Chicago, Family, Sponsored Post, Travel

Our Girls Finally Got to See Bears. And We Didn’t Have to Drive All The Way to The Smoky Mountains to See Them

Recently, we had the opportunity to go to Soldier Field in Chicago to be a part of this cool event called Family Fest where families get to go and experience the Chicago Bears for a fraction of what an actual game costs.
It is very family friendly and has lots of fun things for kids to do.
Except there is beer there.
Lots of beer.
And hot dogs, popcorn, nachos, cotton candy, etc.
This you need to know: where there is ballpark food, there is Kari.
So when the Bears reached out to me and sent me four tickets to see a scrimmage, I was excited.
Because the last time I got to see the Chicago Bears play inside Soldier Field was in 1994.
And it was raining sideways.
And I was wearing a garbage bag.
And I wasn’t drinking beer or eating a nacho chip.
Maybe I should have been.

Old soldier field

The old Soldier Field.
So cool to see this.
Because this was what Soldier Field looked like the last time I was inside here.

Soldier field

In true Kari fashion, we totally missed all of the fun kids’ activities.
Apparently, they had some amazing free events that we heard all about on the jumbotron and thanks to social media, I could see other bloggers and my employer, Chicago Parent, touting but we couldn’t find to save our lives.
Next year, we will just look at the website AHEAD OF TIME like normal people.
Who knew that Soldier Field was so damn big?
But again, the last time I was here, Ace of Base was on the radio.
Yeah, I said radio. 

Chicago Bears souvenir

But the girls didn’t mind that we missed all the “fun activities” because they were awestruck the moment we sat down in the stadium.

Soldier Field Chicago

So many things to look at.
Even I was awestruck.
Because again, the last time I was in here it was cold, I had limited visibility and I may have had three pairs of underwear on.
And no nachos.
Or beer.

My girls at Soldier Field


Soldier Field Mike Hoban

My husband’s cousin, who shares his exact name, played for the Bears in 1974.
So he brought us to this wall inside Soldier Field.
It was fun to watch the girls faces light up as they recognized a familiar name on this massive wall.
Dad was pooping his pants in 1974 but seriously, how cool is this??

Chicago Bears pre-game

The Bears don’t realize it doesn’t take much to woo us.
We had cotton candy, hot dogs, free foam thingies and music.
The sun was out and it wasn’t too hot a perfect August day.
Then they blew up that big inflatable bear and it freaking blew our minds.

our girls watching the Chicago Bears

For someone who sometimes has a tough time sitting through a television show, we thought this scrimmage was either going to go really poorly or really well.

Mike watching the Chicago Bears game

It went really well.

Ella cheering on the Chicago Bears

Really, really well.
It would seem that our children love a good old-fashioned football game.
Of course, this one has been dragged to many high school football games in the past year but there is just nothing like going to the big game.

watching the Chicago Bears

We even stood up.
A lot.
And not just to try to catch those free tee shirts from the air guns.
By the way, that guy in front of us had to do a gymnastic trick to get his free tee shirt.
I think he might be nursing a broken rib this week.
Which seems like a big price to pay for a tee shirt.
Trust me, I saw the shirts. 

Chicago Bears scrimmage

When the Bears came out, it was really exciting.
The girls were so thrilled to see the team in person that they had only before seen on television all these years.
So that’s the team that Daddy yells and swears at all the time?? 

My feet at a Chicago Bears game

Never again will my feet get this close to the field at an NFL football game.
Even though it wasn’t really a “game”.
But let’s pretend it was, okay?
In my cool little blog world, I was at the Super Bowl.
Here are my feet at an NFL football game.

Anna looking out to Soldier Field

After the “game”/scrimmage, most people started filing out but we figured we would just be sitting in traffic in our car anyway, so we decided to stay as long as we could or until they kicked us out.
Whichever came first.
We ate the remnants of our cotton candy and while everyone pushed and shoved to get out of Soldier Field, we got a front row seat to some cool stuff.
We got to see the players come back out onto the field in regular clothes for a short time and just stand there.
Doing what, I have no clue.
Above is Anna watching Jay Cutler and his son walk across the field.

Lou Cannelis

Honestly, I was more excited to see Lou Cannelis, the sportscaster for the local news here than I was to see the players.
The mystery is revealed, friends.
Your trusty news people are all a farce.
They don’t wear pants when they read you the news.
Anchorman humor. 
Psst, Lou, the microphone is in your other hand.
Someone get me a job at Fox News.

Soldier Field

An empty Soldier Field.
It is kind of pretty, in a football field-y kind of way.

Soldier Field

This, however, is not.
I felt bad for the people who had to clean up after all the messy families.
I can only imagine how bad this place looks after a regular NFL game.

On the way out of the stadium, there is this beautiful wall of water that everyone was touching as they left the stadium.

Ella Grace

It was the perfect end to a perfect day.

Ella at Soldier Field fountain
It was such a great family day that we all can’t wait to do it again.
A little more nachos next time, a little less Jay Cutler and a little more Lou Cannelis because come on, who doesn’t love Lou.
A big thank you to Gage over at the Chicago Bears for hooking us up with tickets to this event.
He is like the Ron Burgundy of the Bears.
Lou is very jealous. 

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