On gameday Pioneer HS usually has a nice setup for kids to have fun
Big House Security Policy and other questions
I am bringing my 4 year old to that game. What goes on at Pioneer?
Usually there's some inflatble stuff for the kids and/or games
What a revelation, the Internet!
It's times like this that I wish there was a modration button for "douchbag."
Obviously, I could have just looked there, but I had other questions. Plus, these types of threads sometimes lead to other great tips, such as where to part a stroller, the suggestion of taking the kids to Pioneer HS, etc.
...that people come here to ask questions about Michigan sports. I'll thank people to take that crap somewhere else. This blog is for drinking threads only.
Yes, but it needs to be "pompous douchebag" in this instance.
Isn't that what "Normal" is for?
Seriously, did you even bother to look at any of the op's questions?
If too much noise bothers your child, Mongolian may not be the most optimal place because of the clatter from the spatulas and the yelling/chanting/singing of the grill staff. Can get pretty loud in there, too. If weather is nice, obviously Dominick's would be my destination. If it were up to my wife, it would be Pizza House. The Kerrytown restaurants may also be pretty chill.
Unless things have changed (granted, it's been like 5 years since I've been at a game) the band was in section 40-42? Kitty corner to the student section. If you want best seats for your child to interact with players away from the band, section 21-23 or section 1 near the tunnel maybe your best bet.
Hand's On museum would be a place to take the kiddo as well.
it's changed. The band is over by section 27-28 in the middle of the student section.
Ack beaten to the punch
The band has been in the student section since 2006. It would appear as though the last 7years have only felt like five for you.
He's just supressing the '09 and '10 seasons from his memory due to PTSD. It can sometimes happen. Though not for those of us who were students at the time. Those two years have been seared into my retinas.
The best part is that he/she didn't make it into a link and it's a dead one anyway.
I am of no help...but man am I so glad my only responsibilities as a recently graduated/non-married football fan are still: 1) Drink lots of beer 2) Enjoy lots of football
upvoted good sir
Try the Natural History Museum, it closes at 5. Then go to the Arb after and enjoy nature at its finest. Both are free!
On the bright side, FOAM SEAT CUSHIONS ARE ALLOWED. WE DID IT.
I don't know man. I have a 4 year old and a 2 year old and I have a hard time seeing my 4 year old doing well in the stadium (i.e. sitting still, not getting bored etc.) And my 2 year old is completely out of the question. I know every kid is different and maybe yours will be fine, but have you ever taken them to anything like this before? If not I would be prepared for the possibility of leaving in the 2ND quarter.
The 6 year old will be fine. He loves all things Michigan and all things sports. He went with me to the Michigan K-State bball game at MSG last Thanksgiving weekend, and loved it start to finish.
The 2-year-old, I am worried about. The older one wanted to go, and my wife and I really wanted to get out to AA, so we figured that this would be a perfect game to try it out since it should probably not be in contention past the 2nd quarter. I am hoping to get through the first half, then hope that the band keeps him busy for half time. If we have to leave after that, I expect that the game will be out of hand, so it is fine. DVRing the game, so that I can watch any parts that i miss. Also, the concourse at M stadium is pretty wide open and huge, so my wife and I can but some sort of ball at the game and take turns evey 15 minutes playing with him on the concourse.
Being optimistic, I know, but I have definitely seen young kids at the game, so I figured I would try it - start em young.
No strollers. Srsly, where the hell would you put it?
I took my daughter who was 4 at the time to her first game last year. She loved it but part of the deal was that I was also there with my parents, so when my daughter started to get bored grammy took her for a couple walks out in the concourses. She got to hive-five the drum major and she found a nickel so it was a good day, but If I didn't have a full support team with me it wouldn't have gone well. And that was with one kid.
One other thing struck me. You said you don't want to sit by the band because your 6-year-old has a "sensory issue". Is he going to be okay if the crowd all roars at a big play, or when they pipe LOUD (it's always LOUD) rock music through the stadium speakers?
