I can still vividly remember the first and only pro football game I have ever attended. I was in fourth or fifth grade, and my dad had received four tickets to a Detroit Lions game. At this point in my life, I didn’t know much about football, even though I had a dad and two brothers that did.
So, I’m at this game, and I’m watching. Everyone is excited and cheering, so of course, I stand up and cheer with the crowd. At one point I notice the referees were throwing these little orange things down on the field. I asked my dad why those men were throwing trash on the ground because from where we were sitting, that is what it looked like.
My dad and older brother had a good laugh. Then they proceeded to try and explain to me that the ‘orange things’ were penalty flags. Let’s just say that was the extent of my knowledge of football, even into adulthood.
Fast forward to February of this year. I received an invitation from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio to come for a visit. I’ve got to be honest; my first thought was that I had no business in a football museum. I know pretty much nothing about the sport.
I mentioned the invite to Shadrach, who knows even less about football than I do (because of growing up in the Caribbean). He hesitated at first and then decided that we should go for the adventure . It is good to expose our child to something even if we don’t know much about it right?
So, the weekend came. We made it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised. There is so much more to the museum that inducted football players into the hall of fame. We learned about the history of how the game began. Also, it walks through the timeline of football all the way to the present day.
By the end of the day, I realized that we had made the right decision in making the trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We learned so much about the sport and had such a fun family day making memories. We had so much fun that I want to share with you nine reasons why the Pro Football Hall of Fame should be on your family’s bucket list…
Don’t forget to check out our video highlighting our visit!
1 – A Love of Football is not Required
If you think you or your entire family must love football to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame, then you are wrong. Football is a part of American history and a great past time. It doesn’t matter if you enjoy watching football or not, learning the history of it is interesting.
As I explained up above, we are not die-hard fans, and there is not one specific team we cheer on, but that did not stop us from really enjoying our visit and having fun. In fact, if nothing else it gave me a deeper appreciation for the game and a better understanding of where it started. Plus Logan learned that tackling is not the same thing as wrestling. 😉
2 – The Insider’s Museum Tour is a Perfect Way to Introduce the Museum to the Whole Family
The first thing we did upon arrival at the Pro Football Hall of Fame was meet our tour guide, Harry. He took us on the Insider’s Museum Tour. To be honest, I was a little worried about how Logan would do on this tour because he is only five and has a short attention span. There were a few moments where he got distracted by other displays, but he mainly stood and listened to Harry and learned some things as well.
If there is one thing that I want to urge you to do when you visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it is to do the Insider’s Museum Tour! We all learned so much, and I honestly enjoyed it! Harry was hands down the best tour guide! In fact, this makes me wonder how much we would have missed if we hadn’t done the tour. It made our whole experience there exceptional. Yes, it does cost a little extra, but I promise you it is worth every dime!
3 – The Pro Football Hall of Fame has Great Values Worth Teaching to your Children
When you first walk into the museum, the mission statement above the wall reads:
- Honor the heroes of the game
- Preserve its history
- Promote its values
- Celebrate excellence EVERYWHERE
While it would be easy to walk right past these and not think much about them, they are essential to understanding the mission of the museum. Plus, it’s a great way to help teach your children that football has excellent values too.
I look at them more like the core values of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I love that it helps reinforce my mission to teach Logan that history is essential. Also, I think it is important to show my child that excellence really can come from anywhere and everywhere. So, I look at this visit as an opportunity to help reinforce values and morals with my child.
4 – They have the best hospitality!
Excellent hospitality and customer service are something that Shadrach and I always look for when we visit somewhere new. The thing is when we find a place that is friendly and goes above and beyond to make us feel welcome; we tend to rave about that place and want to go back again and again. Every single person that we came across that works at the Pro Football Hall of Fame was the kindest and most helpful people.
When we first arrived, and we were waiting to start our Insider’s Museum Tour, Logan wanted to go into the gift shop to look at something. I asked him to wait until later, so we could spend some time in there. One of the ladies that works at the museum overheard Logan and came up and asked me if she could take him to see the gift shop. She took him right to the entrance, where I could still see him. Then, she let him talk to her and show her everything he found interesting. That spoke volumes to me that she would take a few minutes of her time and give her full attention to an excited little boy.
I could go on and on about all the different moments where the staff went above and beyond and made us feel like we were important. To me, that is what sets this museum apart!
5 – Lots of Hands-on and Interactive Displays
One of the main things we look for when visiting a museum is that there are hands-on displays for Logan. He is the type of kid that will touch everything and anything just because that is how he learns. So, to discover that the Pro Football Hall of Fame has lots of hands-on, interactive displays just made me love this place even more.
As we walked through the museum, there are lots of hands-on places that kids will love. Like trying on football pads, or a football helmet, or comparing your hand and muscle size to famous football players. Also, there are various touch screens throughout that allow you to read, watch and learn more about the players.
