Like let's say the Olympics!
This week we have been up in Vancouver at the 2010 Winter Olympics, braving the crowds, and cheering on our favorite teams. Here are a few things that helped when we took our 3 year old to a Hockey Game.
1. Know your child's limits. We chose 2 events - a men's hockey game and a women's hockey game. For our family of 3 we bought 5 tickets total. We all went to the women's game as a test ( I was prepared to leave if I had to ), then when it was announced it would be the host country Canada's team playing in the men's we had tickets for we knew we would not be taking him to that. The crowds were larger, the people were rowdy ( and drunk) and the noise was deafening. Glad we had the flexibility of a family member to watch him while we both went.
2. Be prepared for the worse. We attached a tag to my son's hoodie with our cell phone information as well as the numbers of family member's in the area and his relationship to them. When we walked onto the bus and into the venue pointed out the people he should tell if he was lost: The volunteers in obvious colors, the security and of course any police officer.
3. First stop : Food! Most places don't let you bring food in, so go ready to eat. It's not the most frugal option but getting settled in your seat and chowing down will help even older kids feel settled.
4. Get into the spirit with team gear . My son loved seeing everyone else with flags like his and wearing similar clothing!
5. Bring entertainment. By the 2nd period my son was asking " When can we leave?" he wasn't fussing, or throwing a fit but he was done. We had gotten there too early and he was getting near the end of his ability to sit. Luckily PBS kids Super Why? Came to the rescue. My iPod touch has a few episodes and between that and the Zamboni we were all smiles again and mom and dad could finish watching the game without a meltdown.
Our trip was a success, we are lucky that we have family here willing to watching him so that when we did decide he would not be going to the Men's game we had a babysitter. If you don't have the luxury find ear protection, get up during breaks in play, do not get there too early and like with anything- be prepared to leave if the wiggles become an all out fit.