A Toronto Marlies Game
Photo credit: Graig Abel/Toronto Marlies
If you're looking for a family-friendly, affordable, and accessible option to experience a professional hockey game, I recommend going to watch the Toronto Marlies. While the action may not be as fast paced as it is in the NHL, the American Hockey League (AHL) is jam packed with entertainment for the entire family, at an affordable price. When my family is itching for a fun day out but the weather doesn't cooperate, we know the Marlies game is a safe bet. On several occasions we purchased our game tickets a few hours before puck drop and we picked it up at the Will-Call window. It was really easy and stress-free.
My family attended a game there this past weekend and here's a few of the highlights you can expect at the game, along with some family-friendly tips:
On the weekend, 90 minutes before the game, Marlies Alley is open and includes various interactive games (i.e. fooseball, hockey shooting, etc...).
If your children are obsessed with Zambonis as much as my son is, they will be happy to learn that they can get a chance to drive on one during intermission. Of course, you will need to set this up in advance.
At the end of the intermissions, make sure to head to the fan tunnel, located at the carpeted area, and high-five the players as they head back on the ice.
During intermissions, minor hockey teams come out to play. This is probably my son's favourite time at the game as he gets to see kids play hockey, which of course he's gearing up to do now that he's three!
The Marlies mascot is a cute and loveable dog called Duke. Watch out for him throughout the game doing various antics including hand-stands, jumping on the railings, and waving the Marlies flag. Try to catch him if you can for a fun photo opportunity with your kids.
At the end of the game, line up near the main entrance to Ricoh to meet with and obtain autographs from the players.
While it's recommended that you purchase your tickets well in advance of the game to ensure you receive the seats of your choice, you can always find some last minute, game-day tickets (at a slightly higher price).
Most importantly, be loud! There are a lot of contests throughout the game including ones for the loudest cheer.
Have fun and Go-Marlies-Go!