Parents weekend, 3:30 pm football game
From the perspective of current Michigan student, Sarah Teich '18
Get up and get dressed: it’s game day! If you’re lacking apparel, make sure you head over to the M Den on state street before Saturday to get in the spirit. Pick out a shirt that is the color maize (a fancy term for the color yellow) because that is what all the Michigan students wear to the games.
Tip: The M Den is always super crowded on game day weekends, especially parents weekend. Avoid some of the crowds by checking out the M Den in the nearby Briarwood mall or online.
Eating breakfast on game day is a MUST. The Midwest is known for having the worst bagels in the country, but stop by Panera or Breugers bagels for a quick breakfast pick me up. If you are a caffeine addict don’t fear, there are two Starbucks and two local coffee shops called Espresso Royale on campus. If you have more time to sit down for breakfast, Angelo’s is the way to go before a big game day. Make sure to carb load with some of their famous home-made toast.
If you don’t already have your necessary tailgating beverages, stop by a liquor store on the way to the tailgates. If you’re walking from the hill area, stop by Strickland’s market where you can get mini Ciroc shooters to stay classy at the tailgates.
Head over to the tailgates! Your kids will pull you towards all sorts of different locations so make sure that you’re wearing shoes that you don’t mind ruining and dress for the weather. If it’s even the slightest bit chilly, layering is key. Get ready to question why you let your kids come to a school where these sort of activities are considered normal, and prep yourself for dancing on an elevated platform.
You’ll be surprised how quickly time flies on game day, but by the afternoon you will definitely be hungry. Depending on what time the game is you’ll need to fuel up accordingly. Any options on South University are quick and easy to grab.
A cult favorite is Burger-Fi for delicious burgers, fries, and shakes. If you want to be healthier you can get your burger wrapped in lettuce, and if you’re not so much in that mindset get an order of french fries urban style. They are extremely decadent with parmesan and an herb garlic aioli, but boy are they worth it. If you’re in the mood for Thai food check out No Thai. If the lines are too long at these popular spots, try Belly Deli which is a casual Asian deli with a great chicken stir-fry salad.
If the game is at 3:30 pm, you’ll want to start heading to the Big House! The best way to get there is to walk because uber charges sky rocket on game days. The walk is 30 minutes, but you’ll be thankful for the exercise after a day of partying and eating like college students. Plus, it always seems shorter because of the excitement for the game.
Once you get to the Big House you’ll enter through a different section then your child, who will enter through the student section. Be sure to take a picture together in front of the trademark M right when you walk into the stadium before you head to your seats. If you really want to feel part of the Michigan community, google the Michigan fight song before the game and join in with the crowd to sing “hail to the victors”!
No game day is complete without a visit to Pizza House and an order of feta bread. Feta bread is a cheesy bread topped with a mixture of feta and mozzarella, and it is must for Michigan students after the game.
If you want more of a meal, get a chipati. A chipati is another favorite of students, especially on game days, and consists of a salad in a warm whole wheat pita with special chipati sauce (Ann Arbor’s twist on thousand island dressing). While Pizza House is a great place to get one, another spot is Pizza Bobs. Pizza Bobs is closer to the stadium, and arguably has the best chipati in Ann Arbor.
After your late afternoon snack, a nap is an important part of game day for kids and parents alike. Once you wake up and take off your letter M face sticker, you may be hungry for a more substantial meal.
If you want something casual head to Zingerman's deli and pray that the line isn’t horrendous. If it is, know that a famous Zingerman’s sandwhich is absolutely worth the wait. If you want something traditional, the Zingerman’s Rueben is the way to go. If you’re not a fan of that, check out their great turkey sandwich with avocado spread.
If you want to have a nicer meal, opt for a later reservation and book it way in advance. Your family will want to eat later anyways because everyone will be tired after game day, and there will be more availability. Some of the best nicer restaurants in Ann Arbor are Aventura, which has Spanish tapas, or Vinology on main street, which lends a gourmet twist on classic American dishes.
Your kids may still want to go out after leaving you at dinner, but trust me you will be ready to fall asleep and dream about your amazing game day experience. Sweet dreams, and go blue.