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My husband is taking our 6-year-old daughter to a 49er game. Is
there a family bathroom in the stadium? Where?
We're pretty comfortable with her going into the women's bathroom
on her own, less comfortable with her waiting outside the door
when my husband goes to the men's bathroom. Any suggestions?
I'm a Dad who's been taking my daughters (now 7) to the 49ers games that
past couple of seasons. I haven't found any family bathrooms.
Depending on the situation, I'll either let my daughter go in on her
own, or several of the men's rooms have a handicapped stall right by the
entrance and opposite to the rest of the bathroom. That way we can just
go in together to that handicapped stall, not have to go near the
urinals etc, and several of them even have a sink inside that extra
large stall so we can wash hands and exit with a minimum of time or any
awkwardness. Makes it kinda-like a family bathroom for us Mike,
Any suggestions on the best place to park for Cal Football games?
Cost? I've noticed that it's harder to find game day parking than
it used to be in the pre-Tedford days. Thanks a lot!
I park at the Douglas Parking garage under the Urban Outfitters on
Bowdich & Durant. Nice attendant, clean facility & not too far. Cost
varies depending on opponent - it was $25 today against Portland State.
Loyal Cal Football Fan
We live in Oakland but we just park at the North Berkeley BART, take the
train to Berkeley BART then the free shuttle to the stadium. After
walking back to Berkeley BART after the game, then getting back to our
car in North Berkeley we find there's hardly any traffic going home.
Sometimes we stay in Berkeley for dinner.
Cal Fan too
Have you considered taking BART and using the shuttles they have running
along College Avenue (from Rockridge) to Memorial Stadium.
Park near College and Claremont and then take 51 Bus up College Ave.
Easy peasy Parky Warky
Park on a side street next to University Ave west of Sacramento St. then
take AC transit's bus to the game:
http://www.actransit.org/news/articledetail.wu?articleid=6f3be14f or take BART and then AC transit. There are so few
parking spaces near the stadium.
My Israeli family members (2 adults, 2 teenagers, 2 young adults)
are coming for a visit to the Bay Area July 6-10 during the
finals ? of the World Cup, and they are fanatic soccer fans. We
don't even have ESPN (although we are willing to get it if need
be). Do we need ESPN to watch the game(s), and do you have any
suggestions for a fun place in the East Bay to watch game with
other soccer fans?
I think I saw signs about the games being shown at the
Kensington Circus Pub- fun, casual, with a kid play area, and
yummy food and drinks too.
I haven't been there for a while but The Pub on Solano (1492
Solano Ave) usually shows soccer matches (especially if it's UK
teams!). That would be a fun place to hang out to watch the
games though I'm not sure about the age requirement
All world cup games are played on the Spanish language station
Univision (channel 14 with an antenna). That's where I watch
them because I don't have ESPN either. For English-speaking
stations, the games leading up to the final when your relatives
will be here will all be on ESPN, except for the final game on
July 9 which will be on ABC. I heard the pub Barclay's in
Oakland will be open and serving food for all world cup games.
Any sports bar or pub that is open that morning should have the
world cup game on. You can call ahead. Have fun!
You do not have to have ESPN to watch the World Cup games. All
games are shown on the Spanish-language channel Univision (Ch 14)
and the final will be on ABC. The play-by-play commentary on
Univision, though you may not understand it, is much more
interesting and exciting than that of the Americans.
As for where to watch with other fans, bars near the UC campus
will probably show the games, and charge you $20 just to get in.
I watched the finals of the European Championships at the
International House at UCB a couple of years ago and the
atmosphere was great. They had a big screen in the lobby. Lots of
young people, free, but limited seating.
My husband is an avid football fan and wants to take our 6 year
old son to an NFL game. I think it's too violent and too
overstimulating. I feel 6 years old is too young to understand
the ''sports'' value of the game versus the violence it has. I'm
also not from this country so I don't have an
appreciation/understanding for it. What do people think? Is 6
too young? What is an appropriate age to attend a football game?
