Skip to content

Tips for Taking Your Toddler to a Hockey Game

Introducing your toddler to the exhilarating world of hockey games can be a fun-filled family activity. However, it’s crucial to prepare thoroughly to ensure a stress-free and enjoyable outing. From the loud noises to late-night games, here’s how to make the most of your toddler’s first hockey game experience.

Preparation is Key

Understand the Venue

Before you head to the game, familiarize yourself with the venue’s layout and amenities. Identify the location of restrooms, food stalls, and first aid facilities. Also, understand the rules about strollers and carry-in items.

Pack Essentials

Ensure you have everything your toddler might need. Essentials may include snacks, water, diapers, wipes, extra clothing, and their favorite toy or blanket for comfort. Also, consider packing earmuffs or noise-canceling headphones to protect your toddler’s sensitive ears from the loud crowd noises.

During the Hockey Game

Keep Your Toddler Engaged

Engage your toddler in the game by explaining the basic rules and pointing out the game’s highlights. Clap and cheer together when a goal is scored to keep them interested.

Take Breaks

Consider the hockey game’s duration and your toddler’s attention span. Take short breaks by going for walks around the venue to keep them from getting restless. Remember, it’s okay not to watch the whole game. The main goal is to create an enjoyable experience.

Post-Game Tips

Wind-Down Time

After the sensory overload of a hockey game, your toddler might need some quiet time to wind down. Read a book or engage in a calming activity before bed to help them relax.

Stick to The Routine

Try to stick to your toddler’s bedtime routine as closely as possible, even if it’s later than usual. This will signal to your child that it’s time to sleep, helping them to settle more quickly.

Is It Appropriate to Take a Toddler to a Hockey Game?

Taking your toddler to a hockey game can be an enriching experience, provided you take necessary precautions to ensure their comfort and safety. Children as young as two can attend, though the experience will vary depending on the child’s temperament and tolerance for loud noises and large crowds.

Ensuring Safety Amid Loud Noises

Are Hockey Games Too Loud for Toddlers?

Hockey games can indeed be loud, and the noise levels may be too high for a toddler. However, with the right noise-cancelling headphones or baby ear protection, your toddler can enjoy the game without risk to their hearing.

Creating a Comfortable Environment

What Should My Toddler Wear to a Hockey Game?

It’s common to question how to dress your toddler for a hockey game. Dress your child in warm layers to combat the cold, and consider bringing a blanket for added warmth. Though a cute outfit can make for great photos, comfort and warmth should be prioritized.

Understand the Venue Policies

What Can I Bring to a Hockey Game?

Specific policies vary by venue, but most allow small bags and essential items for baby care. Some may even allow snacks, though it’s best to check the policy beforehand. Blankets are usually permitted, too.

Understanding the Game

How Long is a Hockey Game?

An NHL hockey game typically lasts about 2.5 hours, including intermissions. For a toddler, this can be a long time, so be prepared for breaks or potentially leaving early if necessary.

Sporting Activities for Toddlers

Can a 2-Year-Old Play Hockey or Other Sports?

While most organized sports, including hockey, typically begin at an older age, you can certainly introduce a 2-year-old to basic elements of the game. There are age-appropriate toys and equipment that allow toddlers to engage with the sport on a fun, basic level.

Real Experiences: Parents Share Their Stories

“Our family is huge on hockey – it’s a family tradition. So, when my son turned two, we decided to take him to his first Canucks game at Rogers Arena. The anticipation, the noise, the whole atmosphere was overwhelming for him. Despite my efforts to muffle the sound with baby ear protectors, he started crying, and we had to leave by the end of the first period. It was a reality check for us. You can’t force your passions on your kids; you have to ease them into it.” – Sarah, Vancouver

“I was worried about taking my 3-year-old to the Tampa Bay Lightning game. I mean, it’s loud, it’s cold, and the games can go late into the night. We came prepared with layers of clothes, snacks, and her favorite blanket. Surprisingly, she loved it! She was cheering and clapping. We even got her a ‘My First Lightning Game’ certificate. But let me tell you, the ride home was a different story. She was overtired and had a meltdown. It’s a trade-off, I guess.” – Michael, Tampa

“We’re die-hard Carolina Hurricanes fans. When we took our toddler to his first game at the PNC Arena, he was fascinated by the Zamboni. But the loud goal horn scared him, and he wanted to leave. Now, we watch games at home, and he loves it. I’m hopeful that as he grows, he’ll be ready for the live game experience again. It’s about knowing your child’s limits.” – Emily, Raleigh

Considering Your Toddler’s Sleep Schedule

The excitement and late timing of a hockey game can disrupt your toddler’s sleep schedule. It’s crucial to consider how the event fits into their normal sleep routine. At, we understand how precious your little one’s sleep is and have a wealth of advice and tools to help manage these special occasions without causing major disruptions.

With careful planning and some essential items, a visit to a hockey game can be a wonderful experience for your toddler. The key is to make the outing enjoyable without compromising their routine and comfort. Visit for more tips and advice on managing your child’s sleep during exciting outings like these.


Taking your toddler to a hockey game can be an exciting adventure for the whole family. With careful planning, the right gear, and consideration of your child’s sleep routine, it can be an enjoyable experience for everyone.