Party Pointers for Birthday Parties at Sporting Events
If you’re running out of ideas for your kid’s birthday this year, consider giving the gift of an event. Instead of a basketball-themed birthday party for his whole class, treat him or her to a day at the stadium with the family and a close friend or two. Not only is this a memorable way to mark their special day—it can be budget-friendly, too, compared to throwing a big bash for dozens of people.
The key to a successful (and cost-effective) celebration at the game is planning, so we’ve broken down the perfect birthday outing for you and your family—whether you’re going to a basketball game, a soccer match or something else entirely. Celebrate your child and devote a day to togetherness, adventure and their favorite team.
Before the Game
- Purchase tickets. Not only will you pay more at the box office on gameday, but you run the risk of missing out entirely if the game sells out. Choose the best seats online and show up to the game worry-free. When choosing tickets, consider the commute to and from the venue as well as your kid’s schedule. Consider a daytime game for younger kids, while teens and tweens might love the excitement of a primetime event.
- Buy swag. Buying team gear online ensures that you’re able to find the right size and style to appropriately deck your child out for the game. Presenting your guy or girl with a jersey is a great way to let them know about the adventure. You may still want to buy a souvenir at the park, but you can score some great deals and stretch your budget by buying ahead of time.
- Put their name in lights. Many stadiums will display a special message for birthdays, anniversaries or marriage proposals. RFK Stadium, home of DC United, will display a Happy Birthday message for your child for a $100 donation. Check with your venue to see if you can wish your kid a happy day from the Jumbotron.
At the Game
- Budget for food and drinks. It’s a birthday after all, but stadium food can get expensive, and it’s not always the healthiest fare. Most venues will allow you to bring in an empty water bottle, which you can refill as needed to keep you and the kids hydrated.
- Stretch your legs. Many kids won’t be used to sitting still for an entire game, especially the younger ones. Check out the attractions your venue has to offer. Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers, features a carousel, batting cages and even a small Ferris wheel, all located inside the stadium.
- Have fun, no matter what. A full game can feel really long for a kid. Come up with ways to keep things fun and interesting, even if your little sports fan loses steam. Challenge him or her to find colors, signs or a specific player’s number. Say hi to the concession sellers, and try to catch a foul ball.
After the Game
- Rehash the best parts. Remember the last-minute goal? The unexpected penalty or the questionable call? Maybe it was all about the hot dogs for your little guy. Ask your child what their favorite part of the day was, and share yours as well.
- Plan your next visit. Chances are, your birthday girl or boy will be hoping and planning for their next special event with you. Maybe a day at the stadium can be a yearly event, a special tradition you and your child will treasure.
- Document the memories. Your child isn’t likely to forget this experience, but help them create something tangible that will always remind them of the day. A ticket stub framed alongside a photo from the game is sure to earn a treasured spot on their wall, whether it’s a surprise you gift them after the event or you work together to create it.
Bonus tip: If it’s a milestone birthday and your venue offers the option, you may want to consider a birthday package from your local team. The LA Galaxy has birthday packages that include gear, a signed card from the whole team, and even the opportunity to warm up on the field with the players.
This year, celebrate your child’s birthday by treating them to a special event they will cherish for years to come. You may not remember who won the game, but you’ll remember who you spent it with.