Professional soccer teams dominate my children’s world view. Throw out the word Madrid and they respond “Real Madrid?” Barcelona for them means the Barça. They equate Paris with Paris Saint-Germain. So imagine my ten year old Beckett’s delight when I told him we would be visiting Munich. “Can’t believe we get to visit Bayern Munich, Mommy” he said with a smile, making no mention of the city of Munich itself (he then started to plan out what he wanted to buy from the team store!).
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The polished exterior of this amazing stadium, composed of inflated plastic panels, lights up at night into different colors. During the day it resembles an enlarged, white-rubber tire.Inside, we took a tour, marveling at the design, dimensions and sound-proofing of the stadium. The stadium was built to accommodate 75,000 impassioned fans. During matches with teams from other countries, drinking alcohol is banned. That gives you a sense of how heated these matches get!Three happy visitors.Cool to check out the players locker room!Within the stadium lives a rich museum that recounts the history of the Bayern Munich club. These old leather soccer cleats caught our eyes.The photo-booth at the end turns your picture into one that all museum visitors can see.I’m not much of a sports spectator and never thought I’d enjoy visiting a professional soccer team stadium and museum, but in the end I enjoyed the visit as much as the kids. By reading the story of the Bayern Munich team — including how it weathered and survived two world wars from within Germany — we learned about 20th century history overall.
We teach a lot to our kids, but they also teach so much to us. Open yourself up to it. Get out of your comfort zone. Dare to get interested in something new. When you learn new things, and take on new passions, you enrich your life. Excuse me while I sit down with my boys now and watch a soccer game (something I never would have done before having kids!).
Happy end of summer,
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