Out-of-Stater taking daughter to first UM game - Suggestions

Submitted by NashvilleBLUE on September 4th, 2017 at 9:59 AM

Good morning all! This Thursday I'll be driving to the AA area from Nashville with my 11 year old daughter for her 1st, and my 2nd game at the Big House (thanks to an incredibly generous board member here).

My question is: what types of things would be appropriately memerable for us to do in AA on Friday night, Saturday before the game, and even Saturday after the game? We'll be leaving first thing Sunday morning.

Obviously, the main stipulation for us is that the things to do must be kid friendly.

She is incredibly excited and I want to make sure that it's a trip she'll remember forever, but mostly with Michigan Football related memories with Pops.

Thanks in advance for the advice!


EDIT: Also, I would like to ask for suggestions on places to park for the game. We'll be staying in the Brooklyn area, so we'll be driving to the game and parking.



September 4th, 2017 at 10:07 AM ^

I'm sure you'll find an MGoBlogger's tailgate to hook up with so do that. It's a noon game, so you might have time to get to the natural history museum. My kids loved it at that age and it gets you on campus. Go Blue!!


September 4th, 2017 at 10:20 AM ^

My first ever game with my wife (who's a native Tennessean) we did that and we were both amazed. That's definitely on the agenda.

Edit: To add to this, we stumbled on the whole thing. Being so foreign to the area, we had no idea where we were walking and just followed a crowd that stopped in front of the steps where the band came out. We hung around and were very glad we did. We met some excellent people there as well.


September 4th, 2017 at 12:39 PM ^

Band rehearsal on Friday afternoon is great if you can make it. 

There are bleachers right at the edge of the field. When you sit that close you can often physically FEEL the sound. It's pretty great.

We always get to Revelli Hall about 2 hours before kickoff (with coffe and bagels/donuts) and watch the step show (a longstanding Saturday tradition). Seeing the drumline up close is really fun. They will play some fancy warm ups, parts of that week's show, Temptation and War Chant. Every year changes a little, every week changes a little, but it's very cool. It's MUCH cooler if you can see everybody well, so getting there early helps.

Also, AFTER the game, the band will play a post-game show on the field that is worth watching if you dont want to fight the crowds on the way out.

Revelli Hall is 350 E Hoover.

Here is one of the shows from last year:



September 4th, 2017 at 2:43 PM ^

I agree with Jgruss42.  The drumline show at Revelli Hall is a great pre-game event, but you need to get there early to get a good view.  After the show, the band lines up in front of Revelli to march to the stadium.  If you stand over by the right of the stairs leading into Revelli (under some trees) you'll be right at the front of the band.  This is where they put the twirlers and drum major.

Once the band leaves you'll want to stay alongside because they have a number of fun traditions on the march over.  But, be aware that they move pretty quick, so you'll need to walk fast and dodge other specators to keep up.  

As they get to the stadium, the band will turn left (to go to the entrance tunnel) and you'll veer right into the stadium.  Get to your seats as quick as you can so that you don't miss the band's entrance.

During the game, be sure to point out the cheerleaders and other things going on.  If your daughter is like mine, then she'll find the game itself to be boring and get more enjoyment out of everything else that is going on (especially the band at half-time).

Also, be sure to get a souvenier at the game.  Especially, the type of thing she'll have hanging up in her bedroom for years to come.  This is the type of trip that one remembers their whole life.

If you're there a day in advance, then I'd take her to Moe's or a similar souvenier shop to get her a maize/yellow shirt that she can wear to the game.  That way she'll feel like part of the team.


September 4th, 2017 at 10:13 AM ^

Very cool experience especially for an 11 year old. You can stand right next to the band as they play their way in.

If you are facing the entrance to the Stadium with Crisler on your left camp out about row two of the tailgate parking on your right.


September 4th, 2017 at 10:28 AM ^

I've been taking my kids up to a game the last 4 years.  If the weather is good, they love walking around the golf course to see all the tailgaters, throw a football or frisbee.  Schembechler Hall for some Michiigan football history.  Take pictures at the statue.  Head downtown after the game to grab some gear at the M Den.  Very good pizza at the Cottage Inn.


