Your Seat Wisely

Once you head into the stadium, if you don’t have assigned seats try to grab one on the aisle. This will make it easier to clean up if things get messy (like spilled nacho cheese or soda) and also creates a clear exit when you need to head to the restroom.

If you didn’t (or couldn’t) bring snacks or water with you, grab those items before you get to your seats. That way, you won’t have to shuffle out while the game is going on and try to make your way back to your seat in the middle of the action. Grab as much as you can at one time to minimize the time you’ll be out of your seat, too.

Don’t Be Afraid to Head Out Early

If the game is winding down, the fans near you are a little too rowdy, or the match just isn’t as exciting as you’d hoped, it’s okay to leave early. Kids get tuckered out more easily than adults, and after a few hours of sitting still in the sun, they may start to feel a bit antsy. If you’re eager to spend more time together, you can always go to another game later in the season.

Constant action, fun food, and an entertaining intermission make sporting events a great option for kids, and they can become a tradition you celebrate together for years to come.

Adam Young is a father of two and the CEO and founder of Event Tickets Center. He has traveled to many shows and games with his children and he enjoys writing to inform and inspire others to get out there and make new memories