X Games for Families with Thrill-Seeking Teens

Moms, dads, grandparents, and godparents: Are you looking for a special occasion to dedicate to some one-on-one bonding time with your kid? Check out our series of hip happenings that will give the two of you secrets to share and a ritual to return to year after year.

Thrill-seeking extreme sports addicts unite twice a year at the Olympics’ fiercer rival, the X GamesThe competitions, which change locations for every season, are free and open to the public; additional concerts, tour opportunities, and festival fun during the event require individual tickets, or a pricey four-day pass for all of the above.

Trying to connect with your young BMX-er? Is your skateboarding teen spiraling down the half-pipe, seemingly out of control? It’s time to gather your energy and your courage to join the action and become an X Gamer.

Going to Extremes

The X Games take place in January and June. Be sure to plan your weekend a few months in advance, as this is a very busy festival. Winter games are held every year in Aspen, but the summer games change locations every few years. Most recently, they’ve been held in Los Angeles and Austin. Check the website to learn what athletes will be showing up in which city. The Games always occur within the US.

All it takes to go to the X Games – the sporting event, that is – is an airline ticket and a hotel room. But if you and your child want to see a musical show or gain access into the festival village, with its playground and kid-friendly extreme sports activities, you will need a ticket. Winter and summer activities vary, but if you’re bringing an active kid, you should definitely plan to go to all out.

Try your hand at any extreme sport that you reasonably can ahead of your X Games attendance. Strap on knee pads, elbow pads, wrist braces, and a helmet before taking to the pavement, dirt, or slopes to show your kid what you’ve got.

A few ski lessons from your kid or an intense bike race will build your skills and remind your kid that you too were once young! Learning the skills to play these games together is just as much of a bonding experience as going to the games themselves.

Game Day

The winter games include snowboarding, snowmobiling, and various types of skiing; summer games highlights are vertical skateboarding, wakeboarding, and various BMX biking and dirt biking events. Consult a schedule to figure out which events you’d like to watch and make sure to head there in time to get a good seat. During the winter games, when chair lifts and transportation are in play, you’ll have to plan your time carefully.

At night, the musical performances also fill up quickly. You’ll have to pay for these, so choose wisely and make sure you have time to head to the venue where your band is playing.

Bring water bottles that you can refill and a notebook for autographs on the day of the games. Stalking your child’s favorite athlete to find out where he plans to leave the event is a great way to get a good photo op and gain some extreme street cred.

Downtime between events gives you time to scope out the premises. Several brands have advertising tents with free food, spread all around the premises. Take advantage and collect free food while you can – it’s also a great game to spur you and your child on around the village.

But most importantly, take advantage of the summer games’ Playground, where slides, obstacle courses, climbing walls, and zip lines offer the adventurous kids (and adults) a safe place to play. Fill out the liability waiver to get a wristband, which will allow you on all of these fun areas.

Fancy extreme gaming of the virtual kind? Check out the Arcade Tent, where the newest and swankiest gaming equipment abounds. Test out new systems as you see your kid beat you in the mindspace of virtual gaming.

Don’t forget your camera. And not just the one on your phone, either. Catching the high-speed action of extreme sports is easiest on a DSLR set up for high-speed daytime shooting. Besides the pros, you’ll want to catch your kids in action on the Playground, too.

X Games Are a Young (Wo)Man’s Game

Yes, it’s true that the main demographics for X Games attendees – and athletes – is Gen Y (and young Gen X-ers), but an oldster like you can still have fun, too. The excitement and pomp of an Olympic competition, with competitors from all over the world, is definitely palpable. But the scaled-back ceremonies and fan-friendly entertainment puts this competition on a different level.

For an athletic child who is interested in off-the-beaten-path sports, this is a game time they will never forget.

Will you attend the X Games this year or stick with thrills closer to home?

Tags : celebrations   hip happenings   outings   x games   bonding   

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