September 4th, 2017 at 12:35 PM ^

i took both my daughters to a game the past two years.  They were 11 the first time.  We kept it simple siince we didn't have a ton of time.  Honestly, they just loved being there because they knew I bled Maize n Blue.  We walked the campus, had deep dish pizza and had stucci's of course.  They LOVED a little shopping spree at the M Den.  Wore their face stickers and Michigan garb with pride.  Last year was especially memorable because they play volleyball and Michigan happened to have a match against Penn State right after the football game.  My high school buddy happened to be the father of the captain of the volleyball team so after an amazing 5 set Michigan win, the girls got to meet Abby Cole and fiance Austin Hatch.  Truly memorable.

They enjoyed learning the fan cheers, taking pictures and cheering on Michigan.

Enjoy the weekend!!


September 4th, 2017 at 7:08 PM ^

The AA Hands On Museum is fantastic.  I'd be a little worried that 11 was on the old side for children to truly enjoy it.  More of an elementary school place than a middle school place.

I don't want to suggest the museum isn't great -- just that different kids are into different things at different ages -- all at their own pace.

Shop Smart Sho…

September 4th, 2017 at 10:40 AM ^

Least expensive parking that is still relatively close to the stadium that I can find anymore is just west of Pioneer High.  Go through the stoplight at 7th street and then turn left at the next road, Woodland Dr. Nice quiet neighborhood where you can get parking for $30 or less. It's still a really easy walk. I started parking there when my nephew got old enough, about 7, to go to games.


Couzen Rick's

September 4th, 2017 at 11:09 AM ^

I second the Hands On Museum. Perfect for her age. Depending on her interests you could also check out some other museums on campus (Ruthven, Kelsey, UMMA etc) as well as the Arb. Another recommendation would be the Domino's Petting Farm, if she's into that, it's adjacent to Domino's headquarters. It's a good drive off campus so the working hours may be tough for your schedule.

As for parking best bet would be Pioneer High School, parking structure on Maynard or some random student's house on State St (this will cost between $15-40 depending on how early/late you get there.)

Tbh there's not a whole lot of kid-specific things to do in A2 around campus, but just walking around campus should be fun


September 4th, 2017 at 10:46 AM ^

Book plenty of time, is all i have to say. It's amazing what an influx of +/- 100,000 extra people does to AA, so just be prepared to spend some QT with your daughter waiting for food, waiting for traffic, waiting at MDen, waiting waiting waiting.

...but she'll remember it for life.

Got me all dusty eyed thinking about bringing my 7y/o son to his first game. Might not happen this year but he's going to be in all his glory and want to see all the things.


September 4th, 2017 at 10:48 AM ^

Safe travels in from TN first and foremost.
Friday. Walk campus. Lunch at Krazy Jims. Follow directions to order burgers right way. ;-)
M Den shopping. Law library. If it's nice, Ashely's patio for both your "soda pops" ya know.
Saturday. Tailgate if you can on U Golf Course. Best atmosphere IMHO. Make friends.
Walk barefoot on fairways. Take it all in.
If no tailgate, walk campus and enjoy football Saturday in A2. Walk State Street to the game.
Fraternity and house parties are amazing.
Yes, mom n dad are paying $$$ for their kids to do crazy stuff.
Walk with the band to The Big House. Amazing experience!
I'll be there Saturday with my son and brothers family. Looking forward to Saturday!
Safe travels home.
M Go Blue!!!

East German Judge

September 4th, 2017 at 1:07 PM ^

If your daughter wants to get on TV or even the big screen in the stadium, have her make a sign like - "My first Michigan game", it worked for my daughter's first game.

EDIT:  And if your daughter is into it, the M-Den on State St. (more selection than Main St. store) has all sorts of other accoutrements like maize & blue necklaces, beads, earrings, and also little block M stickers for the cheek, cameras love it.....

Image result for michigan cheek stickers


September 4th, 2017 at 11:07 AM ^

Although the Hands On Museum is great, I'm not sure you'll have enough time on those days for a full experience.  And I think the Natural History Museum is currently in transition to a new location.  However, there's ton's to do in A2.  First, food.  For kids, I like Mongolian Barbecue and Grizzly Peak (great pizza) downtown, or the Little Brown Jug on campus.  Of course, an early lunch at Zingermans (the Deli, not the roadhouse) is not to be missed.

For activities, there's Pinball Petes, though it's a bit out of the way from anything else interesting.  As someone else suggested, a tour of the Diag area can be fun.  If she (or you) are into geeky stuff, Vault of Midnight downtown is a great shop.  In the same area are a bunch of other fun little stores.  Also, there are fairy doors and homes located all over the place downtown, if you keep your eyes open.

