It’s fall and you know what that means… cozy sweaters, comfort food, tailgating and football! And what better way to experience these things than by taking the whole fam to a University of Washington Husky football game. A college ball game can be twice as much fun and half as expensive. But before you head out with your pint-sized quarterbacks, read on for our tips on maximizing your time, money and fun as Washington attempts to make it to this year’s playoffs.
photo: Lindsay Engler
Once you decide which game you want to see, you’ll want to acquire your tickets in advance at gohuskies.com or take your chances on getting them at the ticket office on game day (always easier during losing seasons). For the 2016-2017 season, single game tickets can be found for the remaining home games on Ticketmaster. Children 2 & under get into the games for free if they sit on your lap. Just be aware that 70,000 fans can get a little loud. A good pair of headphones (they make ones for babes and toddlers), earplugs or cotton to muffle those loud woofs is always a good idea.
photo: Lindsay Engler
Getting to the Game
If you don’t ride light rail to the new stadium (you really should – the munchkins generally love the ride), then there are a plethora of options as Husky Stadium is one of the most accessible stadiums in the country. You can show your Husky pride arriving by car, RV, charter bus, public transit, bicycle, boat or… your feet! Check out detailed transportation information here.
For morning games, start your day off at the Portage Bay Café on Roosevelt for a hearty and organic breakfast. Portage Bay uses local and seasonal ingredients to keep your day Pacific Northwest-focused. If you’re headed to a later game or you’d prefer to watch it indoors, The Ram in U-village is another game-time favorite (but wait times can be loooong). Post game, or if you need to leave a little early, U-village offers many family-friendly restaurants and shopping opportunities as well as an outdoor children’s play area. Psst… be warned that U-Village parking enforcement patrols the lot for cars being left during games.
If tailgating is on your to-do list, plan on heading over to Montlake a few hours before game time. If you’re a UW graduate, you’d be surprised by how many people you will run into–frequently with their kid(s) in tow. If you’ve never been a Husky fan, you should know that the atmosphere is lively and happening. The band frequently walks around the parking lot, prior to the game, and Harry the Husky can sometimes be found roaming the lots, too. If you want to kick your tailgating experience up a notch, check out The Zone, the stadium’s newest tailgating experience located on the East Practice Field of Husky Stadium between the Waterfront Activities Center and Husky Softball Field. Open three hours prior to kick-off, The Zone is open to all ages and provides beer, wine (cash only) and a chance to get up close with the Husky Team as they walk through The Zone into the stadium. If you happen to be rooting for the opposing team (booo!), check out your college’s alumni association as they often offer activities at the away games as well.
A new stadium means new security, and thus the clear bag policy. No purses, diaper bags (ack!), backpacks, etc. are allowed inside – everything must be packed in a clear, plastic bag. You can check out all the details here. While the rules are strict, rest assured you can bring in factory-sealed plastic water bottles (or empty water bottles and thermos), unopened soft sided juice boxes, baby bottles, a single serving of outside food (think kid-sized snacks) and strollers along with other approved items.
photo: Lindsay Engler
Enjoy the Game
Once inside the stadium, there are snacks (and as of recently, adult drinks for over 21-ers) for all to enjoy, including the ever-popular hot dogs, along with chowder, Dippin’ Dots, Trophy cupcakes, nachos, you name it. The Off-Leash Deck offers adults only a first-come, first-served bar. Psst… sale of alcohol in the stadium is cut off at the end of the 3rd quarter. If you’ve got a tiny bundle of love in tow, note that (according to our sources) the main floor restrooms are the newest and generally the cleanest, as well as they seem to have the warmest water in the faucets. Most bathrooms also include changing tables, if you search.
If you really want to make the day special, check out The Purple and Gold Experience, such as a signed helmet, time after the game to kick a field goal or a personalized message on the big screen—all guaranteed to make your littlest Husky fans swoon.
Other Games to See
If football isn’t your thing, the UW offers many other athletic viewing opportunities. Enjoy gymnastics up close and personal during the winter inside Hec-Ed Stadium as well as baseball, softball, soccer, track and field, golf and the always-popular crew races during the fall and spring. Got a little basketball star? Plan ahead for Husky basketball season (like now!). It’s a popular sport and tickets can be hard to come by. Psst… most of these sporting events offer posters and other incentives for young viewers. Check here for the Dads and Daughters event schedule for various sporting venues.
If you still have questions about cheering on the Dawgs with your kids in tow, the University of Washington has a great website to help you plan your trip. Check it out here.
Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium
3800 Montlake Blvd.
Seattle, Wa 981954
Have you been to a Husky football game with your kids lately? Tell us your tips and tricks to making the most of the games in the Comments below.
— Jennifer B. Davis & Joia Poort