Did you grow up loving football? Perhaps have some aspiring Ronaldos in your family? Then a visit to Wembley Stadium is a must. Relive some of England's greatest moments and create some amazing family memories of your own on this fantastic stadium tour - and what better way to do it than by using Kidadl's exclusive £50 family ticket offer?
Wembley Stadium. We’ve seen matches played there on TV. We’ve driven past it more times than I can count and my younger two boys can see the stadium on the hill from the road outside their primary school. However, nothing really prepares you for confronting the sheer size of the place on your walk there along the huge wide promenade from the Tube station.
As a mother of a mini football fanatic (seriously, the child can recite every factoid off Football World Cup Top Trumps by heart), I leapt at the chance to take him and his not-quite-so-football-obsessed two older brothers to see the stadium. Arriving at 10am for our tour, there was no queue to get in and we cleared security quickly. Once through security we joined our tour group and picked up our virtual tour gizmo and ear phones - the gizmo is a neat combination of an audio guide, a video guide and interactive 360-degree virtual reality experience and my three boys really said that it made the tour more interesting and come alive for them. The tour is also led by some very enthusiastic real life tour guides.
The tour initially takes you through the history of Wembley, information about Wembley today and how those iconic arches were made. There was a video of a parkour runner climbing the arches on the gizmo that had everyone on the edge of their seats!
After this our tour guides took us through to see the cups, flags and shields from when the Olympics were held at Wembley in 1948, the Euro 2020 poster and the Football Hall of Fame. Here the boys had the opportunity to have a photo taken with the team T-shirt of some football icons, and they enjoyed scanning the team shirts with their tour gizmos, which brought up short videos of that player.
Then it was time to head on and check out the stadium - on the way the guide showed the England changing room (we saw various cool shirts and the ice baths the players use - brrr) and the pre-match warm up room, and then our group got to go simulate a team run out to the pitch (though sadly there was no actual getting on the pitch). The mini football obsessive was most excited to get up close and personal with Messi and Ronaldo's shirts. We got to sit in the managers' chairs pitch-side and it really brought home just how big the stadium is. We were told by the guide it’s the biggest in England, the second largest in Europe and the 18th largest in the world!
The guide then took us up to the Royal Box, where we got to do a Mexican wave - a true once-in-a-lifetime experience. We also had the opportunity to have our photo taken with the FA cup for £10 - a must for any die-hard football fans.
We spent a couple of hours doing the tour and we weren’t bored once. The tour was really interesting and informative, covering so much more than just football, including the architecture of the stadium (we were astounded to hear there are over 2,600 toilets in the stadium), the care of the pitch (again the boys were amazed to see the machines that oxygenate the pitch for 90 minutes before each game) and the special rules for players before a game (we learnt that players aren’t allowed mobile phones before a match and if they get any bodily fluids on their kit, they have to change the whole outfit including boots for health and safety reasons). When asked what my boys enjoyed the most about the tour, my teen said he enjoyed learning about the history of Wembley and seeing the player shirts, my tween said he loved going in the Royal Box and seeing the three lion statues and my youngest said he loved everything about it, but was most excited at seeing Wembley spelt out by seats.
There is lots to do in the vicinity of the stadium. We went and checked out the fountains, had a play in the playground by the designer outlet village and had some delicious sundaes at Treatz before heading home with 3 very happy boys, including one super happy football obsessive clutching his prized photo of him with the FA cup.