Yes, we live in a society filled with violent images, but all
things considered, I don't think that attending a football game
live is going to do any harm to your son. He's old enough to
understand that it's a game, and the truth is, he's going to
have the opportunity to see a lot of football on television (if
nowhere else) in his life. Attempts to protect him from this
are doomed to failure, so you may as well just do your best to
let him know that it's a game, it has rules, etc.
If I were you my main concern would be whether or not the boy
will be able to sit still and remain attentive throughout the
game, which will last some three hours in all. This will
largely depend on your husband, i.e., whether he is willing to
consistently explain to your son what is happening in the game
and why, etc. A child this age, even one who enjoys sports,
will likely not understand the nuances of the sport and will
have a hard time making sense of much of what happens on the
nonviolent football fan
I don't think that 6 years old is too early to go to a live
sporting event. Many of my friends have been taking their kids
to baseball games since they were a year old. I think that
football is more of an economic factor given the significantly
higher ticket prices. I'd make sure that your child understands
what he is getting into. Big crowds, lots of noise, etc. And
your husband should be ready to leave anytime if your son feels
uncomfortable. Kids aren't too young to understand any sport
provided that the parents explain what's going on. My 2 year
old daughter already understands the difference between
baseball, football and golf. College basketball season will be
around soon enough.
As for the violent nature of the game, it depends on your
viewpoint. People smashing into each other can be termed
violent. But it isn't like boxing, wrestling, and ultimate
fighting. Are hockey, lacrosse, rugby and fencing violent? It
is a matter of your perspective.
You seem to have very strong feelings about this, but you also
took the time to post your message, so I assume you are open-
minded about the decision. From personal experience, I can
tell you that going to NFL games did not affect me negatively.
I went to every NY Giants home game from the age of 5 through
graduation from high school and ended up an opera and classical
music lover and pacifist. The violence is actually quite muted
in the stands. It is MUCH WORSE on TV, where you see every
hit. Going to the game is much more social and a learning
experience. Good luck with your decision.
At 6 years old, your son will not really pay a whole lot of
attention to the game on the field and will probably get bored
and want to leave by halftime.
A friend of mine has been taking his daughter (now 7) to Cal
football games since she was maybe 4 or 5. She could care less
about the game, is more interested in the cheerleaders and
what's going on in the stands, likes to run around the bleacher
seats, and wants to go home by halftime.
6 years old is fine for a football game, it's not too young.
It could be an interesting, engaging, stimulating experience
for your son. Or not. The only way to find out is to go.
Speaking as a sports fan I would definitely take a six year old
to a football game. My daughter attended her first baseball
game at age 2 or 3 weeks.
Although the child won't follow tons of the game, it is fun to
be in the stadium with cheering fans. There is a lot of
special food and lots going on to watch. You can also take
some other entertainment in case of possible boredom.
I think the environment should be safe enough.
We've had this issue around hockey, a sport where the fighting
between plays is a large part of the entertainment. My son went
to his first game at age 5 (against my intuition) and it was a
disaster. Now after a year away from any games, he's being
prepped for a repeat visit by watching parts of the game on
t.v., with pausing (tivo is amazing!) to point out the positive
aspects of the sportsmanship, teamwork, strategy and skill
required. When there is unsportsman-like behavior, the hockey
player is removed from the game with a time out, a concept my
son really appreciates! I don't know the rules and strategies
of football, but I think you are smart to worry about
unmediated impact. However, with intelligent preparation, and
a focus from his companions on the positive aspects of the
game, it might work. (Also games from a distance are often
boring for the uninitiated and this may be an even bigger
challenge than the affects of the violence in the game!)
Mostly, follow your instincts. Waiting another year or more
won't stunt his appreciation, and going too early may actually
turn him off the sport, which I suspect would not be the
intended outcome. Good luck! -
Married to a sports fan
I started going to 49er games with my dad when i was in
Kindergarten. They were some of the best times i shared with
my dad. It's the fun of the whole experience. The crowds, the
high fiving, the excitement (and the food which is a kids
dream). I don't think six is too young at all. If he can
understand soccer he can understand enough about the basics of
a game. And unless you are on the sidelines you are too far
away to really get how hard those guys are hitting each other
on the field. I think it looks much more ''violent'' on TV than
when you are in the stadium. You could go into the first game
with the plan that if it's too much for him it's okay to leave
early. We often time would leave early when i was young when
it got too cold, or i just got too restless and we'd listen to
the rest of the game on the radio the way home. That was fun
too. If your husband has a problem with the possibility of
leaving early than i would suggest waiting a year or two or
maybe going to a high school game as a trial run.
