It’s a really special day today 🙂
We may call our site “Out and About Mom,” but we always knew that there were tons of dads out there following the site, finding new places to explore and planning fun outings with their kids. Not to mention navigating the world of new parenthood right alongside all our mom readers!
And today, we welcome our very first “Out and About Dad” to the site!
John O’Leary is the quintessential “Out and About Dad.” He and his 4-year-old daughter (we’ll use her parents’ affectionate nickname for her: Boutros) are always up for adventures. I know this because our kids are in preschool together, and on numerous occasions I have heard him enthusiastically recount tales of the places he and Boutros had recently visited.
So one day, as he was telling me about his latest discovery, I casually mentioned that we have always wanted to get a dad’s perspective on our site (and I may have also enlisted his wife to encourage him–thanks, Sarah!). This was great timing because you see, John and his wife had just welcomed another little girl a few months earlier, and the extra incentive to get himself “out and about” with Boutros was just what he needed!
No sooner did he say “yes” but I got an email from the New England Black Wolves about their family-friendly pro lacrosse games at Mohegan Sun Arena. And, as luck would have it, John is a bit of a lacrosse buff himself (a former player and a current coach). He was totally on board with taking Boutros out for some daddy/daughter bonding time at their opening home game for the season.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: lacrosse for 4-year-olds? I had the same thought! But literally the day after we set up this outing, my younger son (also 4) came home from preschool with a one-sheeter on the new sport they’d learned about that day in their gym class. I bet you can’t guess what it was??? That’s right– lacrosse! And he couldn’t tell me enough about the new game he’d learned with the “net on the stick.” It was a hit! So yeah. Lacrosse for 4-year-olds!
And today, John is here on the blog to tell us all about his first big Out and About adventure at a family-friendly New England Black Wolves lacrosse game.
Meet our new Out and About Dad!
John O’Leary lives in Glastonbury, CT with his wife and two daughters. A Connecticut native, he is an educator, coach, author, and archivist for Reuter’s Coach Works.
Thank you to the New England Black Wolves for giving my family complimentary admission to a New England Black Wolves game for the purpose of writing this post. All opinions are 100% my own.
Back in the fall, my wife and I welcomed our second baby girl. Being a dad of two definitely comes with new challenges!
For one thing, I have begun to notice that our four-year-old (who we lovingly call “Boutros”) has started to feel that all the attention has been shifting away from her.
So when Shawna asked if I would be the site’s first ever “Out and About Dad,” it seemed like a great opportunity for Boutros and I to spend some quality time as just the two of us and help her with the adjustment to being an older sibling.
The oldest sport known to be played in North America (with Native American roots), lacrosse is becoming increasingly popular among both students and parents. Today, lacrosse appeals to many because of its fast pace. A combination of football, ice hockey, and basketball, it has been called the fastest game on two feet.
The New England Black Wolves are members of the National Lacrosse League (NLL), a men’s professional box lacrosse league, with nine teams: five in the United States and four in Canada.
Boutros and I got a chance to attend the home opener for the Black Wolves against the Georgia Swarm at their home field: Mohegan Sun Arena.
Mohegan Sun is about a 45 minute drive from the Hartford area where we live (it’s also about 45 minutes from New Haven). We headed down early as there is plenty to do, see, eat, explore, play, and shop.
The 10,000 seat Mohegan Sun Arena was a bustle of activity for opening night of Black Wolves lacrosse.
No bad seats in the house as all the sight lines are great for watching the action!
The games are fast-paced, so there’s plenty of action to keep the kiddos’ attention. The NLL plays four 15-minute quarters with 2-minute breaks between quarters and a 16-minute half-time. If a game is tied after regulation, the two teams play sudden death overtime.
There were various concession choices in the arena and there are plenty of eats around Mohegan Sun as well.
Restrooms were clean and baby-friendly too!
Black Wolves games are very entertaining and action packed. Music is constantly playing and singing along is encouraged.
In addition to the actual game, there are so many other things to watch. The Black Wolves Howlers Dance Team, for example.
The fans were also treated to a half-time performance by drummer Peter Rabbit:
And of course, when you’re a kid cheering on the team is always a highlight of any game. The Black Wolves may have been trailing 9-5 at the half, but the crowd was still rooting for them. (And, spoiler alert, they won!)
We were lucky enough to have some VIP credentials for this visit, so we took advantage of the behind the scenes action too.
Everyone involved with the team was extremely fan-friendly including the players. Boutros got a high five from #15 Shawn Evans (game-high nine point total) and even got to meet #21 Kevin Crowley who led the Black Wolves with four goals and one assist.
No better way to celebrate a New England home opening win (13-11) than with strawberry milkshakes at Bobby’s Burger Palace.
The opening game of the 2018 season was fun and exciting. The NLL plays its games in the winter and spring, from December to June. Each year, the playoff teams battle for the Champion’s Cup.
So make your weekends wilder when you come see New England’s professional indoor lacrosse team, the Black Wolves, play at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
For general information:
For general and ticket information:
See website for current (2018) schedule of games.
Ticket prices vary. Check their website for more info. Children 24 months and older will need a ticket.
Stroller Friendly: NO. Strollers are not allowed in Mohegan Sun Arena. See Arena Policies for more info on prohibited items.
Coffee Mug Friendly: NO. Outside food and beverages are not allowed.
Restroom: YES – there are several convenient restrooms located in the arena. Mohegan Sun also has three “Family Assisted Restrooms” for guests with special needs. These restrooms are located outside Autumn Essentials, Bobby’s Burger Palace, Kids Quest and next to SolToro Tequila Grill.
Baby Changing Station: YES
Parking: YES. With more than 13,000 on-site guest parking spaces, parking at Mohegan Sun is never a hassle. The Indian Summer garage, Riverview garage and Winter garage all provide access into the Casino of the Earth. (Entrances to Casino of the Earth are themed by the seasons Winter, Summer and Autumn.) Once inside, the three casinos are connected by the Spring Gateway; so you never have to leave the building. We parked at Indian Summer garage. It was easy to get to and from the Arena from Indian Summer garage, but I am not sure if one garage is really better than another. Valet parking service is also available at the Sky, Hotel and Earth Summer Valet porte-cocheres.
Food for Sale: YES. There are concession stands inside the arena and plenty of places to dine either before or after an event. Find more info on dining here.
Outside Food Allowed: NO. Outside food or beverages are not allowed. See Arena Policies for other prohibited items.
Cash Required: NO. All major credit cards accepted.
Age Recommendations: All ages.
Dress Code: NO. Come as you are casual. But do check out the Arena Policies for more info on prohibited items (such as backpacks).
Evening/Weekend Hours: YES
Discounts: Check out their Ticket Central page for ways to save.
Birthday Party Venue: Coming Soon! Check their website for updates.
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