Updated August 25, 2018
It’s fall and you know what that means… cozy sweaters, comfort food, tailgating and football! And what better way to experience these things than by taking the whole fam to an ISU football game at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames? No matter what game it is, catching a college football game can be a thrilling way for you and the kids to spend a Saturday afternoon. Luckily, attending Iowa State Football Games with children are very do-able. We’ll give you the scoop on maximizing your time, money and fun, as the Cyclones and the Hawkeyes meet to battle it out on the football field.
If you are new to Iowa, Jack Trice Stadium is located in Ames. If you’re driving, good luck and head out early—traffic can become quite congested around the stadium for several hours prior to kickoff. Public parking lots open six hours prior to kick off on game day. Official Iowa State lots charge $20 per car for parking. Some businesses and apartment complexes around the stadium will also allow you to park in their lots for $10-$20.
Another option is to park closer to campus or nearby and walk or take CyRide to the game. Whatever you decide to do, be prepared for a crowded, one to two mile hike to the stadium. As you walk, be on the lookout for shuttles pulled by tractors that can give you a lift to the Stadium. If you’ve got little ones, prepare to do some piggyback rides to help with the trek. Unfortunately, strollers are not allowed in the Stadium.
Tickets and Seating
Ticket information can be found on Iowa State University’s website. The ticket office at Jack Trice Stadium “Will-Call” window for the general public is located at the Athletics Ticket Office, north of Gate 5 on the west side of the Olsen Building. Single-game tickets may also be purchased at one of the ticket booths located on the northwest side of Jack Trice Stadium. All tickets are based on availability. The ticket office opens 6 hours prior to kickoff or 8:00 am, whichever is later and remain open through halftime. Children under two DO NOT need a game ticket.
You can also purchase Jr. Cyclone Club passes. The Jr. Cyclone Club is the official fan club for Cyclone fans 12th grade and younger. Members receive admission to over 80 events, including all home football games and exclusive members-only events. In addition, Football Parent Passes can be purchased. Limit of 2 per household and children must be Jr. Cyclone Club members to purchase. A Football Parent Pass is valid for access to the Jr. Cyclone Club Hillsides for all home football games in MidAmerican Energy Field at Jack Trice Stadium.
Potty time? Restrooms are located by the concession stands which are located on the east and west sides of the Stadium between the upper and lower levels. If you’ve got a high seat, be ready to tote your kids up and down some steep stairs.
Safety and Security
There are a number of items that are not allowed into Jack Trice Stadium and with your kiddos in tow you will also want to have a few safety protocols in place. New in 2018, the Iowa State Athletics Department will implement a “clear bag policy” for football games.
The types of bags that will be permitted into the stadium are:
- Plastic, vinyl, or PVC clear totes that do not exceed 12x6x12 inches and do not have a logo larger than 4.5×3.5 inches;
- One-gallon clear plastic freezer bags (i.e. Ziploc or similar);
- Small clutch bags no larger than 4.5×6.5 inches;
- Exceptions will be made for bags containing items required for medical, family, or child care.
Jack Trice Stadium offers several food options at its concession stands, ranging from hot dogs and hamburgers to nachos and popcorn. If you’re fortunate enough to score Club Level seats, you’ll have upgraded food options, in more plush settings. Unfortunately, Jack Trice Stadium does not allow outside food or beverages. Only those items required for medical, family or child care needs will be allowed. However one 20 oz. unopened bottle of water is allowed per person.
Much of the fun of going to a college football game is the pre-game party. Tailgating is a great way for your family to hang out, meet fellow fans and get a full meal before the game actually begins. Parking lots open six hours prior to game time, and the grills get fired up shortly thereafter. Bring a football and some food, and you’ll likely be able to join any group. You could even make the trip just to tailgate, but remember, the $20 parking fee would apply if you are driving to the Stadium regardless of whether you attend the game.
The Cyclone Experience is located on the NE corner of Jack Trice Stadium between Lots 85E and S8, this family-friendly environment includes inflatable attractions, face painting and other activities for kids. All FREE! And this is also where the Jr. Cyclone Club is stationed on game day. The Cyclone Experience opens three hours before kickoff and closes 30 minutes prior to kickoff.
Jack Trice Stadium
1800 S 4th Street
Ames, IA 50011
Have you been to Jack Trice Stadium with kids? Tell us about your experience in the Comments section below.