Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Soldier Field Egg-Stravaganza

As our daughters get older it becomes harder to find an Easter egg hunt appropriate for kids their age.  It seems as though most of the park district Easter events are targeted at younger kids.  The enormous candy hunt held every year at Soldier Field, however, is appropriate for kids of all ages. 

When you check into this event, at the entrance into Soldier Field, you are divided into groups based on your child's age and given a specific colored wrist band.  You and your child are also given another wrist band that will be checked on leaving the field after the candy grab to make sure the right parent is with the right child.  Do not lose this!  The candy grabs occur on the hour, I believe, starting at 10 AM (the stadium opens at 9 AM) with the youngest children allowed on the field first based on wrist band color.  In between, there are bounce houses, face painting, and other fun activities for the kids.

As we found out last year, this is an extremely popular event with literally thousands of families attending.  We were there plenty early but because of where we were waiting in the stands we did not get let onto the field for the first candy grab even though it was the appropriate one based on our daughters' ages.  We then had to wait through the first round and then preparation for the second one.  It was a really cold day and there was nothing to do while we waited (we didn't want to give up our position close to the entrance gate)  so the girls' mood was definitely dampened.  Then when we did get on the field we were with all older kids.  It wasn't that big of a deal for my older daughter, who was able to get plenty of candy, but my younger daughter kind of froze amidst all the running and pushing older kids and only got two or three pieces of candy before it was all gone.  Really the only reason she got what she did was because I grabbed it for her when generally I'm against parents participating.  I think if we would have been able to get onto the field in our age appropriate group, we would have had a much better experience.  Despite the craziness, however, the girls have positive memories of the event and have been asking if we will be going again.  

This year the Egg-Stravaganza is on March 23rd.  The event is free.  However, if you drive you will have to pay to park in the Soldier Field parking garage.  I wouldn't recommend a stroller because there are so many people and it is completely impractical if you are going onto the field (you enter through the stands).  Also bring a coat, hat, gloves, whatever is appropriate for the weather because you will be mostly outside.

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