A tough reality about being a sports parent is that a tournament's schedule doesn’t keep you in mind. Your child’s match might start at 7 am, with the next at 2 pm. Often you’re at the venue without much ability to get around.

How do you occupy the time during the break? Every once in a while you might get lucky and someone will have planned a round of activities. But which activities are best? What if, as is likely, no one planned anything? Here are some ideas for a family play and stay weekend.

youth sports tournament

Things to do during tournament downtime in Marshall, MN

Here are some ideas of things to do during tournament downtime.

1. Watch Other Games

Whichever sport your child plays, they can benefit from learning more about the game. The downtime can be a great opportunity for them to gather more information about their position and broader strategy in the game.

Make it fun by videotaping their own play and watching the replays with them. Not only is it a great chance for them to get better, but it’s also fun to watch.

2. Play Games

If your kids are more active, or there’s less time between matches, play games with them. On the active side, you can play hide-and-seek, tag, or active trivia games like “how many stairs are in the courtyard over there?” Be sure to highlight safety rules, but active games can keep their energy up and attention sharp.

If you want to keep things more laid back, bring some board games, cards, or video games. Make sure not to wear them out too much for their next match and games can be a great bonding time.

3. Relax at a Local Park or Hotel

You want to keep your kids occupied, but if they’re tired or if you’ve traveled a long way, it makes sense to rest. After all, they have to play another match soon. Go to a local park and picnic, or just take a load off. It's great for keeping siblings happy too!

If you’re traveling far enough to need a hotel, take the chance to nap back in your hotel room. Marshall features several great hotel options, including Everspring and Quality Inn.

Plan a gathering at the hotel pool where team families can socialize, relax and watch the kids play. Then order some pizza for your hungry players.

Liberty Park - Smiling Kid Spinning

4. Get Some Food at Marshall, MN Restaurants

Playing sports takes a lot of energy. While you likely have snacks for them, if there’s a lot of time between matches it makes sense to go out and get a real meal.

Marshall has a range of kid-friendly options, from Mike’s Cafe for a sit-down lunch or Toni's Depot if you’re on the go. And, there's always time for ice cream! A visit to Marshall, MN is not complete without a stop at the Schwan's Ice Cream Parlor or Smidt's Little DQ! Wherever you are, there’s sure to be some local cuisine that’s worth a quick hop to grab a bite.

ice cream cone

5. Have Some Fun in Marshall, MN!

Sometimes you have a whole day between matches, a lot of energy, and the desire to keep the fun going. Go out and explore the activities. See what the local area has to offer.

Mini golf, laser tag, and swimming are just a few examples of what fun can be around the corner. In Marshall you can slide down the water slide at the Marshall Aquatic Center; play mini-golf at AJ’s Family Arcade, or ride bikes through Camden Regional Bike Trail.

There’s a world of opportunity as you wait for your child’s next match. Explore these Secret Spots in Marshall, MN.

Plan Your Family Play & Stay

It’s tough knowing how to best spend your time between tournaments, but whatever your situation there are options. Do what best fits your family and be sure to explore what the area has to offer, support the local businesses, and HAVE FUN!

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