He should be ok. When he was little, he hated loud noises, but those issues have mostly faded over the past year and a half. He went to a bball game at Madison Square Garden last fall, where it is max volume, and he was totally fine. But, for some reason, he used to have a fear of the marching band. I think that it is totally gone, because last Spring in Disney he wanted loved when a few marching bands walked by playing at full volume, but just to be safe, I figured I would avoid areas that might be louder than usual in terms of band noise.
than with the band. Unless you wind up next to the band in the student section somehow.
This is where we sit The higher the better actually - as you will be able to access the bathrooms (there is a family bathroom) very quickly, and spend less time lining up to go up and down the stairs (take the tower stairs and come down). If you are row 92+ you also get some shade.
It is far enough from the band to be less scary noisy, and people generally sit. We had pretty good luck with my then-3-year old niece last year and she will be coming to CMU as well
Friday stuff: can't beat the Hands-On museum in the old firehouse on Huron and 5th (entrance a block north on (?) Ann? )
Really likes the hands on museum, maybe for a friday thing to do. And I do agree with Brutus. We took my daughter to her 1st Tigers game this year knowing full well that we would not be staying for the whole game, which was good because she was very antsy by the 5th inning. But I was happy because I didnt think we would make it past the 3rd.
Edit:Sorry for the redundancy on hands on museum, I'm a slow typer....
Your best bet if you need to bring the stroller is to bring a bike lock and lock the stroller to one of the racks near the IM building or theater arts complex (or just use a street sign). It would probably be safe. Or if you know anyone who's there tailgating, you could ask to stash it in their car, with the drawback being you'd have to meet up after the game to retrieve it.
Couldn't you just do the shoulder carry thing, though?
with you and just secure your stroller to an out of the way light post or something just outside the gates. I've done that with bikes and even did it with one of those backpacks that you carry kids in. No one bothered it.
I'd also suggest getting tickets in the last row (it's 96) in my section. You get a little extra room, nobody behind you, stand or sit as you please, etc.
DO be prepared to leave a little early with a 2 year old and a 6 year old, but have a great time!
Also bring sunscreen. ; )
But I think taking a 2 year old to a football game is asking for trouble. Opening weekend is often very hot and sunny and making a 2 year old sit in that is not something I would do. The loud noises from the crowd will likely be frightening to him. Probably not quite as bad if there is a second adult (mom?) who can take the little one out of the seating area into the shade, but I still wouldn't do it. Based on my own experiences, the 6 year old is about as young as I would go.
I love the Big House, but it can be quite uncomfortable, especially if you're in a row where someone has decided that they can cram extra friends who bought single tickets. Those folks love to encroach on the space of young children.
As for the band, they're in the student section around Sec. 26 or so. If you sit in the southwest corner (sec. 18-20) you'll only hear them over the PA system. (Secs. 18-20 will also get you into the shade more quickly given it's a 3:30 start). I sit in the NE corner and can hear them quite well but they are not too loud in my opinion.
My last piece of advice - find seats that are on the aisle if possible - and close to the entrance/exit to the section. Kids will want to get up and walk around a lot. The people who sit in front of me have kids in the 8-9 range and when they started bringing them a few years back they commented on how they wouldn't do it if they didn't have seats on the aisle and 5 rows down from the exit.
I was at the big house when I was 1. Gotta start em early.
I started taking my kids in 2010 - ages 6, 4 and 3 - but I have premium seats with easy access to food, bathroom and shelter. Not to mention covered seats and an elevator to seats.
Far be it from me to tell another man what to do with his kids, but I can tell you that I left a number of games early and showed up late to others. It wasn't easy, and it wasn't always fun, but as a father you sometimes have to be a glutton for punishment!
Just make sure you pack sunscreen, an iPhone or two and plenty of patience!
I went to my first game in 24yrs last year, my kids were old enough that I wasn't too worried (9 and 10 at the time). Went to the Air Force game and actually sat in the visitor section. Kids and I had a great time and most of the AF people were cool. I was never really willing to brave taking my kids to such a big event as that when they were that young. Patience is the key as you may end up not seeing as much of the game as you want. I did do some local stuff with kids but if they were tired I could get up and leave. It would be hard to leave a football game in the middle (or at least disappointing).
