What to Do in Edmonton with Kids

City and Baby is a blog for parents with an urge to get out of the house. We explore all that the Edmonton region has to offer families with kids six and younger. From unique events, fun activities, attractions, baby-friendly businesses to product must-haves, CityandBaby.com is your guide to savouring Edmonton with your little ones in tow.

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Six Simple Steps to Success at Sporting Events with Babies

 Jason and his family at an Edmonton Eskimos game.

Dads out there all remember the focus of their lives being tied to their teams. The addition of a child changes all that, but deep down you yearn to stay connected to your favourite sports franchises.

Unlike before, where you had time to catch every game on TV, analyze the stats in the evening and attend dozens of games with your seemingly endless supply of income, these days you’re struggling to remember when the Edmonton Eskimos or Oilers even play.

But every now and then, you get tickets, plan a night out with the family and want to introduce your little man or princess to the fine art of professional sports. And although it’s cool to see them soak up the sounds, stand in awe of the lights and bounce to the music, you need to be prepared and learn from each and every trip not to make the same mistakes over and over again.

Tips To Set You Up For Victory

Victory = leaving once the game is officially over, with smiles on everyone’s faces.

  1. As best you can, try to get that all important nap time and good meals in throughout the day, especially if there’s a night game you are attending. A tired and hungry kiddo can lead to irritation and whining at the critical stages of the game, which then leads to you leaving a bit earlier than you may want.

  2. Carry a small bag, pack lightly but check your supplies. Like any trip, the key is preparation – especially with the little ones. A couple diapers, ONE set of extra clothes, wipes, a bottle and little snacks packed in small containers can keep them busy while also leaving room in our cramped arena seating. If you can, dress yourself in layers to minimize juggling items. Baby's jacket, the bag, and the wife’s purse with both your jackets is just asking for an uncomfortable evening.

  3. Taking the little one to the game by yourself can be fun, but having two of you there usually helps keep them with a fresh body especially when their eyes are getting heavy. Changing diapers, getting supplies out and, of course, if you have to go to the bathroom, is all much easier with a helping hand.

  4. Sometimes outdoor events in the summer are just plain too hot. If you can’t find shade and don’t have the proper gear, it’s best to go another day. If you are able to go, pack the sun screen, sun hat and all the essentials to avoid too much exposure to the sun. Likewise, remember layers as afternoon games slowly turn to night, and the kiddos soon could need a jacket or sweatshirt.

  5. Be sure to check out the other venues and teams in Edmonton besides the Eskimos and Oilers to get them used to going out to watching other sports. The Edmonton Oil Kings (Junior Hockey), Rush (Lacrosse), Capitals (Baseball – although not this summer as the league they are in folded), FC (Soccer), ACAC or CIS university sports, curling and other local club sports all are cheap alternatives that provide the boy or girl with up close viewing. Since you aren’t spending as much, you don’t feel as bad for leaving a bit early if you have to. There’s also more room to spread out in more comfort since there’s usually empty sections.

  6. Remember your life has changed. As passionate as you still are, you can’t focus 100 per cent of your attention on the game anymore when you go. Be prepared for potty breaks, peek-a-boo and, of course, premature rides home. At the end of the day, the night at the stadium is a family event. Save the beer-guzzling, piercing screams and face painting for a night when you’ve secured a babysitter, or got the free pass on a night out with the boys or girls.

Any other tips? I’m still learning as our 1-year-old reaches toddler-hood. Share your tips and tools of the trade.

Please join me in welcoming Jason Buzzell to the City and Baby team. This is his inaugural post. Great tips Jason! We are excited to add a dad perspective and are looking forward to sharing his experiences and daddy tips with you. ~Jen Schaefer, Founder and Editor

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