Grand Rapids Griffins: 7 Things to Know Before You Go to a Hockey Game

Grand Rapids Griffins Hockey players on ice

A Grand Rapids Hockey Game is Exciting, Both On and Off the Ice

Grand Rapids Griffins

Van Andel Arena – 130 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Cheering for the Grand Rapids Griffins is one of our favorite things to do in Grand Rapids, even if you’ve not watched a lot of hockey before.

Our team puts everything into the game, making it a lot of fun to watch.

And in between plays there’s great food, entertainment, t-shirt cannons and lots to see.

Young spectator at Grand Rapids Griffins game.

Van Andel Arena prides itself on its customer service, from the food vendors to the ushers. So even if it’s your first time to a game, you’ll find plenty of friendly faces to help you out.

7 Things to Know Before Taking Your Family to a Grand Rapids Griffins Game

Here are some great tips for making the most of your night in downtown Grand Rapids watching the Griffins.

1 – Get Deals on Your Tickets

When purchasing your tickets online, consider getting a bundle package or using your GRPL or KDL library card on Sunday and Wednesday games.

Grand Rapids Griffins hockey team celebrating

2 – Parking Downtown

If you are driving to the game, consider where you’ll park beforehand.

There are parking ramps across Fulton Street, right in front of Van Andel (and throughout the city).

There’s also a skywalk connecting the Van Andel to parking structures in the city.

We parked at the Louis-Campau Public Ramp (943 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids) and enjoyed walking through the heated walkways to get to the arena. It was especially handy when leaving the game, as it had started snowing.

There are are several public parking ramps and lots along the Skywalk path, as well as parking provided by the Amway Grand, JW Marriott, and Marriott Courtyard hotels.

GR Skywalk Map

3 – Arrive Early for Extra Experiences

Explore activities on the concourse  and watch the teams warm-up during the hour prior to game start.

The doors open an hour before the game starts and it is definitely worth your while to get there early to enjoy the pre-game happenings along the concourse.

On a typical night, you’ll find booths sponsored by local businesses as well as from various clubs associated with the team. A big hit was the Griffins Kids Club table where we made signs to cheer on the Griffins during the game.

The hour before the game starts also allows you to watch the teams warm-up on the ice. The official start also features a high-octane sequence with some pyrotechnics and a rock-concert atmosphere as the Griffins take to the ice.

4 – Concessions

Explore activities on the concourse and watch the teams warm-up during the hour prior to game start.

There are many food options on the concourse, so plan if you want to eat dinner at the arena or not. If you have dietary restrictions, options do become very limited, so you may want to eat dinner before you arrive.

The concourse also offers a variety of concessions. Henry was a big fan of pizza from Peppino’s and while the selections were limited for Liam due to dietary restrictions, he was happy to be able to find a bunless cheeseburger and some popcorn.

And all the boys loved getting Hudsonville Ice Cream.

5 – Dress for the Ice

Given that it’s ice hockey, the arena is a on the chillier side, so you probably want to wear long sleeves or a light jacket.

Grand Rapids Griffins arena view sold out show

6 – Young Kids Might Appreciate Noise-Blocking Headphones

If you are attending with small children, some elements of the game get very loud so ear muffs or ear plugs could benefit those sensitive to loud noises.

7 – Have an Exit Strategy

A typical hockey game can last over two hours, so plan ahead on whether you want to stay for the entire game, till a certain time, or until a certain element of the game (during the second intermission, for instance).

There are two intermissions in the night and they are just as entertaining as the game.

There are different ones throughout the season, but we had fun cheering on participants in games, marveling at the puck chuck, and were impressed by a Taekwondo demonstration.

Another fun form of entertainment were the various swag giveaways. Cannons that shot hot dogs and t-shirts appeared throughout the evening.

Griffins Promo Deals

The Griffins play at Van Andel Arena (130 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49503) and a full schedule of upcoming games can be found here.

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