Good luck to you sir.
I bet there is someone on here who lives close enough to the stadium where you could leave the stroller on their porch. Sadly, that person is not me.
Not really sure, but do not go if you are drunk and under 21. I've seen tickets given in the parking lot, since the U police hub is right there.
One option to eliminate the stroller, although you would be doing some carrying of your two year old, would be to take the bus. I know they run from the Campus Inn and various other locations around Ann Arbor directly to the stadium..
Good luck with the two year old.....maybe you will get lucky, but my kids at two didn't understand the concept of sitting still.
I always found Mongolian BBQ to be kid friendly. My kids loved it, because they liked picking out the food and watching it cook. Because most people talk loud to talk over the grill sounds, it made for a more relaxing environment as I didn't have to worry about the kids getting too loud.
One thing my kids always want to do when back in Ann Arbor is go by and spin the cube next to the Union. They'll spend a good half hour tiring themselves out running around that thing.
Having 4 kids myself, I can't think of one that would have been able to handle the big house at age 2. That's just a tough age. I would suggest not worrying about getting close to the field and find seats near an aisle and concourse exit.
First of all Welcome back. My concern for such young kids is seeing the game, maybe an aisle seat would be best. If not that a bit higher up would give them a better lookout view.
Call Brian at Hoover Street Auto and ask him if you can park your stroller there during the game. This is as close as you can get to the Big House without being in University parking. Hoover is the street that the band and most of the students use to walk to the game. We've been parking there since our kids were born...to facilitate a short walk to the stadium. He has about 30 cars that park there...and he always has someone there to let you in or out.
As for your kids, it sounds as though you have it covered. We've been taking our kids since our son (our oldest, now 11) was a baby. You just have to be prepared to leave early and/or take the kids on walks around the stadium during the game; the walks give them a needed break from the noise/heat/chaos of being in the stands. We've found that keeping them well fed and hydrated also helps.
As for activities, I'll echo the Hands-On Museum and the other museums. Walking around Main Street and Kerrytown. Diag and South U are also musts. As for food, Pizza House is the easiest with kids.
So 20 or 21 might be a good bet for a) seeing players and b) being away from the band
Both for the sake of your kid and the people around you, don't take a two-year old to the game. Not like he's going to remember it anyway.
A 2 year old has no place at a huge sporting event. Take them to the spring game till they are 7 or 8...
I am not sure how far you're willing to stray from Ann Arbor proper, but there is also the Domino's Petting Farm or the Matthei Botanical Gardens, but these are both closed by 4:30 PM, I believe, so it would need to be an early afternoon thing perhaps. There is also the Leslie Nature Center on the north side.
In my own experience with a 7 and 6 year-old, kid-friendly restuarants around town (again, not sure how far you're willing to go outside of downtown / campus) would be places like NeoPapalis, Zingerman's Roadhouse and Northside Grill.
to the Big House. Got to start them young! But, I'm guessing your most optimistic outcome is that the 2 year old lasts until halftime (unless a miracle happens and he takes a nap!). For kids, I like the suggestions for the Hands On Museum (downtown), Leslie Science Center (north side), and Gallup Park (scenic place for everyone to relax). Another place for younger kids might be Briarwood Mall where they have a big play area. I go WAY back with restaurants here and one of my favorite campus place (past or present) is Pizza House on Church St. Great atmosphere and lots of food choices. Most of the campus places will be fairly loud, so if you want a quieter family type restaurant, you'll need to go further out.
with camera rules? I have the max size for a lense allowed, hope I can walk right through I'm wearing it around the neck. I would love to share my shots here, I've had several car magazine shots in the past but I've never done sports. I have row 2 seats for the Minnesota game. haven't been since we snuck by Miami(oh) under RRod.
Don't sit too low. It's hard enough for me to see down in the rows near the field--with my kid it's really bad. I'd want to be at least row 15, higher would be even better. Not only for sightlines but also for those steps up to the concourse when you have to make the food/bathroom runs.
