Hopefully, you are one of those parents who include their children in everything they do. Kudos to you if you are such a parent. Parents who take their children with them everywhere they go typically have a stronger bond with their kids.
But how does a parent determine what events they should or shouldn’t attend? Usually, by trial and error. A good parent knows where to draw the line.
Some events just are not appropriate for children of any age. Then some seem to cater to the little ones.
Perhaps you are toying with the idea of including your child on your next sporting event road trip. More specifically, a hockey game. The venues for hockey games are a bit different from any other sporting event.
So you want to take your toddler with you on your next hockey game trip. Should you? Or is hockey simply too loud and too violent of an atmosphere for children?
Let’s take an in-depth look at what it entails in taking a toddler to a hockey game.
Knowing What You’re Getting Into
Hockey games are family-oriented. If you plan on bringing a small child, it is important to know ahead of time what you could be dealing with on the game day.
The games consist of three 20-minute periods. Each period has an intermission before the next one. Then there could be overtime. Depending on how your toddler is doing, you may need to leave before it’s over. Prepare to get everyone out quickly and happily.
Consider going to a daytime game. Night games don’t start till around 7 p.m. and can run a bit long. The child might get tired rather quickly if they typically go to bed around 8 or 9 p.m. The daytime games start at 1 p.m., and the tickets are more budget-friendly.
Hockey games are known for having plenty of alcohol around them. Should it start getting a bit out of hand where you are sitting, you may want to go for a walk with the child. Big sporting events such as hockey can be too much for a child to endure.
Several NHL arenas have tried to move to a more kid-friendly atmosphere. They are trying to promote hockey games as being family-oriented. Many arenas have stopped certain intermission events and playing certain songs that tend to be sexist—a big attaboy for those venues.
Most all NHL arenas offer kids under three admitted free. If the child is frightened and wants to sit in your lap, you won’t bear the expense of their ticket for an unused seat. You may want to try and get them to sit in their seat anyway. It could be a very long game with a toddler strapped to your chest or in your lap.
Specific Seating for Children
Another NHL design is the kid zone, as they are called in some areas. These are rather large areas specifically for small children. They are usually tucked away in the corner of the arena with kid-oriented items such as a small playground. These spaces are also designed for having your child’s birthday party.
A hockey game birthday party is awesome. During an intermission, the arena announcer places a picture of the child on the Jumbotron scoreboard, and the whole facility sings happy birthday. The child is then treated to a ride on the Zamboni. The large ice prepping machine famous for its presence at hockey games. The party is made complete with hot dogs, souvenirs, and of course, a hockey-themed cake.
Why wouldn’t a child love a hockey game?
Pack The Toddler’s Needs in a Clear Bag
Hockey venues are picky about what items you can bring in with you. However, they do not discriminate against children. Pack everything you think you may or may not need into a clear bag. The people at the gate will simply wave you on through if they see a clear bag and a child.
Another good reason to pack heavily for the event is certain fans. Die-hard hockey fans usually cringe when they see a child is going to sit near them. If you pack enough stuff to make the event a joyful one, the joke will be on them.
Hockey Games Are Loud
There is a blaring air horn when a goal is scored and the constant sound of players slamming against the glass. Yes, it will be loud. And according to where you sit, it may frighten the child.
The music played over the pa system is loud too. No aspect of a hockey game is quiet. If you can, get your child to wear some sort of hearing protection. It is hard to get a child to wear something either in or on his or her ears. And be prepared for when a player slams another player into the glass. A sudden such noise startles adults too. Just be ready for it.
Suppose you know when you will be attending the hockey game call ahead. Let the person on the phone know you will be bringing a toddler. Perhaps then they can assist you with proper seating, as mentioned before. These type seats are usually located far enough away from sudden noises, so they aren’t much to worry about.
Just Be ready in case those areas are filled. Plan ahead, pack accordingly, and you just might have found your future game day buddy.
Just like any other event you want your child to attend; a hockey game is no different. The NHL is making proper moves to be more family-oriented and kid-friendly. By making these changes, there is no reason a hockey game can’t be a great experience.
So go ahead and be the parent who takes their child everywhere they go. Hockey games included.
And as always, remember lots of love and affection.