Go Big Red! A Family Guide to Nebraska Husker Game Day with Kids

Family Guide to Husker Game DayWhen I moved to Nebraska and started working at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, it was evident that this state loves football. In fact, more specifically, they love Husker football. According to Husker Athletics, “Memorial Stadium has been sold out for home football games since 1962 and becomes the third-largest city in Nebraska on Game Day holding over 90,000 fans.” If heading to Lincoln on Game Day is in your future, I have a few tips to help make your Game Day experience more manageable for your family.

Memorial Stadium

  • It is easier to find tickets in pairs, so if you have a family of four, I recommend splitting up two and two. You can rotate seats at halftime or enjoy the opportunity for one-on-one time with one of the kids.
  • October games are ideal. In October, it is not too hot or too cold. September games can get brutally hot, and November tends to be on the chilly side.
  • Night games are fun! If your kids can stand a longer evening, consider taking them to a night game! When the lights go out and the stadium is lit up red, it’s quite the show for younger eyes. For the pyro lovers, there are also synced fire flames to the good ole rock and roll oldies mom and dad are sure to love!
  • Sit in the west stadium if possible. West stadium seating gets the most shade during the game. If you can afford it, spring for tickets in the West Stadium Club seating; it has air conditioning and is inside.
  • Bring cash! The stadium still takes the dollar bills. There are ATMs located throughout but certain treats (like ice cream!) require you pay with cash.
  • Each guest attending is allowed one 12″ x 6″ x 12″ clear tote.

Younger Kids

  • Children ages 1 year and younger may purchase a $20 lap ticket day of the game at Gate 21.
  • If you decide to take younger kids to the game be prepared to do a ton of walking and not a lot of seeing the game. Plus, always be ready to leave early if needed.
  • Kid-friendly bathrooms or changing tables are few and far between, so be prepared to change your kid on a floor or while they are standing.
  • Each ticket holder is allowed one clear bag upon entry. Fill your clear bag up with travel toys you don’t care about getting lost and coloring supplies. Anything to keep a bored kid occupied.
  • Dress in layers! The temperature can change drastically within four hours depending on the time of year and time of the game. Don’t forget the sunscreen and a hat.
  • It depends on the gate agent, but most of the time, if you have a kid with you, they will let you slide with more snacks than normal. It is important to note that for kids with severe allergies, the game may not be great because they still sell packages of peanuts.

Older Kids

  • Check out the Husker Fan Zone, an area for older kids with games, music, and special guest appearances.
  • Don’t miss the Tunnel Walk in the tunnel under the north side of the stadium. There you can give the players high fives.
  • The halftime band performance is fun for some kids, but it can get long, and depending on where you are seated, it can be hard to see.
  • Prepare your kids with something to look forward to for each quarter. For her, the first quarter is coloring and concession food (hotdog, Runza, or Pizza), the second quarter is a snack (popcorn, cookie, and pretzel), the third quarter is ice cream, and the fourth quarter is some sort of I spy game or back to coloring. Making a big deal out of each quarter with food makes it feel like a super special event, and they end up being more compliant.
  • Wi-Fi is touch and go, and it is hard to hear when talking on the phone. Texting is the best way to communicate. Designate a spot to go to if anyone is lost but base it on the gate and section numbers. It is easy to get lost as everything looks the same when you are behind the scenes in the stadium.
  • Educate the kids on the traditions of Husker Football. Here are a few fun ones to share:
    • Throwing the Bones: Crossing your arms, making an X after defensive stops and when welcoming the Defense to the field. (FYI: The Defense is referred to as The Blackshirts)
    • Shoes Off-Kickoff: During kickoffs, the student section (referred to as the Boneyard) removes one shoe and raises it in the air while jumping up and down.

Pumping Moms

  • Going through security with your pump and cooler is easier than expected. A quick check of your bag is required but usually doesn’t hold you up.
  • There are stations located throughout the stadium – including the lobby of Gate 19, as well as stations near the first aid areas on the northwest concourse and the southeast field level.

Other Ways to Experience Husker Nation

Is Husker football not your thing? Here are a few more options that are family-friendly, less expensive, and great introductions to the Nebraska football experience.

  • Attend the Red-White Spring Game; which usually occurs in mid to late April.
  • Go to a Husker volleyball game. With five NCAA national championships, this isn’t your regular volleyball game.
  • Check out Football Fan Day; A preseason event held in Memorial Stadium in the first week of August.
  • Run or jog in the Nebraska Football Road Race; a 5K and 1 mile fun run and a chance to meet the players.

More Game Day Resources

What are your Husker game hacks? Share with us.

Go Big Red!

Becka is an Iowa native who moved to Omaha in June 2015. She is one half of a higher education couple, a mom to identical twin boys (Avery and Elliot 2014) and two sassy wiener dogs (Nora and Knox). Becka enjoys the craziness of twins and the unpredictability of each day. Even with three degrees, most recently a doctorate in higher education, she continues to find herself googling things like “pachycephalosaurus + herbivore” or “excavator vs digger.” With two very energetic and curious preschoolers at home Becka enjoys the peacefulness of her daily commute to Lincoln where she is a coordinator in the Nebraska Business Honors Academy. Becka loves being outdoors in her garden, on the lake with her family, or sitting on the patio with a friend. Her kryptonite is diet coke, peanut m&m’s and a kid free Target trip.