OlgaDavis30: 2015 Chicago Bears Meijer Family Fest

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

2015 Chicago Bears Meijer Family Fest

This past weekend we ventured out to the Chicago Bears Meijer Family Fest. I must admit that I did not realize how hard it would be with a baby and toddler. First I didn’t think we’d be stuck in traffic for as long as we were. I’ve been to huge sold out concerts at Soldier Field before, and the traffic was a bigger mess for this event than for that, which has more people in attendance.

Then of course there are the strict NFL policies regarding what you can bring into the stadium, which is basically nothing, and it has to be in a clear plastic bag. Now without kids, this would be no big deal as I would just bring a wristlet, but with a baby I had to be able to fit diapers, wipes, snacks, sunscreen…all into a little clear bag I had.  There is also a no bottle rule. Not sure how that would work with babies, as I decided to just bring my boobs and leave the bottles at home. I didn’t want to have to throw them out if they decided to be jerks. And lucky for me they were cool. My friend on the other hand was told she couldn’t bring in her snacks and had to throw them out. So I guess it depends on what security person you got. This is only an NFL policy. So if I attend a soccer game or concert, Soldier Field has its own policies, which aren’t as strict. Thank you NFL - for making things more complicated. I guess it supposed to make us safer, but I really felt no difference.

This was also the first time we were using a baby carrier, as we could not bring in strollers. That makes sense. Baby liked being in it for a little while. My biggest dilemma was finding a bathroom to change the baby. I knew she had to be changed but no bathrooms in lower level. We decided to head to our seats so I could find a bathroom. Ugh, horrible timing. As soon as we sat down so I could settle in our toddler, I felt something wet. It’s funny now, but at that moment I was panicking. Okay now I need to get my toddler back up the stairs (and not lose her in the crowd) and hope this mess doesn’t run down my leg…oh-oh, too late. It’s everywhere! Finally get to a bathroom and I’m able to change the baby. She’s all smiles and giggles. Luckily the explosion only landed on me and her clothes and carrier were clean. I was pretty easy to clean up, but felt uncomfortable the whole time. I kept thinking I smell like poop (but I didn’t). This all happened in the first 15 minutes. After that the day went on without a hitch.

We watched the Bears take on the field and practice. Everyone cheered, even for Jay Cutler. Chicago currently has a love/hate relationship with the highest paid player in the NFL. I like Jay, and hope he one, doesn’t get hurt, two, can play with some heart, and three, can deliver some wins. I don’t like these predictions I’m hearing of a 3-13 season, the worst in NFL (USA Today).

My husband and I do enjoy going to Bears practices, usually in Bourbonnais. But at Soldier Field, my toddler didn’t enjoy it as much. She was confined to a seat and couldn’t run around freely likes she’s used to. Although there were some activities for her, she was too small for most. And with it being a very hot and humid day, she was miserable for the most part. Towards the end I felt a tired as well. Having to carry the baby most of that time was exhausting. In the future I think we will continue heading to Bourbonnais, and keep the Soldier Field family fest on the back burner until both girls are a little older. Perhaps we will reconsider next year, but I doubt it. At a discount the tickets were around $8 each (plus Ticketmaster fees), with parking costing $22. However, it being our first time sitting so close to the field, it really was eye-opening as to what we are missing when we watch the games every Sunday on TV. Then again, it’s Chicago and it’s usually really, really cold, so I’ll continue to watch from my couch. We cannot wait for this season to start! GO BEARS!!!

(BTW, exiting out of the parking lot was just as horrible as driving in, no it was worse. They need to keep the parking attendants there until everyone is out. I think we spent more time on the road than inside).

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