Monday, January 30, 2012

NFL Experience & Super Bowl Village

We spent yesterday at the NFL Experience at the Indiana Convention Center, and took in some sights at the Super Bowl Village. It was a blast! If you're football fans like us, you should go- it's worth the money for the NFL Experience. We (Kurt, the girls & I) spent 7 hours at the experience & didn't see everything or do everything, but we did do a lot. This is the first time I've ever seen the Super Bowl rings on display- pretty impressive! We did not wait in line to see the Lombardi Trophy, we've seen the Steelers ones in Pittsburgh several times. But- if you've never seen a real one up close- it's worth the wait. 

The NFL Experience has many, many interactive areas, including a point-after try, Punt, pass & kick, quarterback challenge, obstacle courses, daily football mini-clinics for children 6-12, and more. There's even a Wilson football factory where you can watch them sew together a football ( & buy one to take home if you want!) I was most impressed by the lady who does the laces, how cool to always get your stitches the same!

If you go to the NFL Experience, be sure to use the coat check! The $2 a coat is totally worth it because you're going to be too busy doing the activities to want to worry about your coats! There is a release form you'll need to fill out to do the Play60 activities. You can print it out online & fill it out before you go if you're wanting to save time. The cost of $25 adult, $20 for kids may seem steep, but it's worth it for all the things there are to do. They have family packs available at a discount.

Maybe you're not a die-hard football fan? Then perhaps you just want to check out the Super Bowl Village. There are still many smaller free activities outside in the village, cool race cars with the Super Bowl, NY Giants, & Patriots designs, and a lot of lights & noise to keep you entertained. The village has 2 different stages, and the best place to stop and people-watch is probably at the ice-sculpting area. Why there you may ask? Because they've got a couple of the heated white benches like the players sit on during the outdoor games! It's a great place to sit, watch the sculpting, or the people, and warm up your backside!

If you're looking for the zipline- it's on the east side of the Convention Center. Rides are $10, or you can just watch everyone else go by over your head. Almost a little creepy to walk under it, but the girls & I had a talk with one of the staff and they know what they're doing. They'll even ride out and get you if you're stuck (rare, but it happens!)

Parking is a little tricky, but there are several options. You can check the official Super Bowl info pages at for park and ride & larger garages. Or you can do what we did, and drive around a little and find a deal. There are several small private garages and lots that have a daily flat rate of $20-$25. Thanks to finding the Emmis Communications' parking garage, we were prepared to pay $20 for the whole day. That's great for event parking, but if you stay less than 12 hours, you might even get a break on that price. We paid $14 for about 10 hours. That's a steal considering Circle Center Mall is charging $40 if you stay more than 8 hours, and they're not allowing any parking validations with your purchases until after the Super Bowl is over :(

We also spent about an hour on the circle, seeing the giant Super Bowl numerals, and the race cars. The cars are moving to locations all over the state later this week, but the light show @ the circle is still worth walking a few extra blocks! If you're wanting to see the cars this weekend, check the above link under "Events" "Super Cars" to see where your favorite team's car will be. I know Conner Prairie is getting the Bears' car, and the Mounds Mall in Anderson is getting the Vikings' Car. The Steelers car, unfortunately, will be at the Indianapolis airport, a long drive from here, but on display for everyone to see when they go to baggage claim this weekend!

So if you go, have fun, stay warm, and remember: the water fountain in the convention center is right next to the Punt, Pass, & Kick activity!!!

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