I am a stay at home mum trying to be a freelance writer - or a freelance writer trying to be a stay at home mum. I enjoy getting out and about with my two little girls and am Chief Editor of Perth Mums Group perthmumsgroup.com.au
Published May 2nd 2018
Handy hints for planning a trip to Optus Stadium with kids
Unless you've been living on Mars, or interstate, you will know that Perth is home to the brand new Optus Stadium. This state of the art, 60,000 seat stadium has already hosted international superstar Ed Sheeran, the Crusty Demons and One Day International cricket, along with hosting all AFL games in Perth.
I've been to Optus Stadium a few times now with my two little sidekicks in tow. It's not always easy, but it can be done! I'd say the stadium is relatively child-friendly, and if you do have to take your baby or toddler, here are the top tips for taking your children to Optus Stadium.
Getting your pram to the front door is easy (ish.) There are lifts up to the train station concourse and down again, plus priority entry for prams through the ACROD and pram entry located at each stadium entrance. You can leave your pram in the stadium cloakrooms, which are located at the front of each gate.
Find your nearest parent's room
There are parent's rooms on each level of the stadium. On your first visit, make sure to find your closest by asking an Optus Stadium staff member. There are change tables, feeding rooms, toilets and even a television so you don't miss the footy (although when I've been it's never actually been on.) Just don't mistake the disabled toilet for the parent's room like I did (I was very disappointed with the so-called parent's room before I found the actual parent's room….)
It will taste better and it's cheaper! You are allowed to take food and bottled drinks, plus flasks of food or drink, into Optus Stadium. You cannot take in cans, glass bottles or alcohol.
Take toys or use the Stadium Wifi
Take other forms of entertainment if your children aren't quite old enough to watch and appreciate a full game of footy, but try not to take something that will take up a lot of space, such as ticket books, or a couple of their favourite small toys. There is free Wifi at the stadium if they want to watch a bit of ABC Kids or play a game on your phone or iPad.
Let them run wild before the event
Optus Stadium, like many of Perth's major attractions, has a playground within its grounds. The Chevron Parklands has nature play areas, plus play structures, a big slide, tripod swing and rope play. Before all AFL games, there is a dedicated activity zone for the kids located just outside the stadium. Hopefully, they can burn a bit of energy before sitting through the game.
If you're going to an AFL match, have some fun before the game
The baby carrier, wrap, or sling, is your best friend at the Stadium. It lets you cart bub around, keeps them snuggled into you when it's cold and keeps your hands free to clap and cheer on your team, or even just eat and drink.
Invest in some baby earmuffs
Invest in some baby earmuffs to drown out the noisy crowds – the last thing you want is a sleeping baby waking unexpectedly to the sound of "baaaaaaaal!" Or very loud booing.
Footy is predominately a winter sport, while cricket is a summer sport, so dress your baby appropriately for the weather. If you are nursing a baby, take a cover in winter to keep them (and you) warm. Even if you don't take a cover, don't worry about people gawking – they will (or should) be too busy watching the game, plus there's always the parent's room available.
Be prepared for your plans to change. Children are unpredictable little creatures. You may need to leave early if the kids are getting ratty or out of control, although there is plenty of space down on the concourse to watch the game from if the kids simply won't sit still in their seats or the baby is crying. It's a great space to walk around and not miss the game, with plenty of screens around the place.
Don't miss out on your favourite events again! With a bit of planning and organisation, your trip to Optus Stadium with the kids doesn't have to be such a challenge.