Can't speak for the NFL, but a college football game is usually
pretty low key. So, a Cal game (as long as it's not vs. Stanford)
should be okay. Or one of the smaller colleges around here,
probably even more so. He should also be willing and ready to
leave at halftime, as a child that young has a fairly short
Unless your husband is planning on taking your son to sit in
the end zone at a Raiders game, the environment will most
likely be one of constant distractions from the actual game.
By physically attending a game, you usually end up seeing much
LESS of the game, and therefore less violence/stimulation, than
you would from watching it on TV (which allows you to see the
bone-crunching detail you miss from your stadium seats). I
haven't taken my son to a football game, but have taken him to
baseball games (granted, a less ''violent'' sport...for the most
part), and there are so many other things for kids to respond
to than the actual game (ie. concessions, food, jumbotron, play
areas) that the game becomes secondary if not tertiary.
Naturally, there's always the risk of a drunken fan shouting
obscenities and other ugly scenes...but I would say that if
your husband is up for missing half the game in order to keep
your son content, then let him give it a try. If the idea is
that YOU go so that YOU can babysit your son at the game while
your husband watches, then I would say pass.
If your husband is an avid football fan, then you are not going
to be able to avoid football forever, so why not introduce your
son to your way? Take him to the game, explain to him what you
find objectionable about it.
I don't agree that football is overly violent (hello, try
hockey!), mostly just boring. This is particularly true if you
attend a game in person. Between time outs and TV commercial
breaks, the majority of your time is spent waiting for very
brief moments of play.
If you're talking about a Raiders game, yes, I know the fans
have a repuation for being violent. But my experience with them
has been positive. When we took our daughter to her first NFL
game as a 10 month old, these big menacing-looking dudes
approached us. I was kind of nervous, but it turned out they
wanted to make sure we had sunscreen on the baby, and asked us
if we needed to borrow any! Raiders fans are just regular
people - mostly parents, too - and the game day stuff is just
But I still prefer baseball.
A's fan mom
I recently took my 4 1/2 year old daughter with her uncle to a
49er's game. We stayed until the 3rd quarter and took a walk
around the stadium during the second quarter. She really only
paid attention when they were kicking the ball as it was
difficult for her to follow the ball during other plays.
Otherwise, she was happy cheering for the home team. We sat 45
rows up and it was difficult to see anything that appeared
violent from our seats. I actually found the comments re the
cheerleaders from the men around us more disturbing.
I'd say it kind of depends. Are dad and son watching football at
home regularly together? Even if you aren't involved, is this a
bonding thing between them? Does the kid want to go? I'd say let
the dad and kid figure it out. If the kid hates it, they won't
go again. It's violent, but probably more from the TV angles
than what you actually see in person. And the crowd is pretty
stimulating. Otherwise the game is long and boring. . . unless
dad provides a play by play, in which case it's very bonding.
Not sure you have to decide for them.
IMHO, I would not take a 6 year old to a Raider game, but might
to a 49er game. At the Raider games I have attended, the vast
majority of patrons are drunk or drinking, smoking or stoned,
yelling profanities and/or fighting. I thought I was too young,
and I was 30. 49er game patrons are more tame, although I am
sure there is some of the same elements there, just not as many.
Although the fan bases may be different, the games are the same,
and if you arent comfortable with the violence of it, it wont
matter what game you attend. However, if your husband is
watching it on tv with your son anyway, going to a game might be
a nice bonding experience for them.
a Raider fan anyway
My 3.5 year old daughter has been attending college football
games since she was 3 months old. I don't see any problem with
understanding the sport versus the violence of football. That may
be my own cultural perspective, but she does seem to make much of
the game really. She's more interested in what's going on around
the stadium. She likes the flags, balloons, bands, mascot,
pageantry of it all, and even reading the signs and score board.
As for overstimulation, that can be an issue. I think it really
depends on your son's temperament. My daughter is pretty mellow.
