Perhaps you've heard: There's a big football game coming to the Bay Area. The entire world will be watching the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers compete in the NFL's showcase event, which will be held at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on February 7.
But you don’t need seats at the 50-yard line to experience the NFL's signature event. There’s plenty else going on in the San Francisco Bay Area to keep football fans of all types thoroughly entertained for the whole week leading up to game day.
Here’s our football-themed list of things to do—and you can also get a list of events, schedules, and much more through the “Road to 50” app (see link at right).
Check Out Football Art
The Bay Area Bowl is a big deal, of course, and the entire region wants to show just how proud it is to be hosting this piece of history. Anything’s Possible, by sculptor Linda Serrao, will be a commemorative (and permanent) work of art displayed on the walkway across from Levi’s Stadium. The bronze figures depict a football star throwing a football to a young fan. Come for the unveiling, or check it out anytime.
When: Unveiling at noon, Jan. 6
See the Future of Football
How will we watch football in the future, if we’re not at the game itself? Virtual reality? Immersive technology? Telepresence robots? Come see what the future could look like at Santa Clara’s STEM Innovation Bowl. You’ll learn all about these and other cool technologies, and even be able to experience being an astronaut, thanks to a virtual-reality headset.
When: Jan. 30
Super Bowl Fun Run
Want to check out the inside of Levi’s Stadium before the big game—and get some exercise along the way? Join a 10K, 5K, or Kids Fun Run that finishes inside the stadium. Need some inspiration from a football legend? Roger Craig, a three-time winner of the NFL's big game, will be there, too!
Where: Santa Clara
When: Jan. 10
Mobile Hall of Fame
You don’t have to go to Ohio to experience the Pro Football Hall of Fame: For a few months, the hall is coming to Silicon Valley. “Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Exhibit” will let visitors learn about the sport’s pioneers, legendary players, team dynasties, and more. It also includes interactive elements: you can try on equipment, for example, and step inside an Instant Replay booth to make your own call.
Where: Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara
When: Opens Jan. 16 to Apr. 3
Super Bowl City
Quick: When you think San Francisco, what comes to mind? Technological epicenter? Check. Amazing dining? Yup. Cultural diversity? You bet. And of course, host to the planet’s biggest football game. This family-friendly event celebrates it all, with interactive games and activities, as well as everything you need to know about the Big Game and the rich football history of the Bay Area.
Where: Justin Herman Plaza, San Francisco
When: Jan. 30 to Feb. 7
Most of us will never know what it feels like to play football at the highest level. But immerse yourself in one of this activity’s interactive games, such as passing like a pro or trying to kick a winning field goal, and you’ll feel like you’re part of the action. And there’s plenty more going on here, including autograph sessions with some of the biggest names in football, a chance to see all the championship rings, and even a photo op with the Vince Lombardi trophy (it’s Instagram gold). And definitely bring the kids for the NFL Play 60 Zone, which promotes the organization’s campaign to get kids to be active for at least 60 minutes a day.
Where: Moscone Center, San Francisco
When: Jan 30 to Feb 7
Punt, Pass, & Kick
PPK competitions—the NFL’s popular program for kids—always attract an enthusiastic crowd. This one will add nutritional education, health screenings, fitness workshops and a five-month community walking challenge.
Where: San Pablo
When: Feb 6
Want to get seriously psyched about the big game? Join a pep rally at Santa Clara University. It’s a day packed with live bands, cheerleaders, and former NFL players. There will be great food, a celebrity flag football game, and a fan experience area with interactive games.
Where: Santa Clara University
When: Feb 6