Living La Vida Lambeau

Must Try

By J.P. Hoornstra

As home to six national championship-winning Green Bay Packer teams, Lambeau Field is of one of the NFL’s most historic stadiums. Built in 1957 but renovated in 2003, a surprisingly modern-looking Lambeau still looms large in rural Green Bay, Wisconsin.

“Where should I go if I want to see a brick from the original stadium?” I asked a clerk at a sandwich counter inside, before she pointed me in the direction of the other side.

What else is there to do in Lambeau other than watch a football game? Plenty, as it turns out.

1. Snap up some souvenirs.

The Packers Pro Shop, at the Northeast corner of the stadium, doesn’t lack for much. Forget about toy trucks in Packers colors – upstairs, there’s an actual pickup on display. Bobblehead dolls that fit in the palm of your hand are nothing rare – but three-foot tall bobbleheads are. (I spotted three: one each of Donald Driver, Bart Starr, and Brett Favre.) In short, if a Packers logo can fit on anything, you’ll find it here. The usual insignia offerings include shot glasses and coffee mugs; the bed sheets and baby bibs are bonuses.

2. Take a tour.

Take a walking tour of the stadium with a knowledgeable guide and get a crash course in the history of the field and the franchise – starting with its origins in 1919 as the Acme Packers (sponsored by the local meat-packing company). Bring a camera – especially for when the tour veers onto the field itself – and you can capture yourself next to the bronze statues of Curly Lambeau (for whom the field is named) and legendary coach Vince Lombardi. Make the most out of your visit by purchasing a combination stadium tour and Hall of Fame admission ticket. For diehard fans of the game, the Hall and its super-sized exhibits are a must-see.

3. Eat like a Packer.

Walking around an NFL stadium will leave you hungrier than a lineman. Head upstairs to Curly’s Pub, a Packers-themed bar and grill offering hearty fare and a menu that that boasts athlete-friendly food that lets you “Eat like the Packers.” Every meal comes in three portion sizes: Rookie (small), Veteran (medium), or Hall of Famer (large). View the weekly menu on the Lambeau Field website.

4. Play games.

Next door to Curly’s is the game zone, an expanded arcade offering fun for everyone in the family. Test your arms and legs with a pair of interactive challenges that put you in the shoes of an NFL running back or quarterback. There are also the traditional arcade-style video games, as well as an air hockey table – a perfect way to let off steam without actually stepping onto the gridiron.