She has had an overstimulation reaction a couple of times in the
last three years and we simply left. Generally, she enjoys the
day and it's no big deal.
Hope this helps.
I know NFL games are a little different than college games
(which I think of as more family-friendly), but our 2yo son has
been going to Cal football games (and Sharks hockey games)
pretty much since he was born and loves them. There are always
plenty of kids around. I would think the potentially
noisy/boisterous crowd would be more of an issue than
the ''violence'' on the field, which has never seemed to bother
our kid. Obviously it will depend to some extent on your child's
temperament, and there's a difference between teams/where your
seats are/etc. - I don't think I'd take my kid into the midst of
Raider Nation, for example. If you want a low-key way to test
the waters, I'd suggest going to a Cal game and seeing how your
kid does with that before spending big bucks for NFL tickets.
I have 6 year old twin girls, and this year I got a pair of 49ers
season tickets. I alternate taking one of them to each home
game, and so far it's been fine. I actually think football is
less violent live when you can see they're just real people kinda
far away, than on TV when each big hit is close-up, slow-motion,
repeated and discussed over and over. All the other stuff going
on in the stadium is a big part of the attraction for the kids
(cheerleaders, half-time show, hot dogs, vendors, shouting
de-fence, etc). The whole long game can sometimes be long, so
it's good to be flexible if the kid gets bored. Anyway I'd say
that as long as your husband isn't taking your kid into the
Raiders Black Hole (crazy fan area), it'll be fine and fun!
I've been taking my boys to Cal football games since the younger
one was two years old. (Yes I KNOW this is not NFL football.)
It's been a great bonding experience for us; and a cumulative
learning experience, especially for my older son, now age seven.
Regarding violence and overstimulation, I think that risk comes
more from the fans in the stands than in the game itself. I
would be wary of attending professional sports venues where
alcohol is served in the stadium (or where people drink all day
before showing up) and there is a tradition of dangerous drunken
behavior and bad language in the stands. With the game itself,
in addition to father-son bonding, I think it offers great
opportunities for them to discuss some life lessons, like
winning, losing, good sportsmanship, and overcoming adversity
(like when the quarterback has a really lousy game, and comes
back the next week to have a very successful game). Yes,
football can be considered violent because it is a contact sport,
but my son and I talk about the rules of the game, the
consequences of acts like personal fouls (penalties for the
team), and inevitable injuries to the players. I suppose in a
few years, my older son and I will have conversations about
football players who are good role models, and conversely,
football players who have been arrested for violent acts outside
of the game. Just maintain a dialogue with your son about
sports; he should be OK going to a game with his dad.
My guess is that your 6-year-old is very unlikely to be able to get close enough to the
action at an NFL game to experience any of it as violence. Just a bunch of guys
running on and off the field and piling up on top of each other. The real action is in the
audience, and after all, these are football fans, not soccer. I would think he'd be bored
out of his skull.
My husband really wants to take our 23 month old twins to an
Oakland A's day game. I understand that the game starts at
12:30 and usually finishes around 4:00-- right during nap time.
Does the ball park offer any fun places for toddlers to run
around? Is it at all kid friendly?
I can't imagine that they are going to want to sit still for 3
+ hours especially since they may be really tired because they
are missing their nap.
I am inclined to keep the kids at home and let my husband go by
himself but it is his birthday and it's what he really wants to
do. Any advice?
The A's kids zone is located across the way from section 220 or
221. It has a climbing structure, a little house where kids
can color, and some rides that cost a quarter or two. Older
kids can practice pitching and fielding at the Kids Zone too.
Starting at age two, you are supposed to buy a ticket for your
child. Third deck, called View Level, is the most affordable
if you are going with kids. Tickets are $10 and kids are half
The Coliseum is a wonderful place to catch an afternoon game.
My son is 2es! The A's afternoon games are kid-friendly. We've taken our little ones (my
youngest was 6 weeks old at her first game) and had a good time. If your
husband has his heart set on catching all 9 innings, you may be in for a long
haul. Otherwise, go with your little one. There is a play area you can take him
to when he gets wiggly (also, go around back to the little room with coloring
activities.) And if he isn't spooked by characters, he should love Stomper.
