Football stadium tours are great activities for when on vacation or for an afternoon of fun. Family Vacation Critic highlighted eight stadiums to tour with kids in a recent article and my family has actually visited one first-hand.
For my son’s 8th birthday we took him and his friends on the tour of Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver. We’d done pizza parties and bowling and picnics before, so we wanted to do something different. We invited six 7- to 8-year-old boys. With my younger son and the birthday boy, we had eight kids and four adults in total.
Before the tour, I called and made a reservation and was not required to pay ahead of time. I also made each boy a custom shirt with a Broncos’ logo on the front and their name on the back. I half did this for the kids to have a souvenir, but also so I’d know which child to yell at if he got away from us! I knew this was the first time any of them had been to the stadium and I wanted it to be special.
Before the tour there’s a room with sports uniforms and equipment for the kids to play with. They took turns putting on the helmets and pads. When our tour started, they separated us from the regular tour and gave us our own guide. They mention this when making reservations for a group. As we started I wondered if the boys would stay interested for the 90-plus-minute tour — I had nothing to worry about. The boys were engaged from the start. We saw the press level and the suites and the different areas assigned to each level of ticket holder all the while being given bits of trivia about the Denver Broncos. The guide was patient with the kids while answering the barrage of questions they showered on him.
Anticipation was building for when we’d get to the player areas. First we got to the visiting team locker room. The boys were very excited and ran around the big, mostly empty, room and each of them sat in a locker for a fun group photo. After that we hit the tunnel to the field. The boys were high fiving each other and trying to get to the field first. It was an amazing moment to step out into the sun and see those 86,000 seats. The boys were in awe. They don’t let you go onto the actual field of play but you can walk along the paved area and reach down to feel the grass. We took tons of pictures and each boy did their own touchdown dance.
As a bonus, when we were walking back through the team areas, the Broncos cheerleaders were showing up for practice and the boys got hugs and high fives from all the girls. They had smiles from ear to ear. Our sons and their friends said it was the coolest birthday party they’d ever been to and they went home asking their parents when they could go back. For us it was a perfect family outing to celebrate our son’s birthday.
– Cecilia Freeman