A super fun, completely free summer activity that will wow both kids and adults alike … let’s go to the Jets Training Camp!
With the exception of two weeks this summer, there is no structured camp for my kids this year (much like last year). Nick is too old and has his first job, and Madeline honestly just wasn’t into it. Luckily since I am self-employed, I can make this work, but it’s a bit of a challenge to 1) plan activities so she still has a fun summer and 2) plan activity-free time so I can still work.
This is our second summer doing this, and it’s working. I make sure to have a good mix of free and inexpensive activities augmented by an occasional day trip, and lots of downtime for the kids so I can do what I need to do for my clients.
Paying a visit to the Jets Training Camp was a definite highlight for all of us last week. I mean … how often do you get this close to an NFL football team … for free?
Although this isn’t the first year that the public has been able to get tickets for their training camp, it’s the first year that we’ve gone, so I had no idea what to expect.
Their training officially starts at 1:50 pm, but you can get there up to two hours earlier to take advantage of some of the fun beforehand.
We pulled into the big open grassy field, following the direction of the parking attendants, and hopped a ride onto the constantly running shuttle buses, which took us to the stadium entrance. Once there, we had our tickets scanned (you HAVE TO bring your paper tickets, they will not accept them from your mobile device), and they offered to trade them in for more official looking green and white tickets, which makes for a nice souvenir.
Once we were in, we wandered around a small area that was set up with fun things to do. A few football-themed inflatables, a photo booth with a DJ, and a chance to meet a few of their cheerleaders and get autographs and pose for pictures with them. Once you’re done in this area and ready to go to your seats, you can hop a ride on a golf cart and they let you off right at the bleachers.
It’s general admission, so we picked out our seats, and really, you’re close enough, they’re ALL good.
I’m not gonna lie, it was hotter than Hades when we were there. Roughly 95 degrees, no shade, and in the direct sun. I tried to remember how hot the players must feel running around in all their gear, and we managed to stick it out for about two hours. The Jets franchise makes cold water and cups readily available in a few places, which helped a lot.
If you stay until the end of their practice, a few football players will come over to the stands and meet the audience and sign autographs.
We grabbed a golf cart ride back to the main entrance, grabbed a few more photos opps before leaving, and then took the shuttle bus back to our car.
I honestly could not have been more impressed with the Jets organization. Everyone we encountered was full of smiles and went the extra mile, and even though the admission tickets were free, they could have charged for the other things and it would have been completely understandable, but they didn’t. Not one dollar spent from beginning to end (they do, of course, have a merchandise tent, so if you’re looking for authentic Jets shirts and things, you’ll have an opportunity to purchase it). It was an awesome experience from beginning to end, and if you’re in the area, or within a reasonable driving distance, it’s makes for a really fun afternoon. I just checked, and there are still plenty of tickets available through the end of August – you can grab yours here. It’s the events that list Florham Park as the town. You can get four tickets per transaction. Have fun!