One of the most exciting things about live sport is that it connects people of all ages. Whether it’s simply the atmosphere of a live crowd or the action itself, there’s always something that will appeal to everyone in the family.
If you are keen to take your brood to experience the thrill of a major live sporting event, read on as we outline five of the best family-friendly events in the British sporting calendar:
Twenty20 Finals Day
Twenty20 has revolutionised the sport of cricket as many of us knew it. The fast-paced, explosive 20-over format has upped the ante and excited a new, younger generation of cricket fans, inspired by big-hitting batsmen and fast yorker bowlers. The Vitality T20 Blast is the competition involving all the leading county teams, with the T20 Blast Finals Day staged annually at Edgbaston in Warwickshire.
It’s a day that everyone should experience, with music before, during and after the games, great food and drink on-site and an easily accessible venue to the south of Birmingham city centre. It’s a wonderful starting point to expose your little ones to the world of cricket.
Newmarket 1000 and 2000 Guineas
Newmarket Racecourse is considered the ‘home’ of British thoroughbred horse racing. It’s also one of the most family-friendly racecourses in the UK. The Suffolk racecourse has a Garden Enclosure, aside from the Paddock and Grandstand where the adults come out to play. The Garden Enclosure has no dress code and permits picnics. It also has kids’ play areas at both the July and Rowley Mile courses.
Of course, if you fancy a flutter on the gee-gees now and again, it’s always best to go to Newmarket forearmed with some expert tips for the day’s racing. Some sites dish out free tip sheets, outlining the best value bets in the daily racecards for every open racecourse to get you started.
The British summer’s sporting calendar usually kick-starts with the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships in south-west London. The iconic tennis Grand Slam is arguably the most historic tennis tournament on the planet, attracting tennis fans and sporting families from all four corners of the globe.
There are various ways for your family to experience Wimbledon for the first time. You could take a picnic and set up camp on “Henman Hill” for the day and soak up the atmosphere. Alternatively, you could buy tickets for all the outside courts, giving you and your little ones a chance to roam and explore. A seat on Centre Court might be a tad ambitious for kids with limited attention spans.
Your Local Football Team
It doesn’t matter which football team you support, it’s a great starting point for youngsters to be taken to watch their local team. Whether it’s a Premier League team or a National League team, they will enjoy the buzz and the atmosphere.
Most Football League clubs will have dedicated Family Enclosures, so you can sit with other young families and create a safe and exciting atmosphere for your little ones together – free from the language that many adult football fans tend to use on the terraces!
Six Nations at Twickenham
There are few more family-friendly sporting events in the UK than the Six Nations. Rugby Union’s showpiece tournament brings together England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, as well as France and Italy, in a six-team competition. England’s home is in south-west London in Twickenham and its stadium is one of the best in the world.
Rugby Union is a great atmosphere for young families, with both sets of supporters happy to mingle and have fun together, unlike in football. At Twickenham, children under two years old go free, with Junior tickets available to those aged two to 15 available at concession prices.
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