It's that time of year again. The time when we put aside our
North and South side allegiances and come together to support those
Monsters of the Midway, the Chicago Bears.
Football fanatic families-and you know who you are-should
consider taking one of Soldier Field's stadium tours. They're a
chance to get into the historic stadium for a fraction of what
you'd spend on game day and to explore some typically inaccessible
The stadium itself is a fascinating place: a futuristic
"spaceship" plopped onto some ancient-looking Roman columns. You'll
pick up some interesting trivia related to the stadium's nearly
100-year history and its renovation in 2001. And in honor of the
stadium's name, you'll get the chance to see some medals that
belonged to those who have served and the famous Doughboy Statue
that used to be in Garfield Park.
A trip up to the Colonnades-those imposing columns seen
from afar-is a lesson in architecture and gives some great views of
But the real thrill comes from walking in the footsteps of
football greats, from George Halas to Walter Payton to Devin
Hester. The kids on my tour couldn't suppress their awe at standing
on the sidelines of the field. And although the Bears' locker room
is off-limits, you still get to see where some pretty famous
football players have suited up (or mourned a loss) in the
visitors' locker room.
I also enjoyed getting to see how the other half lives
with a brief stop in the Skyline Suite, an expansive box that gives
a bird's-eye view of the field (and costs $900).
Although my tour was populated by plenty of people wearing
blue and orange, you don't have to be a diehard to enjoy the
experience. And since it's less than an hour long, even young kids
won't be too bored.
I'd recommend taking advantage of the beautiful
surroundings and spending the day (also better bang for your buck,
parking-wise) in the area. Soldier Field is in the middle of a
lovely park and next to some of the world's finest museums. You
could even bring along a pigskin and have a toss.
What better way to celebrate fall's favorite
Elizabeth Diffin is the senior editor at Chicago Parent. She lives in Wheaton.
See more of Elizabeth's stories here.
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