In your shoes, if my toddler got antsy but my older kid wanted to stay, I'd send my spouse out with the 2-year-old and have them stroll down to Allmendinger Park (head west about five blocks down Potter, Keech, or Pauline). There's a playground there, so that will give them something to do while you guys watch more of the game. But I'd set up a time to meet, rather than rely on a "call me when you're done" deal because I often have trouble getting phone service in the stadium. Even texts don't go through reliably.
1. If you have to take a stroller, the kid is probably too small to go, and you're just annoying your fellow fans with the whining and crying and the "I can't see's" and getting up 30 times. But if you're going to do it, as mentioned above, maybe some box seats where you can go inside and get away from the weather, noise, and be close to a bathroom (if price isn't a big deal). Remeber, a college basketball game is maybe half as long as a football game with all the getting to the Stadium, pregame, etc, etc. Making through a B-ball game is not a marathon. Plus you're indoors and not in the weather.
2.The band is 1/10th as loud as the speakers now. They pipe the band through the speakers too. It's not away from the band...you need to be away from the whole north endzone. I'm in the South corner, and pregame you can't even hear someone on a cell phone over the sound of their warm up music.
3. Mongo doesn't sounds like a bad choice. If gameday probably best to avoid the drinking establishments like Brown Jug unless you want to introduce them to drunken students and fans.
4. The oft suggested Hands On Museum is great for little kids. Your older might like the Natural History museum, because who doesn't like dinosaurs?
I second the idea of going to Matthaei Botanical Gardens. It has a really wonderful Children's Garden in the back that is really fun for kids of both genders and a wide age range. Because it is outside, it doesn't close so you can go when it is convenient. We have gone in mornings/evenings/winter/summer and my boys love it.
I would skip Mongolian BBQ because it is always super busy around game days and my kids CAN NOT WAIT for food. My kids love Pizza House (probably because we let them order milkshakes). If your kids are willing to try new things, La Marsa on State Street is good.
I like the idea of chaining your stroller to a bike rack or light. I wish I had thought of that when my kids were little and started going to games. You should check out parking on Hoover St, it's the best. One year we made an arrangement for an easy in/easy out spot on Hoover and it was great. We could leave home at 11:15 and be in our seats by 11:50.
They now have ice cream in the stadium and it will buy you a lot of time when the kids are sad/mad.
Congratulations on the little ones!
1. Due to heightened security, there is almost zero chance you'll get the stroller inside the grounds. The suggestion of the previous posters make the most sense - either drop the gear at a nearby tail gate site and be prepared to carry the little ones over or if you have another adult with you, do the drop and pickup. Drop you and the little ones at the stadium and the other adult goes park. When you are ready to go, have one of you get the vehicle and circle back as close as you can - remember that Main Street will be closed! We had some elderly guests (85+ years) and arranged this - but at that time Main Street was open so that was possible.
2. If cost is really not an option, suggest getting one of the open air Jack Roth club or upper level sections like Section 3 to 5 - that puts you up opposite the band section. With sequestration, there won't be (I believe) a fly over so you don't have to worry about that. The club option really may be the ideal choice - when the kids get bored, they can retreat inside and run around a bit and there are fewer crowds and you can get out of the sun.
3. Angelo's is great but remember - everyone thinks they are great so come early! So be prepared for a crowd. Since you have little ones - you might be conditioned to get up early - so earlier the better and beat the crowd. Zingerman's has been re-done and they have nice open air area - pricier but nice. The Cracked Egg on North Main is also a good breakfast place.
4. Hands On Museum (Fifth Avenue area), Botanical Garden and the Natural Science Museum are all good choices.
Have fun, but as many have noted be realistic about how much of the game you'll see and how much they'll remember. Get some nice pictures - often the ushers are nice and will take a picture for you with the field as a backdrop if you ask nicely and the little ones usually closes the deal.
Soon, you'll be able to go New Jersey and see the Wolverines play Rutgers every other year.
I don't want to clutter threads with this and have only posted on it a few times, but my aunt and uncle own a little cafe in A2, although not downtown. Juicy Kitchen on N Maple; Google will give you their website and the Yelp and Urbanspoon info and whatever else, but it is a bit of a connection to the site at least.