Falling for Fun: High School Friday Night Football

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Our Falling for Fun series continues with a great idea from guest poster, Kelly. Head out to your local high school football game this weekened and make it a family event.

Friday Night Lights

All photos: Kelly Wiggains

If you’re at all like me, when you start listing fall activities for the family, you think of pumpkin patches and hay rides. You look for cheaper days to go to the zoo and enjoy the cooler temperatures, or you stock up on firewood and s’more-making supplies for an evening bonfire.

But have you considered catching a Friday night football game at the local high school?

Even if you don’t have a football-loving family, the atmosphere at a high school gridiron is electric. The entire experience offers exciting sights and sounds (and nachos), and general admission tickets are relatively cheap, especially at smaller schools.

I married a band director, so our family spends most Friday nights in the fall at a football stadium. My children love spending time at Dad’s games. In fact, if my three-year-old sees football on television, she says, “Look, Mom! Dad’s band!”

Band Pic

The section by the band is always the most fun. The drum lines battle each other across the field while the players and color guard dance to the beat, and then the full band plays music to get the crowd up and cheering for the team. Of course, halftime is the pinnacle of the game for our family, featuring great music as well as colorful flags and props.

My kids enjoy watching the game, but they also try to catch a free football or t-shirt thrown by the cheerleaders after a touchdown. They dance and sing to the music, and they laugh at the mascot’s antics. They learn to cheer for first downs and jump and scream for every point scored. They save up their allowance money to enjoy a treat from the concession stand, too.

Family at the Game

Of course, the price breakdown will vary, depending on the area. Gate prices at our school are $5 for adults and $3 for students (children 5 and under are free). Parking is free, and the concession stand has $1 popcorn. We leave the night spending well under $20.

Things to consider when heading out for Friday Night Football:

Bring Cash

This is the easiest way to buy tickets at the gate, a program if you want it, and a Frito pie at the concession stand.

Pack a Bag

I always stock a backpack with wipes, water bottles, a few snacks, a plastic grocery bag (for easy clean up), an umbrella, and a light blanket.

Plan ahead

Find game schedules, times, and ticket costs on the school district’s website.

Arrive early

Arrive at the game well before kick off. You have more time to find a seat, and you get a better parking spot. Plus, you can scope out the stadium and make everyone go to the bathroom before getting settled.

Find a football stadium near you and catch the spirit of fall with your family!

What’s YOUR experience with taking the fam to a football game?

— Kelly Wiggains blogs about everything From Literature to Living. An English teacher by trade, Kelly left the classroom a few years ago, but she still tries to convince those around her to read and write. She loves to connect her reading to the real world around her. Her blog is a place for book lovers and book skeptics alike, offering concise book recommendations, tips for reluctant readers, along with stories and observations about her life. She writes at KellyWiggains.com.

DIY-on-a-DIME-falling-for-fun-125Ready to fall for fun?

This post is part of the DIY on a Dime: Falling for Fun series. Check it out for all kinds of budget-friendly, family fun ideas to celebrate one of the most beautiful seasons of the year.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. Im from a small Kansas town where football is a big deal! I have 2 brothers playing, 1 who is a varsity starter, so this is where we spend many of our fall Friday nights! My kids are little yet so looking for the numbers to identify our guys was a great way for them to learn their numbers! I usually bring our own drinks, popcorn, and ring pops to save money. Although a $3 good quality burger is still cheaper then most drive throughs! I also ALWAYS bring jackets! Once the sun goes down, no matter how warm the day was it gets kinda chilly!

    We also love running into old friends who try to catch a game when they are in town!

  2. Great post! One more tip; I work concessions as a band booster volunteer, and it is MUCH less hassle if you get another snack/ go to the bathroom about 10 minutes before or after halftime.

  3. I was in the marching band in high school and LOVED Friday nights. I’ve never attended from the view of spectator, but I look forward to taking my kids when they’re a bit older. If attending is only half as much fun as being a part of the game, it’s going to be a blast!

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