Sunday, January 29, 2012

Super Bowl Village with Kids

As I mentioned last week, the Super Bowl has come to Indianapolis. Yesterday we spent several hours strolling through the Super Bowl Village and experiencing what one of the largest and most elaborate sporting events in the world really entails. It was incredible and I'm so glad we braved the crowds and the cold temperatures, because it was totally worth it.

I've already been asked by dozens of friends and family for advice on visiting, so here's a breakdown of how we spent our day in the Super Bowl Village.

Insider Tip: Park on the east end of downtown. And dress warm!

We parked in a lot on the east end of the action (near the City County Buiding) and we began the day by bundling up the boys and hitting the pavement. We've actually had some relatively warm, sunny days this weekend, with hopefully more to come this week. But it is very windy between the tall buildings downtown, so be sure to bring along hats, gloves and scarves.


Insider Tip: Enjoy lots of free entertainment all along Georgia Street.

Over the last few years, the City of Indianapolis completely redid an entire downtown street (Georgia Street) which runs from Bankers Life Fieldhouse (where the Indiana Pacers play) all the way to Lucas Oil Stadium and the Convention Center (where the Super Bowl will be played and where the NFL Experience is headquartered). This street is now Super Bowl Village, basically a free festival with concerts, street performers, concessions and bars all along the way. Along with several other downtown streets, it is closed to traffic and entirely pedestrian this week.


Big Arrow loved this juggler on stilts.

Insider Tip: Warm up inside The Huddle

During our stroll along Georgia Street, we made a couple of pitstops. Once, we warmed up inside "The Huddle," which is a heated lounge area in a former department store (the old Nordstroms, for you locals). This is a great spot to grab a beverage, rest your legs and use the bathroom.


Insider Tip: Don't miss Monument Circle for the big XLVI letters.

Then we ventured north on Meridian Street to Monument Circle to see all the Indy Cars, one for each NFL team. It was quite a sight to behold.


Can't resist a plug for the home team.


Insider Tip: End your visit in Touchdown Alley and the zipline.

From there, we continued west on Georgia Street and headed to Touchdown Alley. It's basically a smaller version of a football field, complete with astro turf. It was full of kids running around (and parents acting just as young at heart as the kids... I love that!) Big Arrow could have stayed here for hours.


The most exciting part of the day was watching the zipliners fly overhead as we played on the field below. I can't quite put into words what it's like to watch people zooming through the air in the middle of a large city with a party raging below. But here's a little video I took to give you a sense of it.



We had too much fun for just one post. So I'll be sharing more pictures later this week. Be sure to check back.

Other Insider Tips:
  • If your kids are a little older, or you're a big football fan, consider purchasing a ticket for the NFL Experience. It looks great, but our boys are still a bit young for that.
  • If you're visiting with a baby or need any type of special medical care or attention, there's a Super Care Clinic inside Union Station. Moms are welcome to nurse or pump inside the clinic. (I didn't actually use this myself and nursed Little Arrow during lunch instead, but it was a big relief to know there was a quiet, warm place to do that if I had needed to.)
  • When you find yourself in need of a restroom, look down the alleys. On just about every alley downtown, you'll see a white trailer. This is a heated restroom with running water. We saw very few lines at these trailers when we were there.
This biggest complaint I hear from people about the Super Bowl experience is how expensive it is. But I'm happy to report we spent less than $50 for an entire day of fun ($7 to park and about $40 for a nice lunch). There's so much to see and do that's all for free, so don't let money get in your way of a good time this week.

Like what you see? Then "like" Arrows Sent Forth on Facebook and keep up with all our adventures.