FOOTBALL, FAMILY AND FUN IN THE SUN WITH THE VIKINGS
The Verizon Vikings Training Camp packs in free festivities for fans between the touchdowns
All photos courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings
By Lianna Matt
For true Minnesotans, it doesn’t matter what the score at the end of the season is: Your heart pumps purple and gold for the Vikings either way. Like always, we’ve got some new players for the season, including wide receiver and Minnesota native Michael Floyd, and we’ve got some of our old favorites, like the ever-smiling Teddy Bridgewater. And because Vikings supporters can't contain their excitement until the season starts in the fall, fans flock to see the whole team up close and personal during the summer training in Mankato from July 23-August 8.
For their 52nd consecutive year, the Vikings will be conducting open practices and scrimmages less than two hours away. Besides the “work,” though, there’s plenty of play—especially for visiting fans and families.
The Verizon Vikings Training Camp is chock full of free events and activities, but here are some of our favorites:
Following Most Practices
Vikings Training Camp isn’t only about seeing the Minnesota Vikings team; it’s about meeting them, too. For 25 minutes after almost every morning practice, the players will be there to say hello and sign autographs. If you don’t have a Vikings souvenir ready to be signed, stop by the Vikings Welcome Tent and pick out some purple pride.
Vikings Women’s Day
The Vikings women are showing their values by using the first Vikings Women’s Day to pack MATTERboxes, which are full of nutritional food and resources to help people eat healthier. The goal is to pack 1,000 boxes, and the first 500 fans who help will receive a special Vikings Women gift. (To reward yourself for a job well done, check out the Women’s VIP Event in the evening: a private viewing tent, appetizers, meet and greets, and more.)
Vikings Village Movie Night
We love our movies in the park, and the Vikings family is no exception. Spread out a blanket, relax and enjoy the show. Hint: The family friendly movie is going to give you a lot of feels.
Family Football Day
Vikings Village is full of family activities for the whole day! The Madden tournament is also coming back for another year, and the organizers are teasing a possible flag football tournament and music. If that weren’t enough, you can get your children onto the field doing what the pros do with Family Football Day’s free youth camps (registration mandatory). The Gatorade Jr. Training Camp will teach football-lovers (girls and boys alike) drills and pointers, and the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders Jr. Cheer Clinic will show some steps to go with that pep. Take a break for supper before the Vikings’ evening practice, and then enjoy fireworks after watching the official team introduction.
Fan Appreciation Day
Prize giveaways all day, a morning autograph zone and afternoon family fun bring about the last day of training and the final golden days of summer.