Becky, chill, just give the dad a blanket, people fall asleep at baseball games all the
time. People also leave early from games all the time, it's a casual thing, like going
to the park or something. Thus the term ballpark. It's really no big deal, relax. you
are making WAY too big a deal about this.
And is it fun for toddlers? Yes, they will have fun, after all its a BASEBALL game,
which is a family orientated activity.
Let your husband do what he want's for his birthday. Even if the twins get ''tired''....
You could dress them up in cute little matching A's hats for him and surprise him. 2
year olds go to games all the time, babies go to games all the time, they will love it.
We've been taking our kids (now 4 1/2 and 2) to A's games for as
long as I can remember. I'm not a big baseball fan (the hubby is
fan enough for the two of us), but have come to enjoy going with
the kids. A couple of things to know: 1)The Stomper Fun Zone is a
play area where the kids can run around like maniacs. There is a
little play structure and some toys. There's a bounce house that
costs a buck per kid and some quarter-eating ride-on machines. On
weekend games the big cuddly elephant mascot, Stomper, generally
shows up here to chum it up w/ the wee ones. 2) Give up any
illusion that you or the kids will be able to follow the game for
more than an inning at a time, max. Forget it. 3) Bring
distractions like toys and snacks. 4) Sit in the cheap seats and
get lots of empty rows for the kids to run around without
garnering the annoyed looks of fellow attendees. 5) It would be
REALLY hard to take two toddlers alone. But, uh, you weren't
suggesting that were you? 6) Be willing to buy the kids a frosty
malt or other treat. 7) Be willing to leave early if it is all
too much (easy to do because you're in the cheap seats!) The
hubby sometimes BARTs home after we've left if it is a
compelling/ significant game.
We've been taking our kids to A's games since infancy. Here are
1) Buy your tickets in the shade. There are several shady spots
and the ticket agent can help you. Bonus: lots of seniors have
season tickets in the shade & we have always found older people
to be more tolerant/accepting and even entusiastic about
sitting near little ones.
2) Yes there are places to play with toddlers (Stomper's Zone -
ask any attendant where it is) but I recommend you don't even
let your kids know about it until after the 7th inning stretch.
Once you let your kids know that getting out of their seats is
an option, they will never sit still again.
3) Even though the website says no large bags, no backpacks,
they are totally cool about diaper bags, thank goodness!
4) So bring snacks and drinks from home in your diaper bag.
Plastic bottles only. This way you don't have to get up and let
your kids in on the you-can-get-up secret.
5) When there are ''dance for the camera'' breaks, you can get on
the big screen quite easily with kids if you are so inclined.
Dress them in A's wear for a better chance (hats will do.) And
if you don't have A's wear already, it's much cheaper outside
the stadium. You'll run into vendors on your way in or on the
BART bridge if that's how you're getting there.
6) Either leave the game early or stay a bit after the end of
the game and wait out the rush. It clears out pretty quickly,
but at its peak, seems kind of scary with kids.
Have fun. We love the A's!!
Eric Chavez fan
If your husband is realistic, this could be a fantastic father-
sons bonding experience , but perhaps not the best game-
watching experience for your husband. !. Have two adults.
Don't plan on staying the whole game. Arrive early, to get to
your seats and stake your comfort zone. KNOW WHERE THE
BATHROOMS ARE, and k Keep in mind that bathrooms probably don't
have diaper changing tables, ESPECIALLY the men's bathrooms,
tho possible in the handicapped stalls. Take snacks and extra
handi-wipes (food for purchase is very salty) and plan on
staying only for the first half of the game, at most. Take
plenty of spendy money, and walking the vendor route. Neither
you nor your husband will really get to watch much of the game.
Oh, at Oakland, Take SUNSCREEN and WARM CLOTHING BOTH!
Hello! Maybe he could wait until their naptime is over and then
take them to the rest of the game. You could try to get them to
go down early at 11:30 or 12:00, and then they would be up by
2:00 or so and get to spend an hour or longer at the game (which
is plenty long for a toddler). Just remind your husband that
though it sounds like fun now, it won't be much fun for anyone if
the kids are tired, grumpy and unhappy to be sitting in their seats!
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