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hi all -- looking for some fun family things to do with kids (10 + 7 years old) upon return to london after 3 weeks in the us over winter break, to offset the sadness of leaving friends behind…..again (we just moved over in august).

10 year old very into uk football, would it be fun to take in a match in person -- or is this likely to be a drink-fest for hooligans?

we are not loyal to any particular london teams - open to seeing anyone play near by… any other suggestions most welcome!

thanks!
 

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Lots of chanting and singing on the Tube/Bus/stadium grounds/in the stadium to a degree not normally seen in North America (am thinking in terms of how football fans behave versus NHL hockey fans).

Lots of drinking/drunkenness before and after the match to a degree not normally seen in most North American cities (again, am thinking in terms of how football fans behave versus the drunken hooligans who rioted in Vancouver in '94 and '11 during the NHL playoffs).

My Father in Law and my Husband used to go (late 1980's/early 1990's) when Husband was a young boy and by all accounts he enjoyed it (and still does, to this day... I'm often a football widow at the week end).

It's probably best for you to go in neutral (i.e. don't wear a specific team's jersey/scarf) until you learn/can figure out where the fans of each team sits in the stadium and buy your tickets accordingly (i.e. if you're a Tottenham Hotspurs fan, you don't want to be wearing their gear and end up sitting in an area dominated by Chelsea fans)... once you can figure out the seating arrangements, you should be able to wear your fan gear and not get to harassed.

Also, if you decide to take the Tube, it goes without saying for any sort of professional sports match to be prepared for it to be crowded.
 

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I haven't gone to any football matches, but I wouldn't mind going at least once. Judging by what I've seen on tv (and when on the Tube on Chelsea match days), lots of people bring children. You might want to look into family seating if it's an option. If you're not into any teams, I'd recommend going to one of the lower level league games (not Premiership or Champions League). The tickets will be cheaper, and you would still get to enjoy the atmosphere. And since the stadium might be smaller, the crowds would be lower. And you are spoiled for choice in London. I think it sounds like a great idea that your children will enjoy!
 

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Avoid Premier League games because of high ticket prices, difficulty of getting tickets (not all games and not for all clubs) and congestion/loutish behaviour you sometimes encounter.
For good family atmosphere in a relaxed setting, choose games in Championship, League 1 and League 2, where getting a ticket isn't usually a problem and there are lots of families. In Championship you have Queens Park Rangers, Charlton Athletic and Watford. I'd avoid Millwall because the atmosphere can be intimidating. In League 1, I recommend Brentford and Leyton Orient, both near the top of the table, and in League 2, AFC Wimbledon (fan-owned club) and Dagenham and Redbridge.
For details of how to get there, how much the tickets are, and other useful details, consult the excellent and up-to-date Fans guide to football grounds & stadiums in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
As you can see, I'm a keen football fan and go to a lot of games.
 
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