While gymnastics, swimming, track, and even baseball games at Cal are some of the best cheap family entertainment options in town, football is a bigger investment. Tickets are more expensive, games are longer, and parking is more challenging on game days.
Here are some tips to help kids enjoy the game and surrounding festivities, from our Director of Sponsorships, Carol Burton, an Oakland mom of two boys who love athletics of all types. Carol has armed us with tools for enjoying a game and assures us that “it’s okay to leave early.”
Tips for families at Cal football games
- Check the website for schedule, ticket purchases, and any new restrictions or offers.
- Wear your blue and gold to fit in!
- Keep your eyes peeled for mascot Oski, and if you can get close to him, get a photo with him.
- Look forward to watching the cheerleaders and band perform.
- Find someone wearing a red shirt. It’s harder than you think in a crowd of blue and gold. Red shirts will be called out and the students will chant “Take off that red shirt!” if a red shirt or red hat is spotted.
- Listen to the Cal Spirit Squad leading cheers in the student section — they are responsible for making sure Cal Pride is always present.
- Cal band performs at halftime and it is always a highlight.
- Also the Cal students do a card trick at halftime in the stands which is pretty fun to watch.
- When the opposing team brings cheerleaders they usually do their “routine” in the visitors’ end zone.
Tailgate Town is located on the Maxwell Family Field up to three hours before the game with a beer garden, concessions, kid activities, photo opps with inflatable characters. Free admission for all ticket holders. Additional locations throughout the stadium will sell beer and wine to those wearing wristbands.
What to bring to a Cal Football Game:
- Hat, sunscreen, and layers, including a blanket to sit on or under if it gets cold.
- Extra cash for treats (popcorn, lemonade, Red Vines, cotton candy, water, etc).
- An activity for a younger child (book, toy car, or doll) to keep them entertained.
- Snacks: the stadium food choices are not great or healthy. And the lines are long, too.
- No purses! Pack clear tote bags or approved clear backpacks (max size 12″ x 12″ x 6″). A pouch or clutch big enough for your phone and ID is ok. Diaper bags WITH kids are ok. Double check the bag policy here.
What parents should know about UC Berkeley football games:
- The cannon firing can be loud when the Bears score
- Strollers can only come in the stadium if they can be collapsed and go underneath your seat. Otherwise, use free stroller check service in Section A.
- Kids over two need tickets; kids under two must stay in laps.
- Plenty of port of potties and bathrooms but plan ahead prior to half time for a “pitstop” to avoid lines
- You will find changing tables in bathrooms
- Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and take shuttle bus
- Great new playground at John Muir Elementary to stop at on the way to and from game (you can pay to park there)
- Park near Star Market and walk up through Clark Kerr campus (There is always a good lemonade stand on the way). Small playground for playing
- Pay and park at Willard Middle School or Washington Elementary School (another playground here)
- Check parking signs as to where street parking is allowed (parking tickets are issued on game days)