The best parking is on the golf course (weather dependent), but it's certainly not the cheapest.  Bring a few toys (e.g., frisbees).  She will almost certainly find kids her age to hang with.  Then, you'll want to leave for the game a little early so you can can catch the band and get some good photo memories.  


I basically grew up on that golf course and in that stadium.  She's a lucky girl.


September 4th, 2017 at 11:07 AM ^

The Drumline performs on the steps of Revelli Hall at about 10:30, followed by the band coming out to march to the stadium. Always lots of kids around for that


September 4th, 2017 at 11:33 AM ^

Not sure how much time you're planning to take before and after the game Saturday. Brooklyn is a reasonably long drive. If you want to either get in or get out simply, I would recomment approaching via Scio Church Road and Seventh Street and parking in the neighborhood around Allmendinger park, perhaps at the church on Seventh where I always parked when I lived west of town. 

It allows you to skip most of the traffic bottlenecks coming in, and if you plan to go back to Brooklyn after the game is over you can use side roads, cut across Stadium, and find your way back to Scio Church without dealing with much bad traffic. Caveat: I don't know if the Scio Church/Wagner intersection is opened again yet, but regardless it's a good way to get in and out of town while dodging the crush of traffic to the freeways.

However, if you plan to come quite early (like 10 am at the latest) and stay well after the game, this is less important because traffic won't be as intense. Passing the Stadium during high traffic times is suboptimal. Also note: A lot of the good things to do in town before the game (band pregame march, the best restaurants, etc) are on the other side of the Stadium from where you're coming, and will involve more walking if you park in the neighborhood. 


September 4th, 2017 at 12:31 PM ^

There is ample parking in the neghborhood just west of the stadium. If tou go 3 blocks in they are all about $20-25 for the game. I have parked by Almindinger park for almost twenty years and is great to get in and out of - AVOID DOWNTOWN


September 4th, 2017 at 12:42 PM ^

Great thread OP. I'm taking my son to his 1st game as well, but he's younger. I'll b interested to see what people have to say.

In terms of the actual game, you can always park at the mall. I think they have shuttles to the stadium.

JWG Wolverine

September 4th, 2017 at 2:20 PM ^

Give her a tour of campus on Friday, maybe check out the Towsley Museum if you can (I'm hoping I can go there myself this year as I haven't been).

On GameDay, tailgate, then an hour and a half before the game, check out the drumline step show at Revelli Hall, and march with the band to the stadium.

Once you get inside at the end of the march, you'll be there in time for the end of warmups and the start of the pregame show.

Have fun watching the first half of this beatdown and get food at halftime.

Also, I would recommend (depending on weather, traffic, tiredness, etc.) that you check out the postgame show. You get to hear Temptation/Hawaiian War Chant, some of the halftime show, Yellow and Blue, and of course The Victors.


September 4th, 2017 at 2:21 PM ^

There is a drum performance before the band leaves Revelli hall; and they usually step off the steps 1 hour before kick off.  Positioning yourself at the corner of Keech and Kipke about that time allows you to see them come around the corner at Hoover and have them walk right by.  Then again if she hates bands maybe not so much.   

- Ann Arbor Childrens Museum is very good and Natural History Museum

- Diag, the Cube, and Law Quad along with the Michigan League (good history) and Union

- Cottage Inn


September 4th, 2017 at 4:55 PM ^

There’s a million places to go to eat that are good, as you know and can see. I would just recommend being outside Revelli for the band marching to the stadium by 10:30-10:45 ish.

scanner blue

September 4th, 2017 at 6:45 PM ^

Bringing back freebies for first timers. After wallking over with the band go to the right of the big granite M at gate 10 and just ask the scanners for Carl. Michigan glasses, foamy hand and sticks, basketball trading cards,  M tambourine. You must get there early though--otherwise I'm  swamped actually doing my job. ( but you'll obviously be there early or you're a bad Mgoparent).


September 4th, 2017 at 7:23 PM ^

I've been to quite a few games at Michigan Stadium and haven't ever went and saw the drumline.  Usually I'm tailgating and drinking when this goes on.  I'm taking my daughter to the game this weekend and was thinking of checking it out.  How soon will I need to get there to get an upclose view?


September 4th, 2017 at 7:40 PM ^

It is technically scheduled from 10:30 to 11, but in my experience it is typically pretty friendly (rather than frenzied) scene. After that is the parade from the steps over to the stadium. Both are cool and worth watching. I think the parade is a little busier as it is closer to game time? I would say 10:15-10:20 would be fine, but it now occurs to me I am a large human being so it's been decades since I had to hunt for a view.