By Jill “MamaBug” Frier

It’s hockey season! With the regular season being in full swing from October through April, and post-season lasting until early June, going to a hockey game is a great way to get your kids out of the house and have a fun sports experience for the whole family. We love going to see the Arizona Coyotes whenever we get the chance, but we’ve learned a few lessons about taking kids to hockey games along the way. Here are some tips to help you and your kids appreciate the noise, excitement, and frozen fun of attending a professional hockey game.

Like all professional sporting events, there is a range of pricing for tickets to hockey matches. Prices will fluctuate based on demand for each game, seat location, and time purchased, so take time to plan ahead to maximize your enjoyment of the event. Scope out your options and buy tickets for seats in a location that works best for your family. Upper level or club level seating can be a bit quieter and is less expensive, while sitting closer to the ice lets you see more action.

Dress Appropriately
Hockey games are cold. Really cold. Here in the desert, it’s important to remember that you need to bring sweaters or jackets with you to the game, or you and your kids will get uncomfortable very quickly. Wear long pants, leave the flip flops at home, and dress for very low temperatures.

Plan ahead to know where to park and the directions for getting into the parking lot and then the hockey rink. Take time to know where you are allowed to park and, if possible, purchase passes in advance to make getting to and from the arena easier for everyone.

Anticipate mealtimes and plan food purchases and locations before you go. There are food options in the arena, but when you attend a Coyotes game, Westgate also has tons of great options for places to eat. Plan mealtimes and venues to make sure your kids stay on schedule and avoid the crankiness.

Plan your safety and exit strategies. Discuss where to meet if someone gets lost, know where your seats are, know how to keep track of your children, and agree on deciding when to bail on watching the match.

Participate in the Kids Club
Howler’s Kids Club is open to kids 14 and under, and is a great way to help your kids get excited about hockey and attending a game. Kids Club memberships range from free to special exclusive pricing, and some of the benefits include discounted tickets to certain games, special IDs and wristbands, autograph events, and participation in the Kids Post Game Slapshot.

Be prepared for noise and hoopla
Remember that a hockey game and the crowd attending it will be very loud and at times can become really rowdy. Most hockey fans are pretty well behaved, but if you are concerned about rowdy behavior be sure to check out the stadium layout in advance to find places to take your kid to get out of the crowd. Many parents also bring headphones and a mobile device with movies, music or games to help smaller children avoid the noise. My advice is that you know your kid best. Think about how they will react to big, noisy crowds and the loud sounds of hockey players crashing into the glass. Some kids absolutely love hockey, but others not so much.

The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy cheering for your team. Hockey is a game, and games are all about having fun. Going to a hockey game should be an adventure with your kids and a great memory for your whole family. Be sure to check out for more tips on finding fun adventures and activities with your kids everywhere in Arizona!