Winter and early spring with kids can be challenging. Too cold and nasty to play outside, kids declaring their boredom and too many family outings break the bank.
The best solution I’ve come across in years is taking your family to a Chicago Wolves hockey game at Allstate Arena in Rosemont. It’s seriously kid-friendly, parent-approved, affordable and fun for all ages.
My three kids, ages 3 through 8, literally had the time of their lives when we went to a Chicago Wolves Family Sunday game. Here are my top 10 reasons you MUST put this on your family to-do list.
#1 Pre-game fun
Plan to get there a little early to get the lay of the stadium and take advantage of the pre-game activities. During the Family Sunday games, there is a complimentary caricature artist, free face-painting and a make-your-own sign station. Plus, you can stock up on Wolves gear or foam fingers to get game ready!
#2 Flames, fireworks and fanfare
The opening pregame show is worth the price of the ticket itself. The Wolves kick things off with a massive fireworks and laser-show five minutes prior to game time. There is no way not to get excited after this high-intensity and fire-blazing show as the Chicago Wolves’ players skate onto the ice. If your kids are sensitive to loud sounds, definitely prepare them for this.
Getting spotted on the huge Jumbotron will make any kids’ day, so hold up those signs or get dancing between plays to see your faces on the big screen. Whether you bring your own sign or take advantage of the Wolves sign-making station, this is a great way to keep the kids interested in the game. Plus, during timeouts, there are tons of games and cheering activities geared towards kids on the Jumbotron.
#4 Skates the mascot
The Chicago Wolves make you feel right at home with their warm, energetic mascot, Skates the Gray Wolf. He’s literally all over the stadium during the game, from walking the concourse taking pictures with families to appearing in the stands for dance-offs to skating on the ice shooting T-shirts to the crowd. Make sure you give Skates a big high five when you see him!
#5 Kids Zone
If your kids need a break or want to stretch their legs, hit up the Kid Zone by Section 109 and 106 on the concourse. You can take your aim in the Slapshot Cage or Radar Cage to see if hockey is in your own future. Don’t forget to join the Skates Mates Kids Club to earn free tickets to games, exclusive parties with players, Skates Mates gear and more.
#6 Blimp and prizes
There is never a dull moment at the Wolves games and just when you think they can’t surprise you, out comes a giant Wolves blimp that flies over the fans dropping prizes and gifts. And if you don’t get a prize delivered to your lap, keep your hands up for T-shirts and prizes being launched from the ice by Skates and his skating Wolf Pack helpers.
#7 Easy access
The idea of taking kids to a large sporting event can feel overwhelming, but not with the Chicago Wolves. Allstate Arena is easily accessible with tons of parking available and once inside, you don’t feel overwhelmed by the size of the stadium. Plus, during Sunday Family days, you literally have access to the players for a free post-game autograph session in the Northwest Lobby behind Section 108.
#8 First-rate hockey
Oh and besides all the family fun, there is the actual HOCKEY GAME played by the four-time league champion Chicago Wolves! The action-packed, high-speed and energetic players make this a fun sport spectacle for parents and kids alike. You’ll be cheering and howling for your new favorite players like Scooter Vaughn or Tobias Lindberg before the end of the first period. And the best thing about Allstate Arena is there are no bad seats or nosebleed sections, so everywhere you sit you’ll have an awesome view of the game.
#9 Bang for your buck
Seriously for the amount of fun packed into one Wolves game, this is the most cost-effective and fun way to spend the afternoon as a family. Tickets are easily available and always affordable, unlike many of the Chicago sports teams. Take advantage of the Fan 4 Pack starting at $68, which includes four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas and popcorn.
#10 Come back for more
Once your kids get howling for the Wolves, they will want to keep coming back and the best part is that’s totally doable as a parent. Whether you get a 10-game pack or Saturday ticket plan, it’s easy to become Chicago Wolves fans. They also offer birthday parties, scout outings, and hockey experiences for local teams, so the ways to be part of the Wolves fandom are endless and always entertaining.
It’s never too late to get tickets and the Chicago Wolves still have a handful of Family Sunday games planned on Jan. 21, Feb. 18, March 11, March 18, March 25 and April 15. Go to chicagowolves.com for more info.