Top Reasons to Visit Vikings Training Camp
5 Reasons to Come to Mankato During Vikings Training Camp
Put on your best white, purple and gold. It’s that time of the year again to show your support and loyalty to your favorite team—the Minnesota Vikings—well before the season even begins. For two weeks in the summer, the city of Mankato comes alive with a series of special events for Vikings Training Camp. An ongoing tradition (already surpassing its 50th year), the event welcomes people of all ages to join in on the fun. Beside showing your Viking pride, there are several reasons why you should consider spending a summer vacation in Mankato cheering on your favorite team. Here are five reasons to come to Mankato during Vikings Training Camp.
1. You will get a chance to see the team up close and personal.
Vikings Training Camp always organizes a series of special events during the team’s time here. Browse through souvenirs like jerseys, hats and stickers at the Welcome Tent. Visit the autograph zone to meet the team’s top starters. There’s Family Football Day, a free day event for people of all ages to engage in Training Camp activities, to watch an evening practice under the lights at Blakeslee Stadium, to enjoy snacks, to meet and greet team members and to receive personal autographs. The day will end with a spectacular fireworks show in honor of the Vikings and its loyal fan base.
2. Children can test their skills and strength.
Another favorite during the training camp that is geared toward kids is the Mini Viking Game Zone, where your kids can test their skills and strength to see if they’re on their way to being the next Viking stars. Kids participate in various activities and interactive games like football bounce, football toss and an obstacle course. The event is free, but parents need to register in advance and sign a waiver before obtaining a wristband to enter. Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis (accepting the first 200 kids), so it’s advised to come early.
3. You can meet your favorite players.
Many of the events will allow you to get up-close and personal with your favorite players at Blakeslee Stadium. After cheering them on during a game or practice, line up along the sidelines for a chance to shake their hands. The players will be coming in from the field to Myers Field House and dorms before heading to the autograph zone, giving fans plenty of opportunities to get close for photos and signings.
4. You can take advantage of community events in Mankato.
While visiting town for the Vikings Training Camp, explore the exciting community events that Mankato will be hosting all summer. Popular summertime events include Kick Off to Camp, where restaurants showcase their best dishes on the 500 block of Front Street. The event will be accompanied by Vikings alumni, Vikings cheerleaders and Viktor the Viking. Another exciting non-Vikings event is Ribfest from August 4-7, where you can sample various rib recipes from talented chefs. You can always check the calendar of events for what else is happening in town.
5. You can go shopping, dine at the local eateries and check out the arts scene.
The greater Mankato area is an extremely family-friendly community. If you’re in town for Vikings Training Camp, there are plenty of things to do beyond the field. Visit local restaurants (like these top 10 best local places to eat) and shops. Stock up on local goods or other designer finds at River Hills Mall or the outdoor Mankato Farmers Market. While in town, visit kid-friendly venues like the Betsy-Tacy homes (the childhood home of Maud Hart Lovelace, beloved author of the famous children’s book series) or the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota, where they can climb an impressively large indoor treehouse. Check out some of our other ideas for the top things to do with your kids in Mankato, and read more about the top things to do outdoors.