I think Logan’s favorite part was getting to the lower level of the museum and playing the EA Sports Madden Football game. In fact, I think this area becomes a huge favorite among most kids and even some adults. 😉
6 – Enjoy A Unique Theater Experience
I have to admit that the two theaters inside the museum ended up being one of our favorite parts of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. They are placed in precisely the right places throughout the museum. So just when you feel like you need to sit down for a few minutes, you can stop and watch a short movie and take a rest. The thing is, these theaters provide a unique viewing experience.
The first one is the “A Game for Life” holographic theater. Our museum guide, Harry, took us into this theater during our tour. It is amazing! Logan, a wiggly little boy, sat perfectly still for the entire twenty minutes of the show. The thing that makes it so unique is that they had taken a few of the Hall of Fame Legends and turned them into holograms. So it seems like they are walking and talking in front of you. Plus the stories that they told about specific players, really helped to reinforce the values of football and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. So, when you finish in the bust room, make sure to stop and check this impressive theater out!
The second show is located right after the Super Bowl trophy (and yes it is the REAL trophy for the upcoming Super Bowl). Here is where the museum gives you a recap of the most recent Super Bowl. Since we didn’t watch the game when it happened, it was nice the way they pulled all of the highlights of the game and took you through it all. Shadrach really liked how it was done and it turned out to be another one that kept a wiggly five-year-old’s attention. I would imagine whether you have seen the super bowl or not; this is worth your time (even if your team didn’t win 😉).
7 – They Host Special Events throughout the Year that Enhance Your Experience
During our visit to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, there were a couple of special events going on that was a surprise to us. The first one is that the NFL draft was happening. The President of the Hall of Fame was doing some live updates on some of the draft picks for Ohio teams. While we didn’t get to see any live taping, it was awesome to see them setting it all up. Plus, it added a certain level of excitement.
The other unique event during our visit was that there were three of the Cleveland Brown’s players there doing a signing. At first, it was unclear about what was going on and we figured it cost extra to see them. Then one of the museum employees informed us that it was free. So, we got in line and met three of the Cleveland Browns!
Let’s me say, Logan was super excited, and it made his day to meet three real football players. Overall, these events made our visit seem extra unique and very memorable. Check here if you’d to see any upcoming events the Pro Football Hall of Fame may be having so that you can plan your visit! It will make your trip unforgettable!
8 – The Perfect Location
Something I didn’t realize until our tour guide, Harry, told us, is that Canton, Ohio is about eight hours or less from some major cities (like Detroit, Pittsburg, Chicago, New York, etc.). This makes it a great central location for families to make a little road trip and spend the weekend at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
So, whip out your phone and check your maps to see how far you are from Canton, Ohio. It is worth the drive to visit especially with some future additions the museum will be making…
9 – Future Expansion that will make it the Ultimate Family Experience
We learned during our visit that the Pro Football Hall of Fame is expanding and will have some exciting additions coming in 2020! As you can imagine, every year there are new players and coaches inducted into the Hall of Fame. So that means that there needs to be space to continue adding Hall of Famers in upcoming years. So, the museum itself will be expanding and changing.
Also, there will be a Hall of Fame Hotel on-site, with different themed rooms and a promenade that includes shops, interactive games, and a football-themed indoor waterpark!!! So, by 2020 the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be a huge family-friendly destination! Shadrach and I are super excited about the upcoming additions! You can read more about it here.
A Few Quick Tips to Make Your Visit Perfect
If you plan to head to the Pro Football Hall of Fame here are a few tips to make your visit enjoyable and unforgettable.
- If you get hungry during your visit, there is a café and vending machines. We enjoyed a lovely lunch at the cafe during our visit, and the food was pretty good.
- When you first arrive, there is a green screen and a place where they will take your picture as a family. The pictures are a great way to remember your visit and a way to get a family photo (because if you are like us, we rarely get family photos). So, be sure to stop and get a picture and check them out before you leave.
- Be sure to consider the Insider’s Museum Tour. The little stories and information shared during this tour is not something you can learn just walking through on your own. I promise it is worth it!
- When you are ready for a little walking break, be sure to stop in to the two theaters! They are worth the time and its included in the price of admission.
- Before you leave, take a look at the gift shop and make sure to pick up some football memorabilia to remember your visit and maybe even support your favorite team.
Plan Your Visit with a Discount Code
Now that you know about all the great reasons to head to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and how amazing it is, I have a little something for you to help with planning your visit! I have a discount code for you to receive $5 off your admission!
Just head here to purchase your tickets and be sure to enter our promo code RAMBLINGRAMNATHS.
Please remember, you don’t have to know a lot about football to enjoy the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Shadrach and I were a little worried that we might not enjoy ourselves because we knew so little about football, but boy were we wrong. It is an experience for the entire family no matter your level of love or knowledge for the sport. It turned out to be a great family day for us and something Logan is still talking about and probably will for years to come!